Vancouver Brewfest 2016

By | 08/23/2016
Free the Rippel at Vancouver Brewfest

A look at “Free the Rippel”

The first night was a lot of fun, regardless of how hot it was outside. I tried beers from several different breweries, as well as a mead that I would never have thought to try before.

Taking place at Esther Short Park, the annual Vancouver Brewfest brings in several brewers from the area and some from a little further away. Previously, with the tent setup that was used, things felt a little cramped. It was nice to see the entire park available, as opposed to a corner or half as had been used before.

Feel free to check out my untappd profile to see the different beers I tried while at the event last weekend. While it was all about trying new beers, wines, and a mead, we did make time on the first evening to talk with some of the people that were there. We met with a mead-maker that we’re hoping to visit in the near future for the upcoming podcast, we talked with the reps from Naked Winery, as well as those that were from Northwest Bierhaus Jerkey. I can’t wait to reach out to them and see if we can get some variety for our soon to be listeners (and maybe watchers if we get the video thing going).

small crowd at brewfest

A sparse but emphatic crowd as the brewfest opened

It was nice to not have to deal with a large number of people by going first thing on Friday. I think the heat was part of it, but also the fact that it was day #1 and people were still at work at 4:00 when things got rolling.

Fortside Banner

Fortside Brewing was a big part of the event

When we arrived on Friday, Fortside hadn’t quite setup their area with the Official Beer of the brewfest, Free the Ripple. Luckily it was on tap before we left, and I was able to grab a taster on the way out. This collaboration was one of the highlights of the brewfest. Being a Pale Wheat, I wasn’t expecting as light of a drink as it was. It complemented the day quite well and was the perfect beer to end day 1.

Saturday was much warmer than Friday had been, but that didn’t mean we were going to slow down. Instead, we brought along our 3rd team member and hit all sorts of different brewers’ offerings. The Brewfest team did a great job at making sure people were staying hydrated by having free bottles of water scattered along the path around the park, which helped immensely. It’s the forward thinking like this that has me anticipating next year’s offering.

No trip to a BrewFest in the northwest is complete without talking about the beers. So, here are some of the ones I had and what I thought of them:

Space Fruit IPA – Coalition Brewing Co.
A lighter IPA, the addition of the extra citrus was a good choice with this one. The hops were complemented by the usage of extra fruit, but it was missing some of that hoppy feel that an IPA should have.

5K in Paradise – Ghost Runners Brewing
Ghost Runners is one of my favorite breweries in Vancouver. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of this IPA and Cider mix. The 5K IPA on it’s own is one of my favorite beers around. The addition of Pineapple Cider, unfortunately seemed to lessen the flavors that the 5K brings. I know a lot of people liked this one, but it just wasn’t my thing.

Old Madrona – Island Hoppin’ Brewery
This is probably the best Imperial Red Ale I have had in a while. The first thing you notice about this beer is that it is truly worthy of being a Red Ale. The bright color, along with the sweet fruit aroma do not prepare you for the upcoming punch you’re going to get when you take your first drink. If you’re in the Orcas Islands, you have to stop by and get one of these.

Ichiban IPA – Astoria Brewing Co. (Wet Dog Cafe)
This gem of an IPA had a great balance with a hoppy bite that I enjoyed quite a lot. The floral notes held the nose well, and the overall feel was smooth. This is one that I will be looking for in the future.

Next week I’ll tell you about my adventures as a pourer at the event. It was a lot of fun and am hoping I get to do it again in the near future. We’ll see you all at the Fresh Hop festival in October.

Leave a Reply