Cask Days 2015

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beerstodiscover
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby beerstodiscover » Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:00 pm

ChrisK wrote:Can anyone else comment on whether or not the ciders, bellwoods, or monkish hard drive problems were pouring at the start of session 4?


Ciders were pouring until the end of session 4, although the selection was limited. Monkish Hard Drive Problems was finished when I checked at about 9 p.m. I didn't even attempt asking for Bellwoods at that point.
ChrisK
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby ChrisK » Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:05 pm

deepeary wrote:
ChrisK wrote:Can anyone else comment on whether or not the ciders, bellwoods, or monkish hard drive problems were pouring at the start of session 4?


Ciders were pouring until the end of session 4, although the selection was limited. Monkish Hard Drive Problems was finished when I checked at about 9 p.m. I didn't even attempt asking for Bellwoods at that point.


I guess that settles it as far as them holding back the ciders. It's annoying that they cut them off so quickly during session 3.
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby Provost Drunk » Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:07 pm

I wish there was more transparency around how the decision to stop pouring a particular cask was made. I was at Session 3 and it seemed that very little was left by the end of the session. This left me wondering if all the casks that were no longer available had actually run dry, or if a decision was made to cut them off once they reach a certain point to ensure that some was saved for the remaining sessions. It sounds like a lot of beers were indeed gone by the start of Session 4, but as has been noted already in this thread the ciders finished about half way through Session 3 and seemed to return for the Saturday night session.

I was surprised at how quickly some of the beers went. It wasn't surprising that the Bellwoods beers and a lot of the other one-off/specialty types went fast, but even some fairly ordinary styles disappeared quickly. I was very interested in trying Resurgence - The Don (Belgian strong blonde) and Gainsbourg's tripel as this is a style I particularly enjoy, but it's certainly not the style that comes to mind when I think of Cask Days. I was planning to try them early on before blowing out my palate on a bunch of crazier styles, but they were both gone by the beginning of Session 3 (general admission).

For those who went Friday night, how did you find the selection and did many things run out? Friday afternoon sounds perfect but I'm not sure I'll be able to sacrifice a vacation day and I'm wondering if Friday night is the way to go next year. Of course this all depends on the approach they take with the casks - I went on Friday night last year and they held back a lot of the beers until the Saturday sessions!
beerstodiscover
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby beerstodiscover » Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:22 pm

I'd be shocked if they held back any beer casks, considering how many were empty by session 4.

Holding back ciders makes a bit of sense to not disappoint cider drinkers, as there was only 20 or so cider casks.

Also I was charged regular price for the imports, whereas I was expecting the prices to be double. This may have contributed to them being emptied so quickly.
ChrisK
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby ChrisK » Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:26 pm

deepeary wrote:I'd be shocked if they held back any beer casks, considering how many were empty by session 4.

Holding back ciders makes a bit of sense to not disappoint cider drinkers, as there was only 20 or so cider casks.

Also I was charged regular price for the imports, whereas I was expecting the prices to be double. This may have contributed to them being emptied so quickly.


That was definitely a pleasant surprise. Ciders and imports were 2 tokens for a 5oz pour last year and this year they were all normal price. I expect to see further iteration on their plans for next year's show.
zane9
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby zane9 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:11 pm

We did Cask Day 1, evening session. We opted for Ralph's Reality tour in the early admission. Poor Ralph had laryngitis, so he walked with us while Luc led the tastings. He's a brewer from Quebec who is opening his brewery in Toronto soon. He brews with BarVolo and likely many of you know him. His palette is highly educated, which really made the tastings memorable.

Highlights from the tasting included Washington's Machine House Best Bitter (#23), UK's Beavertown Smog Smoked Porter (#76), Quebec's Dieu du Ciel! Solstice d"Hiver Barley Wine (#154), and a West Avenue Cider (I forgot to circle the number!).

The number of casks this year was almost overwhelming, if you're doing only one session. We focused on Washington, California, Quebec, and Ontario.

I found things were better organized and ran more smoothly than last year (lessons learned?). Provost, in this thread, asked if things were running out on Friday evening. Yes, there were some Quebec offerings that were gone by around 10:30.

The food was terrific, and Brando's fried chicken was a standout.
Last edited by zane9 on Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
jrenihan
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby jrenihan » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:23 pm

I went to both Friday sessions and had a terrific time. Friday afternoon was, as others have said, excellent. Much quieter, lovely weather.
Food was excellent this year. It has been good in the past, but sometimes a bit too "refine" - when drinking a lot of beer, it is nice to have something heavy and filling. Fried chicken, Wvrst sausages and rotis absolutely does the trick. Great options.
In terms of holding casks back, etc - you are never going to please everybody. But I understand that holding casks back in the past has meant a lot of beer being leftover and wasted at the end of the festival. For people who really care about getting particular beers (most of those on this site), the prudent move is to go on Friday (afternoon is not an option for all, but basically everything was available in the evening). The hoards of people who descend on Saturday may have a greater percentage of those who aren't looking for anything in particular.
Anyway, this festival gets better each year. I observed no real issues this year - just a lot of good beer and food. I do wonder why so many brewers continue to send IPAs to this festival, which never seem to translate as well to cask, but there was still a lot of great stuff.
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby PeenSteen » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:36 pm

I went to the Friday evening session and thought it was pretty good, I managed to try most of what I wanted to try without problems. At the beginning of the session the only Bellwoods beer that was pouring was Farmageddon, at around 9:30 3 Min was pouring so I got some of that and like 10 min later it wasn't anymore, also I tried to get Hard Drive Problems around 11 and it wasn't pouring then. I didn't even see Barn Owl being poured at all during Session 2. So a few minor inconveniences that way but nothing I was too bothered by.

The most irritating I found was crowds of people just standing around near the pouring stations making getting around a pain in the ass. Also, I tried to get a 10oz pour of the House Ales porter and the server wouldn't do it and said 5oz only...happened with 2 other beers I wanted to do that for just so I could cut down on trips to get beer but nobody would do it. I get wanting to save some beer for other sessions but not advertising 10oz pours would be the way to go in my opinion.

The fried chicken was worth the price of admission.
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby nickw » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:37 pm

Provost Drunk wrote:For those who went Friday night, how did you find the selection and did many things run out? Friday afternoon sounds perfect but I'm not sure I'll be able to sacrifice a vacation day and I'm wondering if Friday night is the way to go next year.


They stopped serving Four Winds Nectarous sometime between about 9 and 11 (I had recommended to a friend after I'd had my share -- was my first cask pre-admission, and was given a double pour for the price of one token -- sorry, others!), and the Smog Rocket was no longer pouring either. Had tried to order a Bellwoods Barn Owl No. 3 at one point around 8-9ish, but was told they were having issues with the cask and that it was a no-go. Was sort of surprised to see it mentioned and checked-in to on Untappd later. Maybe they got a new cask for Session 3?
nickw
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby nickw » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:38 pm

PeenSteen wrote: I get wanting to save some beer for other sessions but not advertising 10oz pours would be the way to go in my opinion.


This makes a lot of sense.
jrenihan
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby jrenihan » Mon Oct 26, 2015 3:39 pm

nickw wrote: They stopped serving Four Winds Nectarous sometime between about 9 and 11 (I had recommended to a friend after I'd had my share -- was my first cask pre-admission, and was given a double pour for the price of one token -- sorry, others!), and the Smog Rocket was no longer pouring either. Had tried to order a Bellwoods Barn Owl No. 3 at one point around 8-9ish, but was told they were having issues with the cask and that it was a no-go. Was sort of surprised to see it mentioned and checked-in to on Untappd later. Maybe they got a new cask for Session 3?


I'm not sure what happened with Barn Owl 3. I had it during the first session (as did others) and it tasted very good. No issue with the beer and I didn't observe any issues with it pouring. It stopped pouring later that first session, which was surprising, since it is highly doubtful it ran out that quickly. Perhaps a problem developed? Not sure - but I really liked it. My favourite after Nectarous, which was definitely the highlight.
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby TwoPint » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:19 pm

PeenSteen wrote:The most irritating I found was crowds of people just standing around near the pouring stations making getting around a pain in the ass.

Agreed. It drove me nuts. This was the only negative thing about my Cask Days experience. Well, that and Flying Monkeys Ghost Bitch. I would've liked to have been warned about the insane amount of hot pepper in that one before I went and wrecked my palate but all the list said was "Stout".

PeenSteen wrote:The fried chicken was worth the price of admission.

Indeed it was!
Provost Drunk
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby Provost Drunk » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:43 pm

nickw wrote:
They stopped serving Four Winds Nectarous sometime between about 9 and 11 (I had recommended to a friend after I'd had my share -- was my first cask pre-admission, and was given a double pour for the price of one token -- sorry, others!), and the Smog Rocket was no longer pouring either. Had tried to order a Bellwoods Barn Owl No. 3 at one point around 8-9ish, but was told they were having issues with the cask and that it was a no-go. Was sort of surprised to see it mentioned and checked-in to on Untappd later. Maybe they got a new cask for Session 3?


Interesting. A friend of mine definitely ordered Smog Rocket early on in Session 3, but it was gone about half way through the session when I went for it.
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby MatttthewGeorge » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:01 pm

Friday day session was fantastic. No lines, all beers available, chill vibe. Totally worth taking the day off for.

Fav beers were: Macleod King Taxes 60 Shilling; Macleod The Little Spree EPA; Noble Ale Galaxy Showers; Four Winds Nectarous; Bellwoods Barn Owl #3

Least fav was a bitter from QC that I've totally forgotten everything about, besides the taste unfortunately.
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Ceecee
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Re: Cask Days 2015

Postby Ceecee » Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:52 am

zane9 wrote:Poor Ralph had laryngitis, so he walked with us while Luc led the tastings. He's a brewer from Quebec who is opening his brewery in Toronto soon.


For anybody still wondering if Bim is opening a brewery in Toronto...

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