I have heard a few opinions about the Spinnakers firkin festival last weekend: some I agree with and some I do not. In my opinion ticket prices were set fairly; however I would have liked to see more for that admission price. Perhaps 1/2 off certain appies, more drink tickets or door prizes. At one of the previous events didn't they have trays of food floating around? I must disclose that I was on the guest list, but had planned on buying a ticket anyways. There was just the right amount of people in attendance. It was busy but not crowded.
As for the beer selection; there was a good mix. I'm guessing some casks were filled with draft beer, but that's OK. The old standby of dry-hopped IPAs were in attendance; this made the hopheads happy. I was glad to see the experimental spirit from some of the local brewers. Chris from VIB made a crazy jalapeno rauchbier; this was very creative, precarious but well executed. The Spinnakers crew produced three excellent and creative beers. While the name was a bit long (Bourbon Barrel Aged Saison infused with pink peppercorns soaked in Victoria Spirits' Left Coast Hemp Vodka) it had a unique taste. Light and refreshing, the sour woods mixed well with the tart yeasts and apple cider vinegar notes. I would have liked to see more peppercorns, but I can be a bit of the beer flavour prick.
There was something for everyone, which is prefect for a beer event. My wife really enjoyed the delicate floral flavours from Salt Springs Elderflower Golden Ale. While the hopheads went straight for Russell's uber-hopped ESB. Even newcomer Big River Brewpub made a pink grapefruit IPA. I thought it was a little sweet but still enjoyable.
Both the Misses and I had a great time; we plan on going to the next one.