Brewer's Blog

Regina Festiv Ale

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Yowza! Do the folks in Regina know how to party or what?

We had a great time at the Festiv Ale this year. Organizers Margret M. and Adele L. are a couple of classy ladies who really know how to make the participants and sponsors feel welcome. We appreciated the new venue (Connexus Arts Center) immensely, with it's brightly lit wide open spaces, tons of free parking for the DD's and easy loading/unloading space for us. I sound like a festival ad, but hey - we had fun!

Our neighbour's from Nature's Own Sausage & Meats (the booth next door) kept us filled with tasty treats while we gave the locals a taste of Winnipeg with our Bulldog Amber Ale, Stir Stick Stout, The Father and The Holy Spirit.

We found the crowd to be a knowlegeable bunch with plenty of questions for Chris and I about the beer. I have the distinct feeling that some of them were trying to test us, but unlike booths from the major brewers, we don't send tarts to do the pouring. When you see Half Pints at your local fest, you can bet someone who had their hand on your beer will be there to answer even the smallest question.

I think the relaxed atmosphere from the crowd is part of what makes this festival so fun. Yes, there were the odd comments about the Blue Bombers from the die hard watermelon heads, but they were taken in stride. It was interesting to note (and tough to miss) the giant billboard by Rawlco Radio's all talk station above Mr. Breakfast that reads: "More issues than a Bomber fan at Grey Cup." That's fine by us... every twenty years or so, the green and white go from all talk to action, so it's really fitting. We'll let them eat their cake for now.

It was good to see the brewers from Picaroon's in town as well as the crews from Paddockwood and the 'shwakk. Our assistant brewer, Chris was introduced to the craziness of a First Firkin Friday with the associated hutzpah of the mighty Firkin Wakker/Bagpipe ceremony just before we hit the festival to pour beers.

On Saturday night, we started blowing through the kegs in record time and the night was really a blur until we snapped the photo here and had a round of cheers from the crowd. We went through so much beer, we'll have to make sure we bring more next year.

Thanks to our host's, the Falkenstein family for being so welcoming - we promise to bring more coffee from Black Pearl when we're back in April for the judging of the A.L.E.S. Club National Homebrew Competition.

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