This oak aged altbier from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario pours a ruby-copper colour with a large, frothy and creamy beige head that settles as a loose collar and thin film, leaving very small spots of lace behind. Festivale Plus Sticke Alt has a woodsy aroma that reminds me of pine and fir trees. Whiskey, dark berry, caramel and earthy grain accents contribute to a general warmth.
The taste of Festivale Plus Sticke Alt is fruity and red wine-like. There is also a grainy, woody and sweet character that reminds me of rye whiskey and honey-sweetened biscuit or muffin. The ale is full-bodied with mild carbonation, an earthy, raw grain mouthfeel and a slight oiliness. A rather dry finish precedes an aftertaste with oak and fruit notes.
Festivale Plus Sticke Alt gets its name from a traditional German practice in which a brewmaster produces a small, stronger batch of altbier in secret (sticke) to share with their friends and family. This beer was originally released in 2010 as the fourth entry in Beau’s Wild Oats Series.
The label has a simple, word-based design printed in canvas green and brown that centers around the image of a Beau’s pint glass. The back label as always has a list of ingredients and stamped bottling date while a card strung around the neck of the bottle has a bilingual description of the beer.
The tart, fruit heavy flavour of Festivale Plus Sticke Alt is quite appetizing, rich and surprisingly refreshing. This would be a great choice for pairing with sharp cheeses, rye bread, dry sausage and dark fruits like blackberry or black cherry.
Appearing at retail for the first time in 2013, Festivale Plus Sticke Alt is listed at almost 100 LCBO stores throughout Ontario and can also be found at select licensees, at the brewery or ordered through the BYBO service.
Region: Ontario, Vankleek Hill
Brewery: Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company
Format Purchased: 600 mL
Alcohol Content: 7.0%