BC Beer Awards 2016 / Beer Festival – October 15th 2016


With October brings BC Craft Beer Month and with that brings the BC Beer Awards.  Once again this year the awards ceremony and beer festival were held at the Croatian Cultural Centre.  This year the event was held on October 15th just a little earlier than last year.

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I have been attending the BC Beer awards for many years now and it seems to be getting better and better.  With the industry exploding like it is in the province this event will only get better.  Much like always the event began at 4pm and ended at 9pm.  The festival was once again in two room and even had some beer pouring in the front entrance area.  This year there were 75 breweries pouring beer at the festival and 5 cideries.

Breweries pouring at the event:  4 Mile Brewing, Andina Brewing, Arrowhead Brewing, Barkerville Brewing, Big Ridge Brewing, Big Rock Urban Brewery, Brewhouse Whistler, Bomber Brewing, Brassneck, Bridge Brewing, Callister Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Canuck Empire, Category 12 Brewing, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Coal Harbour Brewing, Dageraad, Dead Frog Brewery, Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers, Doan’s Craft Brewing Company, Dogwood Brewing, Driftwood Brewery, Fernie Brewing, Feild House Brewing, Foamers Folly, Four Winds Brewing, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Granville Island Brewing, Hearthstone Brewery, Howe Sound Brewing, Hoyne Brewing, KPU Brewering and Brewery Operations Diploma, Longwood Brewery, Luppolo Brewing, Main Street Brewing, Mission Springs Brewing, Moody ALes, Moon Under Water, Off The Rail Brewing, Old Yale Brewing, Pacific Western Brewing, Parallel 49 Brewing, Parkside Brewery, Persephone Brewing, Phillips Brewing, Postmark Brewing, Powell Street Craft Brewery, Prohibition, R&B Brewing, Real Cask, Ravens Brewing, Red Arrow Brewing, Red Truck Beer, Ridge Brewing, Rossland Beer Company, Russell Brewing, Saltspring Island Ales, Spinnakers Brewing, Stanley Park, Steamworks, Steel & Oak Brewing, Strange Fellows Brewing, Strathcona Beer Company, Swans, Tree Brewing, Tofino Brewing, Townsite Brewing, Trading Post, Twa Dogs, Twin Sails Brewing, Vancouver Island Brewery, Whistler Brewing, White Sails Brewing, Yaletown Brewing and Yellow Dog Brewing.  The Cideries were Left Field Cider, BC Tree Fruits, Tod Creek Craft Cider, Sunday Cider and Dominion Cider Co.

Stephen Quinn from CBC Radio was once again the voice of the BC Beer Awards this year.  This year 83 breweries entered beers into the competition and there were 750 different beers entered.  Once again this was more breweries entering beer up from 70 last year.  Its nice to see that once again this year more breweries have come out to try their luck.  Instead of doing the awards at the end of the night this year they started it near the beginning.  Lets get to the winning beers of the year!

International Lager

1: 33 Acres of Darkness (33 Acres Brewing Company)
2: Vienna Lager (Moody Ales)
3: Red Racer Pils (Central City Brewers + Distillers)

German Pale Lager

1: Red Racer Old School Lager (Central City Brewers + Distillers)
2: Keller Pilsner (Persephone Brewing Company)
3: Steamworks Pilsner (Steamworks Brewing Company)

Kölsch

1: Steamworks Kölsch (Steamworks Brewing Company)
2: High Country Kölsch (Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.)
3: Arctic Kölsch (Swans Brewery)

German Amber Beer

1: Gladstone Altbier (Gladstone Brewing Co.)
2:  Vienna Lager (R&B Brewing Co.)

3: Potts Pils (Moon Under Water Brewery & Pub)

European Dark Beer

1: Dark Lager (Steel & Oak Brewing Co.)

2: Baltic Porter (Cannery Brewing Company)

3: Red Racer Dopplebock (Central City Brewers + Distillers)
Honorable Mention:  Brewmaster’s Black Lager (Okanagan Spring Brewery)

German Wheat Beer

1: Demimondaine Dunkelweizen (Barkerville Brewing Co.)
2: This is Hefeweizen (Moon Under Water Brewery & Pub)

3: Weizenbock (Steel & Oak Brewing Co.)

British Bitter

1: English Bitter (Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.)
2: Red Devil Ale (R&B Brewing Co.)

3: Beacon ESB (Lighthouse Brewing Company)

British Pale Ale

1: Clover IPA (Big Ridge Brewing Co.)

2: Paddywhack Organic IPA (Nelson Brewing Company)

3: English IPA (Strathcona Beer Company)

British Brown Ale

1: After Dark Ale (Nelson Brewing Company)
2: Tall Timber Ale (Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.)
3: Aethelred the Mild (Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.)

Scottish and Irish Ales

1: Classic Scotch (Steamworks Brewpub)
2: Irish Stout (Ravens Brewing Company)
3: 1880 Export Stout (Moody Ales)

British Stout

1: 52 Foot Stout (Barkerville Brewing Co.)

2: Perfect Storm (Townsite Brewing Inc.)
3: 710 Oaked Stout (Faculty Brewing Co.)

Strong Ale

1: Thor’s Hammer (Central City Brewers + Distillers)

2: Wee Heavy (Persephone Brewing Company)
3: Wobbly Bob (Red Collar Brewing Company)

Fruit Beer

1: Pinot Noir Raspberry Blonde (Tin Whistle Brewing Company)
2: Red Truck Raspberry Ale (Red Truck Beer Company)
3: Tropic Vice (Dead Frog Brewery)

Spiced Beer

1: Jackline Rhubarb Grissette (Lighthouse Brewing Company)
2: Spruce Tree Ale (Tofino Brewing Company)

3: Hibiscus Wit (Brassneck Brewery)

Smoke and Wood Aged Beer

1: Entropy Series No. 1 (Dageraad Brewing)
2: Inertia II (Brassneck Brewery)
3: Thor’s Hammer Bourbon Barrel Aged (Central City Brewers + Distillers)

Specialty Beer

1: Roggen Weizen (Steel & Oak Brewing Co.)
2: Londen (Dageraad Brewing)
3: Sour Wheat Gose (Field House Brewing Co.)

North American Light Beer

1: Hooligan Organic Pilsner (Nelson Brewing Company)
2: Jerkface 9000 (Parallel 49 Brewing Co.)
3: Cypress Honey Lager (Granville Island Brewing)

North American Blonde Ale

1: Organic Wild Honey Ale (Nelson Brewing Company)
2: Postmark Blonde (Postmark Brewing)
3: Dutch Pale Ale (Field House Brewing Co.)

North American Pale Ale

1: Chase My Tail Pale Ale (Yellow Dog Brewing Co.)
2: One Hop Mind (Callister Brewing Company)
3: East Side Bitter (R&B Brewing Co.)

North American Amber Ale

1: 33 Acres of Life (33 Acres Brewing Company)
2: Troller Bay Ale (Howe Sound Brewing)

3: Thirsty Beaver Amber Ale (Tree Brewing Co.)

North American Brown Ale

1: Bandit Brown (Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.)

2: Slipstream (Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.)

3: Kim-Ach-Touch Ale (Tree Brewing Co.)

North American Porter and Stout

1: Commander Imperial Stout (Dead Frog Brewery)

2: Stag and Pheasant Imperial Stout (Main Street Brewing Company)

3: Russian Imperial Stout (Moody Ales)

North American IPA

1: Flagship IPA (Steamworks Brewing Company)

2: Play Dead IPA (Yellow Dog Brewing Co.)

3: The Ultra Deluxe (Boombox Brewing)

Specialty IPA

1: Blonde IPA (Dageraad Brewing)
2: White ISA (Red Truck Beer Company)
3: YVR ISA (Steamworks Brewing Company)

Imperial IPA

1: 187 On An Undercover Hop (Parallel 49 Brewing Co.)

2: Cosmic Wave Double IPA (Tofino Brewing Company)
3: Second Anniversary Double IPA (Main Street Brewing Company)

Belgian Ale

1: Jongleur Wit (Strange Fellows Brewing Company)
2: Bier de Garde (Old Abbey Ales)
3: White Gold Witbier (Barkerville Brewing Co.)

Belgian Strong Ale

1: Dageraad Blonde (Dageraad Brewing)

2: Saison #7 (Main Street Brewing Company)
3: Old Barn Saison (Fernie Brewing Company)

Trappist Ale

1: 33 Acres of Euphoria (33 Acres Brewing Company)
2: Central City Belgian Strong (Central City Brewers + Distillers)
3: 10 Degrees (Dageraad Brewing)
Honorable Mention: 8 Degrees (Dageraad Brewing)

European Sour Ale

1: Raynard (Strange Fellows Brewing Company)

2: Cantus Fermus (Main Street Brewing Company)

3: Bizarro (Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.)

North American Wild Ale

1: Bodhisattva (Parallel 49 Brewing Co.)
2: Sour Raspberry (Old Abbey Ales)
3: Little Red One (Strange Fellows Brewing Company)

Best in Show

Flagship IPA (Steamworks Brewing Company)

Richards Buell Sutton LLP Rookie of the Year Award

Field House Brewing Co.

Dan Small Homebrew Award

Sho Ogawa and Novia Chen

CBC People’s Choice Award

Pablo Esco Gnar IPA, Boombox Brewing Company

Timber Brewers Challenge

Old Money Mild, Brassneck Brewery

This year’s Best of Show Flagship IPA is even more exciting as Julia Hanlon of Steamworks becomes the first female Head Brewer in BC to win this award!  A huge congratulations is in order for this!

Once the awards finished everyone went back to enjoying the beer that was on hand.  This was once again an amazing event with amazing beer being poured as well as great people be it craft beer fans or brewery staff.  Every year this event gets bigger and better!  Here is to another year of sticking it to the flavourless garbage that macro breweries make.

Once again like last year I helped set the festival up between 10:30am and 3pm.  It makes the festival even more fun when you are able to get involved in any part of the event.

Prospector’s Peril Blonde Ale – Barkerville Brewing Company


From Barkerville Brewing in Quesnel comes their “Prospector’s Peril Blonde Ale”.  The beer pours a mild cloudy golden colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of grainy malts, sweetness and citrus.  The flavour is of mild earth, sweetness, bready malts, citrus and grassy hops.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.4%.  This is not a ground breaking Blonde Ale but not every beer needs to be.  This beer is a good example of a blonde ale.

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Beer on the road – Road Trip Northern BC and Okanagan


Road trip to the a Portion of Northern BC and the Okanagan

Last year I took a road trip to the Kootenays region of BC for Craft Beer and hotsprings and I even made it back to the Kootenays for the East Kootenay Beer Festival this year.  The 2800km road trip really got me excited to explore more of the vast province that is British Columbia.  With a week at our disposal we hit the road to check out some of the Northern BC breweries as well as checking out a few of the latest breweries in the Okanagan.

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When the trip was finished the odometer read 3433.3km which is a hell of run but we live in a beautiful area and it is a crime that we always fly elsewhere to Holiday.  If you were paying attention you would notice we took a dip into Alberta to visit Jasper National Park to camp and check out the Athabasca Glacier and a brewery (surprise surprise).

This run of driving brought us to Three Ranges Brewing, Jasper Brewing Company, Barkerville Brewing, Red Collar Brewing, Cannery Brewing and Tin Whistle Brewing.  Our plan had us staying in a hotel in Valemount while camping in Jasper National Park, Quesnel and Shuswap Lake (Shuswap Lake was not possible due to extreme thunderstorms and 30mm or rain so we continued to the Okanagan) and we started the whole trip in Squamish.

With the price of gas skyrocketing in Canada and especially in BC it is getting harder to pull off affordable road trips.  Your best bet will always be to camp as your average night will be around $40 or less instead of the $100+ in hotels.   One thing to note with camping at Provincial Park campgrounds in BC is that most sites are now only available as reservable sites.  The campground will likely say full even if they have lots of room.  The only way to camp now in British Columbia is to book ahead and as soon as possible.  The best way to do it is online at Discover Camping although you can also book on the phone in Canada and US at 1-800-689-9025 or Internationally at 1-519-826-6850.  National Parks are a whole different game with awful websites that have mazes of links and unhelpful information.  Your best bet is again to book in advance but if you are going to Jasper National Park click here to book sites and any other National Park just search for online booking of campsites in the park you want to stay in.  It will save headaches and frustration.

What is a road trip without Photos?

Alice Lake Provincial Park Campground (Squamish)

Mount Robson Provincial Park (BC), Jasper National Park and Jasper Brewing (AB)

Quesnel, Barkerville and Pinnacles Provincial Park (BC)

Kamloops (BC)

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A total of 3433.3km may seem like a long way but it barley touched the surface of the province of BC.  I can’t wait to explore event more of the province in the future!

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I hope this can inspire you to both explore more of the Province of BC and its nature and Breweries or really wherever you live!  Some times it is just better to explore your back yard no matter how big it is and I know BC is bloody big with 944,735 square km (or 364,764 square miles) inside its borders.

Barkerville Brewing Co – Quesnel


My second stop (In BC) on my road trip took me to Quesnel located in the North Cariboo region of BC. Quesnel is the home of Barkerville Brewing Co. Even though Quesnel is located 86km from the historic town of Barkerville the whole region has a rich gold mining history so the name still makes sense.

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Walking into the tasting room you will meet both modern looking art with lots of throwback art to the gold panning era.  My favourite touch is that their tap handles are made to look like dynamite.  I really like their symbol with the mustache and teeth with one gold tooth also. It just oozes old school.

 

After having a sample of the beer available on tap I was able to get a quick tour of the brewery.  For the amount of beer that I have been able to find in the Vancouver area lately I was very surprised at how small this brewery really was.  For their size they sure are pumping out beer!  With most of their products being released in bottles they now have a lager that is found in 4 packs of cans.  This first batch was canned by West Coast Canning but they do have a canning line on order and it should be there soon.

On the way out of the brewery I picked up a growler fill and a bomber of a new beer.  Reviews to come!

full sized photos here

Barkerville Brewing Co
http://barkervillebeer.com
185 Davie Street, Quesnel
sales@barkervillebeer.com

Great Okanagan Beer Festival 2015 – Kelowna


Will drive for beer!  The only headline that could be in front of the Great Okanagan Beer Festival for me.  To be a little more exact will drive 780km round trip for beer.

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Logo taken from the official Great Okanagan Beer Festival website

I can admit I did not know what to expect from this beer festival.  It was the first annual event in a city that has not hosted a big beer festival like this to my knowledge.  Now I never doubted Gibbons Events would put on a great event as they hit it out of the park with the  Whistler Village Beer Festival but who would have guessed they would find a venue that could rival Whistler Village and its amazing peaks?  Waterfront Park & Concession Plaza in downtown Kelowna rivals many of the destination waterfronts  that I have visited on holiday.  Sometimes I wonder why we fly so far to take holidays when our own province is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  To boot it was around 25C for the entire festival.  The festival was held on May 9th 2015 from 1pm-5pm.

The breweries that poured at the festival included the following (Booth order not alphabetical):

1 Big Surf
2 Prohibition Brewing
3 Riders Cider
4 Cannery Brewing
5 Bad Tattoo Brewing
6 Firehall Brewery
7 Phillips Brewing
8 Lighthouse Brewing
9 Wolf Brewing Co
10 Mt. Begbie Brewing
11 Scandal Brewing
12 Glutenburg Beer
13 Steam Whistle Brewing
14 Erdinger, Steigl
15 Stone Brewing
15 New Belgian
16 Worthy Brewing
16 Coronado Brewing
17 Whistler Brewing
18 Bowen Island Brewing
19 Lonetree Cider
20 Howe Sound Brewing
21 Red Truck Beer Company
22 Moody Ales
23 Bomber Brewing
24 Four Winds Brewing
25 Steamworks Brewing
26 Coal harbor Brewing
27 Parallel 49 Brewing
28 Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers
29 Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks
30 Bridge Brewing Company
31 Central City Brewers & Distillers
32 Stanley Park Brewing
33 Okanagan Springs Brewing
34 Fernie Brewing
35 Barkerville Brewing
36 Old Yale Brewing
37 Big Rock Brewery (Alberta)
38 Mill Street Brewery
39 Waterloo Brewing Co

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With the brewery booths being located around a gorgeous lagoon and Okanagan Lake just over the hill from the beer venders you would not ask for a better place to sample beers from all over the province and some from around the world.  If you wanted an unimpeded view of the lake all you had to do was to head over to the plaza that had all of the food carts!

Like always I took a bunch of pictures of the beer that I was sampling although I did not remember to take photos of over half of my samples.  I know so many people in the industry and I made so many new friends at the festival so I was distracted more often than not.

On the beer side this beer festival held its own with all other beer fests in BC.  Where this festival really held its own though is its location.  This is the best location that I have ever been to for a beer festival in the province and really any beer fest I have been to!  I look forward to next years event and what they have to offer!

Full sized photos can be found here.