Farmhouse Fest 2018 Sets a New Standard for BC Craft Beer Festivals

On Saturday July 7, 2018, I was lucky enough to attend the 4th annual Farmhouse Fest at the UBC farm.

For those unfamiliar, this festival specializes in saisons, sours, and wild ales, which is right up my alley. The beer list is always outstanding at this event, but this year, they really outdid themselves, with a phenomenal selection of beers from some of the best craft breweries across BC, Canada, the US West Coast, and Europe.

Between us, my girlfriend and I managed to share about 40 new beers and it still felt like there were a lot of beers left that we haven’t tried before. According to Untappd, I’ve tried close to 3,400 unique beers, so that’s quite a statement!

It’s hard to pick favourites at a festival where you can get a 4 oz pour of Cantillon for $1.66, but one of this year’s stand-out breweries for me was Temporal Artisan Ales.

This new brewing & blending project shares space with Luppolo Brewing in East Vancouver and took the festival by storm. Once word got out about their Ruby Continuum, the keg kicked pretty quickly. This blend of wine and tawny port barrel-aged wild ales was aged on raspberries and tayberries and they used a wine-making technique called “punch down” to bring out all of the berry flavour and a vibrant colour that had to be seen to be believed.

Holy Mountain Brewing was another popular option this year. As soon as the gates opened, the line began and it didn’t stop until they ran out of beer. In fact, one of their beers had already run out just from the early entry crowd. However, I did get a chance to try their Dangerous Meeting port barrel-aged dark sour and it was incredible!

Check back later in the week, when I’ll try to compile my tasting notes for all of the beers that I tried!

One of the coolest new features of this year’s festival was the “no line-up” entry system. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical that they could pull this off, but it was seamless. We actually ended up getting there 10 minutes before they opened the gates and it only took 2 minutes to get our wrist band and glass, then when they opened the gates we all just stuck our arms in the air so security could see the bands and walked right on in! It was amazing!

It wasn’t all flawless though. The organizers did a great job of pulling in some of the best food trucks in Vancouver, but things fell apart a little bit. It seems that one truck had to leave early, which created more strain on the other trucks and the line-ups became rather long. Luckily, I was smart enough to know that the UBC farmers market was right next door and there was a Save-On Foods right around the corner.

All in all this was another incredible year for Farmhouse Fest and I can’t wait to go again next year. I really hope that I’m quick enough to get early entry tickets next year, because I missed out on trying a couple of my “must drink” beers. I guess it kind of serves me right for making a list of them and recommending them to everyone on the internet!