Share This Blog

Cask-Aid Raised Glasses & Dollars for Fort Mac

yellwheadcaskaidYesterday afternoon at Yellowhead Brewing in Edmonton dozens of thirsty patrons sipped on one-of-a-kind cask ales and raised money for the Red Cross Fort McMurray Relief fund at the same time. Dubbed Cask-Aid (Cascasde – get it?), it was the brainchild of Yellowhead brewer Bruce Sample. Twelve Alberta breweries each brought a cask and a person to lend a hand pouring.

As of writing, I am unsure how much was raised (maybe Bruce will comment on the post giving us an update), but between ticket sales, raffle prizes and additional sample tickets (the $10 entry gave you four 100 ml samples), I am sure a decent sum was collected. The Yellowhead tasting room served as a cozy and welcoming site for the event – it really is a space that should be used more as I quite like its ambience.

As cask events are supposed to, each brewery brought something unique and special. I didn’t get to all twelve but did sample most of them. As expected some worked better than others, but it is always fun to see what comes out. There were a couple standard hoppy ales with special dry-hopping, and some fruit-added beer. Norsemen Brewing out of Camrose came with a blonde ale infused with a complex herbal tea that brought out lots of berry and a touch of tea tannin.

Fort McMurray’s Wood Buffalo was there in name with a cask actually brewed at Last Best Brewing in Calgary, another location of the Bear Hill brewpub chain. It was a fascinating

Bruce Sample with his mango-everything lager. Yes, there was a lot of mango in that beer!

Bruce Sample with his mango-everything lager. Yes, there was a lot of mango in that beer!

smoky porter NOT made with smoked malt, which was interesting. Alley Kat brought a hopped up Kolsch which reminded me a little bit of a English Golden Ale, but the decision to use Saaz to dry hop may not have been the best choice.

An oops-turned-experiment beer was provided by Blindman Brewing’s Mistakenly Dark Ale. The beer is a blend of three beer: their IPA, River Session Ale and what was supposed to be an amber ale but due to a grain milling error, where 20kg of Midnight Wheat was used instead of 2kg, became a rather dark and roasty ale. Turning on their creativity, the brewers decided to blend to tone down the roastiness and increase the hop character. The resulting beer is not unlike a Cascadian Dark Ale, although the cask version still had too much roast on the palate. They tell me the packaged version has less of the mistaken beer and so is not quite so roasted.

I tried a few others but wasn’t taking notes that afternoon, so can’t remember them all. Anyone who attended is welcome to add comments about beer they appreciated at the event.

Kudos to Bruce at Yellowhead for organizing and thanks to all those who helped raise money for Fort Mac by tipping their elbows with some interesting cask ales.


4 comments to Cask-Aid Raised Glasses & Dollars for Fort Mac

  • Don

    For those that had a chance to try our cask, but can;t remember what it was, Flying Frog Vienna Lager with added Hallertau hops made by Gunther. It was a good event, thanks to all that attended!

  • Bruce Sample

    Many thanks to everyone for coming out and especially all the volunteers and breweries for Cask Aid! We raised $2430!

    • beerguy

      Thanks, Bruce! That is great news. I am very happy the event raised a good chunk of money. Thank you to everyone who threw a few dollars in!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>