Cask Days 2017

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Coronaeus
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby Coronaeus » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:55 am

Session 1 with early access was great. I was able to load up on tokens and get the three or four on the top of my list before they let the regular ticket holders in. There were a few casks 'not working' but nothing I was desperate to try.

My highlights were the Cascade Figaro and the Other Half Triple Dry Hopped Mosaic Dream. I had a couple low ABV beers that were not on my list at the end of the session. I really enjoyed the Hopfenstark Pop Gose the World.
Masterplan
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby Masterplan » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:50 pm

Figaro was really good, as were Sang Noir and Vlad the Imp Aler, but my favorite of the night was James and Julie by Allagash.

Also like the Berliner Passion Weiss from Brasserie Dunham.
BakaGaijin
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby BakaGaijin » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:00 am

Most of the stuff I wanted to try was gone before the 1st Session on Saturday....even with early access....couldn't try most of my wants. In the past they held back beer. Didn't do that this time. Wish they were more forthcoming about this change before I bought .

I can understand not wanting to have to waste beer....but get more casks of beer people actually want to spend money on.
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby A » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:15 am

Some thoughts on Friday evening session:

- I don't think the early access is worthwhile any longer. It used to be a very laid back hour but it was already rammed by 7:15

- the lounge ticket was worth it IMO. You could always get a seat and get away from the noise, and they provided a path to the real indoor washrooms.

- I enjoyed Sang Noir and Redline Doubleclutch quite a lot. Most of the rest I had were fine but unexceptional.

- way too many stouts and porters with cherry and/or coconut in them

- the warmth of the evening was great except it meant the beer was all room temperature by the end of the night :)
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby beerstodiscover » Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:15 pm

BakaGaijin wrote:In the past they held back beer. Didn't do that this time.


They've gone back and forth on this. This year there were about a dozen casks on the lists which were to be tapped on Saturday. However, I was able to get pours on Friday. I've been to the Saturday sessions before and it's always slim pickings, especially by the later hours. Session 1 or nothing is my new philosophy.
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby Provost Drunk » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:53 pm

beerstodiscover wrote:
BakaGaijin wrote:In the past they held back beer. Didn't do that this time.


They've gone back and forth on this. This year there were about a dozen casks on the lists which were to be tapped on Saturday. However, I was able to get pours on Friday. I've been to the Saturday sessions before and it's always slim pickings, especially by the later hours. Session 1 or nothing is my new philosophy.


The latest seems to be that only certain "high demand" casks will be cut off after a certain number of pours (with zero transparency as to which casks will be shutdown). It is a frustrating guessing game, with frustrations further compounded by the fact that they withhold tapping certain casks until later sessions (although recently it seems that relatively few casks are given the deferred treatment).

I don't have the luxury of being able to attend Session 1, but Session 2 early access is now the default for me for pretty much the same reason.
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby Provost Drunk » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:15 pm

A wrote:Some thoughts on Friday evening session:

- I don't think the early access is worthwhile any longer. It used to be a very laid back hour but it was already rammed by 7:15

- the lounge ticket was worth it IMO. You could always get a seat and get away from the noise, and they provided a path to the real indoor washrooms.



Yes and no re: early access for me. Agree it got crowded pretty quick, but "crowded" is a relative term. By 8:30, it was significantly more busy than 7:30 and I was still able to use the first hour to quickly knock a few beers off of my hit list. Worth the extra $10 IMO. It's an expensive festival all around and when I think of the "return" on the last $10 I spent (i.e., the beers on which my final 4 tokens were spent when, by which point my palate was shot), I think I got a lot more value out of the early access. It's a personal choice.

I'll consider the lounge next year. I do value a place to sit and relax and the music is obnoxiously loud if you're too close to the DJ (yes, I'm fully aware that my transition to crusty old man is pretty much complete).
seangm
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby seangm » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:47 am

First time attending in 4 or 5 years, and I remember why I stopped going. It's just too crowded now. I guess Saturday is the new Sunday, half the beers were gone by Session 3. I love the Brick Works and still enjoy the event in the sense that it's quite unique compared to other beer fests, but I can't help but miss the days when it was a quieter, more intimate event held the Hart House quad or Bar Volo before that.
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby Gedge » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:09 am

seangm wrote:First time attending in 4 or 5 years, and I remember why I stopped going. It's just too crowded now. I guess Saturday is the new Sunday, half the beers were gone by Session 3. I love the Brick Works and still enjoy the event in the sense that it's quite unique compared to other beer fests, but I can't help but miss the days when it was a quieter, more intimate event held the Hart House quad or Bar Volo before that.


Have to agree. I went on the Sunday. And even though the admission was cheaper I still found the event to be quite pricy and casks seemed to be limited to porters/stouts by about 3:30/4:00. Sunday was described as "family friendly" but that just meant you could bring kids - no dedicated activities (how about a table with papers and crayons? That's easy to do and gives the kiddies a chance to socialize while mom and dad blow the grocery budget on cask ale). For such a nice day you'd have thought there would be ice cream or popsicles for sale but no such luck (not even in the non-CD part of the Brickworks). Wasn't blown away by any of the beer either, which I accept is likely down to the Sunday being mostly leftovers and the couple dozen "specials" (which were all 2 tokens) they brought in for that day.

The DJ on Sunday was obnoxious. That's not me being an old man. Blasting dance beats meant for a club on a Saturday night doesn't make sense on a Sunday afternoon.
seangm
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby seangm » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:46 am

Gedge wrote:
seangm wrote:First time attending in 4 or 5 years, and I remember why I stopped going. It's just too crowded now. I guess Saturday is the new Sunday, half the beers were gone by Session 3. I love the Brick Works and still enjoy the event in the sense that it's quite unique compared to other beer fests, but I can't help but miss the days when it was a quieter, more intimate event held the Hart House quad or Bar Volo before that.


Have to agree. I went on the Sunday. And even though the admission was cheaper I still found the event to be quite pricy and casks seemed to be limited to porters/stouts by about 3:30/4:00. Sunday was described as "family friendly" but that just meant you could bring kids - no dedicated activities (how about a table with papers and crayons? That's easy to do and gives the kiddies a chance to socialize while mom and dad blow the grocery budget on cask ale). For such a nice day you'd have thought there would be ice cream or popsicles for sale but no such luck (not even in the non-CD part of the Brickworks). Wasn't blown away by any of the beer either, which I accept is likely down to the Sunday being mostly leftovers and the couple dozen "specials" (which were all 2 tokens) they brought in for that day.

The DJ on Sunday was obnoxious. That's not me being an old man. Blasting dance beats meant for a club on a Saturday night doesn't make sense on a Sunday afternoon.


Totally agree with your point on the music, it was blasting during the Saturday afternoon session as well. It'd make more sense to have the DJ going for Friday night and Saturday night, with no DJ for the afternoon sessions to give the option for a calmer atmosphere. Listening to music blaring at a club-like volume at 1 pm on a Saturday just didn't work for me.
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lister
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby lister » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:29 pm

The music wasn't too bad on Friday afternoon but I stayed away from the DJ area other than fetching Ontario beers.

There seemed to be a lot more people in that session than last year.

Bunch of casks "Sold out" right from the start. Presumably being held back or had issues. I had enough beers selected to try that that wasn't any issue.

Good experience overall.
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Cass
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby Cass » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:17 pm

I had a thought that the Sunday "Family Friendly" change was (at least in part) due to the success of the Brewer's Backyard at the Brick Works.

Maybe I'm perhaps thinking too much of myself though :) It's too bad to hear that it wasn't actually very family *friendly*, just all-ages.

Anyway, for those who want a casual, low-music, family-friendly beer experience at the Brick Works look no farther than the Brew Backyard. We'll be back on Family Day.
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby JerCraigs » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:05 am

Provost Drunk wrote:
I'll consider the lounge next year. I do value a place to sit and relax and the music is obnoxiously loud if you're too close to the DJ (yes, I'm fully aware that my transition to crusty old man is pretty much complete).


I am also apparently a crusty old man, but it was WAY too loud period IMHO. Even if it's music you love, it needs to be secondary to being able to talk to people. Almost everything else was great (I never waited for a bathroom! Amazing!) but the music made going to get a beer in the main section kind of painful.
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northyorksammy
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby northyorksammy » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:23 am

Ever friend there regardless of age or orientation complained of loudness. Whoever made that decision was out of touch in that aspect of their customer base.
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atomeyes
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Re: Cask Days 2017

Postby atomeyes » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:14 pm

no one was really happy with the music. it was loud and annoying. not oldmannish of me (i used to work in the music industry). i think someone even disconnected one of the speakers at one point at session 3.

the good:
excellent to have Cascade and Allagash at the event. some nice Quebec pours as well.
the ambiance (minus the DJ) is great. the Moranas sure know how to smoothly run a festival.
the crowd was dynamic, inclusive and bro free. male:female split was around 65:35 and it's great to see a festival where women can come out and feel comfortable. so kudos to the crowd.
the weather's great and the walk to/from the Brickworks is part of why i love the festival.
the food was incredible. so many great options.

the bad:
let's be honest: no one cares that beer's served in casks. it was 20 C out on Friday and Saturday. the beer was warm. IPAs don't represent well in casks at all. on Saturday afternoon, the beer were warm and uncarbonated and not well represented. rebrand Cask Days to include traditional casks and have jockeybox pours and it's win win.
the volunteers were tipping the casks to get the final few pours. assuming that the beer are indeed cask conditions and not beer gunned, that means that a lucky few will be drinking yeast slurries. yum.
Early access: lots of the Cascade sold out before session 3 started and my friends with early access were very unhappy about that.
they ran out of beer. literally. session 3, and we were going from station to station to find something to drink. there weren't a lot of options. that shouldn't happen.
tokens. it was 2 tokens/pour for almost everything. ends up being a $100 day.
Beer list and signeage. it was not easy finding beer. having to load up a spreadsheet or a hard-to-view website to see what beer it is you want wasn't fun. again, lots of grumbling from my friends. and once you got to the station, there were chained number signs on the casks that blocked off the beer and/or brewery name. wasn't user friendly.

the Moranas are good at running festivals and are good at making things work. so i assume/hope they take constructive criticism and take what's one of Canada's best beer festivals (if not the best) and make it better. i'll go again next year (I missed last year's festival and the first cask days but have been at the rest) and love the time i have, but i'd likely go on Friday when you have access to all the beer. planning to attend a festival based on what happened at session 3 really shouldn't factor into when you'll attend.

northyorksammy wrote:Ever friend there regardless of age or orientation complained of loudness. Whoever made that decision was out of touch in that aspect of their customer base.

Tomas and Giulian like DJs and that kind of music. if it makes them happy to have it, let them do it. but there should be less volume.

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