Cask Days invites you to participate in the 5th Annual Cask-Conditioned IPA Challenge taking place Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario. This years challenge will be hosted bybarVolo (587 Yonge St. Toronto) and feature 32 cask-conditioned IPA’s from 32 different breweries (Ontario & Quebec). Participating IPA’s be served blind through gravity cask and will compete heads up in a single elimination bracket tournament. The top score of each beer pairing will advance to the next round. Attendees will have the opportunity to rate and score beers over three rounds. All beers will be revealed as their knocked out of the challenge. The final four beers remaining in the challenge will compete in one last round at Cask Days in October this year.
ROUNDS / SESSIONS
Round One (12pm - 4pm) - SOLD OUT - Saturday, May 4th, 2013
Round Two (5pm - 9pm) - SOLD OUT - Saturday, May 4th, 2013
Round Three (12pm - 4pm) - $20.00* - Sunday, May 5th, 2013
IPA Tap Takeover (4pm-2am) - Sunday, May 5th, 2013 (No Tickets Required)*
* Featuring 26 India Pale Ale Hybrids on tap (Belgian IPA, Black IPA’s, Double IPA’s etc..
* Round Three Ticket holders will have first access to the tap take over.
IPA CHALLENGE TAP TAKEOVER (Open To Public / No Tickets Required)
Sunday, May 5th, 2013 - 4:00pm @barVolo (587 Yonge St.)
A. House Ales Big Hoppa (Double IPA)
B. House Ales Fermium (Double Black IPA)
C. Nickel Brook Malevolent (Imperial Black IPA)
D. Nickelbrook Immodest (Double IPA)
E. Bellwoods Witchshark (Double IPA)
F Amsterdam Fracture (Double IPA)
G. Great Lakes Robohop Double IPA
H Indie Ale House Barnyard (Belgian IPA)
I. Indie Ale House Jump The Shark (Double Black IPA)
J. To Be Announced
K. Dieu Du Ciel! Chaman (Double IPA)
L. Dieu Du Ciel! Penombre (Black IPA)
M. Dieu Du Ciel! Derniere Volonte (Belgian IPA)
N. Flying Monkeys TBA
O. Black Oak Ten Bitter Years (Double IPA)
P. Muskoka Twice As Mad (Double IPA)
Q. Left Field 6-4-3 (Double IPA)
R. Sawdust City Togenga’s Forbidden Fruit (Belgian IPA)
S. Dunham Black IPA (American Black IPA)
T. Dunham Belgian IPA (Belgian IPA)
U. Le Trou Du Diable Amere Indienne (Belgian IPA)
V. Le Trou Du Diable Smash IPA (SMASH Single Hop IPA)
W. Le Trou Du Diable Black IPA
X. Le Trou Du Diable Dubai Pilee (Double IPA)
Y. Great Lakes X F&M “Alan Eagleson Was Framed Man!” (Black IPA
On behalf of the whole Cask Days 2012 crew we would like to thank you for being part of this years event at Evergreen Brick Works last week. With approximately 3000 guests in attendance and 120 casks finished 2012 marks the most successful Cask Days to date. Its hard to imagine that just two years ago we were hosting this festival within the walls of Volo. Cheers and see you next year! (oh yeah, forgot to mention were doing it again!)
Special Thanks To All Of Our Guests, Breweries, Volunteers, barVolo Staff, Evergreen Brick Works, Remix Project, Andy Connell, Laura Macdonald, Guy Rawlings, Kim Montgomery, Guerilla Printing, Le Trou du Diable, Amsterdam Brewery, Les Trois Mousquetaires, Benelux Half Pints, Picaroons, Parallel 49, Beaus All Natural, Bellwoods, Great Lakes, Howe Sound, OCB, Mill St., Gilbertson and Page, Flying Monkeys, Toronto Brewing, Granite Brewery, Grand Electric, Chocosol, Robbie / Chris, Hogtown Charcuterie, Jay Carter, The Green Grind, 100KM Foods, 23 Degrees Coffee, Alis Bread, Zuccarini, Brewers Backyard, BEATBOXCAN, Hansel, DJ Dopey, J-Tec, Dough Low Rock, Andre Trudel, Lively O.nes, Elicser, Beerology, Jimmy Chiale, Mike Del Mundo, Yannic Brosseau, Jordan Bamforth, Adrian Alphona, Kellen Hatanaka, Connie Tsang, Robin Sharp, Michael Lee, Eating Out TO, Mike Warner, Rusty Wyatt, Adil & Milos & Francis (Hope we are not missing anyone) :)
First off we would like to thank everyone who came out to session one and two yesterday. This was by far the largest turn out Cask Days has ever seen in eight years. Over 2,300 people came through our doors.
Unfortunately a lot more beer was consumed than we estimated and a hand full of casks have blown from the initial advertised list. There are some new casks we have introduced but there may be some beers you wanted to try that are no longer available. Don’t worry there is plenty of beer for the amount of people attending!
We are offering all ticket holders for Session Three the option to receive $10.00 dollars cash back or $10.00 in tokens when you enter. We apologize if this may inconvenience anyone.
All the food vendors, art gallery, live music are still in full effect and we are still rocking it from 12:00pm - 5:00pm at the Brick Works today.
On Thursday, October 11th the monthly Project X party put on by the fine people at Great Lakes was turned into a special Cask Days celebration with breweries from around the GTA participating. In true Cask Days style, the six cask beers were being served outside the Great Lakes brewery despite the chilly weather. It was a great way for everyone at the event to get a little practice drinking in the cold before the big weekend arrives. A cask from each of Amsterdam, Black Oak, House Ales and Nickel Brook were being served alongside two Great Lakes offerings. Black Oak brought a Lavender Pale Ale, which was their standard pale ale given a big floral oomph by the lavender. The result was not subtle, but neither was it unpleasant (but that probably depends on your lavender tolerance). The House Ales Back In The Day Bitter was the tamest of beers, a mild tasting ale with earthy English hops and a slight cereal grain character. Very light tasting compared to the other beers available. A beer that worked very well was the Nickel Brook Bertwell 80/-, a Scottish style beer with wet-hopped with local Bertwell hops (a variety that may only found in Ontario). The earthy flavour of the fresh hops fit with the bready caramel flavours of the malt. The cask definitely helped to accentuate the subtle elements at play and the Bertwell 80/- had the nicest body of all the beers. In contrast, the Amsterdam Molasses Porter was done no favours by being served on cask. Every bit of the 8.5% ABV was felt and overshadowed the rest of the beer. Great Lakes like to play around with different ingredients and their two casks were further proof of this. The Alipeno Ale, named obviously for the jalapeno pepper that is the featured ingredient in this spicy beer. The jalapeno flavour is backed by a nice caramel malt profile, which helps to add some balance. The beer is deceiving mild at first, but the heat builds up over time. A nice beer in small quantities. The real star from Great Lakes was the Pumpkin Ale with Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Beans. The bourbon and vanilla were subtle, but added a nice depth to the pumpkin spices. Being served on cask also seemed to tone down the spices, which was fine by me. A nice twist on the Pumpkin Ale. Food for this Project X event was provided by Melt Grilled Cheese, featuring such creations as pulled pork, roasted vegetable, chicken burrito and the classic grilled cheese. The cheese inside miraculously stayed gooey and warm on the inside, the perfect thing for a chilly night. Between the food, good company and delicious cask beers, it was an excellent and got everyone excited for the Cask Days weekend.
One of the defining elements of cask beer is that it is served without any added gas or carbonation. This differs from draught beer, where carbon dioxide and nitrogen are added for carbonation and to push the beer out from the keg, through the tap and into your glass. As cask beer is naturally carbonated and conditioned within the keg, a different method of dispensing the beer must be employed. This can either be done through a beer engine or by gravity.
Gravity dispensing predates the beer engine. In this case, a tap is placed in the front of the cask and the beer comes out by the simple force of gravity when the tap is opened. This allows for cask beer to be appreciated in a pure form, as there is no agitation of the beer from the cask to glass. The gravity dispense method also makes it harder to mask flaws such as an under carbonated beer.
Gravity dispensing is most often used at beer festivals, special events or at bars without beer engines, which usually means they only serve cask beer one or two nights a week. The problem is that most often the cask is just sitting on the bar (or on a table in the case of beer events), making it hard to regulate the temperature of the cask. Cask blankets (basically flexible ice packs) can be used to help keep the cask cool, but casks served through gravity must still be consumed very quickly.
The alternative to gravity dispensing is the beer engine. Before modern refrigeration, the beer engine allowed a cask to placed in a cellar and have the beer drawn up to the bar by pumps. This extended the life of a cask by placing it in a consistently cooler area. Casks are now stored in fridges most of the time, but the beer engine remains largely the same. (There are electronic pumps, though you’re not likely to come across one. If your server isn’t pumping the beer, chances are you’re secretly getting draught beer from a tap made to look like a hand pump.)
Unfortunately, beer engines are not perfect. If the line from the cask to the spout is not properly insulated, the beer could be above ideal temperature in your glass. Hand pumps can also agitate the beer, taking away some of the subtleness of cask beer. Sparklers are another contentious issue surrounding beer engines. Essentially, sparklers are plastic caps attached to the spout of a beer engine. They are perforated with small holes that spray the beer into the glass when it comes out of the spout. This helps to create a nice head on a pint of cask beer, though some also argue that it takes away from the flavour and aroma of cask beer. It’s really a question of personal preference and source of nerdy pub arguments.
I would never say that one method of serving cask beer is better than another, though you’re welcome to come to your own conclusions. In my opinion, coming up with an answer is hard because of the very nature of cask beer. As a living and evolving beer, no two casks are ever the same. Plus there is the influence of the bar/restaurant and how they treat casks. There is more to the story than strictly how a cask is served, though it is an important part to creating an enjoyable pint. It never hurts to ask how a cask beer was served – the gravity or beer engine part is usually pretty easy to see, but see if they use a sparkler or ask where the casks are stored in relation to the hand pump. Over time you may find a preference to one method or take sides in the sparkler debate. Or you may just develop a stronger appreciation for cask beers, the breweries that make them and the people the serve them. There’s nothing wrong with that either.
BENELUX Sabotage Le Cheval Blanc Citra IPA Dieu du Ciel! Baraque IPA Brasserie de Dunham IPA Anglaise Brasseurs Illimités Simple Malt Cascade IPA Brasseurs du Monde Houblonnière IPA Broadway Pub Westcott IPA Hopfenstark Postcolonial IPA Trou du Diable Dubaï Pillée IPA MB Charlevoix Vache Folle RyePA BENELUX X House Ales VoLuxious IPA
Amsterdam Boneshaker IPA Beau’s Beaver River IPA Black Oak Ten Bitter Years IPA Flying Monkey Smash Bomb IPA House Ales Westside IPA Great Lakes Karma Citra IPA Granite Hopping Mad IPA Indie Ale House Instigator IPA Nickelbrook Headstock IPA Muskoka Mad Tom IPA
Une soirée INDIA PALE ALES Servies en cask Une présentation de BENELUX & Cask Days
BENELUX et Cask Days sont fiers de s’unir afin de vous offrir “Une Soirée IPA” qui aura lieu le samedi 9 juin prochain à 18h à la Brasserie artisanale BENELUX (245 rue Sherbrook Ouest, Montreal). Les bières à l’honneur seront toutes de type India Pale Ale, provenant d’Ontario et du Québec, conditionnées et servies en cask. Pas moins de vingt brasseries participantes en plus d’une collaboration toute spéciale entre BENELUX (Montréal) et HOUSE ALES (Toronto). Il s’agira d’un événement historique : pour la première fois, des bières ontariennes seront servies en cask au Québec. Tout cela, grâce à l’étroite collaboration des Importations Privées Bièropholie.
La soirée se déroulera en deux temps: de 18h à 20h la dégustation se fera à l’aveugle, sans que le noms des brasseries ne soient affichées. Toutes les IPAs seront servies en format 5oz. À 20h, le nom des brassereis et des bières seront dévoilée et la dégustation se poursuivera en verres de format 12oz. La championne des IPAs issue d’un vote tenu durant la période à l’aveugle sera dévoilée en cours de soirée.
De par nos expériences passées, nous pouvons affirmer que BENELUX affichera complet ce soir-là et nous vous encourageons à arriver tôt afin de profiter de la gamme complète des bières offertes.
La liste des brasseries participantes apaprait au bas de ce message
A Night Of… INDIA PALE ALES Served On Cask Presented By Benelux & Cask Days
It is with great pleasure to announce that Benelux and Cask Days will be working together to host “A Night with IPAs” on Saturday, June 9th, 2012 at Brasserie Benelux Brewpub (245 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal) - 6:00pm. The theme for the event is the India Pale Ale styles from Ontario and Quebec served cask-conditioned. This event will mark the first ever appearance of Ontario casks available in Quebec with the help of Importations Privées Bieropholies. “A Night Of India Pale Ales” will be the after party for Mondial de la Bière. For this special night only, there will be 20 participating breweries and one special collaboration between BENELUX (Montréal) and HOUSE ALES (Toronto).
The event will be split in two halves: first, between 6pm and 8pm all the IPAs will be offered in 5oz pours for a blind tasting, a period where no beers nor brewery names will be published. Then, from 8pm, beers and brewery names will be revealed and tasting will then on be in 12oz glasses. A champion IPA shall be announced later at night from votes compiled during the blind tasting .
From past experiences, these events fill up quite quickly, and we encourage everyone to come as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
A special thanks to all of the craft breweries from Ontario who entered their beer into this years challenge. Everyone can agree that the quality and taste of the IPA’s were in excellent condition and gets better every year. The challenge is not so much about who makes the best beer, but to spread the awareness of the style and to stimulate local breweries to create new and exciting varieties of india pale ales.
Cask Days would like to congratulate House Ales who came out on top and won the challenge with their West Side 213 IPA. For those of you who missed out this weekend or our live twitter feeds you can check out the results here;
Finally, a big thanks to Caplansky’s Truck & Chef Ryan (for catering the event), Guerrilla Printing (for all their hard work and awesome prints), Keep6 Design (for branding the challenge), barVolo staff/volunteers (standing outside all weekend long in the cold weather serving beer) and for all our customers who came out to support the event. Its great to see so many new faces and industry folk present. Its a good time to be a craft beer lover in Ontario. Cheers and see everyone next year! (At a new undisclosed location )
Friday, April 20th, 2012 @ barVolo (2:00pm - 2:00am)
We will begin this years festivities with the IPA SPIN OFF featuring not so traditional IPA’s from Ontario breweries. This will include the following styles: Double IPA’s, Black IPA’s Belgian IPA’s and experimental IPA’s Beers. The majority of beers for this event will be one offs. No admission required. Here is a first look of the beers available;
AMSTERDAM’S “Dodoens Pale” – Belgian IPA 8.4%
BELLWOODS “Witchshark” – Imperial IPA – 10.7%
BEAU’S “Hell Hop” - Imperial Red Ale - 8.5%
BLACK OAK’S “Ten Bitter Years” – DIPA – 8.0%
CAMERON’S “Barrel Aged Sour IPA” – Hybrid – 6.0%
CLOCK TOWER “Piney The Beer” - Hybrid - 6.0%
FLYING MONKEY “Harmonic Decimation -DIPA - 10.0%
GRAND RIVER “TBA”
GRANITE “Darkside” – Black IPA – 6.0%
GREAT LAKES “Apocalypse Later”– Imperial IPA – 11.0%
GREAT LAKES “Audrey Hopburn” – Belgian IPA – 6.2%
GREAT LAKES X DHC “Mangoverboard” – Hybrid – 4.4%
HOUSE ALES “Fermium” Double Black IPA – 8%
SAWDUST CITY “The Princess Wears Girlpants” – Belgian IPA – 8.5%
We are excited to announce our list of judges for the first round of the IPA challenge whom will make up 70% of the score. (30% public)
BJCP Judges – Brad Clifford & Erica Graholm
Brewers – Siobhan McPherson & DougPengelly
Writer – Michael Warner & Nick Pashley
Home Brewer –Russ Burdick & Angel Weller
Bar Owner – Fabian Skidmore & Tashi Sundup
Beer Raters – Harry Heatherington & Jeremy Craigs
Cask Days is looking for one more home brewer and beer writer judge for the event. If your interested please e-mail email@example.com