This was my fifth Cask Days. I knew no one when I went to my first one. I was solo and anxious like only an introvert can be in a new social situation. I didn’t know what to expect, what to drink, what to say.
I spent the money for a guided tasting of the British casks with Stephen Beaumont, then spent a few hours getting drunk with actors. I ran into Andy, a former teaching colleague. I drank lots of great beer, and talked to so many people my voice was hoarse. It became my favourite beer festival.
Unlike the first one I went to, I did not make extensive lists or highlight cask printouts. I didn’t plan what to drink in advance. I did not go with any plans or notions.
I went with the big plan to see my friends, and have a beer or two. I may have had more than “or two” but I certainly got a chance to hang out with a lot of my brewer friends. Other than the ongoing gastro-intestinal issue, it was pretty close to a perfect day. The sun was shining (I think), and the casks I tried were pretty spot on; there was one exception, but isn’t there always? I stayed away from sours because my body told me to, but it said nothing about abstaining from stouts! My faves were made by two of my favourite people: Jen at DDC with Aphrodisiaque and Aaron at Merit with a Chai imperial stout that was good enough to have seconds.
There was a sad note however. Every Cask Days, I had a chance to catch up with Andy over a beer. He had proudly been to every Cask Days celebration, and I always looked forward to the chance to sit and talk music, beer and politics with him. He was one of my biggest champions when the school and I parted ways, and he did a send-off speech at the staff end-of-year lunch that made me laugh and cry. But cancer won this year, and even though we only talked once a year, I miss him. It does not seem the same without him.
This year I bought the Baller Pass, which got me into all the sessions. The 12-hour shifts at Brunswick were such that I missed every beer festival I wanted to go to, so I decided to splurge. I couldn’t make it to all of the sessions; I was getting sick and went home just before the end of the Saturday afternoon session. There was way too much going on for a full write up, so here are the basic numbers:
Number of sessions attended: 3
Favourite session: 1
Number of tokens bought: 36
Number of tokens left at the end: 0. This does not include the 5 leftover from last year. I only found them today, 3 days after the event. Sigh.
Number of beers tried: 51, +/- 5
Number of ciders tried: 3
Number of IPA/DIPA tried: 0
Number of pour-outs: 2. 1 was super oxidized and the other was just bad.
Number of seconds: 2
El Jaguar by Amsterdam was incredible this year
Cassis 2017 by Culmination in Oregon was a lovely sour with black currants.
Number of glasses water drank: not enough
Number of brewers and friends hugged: too many to count
Some days I can’t help but fall down the Instagram rabbit hole. I don’t know how I got there, alick on someone who just followed me, a hashtag that seems intriguing, a place that looks lovely, whatever. And whammo, there I am looking at something that makes me angry.
I get that there are still troglodytes who post pictures of scantily clad women, and beer dudes who use sexism to generate likes. I don’t like it and I really cant wait for people to evolve already, but I get it. What I don’t get is that someone using a brewery’s official account would add to those likes. I can only assume/hope that they had a temporary madness that made them forget who/what the represent.
I took the advice of a twitter follower, took some screenshots and showed them to someone from the brewery. To his credit, he immediatly sent off an email to the powers-that-be who remedied the situation.
That’s the good part.
The not so good part is the email the powers-that-be sent back, that started with “I’m sorry you were offended….”
Way to put the blame ball in my court. I got angry all over again.
Instead of making it sound like I’m the one with the problem, like I’m the thin-skinned one, how about saying, “I’m sorry, that was inappropriate/offensive/disrespectful”?
Or am I just splitting hairs? The thought was there, right?