June 25, 2013

Beyond the Pale Tap Takeover

It isn't always easy being the new kid.  New in school, new in the office or the newest craft brewery in a relatively big city.  The thing is, if you know what you are doing being the new guy ain't so bad.  Beyond the Pale Brewing hasn't been open that long but they have made a huge impact in the face of Ottawa's craft beer scene.

Within their first four months their plan of being open during the week was altered when the beer began selling out on the first day.  From that point on sold out was a common phrase for these folks.

They offered special beers aged in Maker's Mark bourbon barrels. Those were not only in high demand at preorder but when they released another small batch they were scooped up quickly.

I honestly have not had a beer I did not like from them so you can guess how happy I was to hear they were going to be doing a tap takeover at Wellington Gastro Pub.  Not only is it a great venue but great staff.  Combine that with great food and it has the makings of a great tap takeover. Tickets sold quickly.

I arrived early, by early I mean first. The place quickly filled up with people.

My first task was to find Rob McIsaac and Shane Clark to congratulate them on the event.  The crew at BTP have been working really hard and it was nice to see them outside the brewery enjoying the crowds appreciation. There was a lot to appreciate.  The bar was lined with casks and the taps were all ready to go with BTP's wonderful beers.

Shane Clark and Rob McIsaac

The Pink Fuzz, the wonderful grapefruit beer in its own right was made even more fantastic on cask with the addition of dry grapefruit.  This beer was so easy to drink it was deemed "dangerous." This beer had all the flavour of a perfect grapefruit juice without acidity. A certain brewer tells me that two casks were emptied at the event.  Pretty sure this means it was a crowd favourite.

The Darkness was done in two variations.  One with chocolate and one with coffee. I prefered the one with coffee though others at my table favoured the chocolate.  Both were amazing casks.  The beer had such richness to it that you expect of a high quality stout.  I enjoyed getting to taste the two variations.

@varxint and The Beer Gypsy discussing the beers

The I Pine For You was a neat cask.  Nose had a hint of pine to it.  It had the perfect slightly bitter end.  A great American Brown Ale with good flavour. This tasty little beer was a collaboration between BTP and Wellington Gastro Pub, the hosts of the event.

There was also a cask of Hop On Your Face.  A dry hop addition left this beer with a fruity nose. Nice strong lemon/citrus flavour and a well balanced finish.  This is the way an IPA is meant to be.  Again, from looking around and the fact that at least one cask emptied while I was waiting I would say the crowd overwhelmingly approved.

Not to be outshined, the Imperial Super Guy packed a huge citrus punch on its cask.  It was dry hopped with citra.  I have to say I love this beer and the cask really proved flavourful and refreshing.  A nice mouth feel, lemony nose and nice citrus aftertaste. 

I didn't think anything could top the Pink Fuzz but I got to the Make'r Easy and I have to say it is a close tie. Their Make'r series of beers are over all amazing.  The barrels from Makers Bourbon add so much to the beers.  The Easy at only 3.6% abv packs so much flavour it is easy to forget it is a light beer.  It is smooth with caramel, bourbon notes on the nose.  The taste is along the lines of a smooth bourbon with hints of hops and malt.  Anyone who is a bourbon fan would drink this beer.  

I knew the night was going to be a success.  Any brewery that has trouble keeping beer in stock, that has to expand four months after opening and has line ups for its special releases is going to rock a tap takeover.  I believe that it went better than any of the organizers could have imagined.  The quality of the food was stellar and the beer was top notch.

Cheers Beyond the Pale, Rob and Shane!  I hope this is the first of many tap takeovers and I can't wait to see and taste what else you guys come up with.

I want to say a special thank you to Wellington Gastro Pub for their hospitality and great food.   

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