The Cask and Cleaver took home gold and silver at the first annual Caribrew Beer Fest Saturday.
Cask and Cleaver owners Neale Ward and Daniel Braaten were delighted that their coffee porter secured silver while their brand-new strawberry cheesecake sour secured gold. Williams Lake’s Fox Mountain Brewing took bronze for their Pedalstock IPA. Ward said all six of the breweries who attended had a great night.
“Each brewery had two beers and one had three so there were 13 different beers available. The feedback from the community was amazing and they loved the beer that we launched,” Ward said. “The Rotary Club of 100 Mile House did a phenomenal job securing the venue, sprucing it up and generally putting on a great event.”
Rotary club president Wolfgang Paasche said it took a lot of work for the 10 members of the club to organize the beer fest. However, he said the night turned out to be a success with well over 220 people attending.
Club member Gisela Janzen said that as of Wednesday, March 15, the club was still calculating how much money they had raised. Janzen was confident the club had come out ahead, however, thanks to local business and community support.
“It was good, well attended and I heard positive feedback from the people who talked to me,” Janzen said. “Everything went without a hitch.”
Paasche said many of the people in attendance he’d never seen before at previous rotary events. He is hopeful some might consider joining the club in the future.
“I met a couple of (new) people in my age bracket and 25 years ago, at a rotary event, I would know everybody who came into the door. Now there’s a lot of new people in the town and they obviously enjoyed having an event like this and came in droves,” Paasche said.
Chris Blandford, who recently moved to 108 Mile Ranch from Banff, said the beer fest was the perfect way to get to know the area. He said it introduced him to a few new beers including his favourite, the Deadfall Basil Brown Ale.
“I’m glad the rotary club put it on. I’d absolutely like to see more events like it in the future because, like I say, I’m new to the area so let’s see what it has to provide,” Blandford said.
Shyreen Prasad found out about the beer fest through Facebook and attended with her friends. Prasad was excited because she said not a lot of big events happen in 100 Mile House usually.
“There are lots of people to talk to and the beer is really good,” Prasad said. “My favourite beer was the strawberry cheesecake sour the Cask and Cleaver made. It tastes like swirly white candy.”
Braaten said he and Ward supported and consulted the rotary club while they put together the event. Ward said it was everything he’d hoped it would be and more for a first-year event.
“We’re definitely going to want to bring it back every year with the rotary and community’s support to try and grow it,” Ward said. “Our vision for it is to make it a 13 brewery beer festival. That’s the next milestone in our mind.”
Next year Braaten said he plans to bring in some cider and vegetarian options for food, per community feedback. As the primary brewer of the Cask and Cleaver, he said it feels good to be making beers the community enjoys.
“That’s half the fun, right, seeing the pleasure people get from drinking the beer we’re making,” Braaten said.
Janzen said they will also make a few changes to next year’s beer fest. The club plans to sell tickets physically as well as online and may change the date so it doesn’t fall on the first Saturday of Spring Break.
“The energy is now there (in the club) to move on and look at other projects in the future, not just the beer fest,” Janzen said.
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