CANFEST 2011 Beer Dinner and Awards Ceremony Re-Cap
The 3rd Annual CANFEST kicked off with a series of Friday night events last weekend including a special beer dinner and awards ceremony which took place in a ballroom inside Reno’s Silver Legacy Resort & Casino. The beer dinner was catered by the hotel and was paired with last year’s CANFEST awards winners.
We arrived in time for the “cocktail” hour which featured a hosted beer (Sunbru) from Arizona’s Four Peaks Brewing Company. Seating was open so this informal dinner was a good chance to get to know other enthusiastic canned beer fans, event coordinators and sponsors, as well as representatives from many of the participating breweries.
Dinner service began promptly at 7 p.m with hotel-quality service. With multiple servers, each course came out right on time with its proper beer pairings with hardly any delays. The first course was a delicious scallop dish which came with a smoked salmon rose and little blintzes topped with domestic caviar. The scallops featured a sauce made with Oskar Blues G’Knight Imperial Red, last year’s winner in the Scottish Red & Brown Ale category. This dish was a good start to the meal; delicate and sophisticated.
The second course was a salad course featuring a bibb lettuce salad in a Viennese Lager vinaigrette. Paired with Bohemian Brewery’s Handcrafted Viennese Lager, the brightness in the dressing was complimented with tart dried cranberries and delicious candied walnuts, but unfortunately, the lager had an almost metallic taste that did not sit well with many of our dining companions.
The main course for the evening was a generous portion of tender braised short-ribs marinated in Tallgrass Brewing Company’s Bold Oasis ale, served with an Oasis ale barbecue sauce and accompanied by a steamed vegetable medeley and a luscious parsnip-celery root-potato puree. This was the highlight for many people; a large, hearty portion that was comforting and primal in the best ways. For dessert, a take on the classic Romanoff. This time, with a Hawaiian twist to compliment Maui Brewing Company’s Big Swell IPA. Decadent pudding with IPA soaked pineapple with a bit of a malt crunch.
The awards ceremony took place immediately after. Brewmaster Dan Kahn of Buckbean Brewing (the creators of the festival), took to the podium and announced this year’s CANFEST awards. Styles were grouped together in the following catergories: IPA, Amber & Pale Ales, Scottish Red & Brown Ales, and Dark Ales/Porters/Stouts.
The winners for the 2011 CANFEST competition were as follows:
Bronze: Hopknot, Four Peaks Brewing Company
Silver: Epic IPA, Mammoth Brewing
Gold: Pako’s IPA, Snake River Brewing
Amber & Pale Ales:
Bronze: Osiris Pale Ale, Snake River Brewing
Silver: Epicenter, SanTan Brewing Company
Gold: Pale Ale,Caldera Brewing Company
Scottish Red & Brown Ales:
Bronze: Moose Drool, Big Sky Brewing Company
Silver: Skilak Scottish, Kenai River Brewing Company
Gold: G’Knight Imperial Red, Oskar Blues
Bronze: Guiness Draught Stout, Guiness
Silver: Pile O’Dirt Porter, Crow Peak Brewing Company
Gold: Winter Solstice, Anderson Valley Brewing Company
While there were definitely a few groans in the room when Coors nearly swept the lager category, overall the pairing dinner was a good way to start a weekend of canned beer fun. Considering this is the first year that they have done an event like this as part of the festival, we are looking forward to seeing what next year has in store.