Dogwood Brewing – Fest Ale


Dogwood Brewing – Fest Ale Review

In a province with so many strange and crazy breweries, Dogwood Brewing is another that, thankfully, marches to the beat of its own drum. Using only organic ingredients, based on a 300 year old recipe and using yeast from the world’s oldest brewery (Weihenstephan), Fest is a case in point.  Fest pours a red tinged brown and the body is light and quaffable. Because of the organic ingredients, Fest lacks the necessary proteins for a giant head but it does have a lively, almost champagne-like carbonation.  A honey-like maltiness is prominent throughout with a light touch of roast. Fest is very low in bitterness and floral hoppiness and hides the high alcohol content well. It finishes well and long with honey sweetness, some roast and likable alcohol pepperiness.

Historical recipes are notoriously difficult to market as our palates and ingredients have changed so much. For instance, 300 hundred years ago they didn’t have any Mosaic, Citra or Cascade hops in their beer. Stylistically, Fest is, like the brewery that made it, idiosyncratic. It certainly isn’t anything like what we today would consider a festival ale or festbier. Although not lagered (as far as I know), it most resembles a Weizenbock in taste profile. Drink it when you’re suffering from the inevitable hazy fatigue.

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  • (3.5)
  • (3)
  • (3.5)
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    Overall Enjoyment

About This Beverage

  • Colour: Red
  • Head Size & Retention: Some head, minimal retention
  • Carbonation: Well Carbonated
  • Clarity: Cloudy
  • Balance: Very Malty
  • Drinkability: Easy Drinking
  • Enjoyment: Recommend to a friend who doesn't like hoppy beers
  • Malt Characteristics: Coffee or Chocolate, Dark Fruit (raisins, prunes, figs, black currants)
  • Palate: Thin


A unique beer based on a 300 year old recipe, Fest is a malt forward, organic ale with lots of honey-like sweetness and quaffablility. Drink it when you need a break from hops.



A nicely adventurous take on a historical recipe.


High relative levels of malt sweetness.

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