RBG's First Annual Fest-of-Ales was a Success!! Well in my opinion anyways :)
What an awesome space & setting to have this event. 12 local Breweries aka "12 Beers of Christmas" were placed around the room along with some tasty snacks and a DJ playing some tunes.
You were also able to roam through the RBG and take in the beautiful plants, Pretty Christmas displays and cool trains that were chugging along their tracks throughout the RBG.
From the friendly emails that were received from Jackson, the Dude in charge of the event, to the lack of lines to get beer and friendly conversation had with the breweries it was a great event!
I was pleasantly surprised to see that 5 out of the 12 Breweries on the list I had not yet sampled their beers and the others on the list I had but were fans so were happy to introduce my friends to them and taste them again to make sure they hadn't gone bad! haha
Here is a list of who was there and a quick chat about them.
The Hamilton Brewery- As in the Title these guys are out of Hamilton ON. The owner Warren Pyper was pouring the brew "Blue Collar Pale Ale" and quite a cool dude. I loved how several of the owners for the smaller "breweries" were representing here and friendly to chat, share their story & enthusiasm for beer. Blue Collar is their core beer and comes at ya with 33 IBU’s ... I think it is delicious!! A Crisp lager with a mild flavour at the start then a taste of I believe Centennial Hops finishes it off and leaves you wanting more. I love the story behind THB and the founder Warren has a great dream that I can't wait to see him achieve! Check out his site here and get the beer here
Collective Arts Brewing-As you know I am a fan of these guys too...and love their Ransack the Universe Beer. They continue to be friendly and I love how they combine Art, Music & Beer ... 3 passions in my life. You can check out more info on them on my previous Blog about their sweet Open House here.
They are now doing Brewery Tours on the weekends & their retail shop has growlers galore. I continue my mission of getting my dads art on a bottle of Collective Arts <3
Nickel Brook Brewery- From my hometown Burlington, ON these guys have grown extremely over the last few years. They have a variety of beer styles and a great Root Beer too! The owner John continues to be a friendly face and with his company booming can still be found around the brewery, at events and passionate about his work.
I indulged in a favorite of mine "Naughty Neighbour" at this event but I don't think I have had a bad beer by them.... Their Wet Hop Beer was in my Beer Advent Calendar and is still my #1 so far from the 14 I have tasted in my Advent.
Garden Brewers- Are "rooted" in Hamilton, ON and consider themselves “The Ambitious Brewery. We make ambitious brews- and plans." They had 2 unique beers to sample at Fest-Of-Ales one being Green-Thumb Ginger Root and the other Petal-Pusher Elderflower Lager. I enjoy a good ginger beer and the spice in this was quite nice.
I am guessing they are sourcing all local ingredients too, perhaps from their own gardens? Well that would be a huge garden so maybe just locally. I like what they are going for with the whole Garden theme and look forward to seeing their dream also come true one day for a home base in Hamilton. You can find them On Tap here.
Amsterdam Brewing Co-These guys have been around for a bit but I do enjoy their beer. I remember when I started venturing out in beer that Boneshaker was one of the first stronger beers I had tasted and LOVED it. I guess that novelty wore off as I realized drinking a six pack of Boneshaker was not the best for the next morning but I will enjoy a glass still. They have a wide selection also and can be found in the LCBO and several restaurants around.
Cameron's Brewing Company- These guys pleasantly surprised me... I for some reason had thought they only had a couple beers and I had tried them but boy was I wrong! Yes Bernie... I was wrong. This was the last of my sampling for this reason and I may have been a little fuzzy when I got there but the Dry-Hopped Tripel coming in at a 7.5% was perhaps my favorite there. These guys were also super friendly and happy to have a chat over beer.
Another reason I love Beer Fests is the example above... I assumed wrong and man am I glad I sampled their beer.
The Trafalgar Club- These guys are out of Oakville, On and I was surprised to find out they have been there for over 20 years. What is unique about their setup is on top of beer they also have Meads, Spirits & Moonshine! Ainsley poured me a Mead they had on tap and filled me in on all that they do there. SHe was super friendly and I was excited to plan a tasting there, perhaps for some gin?!
There were none of their Spirits, Whisky or Moonshine to taste there so I can't wait to make a trip to their Brewery/Distillery to try some samples and bring a jar home!
Wellington Brewery- These guys came down from Guelph, ON and is apparently Canada's oldest independently owned microbrewery. I gotta be honest with you here ... I think I missed the booth! I know I have tried the Gryphon Gold but man do they have a lot more beer to try. Have a visit to their website here it's a nice spot to look around then head to Guelph for a visit! Add it to my list of must do visits...
Orange Snail Brewers- From Milton, ON. Damion (an owner) was representing them that day. He was also great to talk to and you can tell these guys put their heart, soul and a lot of hours into their passions. I love the image of this Brewery from the name (which I need the story about), their motto "Blissfully Ignorant Ales" to the cool dog on their website. They have left me needing to know more and want more beer..
Brickworks Cider House- I am not a huge Cider Drinker but do enjoy the odd one, and if I can say one thing it's that Cider has come a looong way since we used to drink 2l bottles in high school! Besides a decent cider I like a few things about these guys...
1) No apple in their cider travels further than 300 kilometres from the tree to the
Ciderhouse. Keepin it super local since Ontario is a big place and has a s#%t ton of apples.
2) They care. They feel that giving back to the communities that support them is a must. They donate a portion of their profits to charities focusing on green initiatives.
3) They believe in 2 tyoes of people. Those who think Die Hard is a Christmas Film and those who are wrong.
Silversmith Brewing-"Take me to Church!" is what I express when we visit Silversmith Brewing in Niagara On The Lake. It takes place in an old Church and is an awesome atmosphere. Their beer, their rotating tap of other Local Craft Brews to their food makes me happy. Finally a Church I could partake in on a regular basis.
Double Trouble Brewing Co.-The name made me think I hadn't heard of them before yet once I saw the booth I recognized the colourful & tasty beers. Hops & Robbers is my fav of these bunch but their French Press Vanilla Stout & Fire in The Rye are worth a taste.
I love their outlook on life. and I will end this blog with a Quote from their website;
"Taking a chance to do what you love and believe in is what
Double trouble Brewing Co. is all about. This is how everything good
starts. The first step is the biggest. We are not out to make a fortune, but
to have people enjoy a delicious beer that tastes like love when it
flows down your gullet."
More people need to follow their passions, believe and live life.. I know I am.