The inaugural YYCBeerWeek ran from Monday, June 5 to Friday, June 9th at various restaurants and breweries in Calgary. Due to the initial success, I’d say we’ll be seeing it again next year, and likely it will be extended to the full week.
I tried to go to a few things, attending an event four of the five evenings, so here’s a quick recap. It will be fun to look back next year and see what’s changed and undoubtedly, how much it will grow!
Monday: YYCBeerWeek Launch Party at National 10
National 10 outdid themselves hosting the kickoff; there was a lot of excellent food, which is basically how event success is defined in my books.
Jokes aside, it was a great turn out up on the patio for the launch. Good food, good friends, and good beer all combines for a near perfect afternoon. If you haven’t been up on this patio yet it’s quite the spot, even has a cover for if it rains, which it did just beforehand!
The Alberta Craft Beer Guide Summer edition made it’s debut – the team there did a great job on that as always.
Some of the delicious complimentary bar snacks; I couldn’t get enough of the mini poutine, if it weren’t for me learning etiquette in life I may have just hoarded them all.
Quick congrats to these guys on a successful kick-off and onto the rest of the week!
Nothing beer week related but we won our game, and here’s a photo of me with our team mascot, Sully. Why I still mention Tuesday is I got two runs in, which I will let you know is a pretty big deal for me. I also spent most of the week telling people I had got two home runs before someone explained the difference. Whatever, I got to home, which also means I hit the ball, all pretty exciting stuff. Sully couldn’t make that game cause his parents were away and he was off having fun at dog summer camp, but I imagine he was excited for us.
Wednesday: Last Best Social Club
For those of you who haven’t been before and love learning more about beer, this event is a must. It is hosted by Adam Seguin on the first Wednesday of every month down in The Beer Shop at Last Best. Adam can say more about one beer than I think I can say about beer as a whole, he knows A LOT.
This week was sours, so I didn’t want to miss it. When my date cancelled, and I couldn’t get anyone to come along, I decided to go alone. I mean, it is a social club after all! Ended up having some great conversation with some people I knew and some I just met, and naturally, we tried three interesting and tasty beers.
The founder of Breurey Terreux , Peter Rue, got his law degree but decided to make beer instead, and tasting this I think it was the right choice. The Hottenroth Berliner Weiss, named in honour of his grandparents, is an authentic German style and traditionally sweetened. At a very light 3.1% ABV, a subtle tartness, almost non-existent IBU’s, and effervescence almost comparable to champagne, this beer is approachable and refreshing.
Next up, a Gose from Anderson Valley Brewing Company “The Kimmie, The Yink & The Holy Gose” is a summer release from Boonville, California. It had a more sour flavour than the beer before; I could really taste the coriander notes, and a mix of tropical and stone fruits. Like any gose, you also get that hint of salt, which is what I love about this style, it leaves your taste buds both confused and delighted!
The final beer was Last Best’s own Raspberry Berliner Weisse. Made especially for Canada’s 150th to represent Alberta, brewer Phil Brian said he received a bit of flack for using this style to represent the Province. But as he explained, it uses a lot of barley, wheat, and the lactic bacteria from cows and, “there’s nothing more Albertan than barley, wheat, and cows!” Can’t argue with that, just as you can’t argue with how good this beer is!
Thursday: Beer Ice Cream at The Coup!
The heart wants it wants (OK, the stomach, but pretty much the same thing) so when two of your favourite things combine, not even an insane rain and wind storm should stand in your way! Once the crazy weather died down it was straight to The Coup for their ice cream creation.
Ice cream made with Brewsters Brewing Company’s Hawaiian Coconut Porter was nestled in an activated charcoal cookie cup. Topped with Tool Shed Brewing People Skills Cream Ale Caramel, the darkest chocolate pieces I have ever seen, plus toasted almond and coconut. I don’ think this level of decadence has ever been seen on a vegan dessert before.
DAYUM. That is all.
Friday: YYCBeerWeek Cask Finale at CRAFT Beer Market, back to The Beer Shop, and to Beer Revolution for an all Calgary Tap Takeover.
I just caught the tail end of the cask finale, but wow was it busy! So busy in fact, that my arrival at quarter past five meant that only a couple of the eight casks hadn’t been turned up to signify their completion. But I tried a couple of great cask ales, caught up with a few people, and was able to see the winning brewery (Wild Rose) awarded the Golden Cask for this year!
Next up, we headed to The Beer Shop for tasters during their Four Winds Brewing Tap Takeover. I realized at this point that I was at to a second non-Calgary beer event this week, and the same location twice, but hey, Four Winds makes excellent beer!
To get back on the Calgary beer train, we headed to Beer Revolution where their taps were 100% Calgary Breweries. You could also get five 8 oz. tasters from their all local menu, and $1 of the proceed would go to charity. So with that, and a whole lot of pizza to accompany it, thus concludes was my peek at the first ever YYCBeerWeek!