Once again the most anticipated time of the beer year’s calendar has come and gone. The 2018 Flatlander’s Beer Festival was enjoyed by thousands this past weekend and I had the good fortune to attend once again.
For those not familiar with the Flatlander’s Beer Festival, it is the largest beer event in Manitoba. Bringing over 90 booths and over 300 different beers together in one location. This event provides novice and enthusiastic beer fans something to enjoy. It’s also an excellent opportunity for people to try new beers without the “fear” of wasting money, or not liking it. You get to sample so many different styles in an encouraging environment.
I say this every year, but this was the best festival so far. Not only was Surly back with some fun new beers (including Pentagram, an excellent Dark Sour) but almost the entire ice level was local breweries. They brought their A-Game this year and I want to highlight a few of the standouts for me at this years festival.
My best in show goes to Kilter – Fruit Loopulin. This Milkshake IPA made with a variety of fresh fruits and Lupulin powder was spectacular. I also want to give a shout out to my friends at Devil May Care who brought an excellent first beer to show off their mad brewing skills. When two new breweries show up with this type of stuff, it makes me really excited.
Overall, the local beers were the highlight for me. Everyone had something fun to try. Torque even had a custom designed Tap Truck with a la cucaracha horn. Their Cuke Em All Cucumber Saison was awesome as were the other beers they had specially available on tap. Get to their Taproom if you want to give some of them a try.
Half Pints was out in force with their Codename: Ghost NE IPA available in Cans. This is the first beer I’ve in a 473ml can from Half Pints and it will be available in Flight 4 of the Coast to Coaster event at Liquor Marts. This is a very good beer, and if you want to see it more often, I’d suggest you get out and buy some when it becomes available. Hint hint.
To all the local breweries I want to give a kudos. There was something at every booth that I loved from the Mega-Wit at Barn Hammer to the Baltic Porter at Nonsuch, the new core Portage Pilsner at Trans Canada and the FANTASTIC homebrew beers at the Pro/Am booth. It was awesome.
For out of town Highlights, Surly again, for sure. They had Pentagram ( a Dark Sour) and Syx available as special pours. They also were highlighting Bender, the first beer Surly Brewed and an Oatmeal stout and Coffee Bender, a coffee infused Bender. Bender will be coming this fall as a core beer and it’s tasty, so look for that.
Beau’s was also pouring some good stuff, as usual. They are in summer mode with a Hopfenlager (write-up soon) as well as the Tom Green Summer Stout. They will also have some of the Halcyon Barrel House stuff coming to Quality Inn, so be sure to check that out. Finally, always, a perennial favorite of mine, Brewsters brought their wonderful Blue Monk Bourbon Barleywine. Something I look forward to getting each time they bring it to town for the festival. Hope to see it on shelves someday.
This event is something I look forward to every year and I really encourage you to check it out when it roles around next year. Be sure to watch your favorite place to buy beer for new products and give them a try. As well, watch for tickets to the Winnipeg Beer Festival which should be coming soon.
I hope everyone had a great festival.
- Beer Winnipeg