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C'est What Spring Festival

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 8:39 pm
by georgemilbrandt
It's spring, when everyones fancy turns to... beer. We are happy to reciprocate these feelings with another installment of our semi-annual homage to fermented barley on Friday May 25 from 5 to 10 p.m.

Over the past year we have served eighty-nine different fine Canadian brews on our thirty-five taps so why not find a few more and reach a "century"?

Twenty-two different brewers will be represented at the festival. Some of the notable newcomers to our taps include: Church-Key Rye, Mill Street Wheat and Stout, Magnotta Wonder Weiss, Muskoka Hefe Weiss, Nickelbrook Maple Porter and Green Apple Pilsner, Durham Hop Head (cask), Neustadt Scottish Ale (cask), Barley Days Dark Lager, Niagara Honey Brown, Heritage Maple Lager and Organic Best Bitter, and Hockley Valley Stout. As well, on tap for the event are recent additions: King Pilsbock, Griffon Rousse, Walkerville Lager, Amsterdam Spring Bock, Granite Summer Ale, Blanche de Chambly, and Great Lakes Orange Peel Ale. As is this isn't enough, fourteen of our regular favourites such as C'est What Coffee Porter, St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, and Denison's Weiss Beer will be available for sampling.

Three ounce samples will be availble for a loonie each, admission is free.

Re: C'est What Spring Festival

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 9:13 pm
by inertiaboy
georgemilbrandt wrote:Over the past year we have served eighty-nine different fine Canadian brews on our thirty-five taps so why not find a few more and reach a "century"?

That is impressive and should be applauded.

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 10:05 pm
by northyorksammy
heritage best bitter looks a new one
church key rye replaces the Durham rye?

Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 8:35 am
by JerCraigs
Is the Heritage Best Bitter the Scotch Irish Session or are they separate recipes?

Beer details

Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 11:24 pm
by georgemilbrandt
The Church-Key Rye is quite separate from the C'est What Rye (I assume that's what you meant by the Durham).

The Heritage Organic Best Bitter would at least be different in the "Organic" part, as far as recipe goes, perhaps Perry can weigh in on this...

Re: Beer details

Posted: Thu May 17, 2007 8:44 am
by GregClow
georgemilbrandt wrote:The Heritage Organic Best Bitter would at least be different in the "Organic" part, as far as recipe goes, perhaps Perry can weigh in on this...

I think Jer asked the question because Perry recently announced that S-I Session Ale is now organic.

Posted: Thu May 17, 2007 2:36 pm
by PRMason
What C'est What is pouring is indeed the organic ale. It has been renamed Stuart's Organic, in keeping with the new dog label. This one features Stuart, a "Westie" on the label instead of Maisie the Border Collie on the past Session Label.
The new beer is a bit paler than Session, owing to the colour of the organic pale ale malt being about half the colour of non-organic. we couldn't up the organic crystal too much for fear of sweetening the beer too much. Organic Admiral hops are used exclusively as well. The are a relatively new "dwarf" variety from the U.K. that gives very good aroma as well as usable bitterness. The IBU's are about 25.
I may be sending along a pin of Downtown Mocha Brown Ale as well. This is a brown ale brewed with cocoa and espresso, with a splash of blackstrap molasses as well. It will depend on whether the beer is conditioned enough by next Thursday when it would be shipped. A pin will also go to Volo as well.

Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 1:54 pm
by Cass
I'll be down at the fest tonight. Looking forward to seeing some familiar faces.

Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 3:08 pm
by GregClow
I'll be there as well, for the first hour or two.

Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 7:58 pm
by JerCraigs
Checked it out for dinner, and a few quick samples. Surprisingly quiet this time around. Previous years have been jam packed.

Enjoyed the samples I had. Among them, the SI Mocha was particularly pleasant. I also enjoyed the Black Oak Lemon Pepper Ale which strikes me as having nice patio potential for summer.

Posted: Sat May 26, 2007 12:15 pm
by Steve Spong
There were some good ones last night, although the Black Oak had the peculiar distinction of being both the best and worst beer I had. The first sample I had early in the evening was fantastic - refreshing and complex. The second sample I had later in the evening (9:30 or so) was, I presume, at the bottom of the cask and had a distinct nose and taste of garlic. I thought it was just me at first, but the other three people I was with all agreed. The Nickelbrook Maple Porter was a pleasant surprise, far superior to the Trafalgar and Heritage maple offerings. All told, a solid event and not as busy as has been in the past.

Posted: Sat May 26, 2007 8:48 pm
by shintriad
Well done event, good samples, very organized and well run. My only issue is C'est What's unusual scoring system...making me do all that math when I'm getting drunk?! But I hung out with a bunch of friends-of-friends and many of them were trying craft beers for the very first time...we might have some converts on our hands after last night.

Glad to see others were also impressed (for better or for worse) by Black Oak's Lemon Pepper Ale...that was my favourite new offering of the night. Even though I now know it was just a variation of the Pale with a bucket of Bulk Barn lemon pepper spice dumped in, it was still great.

Lemon Pepper Pale Ale (Cask Version)

Posted: Sun May 27, 2007 10:28 am
by Asst. Grain Shoveller
A little truth to our concoction it seems, would destroy the "romantic notion" that many people have about brewing different things.
Perhaps i should never again reveal my sources and just shroud the whole unique process in mystery and smoke & Mirrors.

(now all the other breweries will desend on the bulk barn)
(extra PS don't bother with the cajun spice in beer, just doesn't really work)


Posted: Mon May 28, 2007 3:07 pm
by lagerale
This was a fun event - not too busy and another good opportunity to try some good, local beer. My faves included the Durham Hop Bomb (cask), the SI Downtown Mocha Brown (awesome name to boot!) and the Nickelbrook Maple Porter. I have to say the Black Oak Lemon Pepper Ale wasn't to my liking, but I admire their wilingness to try something different.

Springfest Results

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:26 pm
by georgemilbrandt
With a dozen brews new to our establishment on tap that evening we reached the "century" for featuring over one hundred different draught beers in the last year. As it turns out, we had representation from twenty-three different brewers at the Festival in the form of three dozen beers.

In all 1810 samples were purchased and about one-third were rated. Perhaps it was the warm weather, but the shear number of tasters that didn't have the energy or inclination to fill in a tasting sheet was notable. At last year's Springfest 45% of samples were rated. It seems that we hosted a particularly critical bunch this time around with the average score coming in at 34 out of 50, a full three points below last year.

* For the second Festival in a row, Hop Addict from Durham Brewing finished at the head of the pack with a median score of 42, the only brew to break forty. Durham's Hop Head and Hockley Valley Stout finished with scores of 38.5 and 38 respectively.
* Only sixteen of the thirty-six beers were rated by enough Festival goers to qualify for "Best Of The Fest".
* The Most Curious award for the most tasted beer, goes to Church-Key for Catch Her In The Rye. Close behind was Black Oak's Lemon Pepper Cask Ale.

The full table of results can be found at

For those of you who actually keep track of these things, the Fall Festival will be held on September 28.