Last night was the official kickoff of the 2009 Flatlanders Beer Festival, and there is no more appropriate place to kick off a beer festival than Luxalune gastropub. I had never been to Luxalune before last night, but will be sure to come back and taste through some of the approximately 100 beers they stock.
It's a tastefully decorated little spot a couple of doors down from where Lux Sole had been located (same owners, natch).There are your standard big name brews, but where things get far more interesting are in the smaller or more obscure beers from around the world - Thailand, Bosnia, Ukraine, Spain, etc. Their menu reflects their focus on beer - "pub grub", if you will, but fancified (I know, probably not a word).
Anyhow, Flatlanders continues tonight with the beer dinner at Bergmann's on Lombard. Each dish is paired with a beer, and past pairings have been very successful. I'll keep you posted - I'll try and update my Twitter account from the dinner.
The main public tastings go down Thursday and Friday... tickets are $29.95, include five sampling tickets, and are available via Ticketmaster or Liquor Marts. Additional tasting tickets are available on-site at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. There should be some killer brews there, including the release of Half Pints Brewing Co.'s Oktoberfest Lager. They didn't make this beer last year, so fans (I am one) will be eager to have a taste, and get their hands on some shortly thereafter at Liquor Marts and probably some beer vendors.
On a non beer-related note, Liquor Marts have discontinued some products - while selection varies from store to store, there's a lot of stuff being cleared out. I picked up the Wynn's Coonawarra 2008 Riesling, a dry, ultra-clean white with lots of nice crisp fruit and steely notes.