BC Beer Awards 2017 / Beer Festival – October 21th 2017


It is October again and that means it was time for the 8th Annul BC Beer Awards.  Once again the Beer Awards and festival were held at the Croatian Cultural Centre.  This years festival landed on October 21st, 2017.  The first 7 awards were held in a similar format with the festival happening at the same time as the awards with the announcements happening in the second half of the festival.  This year the awards were held in a VIP hour that took place before the main doors opened.

I have been attending this event for many years now and it is one of the must attend events on the yearly calendar.  I was lucky enough to be able to attend the awards portion of the event before the general public was let into the building.  To me the most important part of the entire experience is the actual awards and that is one thing that I am not a big fan of with this years changes.  luckily this was still an amazing event.  The BC Beer Awards continue to grow every year with this having beer from 97 breweries and a total entries of 879.  Last year for comparison was 83 breweries and 750 entries.  The event started at 4pm for VIP’s and then opened up to the masses at 5pm.  last call for the beer festival was at 9:45pm.

You can check out Pacific Beer Chats coverage of the awards here

Grab the episode on:

iTunes – Play
Google Play Music – Play
Stitcher – Play

For the last few years Stephen Quinn of CBC Radio was the host of the awards but with a bad back he was unable to do the honors.  This year Dan Burritt of CBC Radio took his place and did a wonderful job.  I still hope one day 100% of the breweries will take part in this event as you never really know the best beer in the province if not everyone takes part.  Lets get to the most important part, the winning beer!

INTERNATIONAL LAGER – 34 ENTRIES

1: Bomber Pilsner – Bomber Brewing

2: Red Pilsner – Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

3: Premium Pilsner – Strathcona Beer Co.

GERMAN PALE LAGER – 27 ENTRIES

1: Craft Lager – Parallel 49 Brewing

2: Ridge Runner Pilsner – Backcountry Brewing

3: King Maker – Brassneck Brewery

KOLSCH – 12 ENTRIES

1: Analogue 78 – Phillips Brewing & Malting Co

2: Kolsch – Doan’s Craft Brewing

3: Kūl Daddy Kölsch – Callister Brewing Co.

AMBER & DARK EUROPEAN BEER – 19 ENTRIES

1: Backroads Brewing Marzen – Backroads Brewing Co.

2: Dark Lager – Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

3: Red Racer Across The Nation Collaboration Wide Open Spaces Kellerbier – Central City Brewers & Distillers

GERMAN WHEAT BEER – 18 ENTRIES

1: Hefeweizen – The 101 Brewhouse & Distillery

2: Roundhouse Wheat – Yaletown Brewing Co.

3: KPU Weissbier – KPU Brewing

BRITISH BITTER – 21 ENTRIES

1: Organic Pale Ale – Forbidden Brewing

2: Tickity Boo – Twin City Brewing Co.

3: Nelson Hopgood Organic Session IPA- Nelson Brewing Co.

BRITISH PALE ALE – 18 ENTRIES

1: Tasman – Lighthouse Brewing Co.

2: Bomber Pale Ale – Bomber Brewing

3: El Dorado Golden Ale – Backroads Brewing Co.

BRITISH BROWN ALE – 33 ENTRIES

1: Shake A Paw Smoked Porter – Yellow Dog Brewing

2: Raven Cream Ale – R & B Brewing

3: Proper Treacle – Parallel 49 Brewing

SCOTTISH & IRISH ALE – 13 ENTRIES

1: Wee Angry Scotch Ale – Russell Brewing Co.

2: Renfrew Red Ale – Sooke Oceanside Brewery

3: Short & Stout Dry Stout – Callister Brewing Co.

BRITISH STOUT – 20 ENTRIES

1: Chocolate Milk Stout – Hearthstone Brewery

2: Nelson Blackheart Oatmeal Stout – Nelson Brewing Co.

3: Con Leche – Twin Sails Brewing

STRONG BEER – 15 ENTRIES

1: Woolly Bugger – Howe Sound Brewing

2: Baltic – Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

3: Sleigh Booster Imperial Red IPA – Bridge Brewing

FRUIT BEER – 50 ENTRIES

1: Anno 2016 – Dageraad Brewing

2: Ravens Raspberry Hefeweizen – Ravens Brewing Co.

3: Corvus Lingonberry Lime Gose – Ravens Brewing Co.

SPECIALTY FRUIT BEER – 22 ENTRIES

1: Go Get It Ginger Lime Gose – Yellow Dog Brewing

2: Megadestroyer – Howe Sound Brewing

3: Atomic Cherry Tart Cherry Ale – Dead Frog Brewery

SPICE, HERB & VEGETABLE BEER – 39 ENTRIES

1: Alakazam – Parallel 49 Brewing

2: Towers & Trains – Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

3: Roselle – Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

SMOKE & WOOD AGED BEER – 34 ENTRIES

1: Octoberfest Flammenbeer – Swans Brewery Collaboration with White Sails Brewing

2: Tonique Carpano Biere Aperitif – Powell Brewery

3: Russian Imperial Stout – Parallel 49 Brewing

HM: Entropy Series No. 3 – Dageraad Brewing

HISTORICAL BEER – 14 ENTRIES

1: Gose With Peach – Granville Island Brewing

2: No Brainer – Brassneck Brewery

3: Roggen Weizen – Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

SPECIALTY BEER – 18 ENTRIES

1: Double Secret Probation Doppel Sticke Altbier – Bomber Brewing

2: Launch Pad Belgian-Inspired Rye Ale – Whitetooth Brewing Co.

3: Anniversary Sour Raspberry Nut Brown Ale – Dead Frog Brewery

HM: Gin & Lime Pilsner – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks

NORTH AMERICAN LIGHT BEER – 33 ENTRIES

1: Red Truck Lager – Red Truck Beer

2: Nelson Hooligan Organic Pilsner – Nelson Brewing Co.

3: Cariboo Blonde – Pacific Western Brewing

AMERICAN BLONDE ALE – 17 ENTRIES

1: Arrowsmith Blonde – Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Co.

2: 107 Blonde – Faculty Brewing

3: Tofino Blonde Ale – Tofino Brewing Co.

NORTH AMERICAN PALE ALE – 60 ENTRIES

1: Trail Breaker Pale Ale – Backcountry Brewing

2: Day Blink – Twin Sails Brewing

3: Sky Pilot – Howe Sound Brewing

HM: Dude Chilling Pale Ale – R & B Brewing

NORTH AMERICAN AMBER ALE – 25 ENTRIES

1: Steamworks Heroica Red Ale – Steamworks Brewing Co.

2: Coastal Common – Whistler Brewing Co.

3: Brassneck Ale – Brassneck Brewery

NORTH AMERICAN DARK BEER – 25 ENTRIES

1: Str8 Flexin’ – Twin Sails Brewing

2: Bomber Russian Imperial Stout – Bomber Brewing

3: Dark Side – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks

NORTH AMERICAN IPA – 82 ENTRIES

1: Vancouver Special IPA – R & B Brewing

2: Widow Maker IPA– Backcountry Brewing

3: Parkside Motel – The Parkside Brewery

SPECIALTY IPA – 57 ENTRIES

1: Rad Seeker – Boombox Brewing

2: Colour & Shape  – Superflux Beer Co.

3: Ocaso – Andina Brewing Co.

IMPERIAL IPA – 16 ENTRIES

1: Bachelor Pad – Twin Sails Brewing

2: Kicking In Speakers – Twin Sails Brewing Collaboration with Boombox Brewing

3: Beach Week – Twin Sails Brewing

HM: Hopnotist – Parallel 49 Brewing

BELGIAN ALE – 19 ENTRIES

1: 33 Acres Of Sunshine – 33 Acres Brewing Co

2: Dim Wit – The Parkside Brewery

3: Take A Walk Wit – Yellow Dog Brewing

SAISON – 32 ENTRIES

1: Lake City Farmhouse – Dageraad Brewing

2: Sea Run Saison – Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Co.

3: Vancouver Mural Festival Single Hopped Grisette – Main Street Brewing

BELGIAN STRONG & TRAPPIST ALE – 23 ENTRIES

1: Louise – Dageraad Brewing

2: Antwerpen – Dageraad Brewing

3: Black Dog Quad – Red Collar Brewing

MIXED FERMENTATION BEER – 46 ENTRIES

1: Reynard – Strange Fellows Brewing Company

2: Brett IPA- Luppolo Brewing Co.

3: Tempus Corvi 2017 – Moon Under Water Brewery

HM: Wild Gin Saison – R & B Brewing

WILD SPECIALTY BEER – 37 ENTRIES

1: Little Red One – Strange Fellows Brewing Company

2: De Witte – Dageraad Brewing

3: Dino Sour – Phillips Brewing & Malting Co

DAN SMALL AWARD

Bryan Major – SMaSH Pils with Pils Malt, Mosaic hop

BREWERY OF THE YEAR – presented by Tap & Barrel

Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company

BREWERS CHALLENGE – presented by Krones

Postmark Brewing – Bohemian Pilsner SMaSH

BEST IN SHOW – presented by Country Malt Group

Swans Brewery and White Sails Brewing – Oktoberfest Flammenbeer

CBC PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

Boombox Brewing – Rad Seeker

INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR – presented by Newlands Systems

Twin Sails Brewing

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – PRESENTED BY RICHARDS BUELL SUTTON LLP

Backcountry Brewing

This year had a few nice surprises with the winners.  With the Best in Show being Flagship IPA from Steamworks Brewing the tides have turned a little bit towards creativity and not just following style guidelines for the BC Beer Awards.  This year Boombox Brewing won CBC People’s Choice Award and Innovator of the Year went to Twin Sails Brewing.  Both are very experimental breweries and leading the charge with great experimental brews.  It was also amazing to see two rookie breweries win two huge awards.  Brewery of the Year went to Mount Arrowsmith Brewing from the island and Rookie of the Year went to Backcountry Brewing out of Squamish.

The media got to enter at 3pm for a small media tour.  Here are some photos from the media hour.  The media tour was lead by Paul Pyne of DrinkSmarter.ca a Certified Cicerone and a member of the craft beer community.

Here are some of my photos of the event once it started.  This year I took far less photos as I was busy recording audio for the Pacific Beer Chat episode.  Here are the photos that I did take.

This year was once again an amazing year with even better beer both being served and winning awards.  Here is to next years event!

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Spicy Nuggs Imperial Rye Stout – Bomber Brewing (Sawdust City Brewing Co)


From Bomber Brewing in Vancouver in collaboration with Sawdust City Brewing Co out of Gravenhurst Ontario comes their “Spicy Nuggs Imperial Rye Stout”.  The beer pours an opaque black with a brown head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, smoke, ash, earth, rye, chocolate, anise and a hint of hops.  The flavour is of roasted malts, smoke, ash, earth, chocolate, anise, big rye spice, chipotle pepper and hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 9% with an IBU of 70.  While I usually don’t really enjoy spiced beer I saw some real potential in this one and all of that potential and more was realized and more!  This beer is an awesome mixture of flavour.

Commercial Description:  Forged in the fiery furnaces of a new-found friendship, Spicy Nuggs Imperial Rye Stout is a festival of flavours and one F’n good collaboration.  Ridiculous measures of roasted and rye malts lay the base, while spicy nugget hop hash and smoky chipotle pepper bring the heat to this massive inter-provincial ale.

BC Craft Brewers Guild Oktoberfest – Bomber Brewing


From Bomber Brewing in East Vancouver in collaboration other members of the with  BC Craft Brewers Guild comes their “BC Craft Brewers Guild Oktoberfest” a Marzen lager well placed for this time of year.  The beer pours a deep amber colour with a tan head.    The aroma consists of toffee, caramel, fruity and a bit of sweetness in the finish.  The flavour is of caramel, toffee, nuts, sweetness and some minor hops.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.2% with an IBU of 25.  This beer delivers on exactly what it should.  Its got the malts and the crispness of the Marzen or Oktoberfest style beer.  This can is the launch of the new BC Independent Owned BC Beer seal.

Commercial Description: OKTOBERFEST BC BEER COLLABORATION: Early in September, BC Craft Brewers Guild members gathered at Bomber to create a celebratory brew in honour of the 6th anniversary of BC Craft Beer Month, an annual campaign to promote and raise awareness of independently owned and operated BC craft breweries. Using a recipe collaboratively designed by various Guild member head brewers, this golden, medium-bodied Oktoberfest is eminently drinkable and refreshing.  The BC Craft Brewers Guild would like to thank the following companies for their very generous support of this project: West Coast Canning, IMS (labels), and BSG Canada (malts).

Fest-Of-Ale 2017 – Penticton


April has come again and one of my favourite beer festivals has come and passed.  This was the 22 annual Fest-Of-Ale in Penticton.  This years festival was held on April 7-8th 2017 (Friday and Saturday).  This festival is held at the Penticton Trade and Concention Centre and is comprised of a large indoor area and a small outdoor section.  Both areas have live music as well as food options.

This festival continues to grow every year.  This year had an extra 15 breweries bringing it up to 65 and and a total of 6 bringing it up to 71 cider and beer producers.

This year the list included:

4 Mile Brewing Co.
Bad Tattoo Brewing Co
Banff Ave Brewing Co.
Barley Mill Brew Pub
BC Brew Co. and Distilling  – New
BC Tree Fruits Cider
Beau’s All Natural Brewing
BNA Brewing Co
Bomber Brewing
Boundary Brewing Company  – New
Bridge Brewing
Britannia Brewing  – New
Cannery Brewing Co.
Canuck Empire Brewing
Category 12 Brewing
Coal Harbour Brewing
Coronado Brewing Company
Crannog Ales
CrossRoads Brewing  – New
Dead Frog
Detonate Brewing
Doan’s Craft Brewing Company  – New
Dominion Cider Co
Dogwood Brewing – New
Double Mountain
Fernie Brewing Co.
Field House Brewing Co.  New
Firehall Brewery
Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.  New
Four Winds Brewing
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks  – New
Glutenberg
Hearthstone Brewery
Highway 97 Brewing Company Ltd
Howe Sound Brewing
Howling Moon Craft Cider
Hoyne Brewing Co.
Kettle River Brewing Company  – New
Lighthouse Brewing Company
Longwood Brewery
Marten Brewing Co.
McClelland Premium Imports
Moody Ales
Moon Under Water
Mt Begbie Brewing Co.
Naramata Cider Co.  New
NOMAD Cider – New
Orchard Hill Estate Cidery Ltd.
Parallel 49 Brewing
Persephone Brewing Co.
Phillips Brewing & Malting Co
R&B Brewing Co
Ravens Brewing Company
Red Arrow Brewing Company  – New
Red Collar Brewing Co
Red Racer
Red Truck Beer Company
Spinnakers Brewpub
Steamworks Brewing
Steel & Oak Brewing Co.
Strange Fellows Brewing  – New
Summerland Heritage Cider Co.
The Parkside Brewery  – New
The Tin Whistle Brewery
Torchlight Brewing
Tree Brewing Co.
Twin Sails Brewing  – New
Twisted Hills Craft Cider
Victoria Caledonian Brewery  – New
Whistler Brewing
Yellow Dog Brewing

This year there were more than 175 craft beers being poured over the Friday and Saturday with over 5000 people in attendance.  Once again this was an amazing festival with great beer and lots of great people!  Here are some of the beer and food that I tried while at the fest.

This year I spent more time working on episodes of Pacific Beer Chat than I did taking photos for the blog.

Episode 12 Found us talking with Crannóg Ales out of Sorrento.   Website, Google Play Music, iTunes, Stitcher.

Episode 13 Part 1 found us talking with a selection of breweries as seen below.  Website, Google Play Music, iTunes, Stitcher.

Cannery Brewing, Detonate Brewing, Bomber Brewing, Steel & Oak Brewing, Untapped Craft Imports, BNA Brewing, Kettle River Brewing and Torchlight Brewing.

Episode 14 Part 2 found us talking with a selection of breweries as seen below.  Monday May 1, 2017

R&B Brewing, Crossroads Brewing, Tin Whistle Brewing, Marten Brewpub and Yellow Dog Brewing.

Like every year this was an amazing event.  There are a ton of people but you never have to wait in line long for a beer.  So many beer festivals get so crowded that you almost need two samples glasses to make it to the front of the line.  In the years that I have attended this has never been an issue.

This festival has become one of my absolute favorites every year.  Most of the best breweries come to this festival every year and the people really love that fact!  This year there were so many new beers to boot!  It may not have been requested but this year so many breweries brought out North East Style IPA’s the super cloudy and juicy beers.  These beers are all the rage right now and I am very happy that this is the case.

The first day of the festival I really explored the beers that the festival had to offer as I usually do.  This year though the weather was very bad on the way to Penticton and you could pick out the people like me that took the Coquihalla Highway and the Okanagan Connector as were were still stressed out and drank a bit to much because of it.  On Day 2 I was once again one of the as they put it Industry Expert judges for the best beers of the festival.  After Juding beer from 10am on Saturday I decided like normal that the second day of the festival was far more about the food than the beer.  Luckily for me the food was amazing!

If I remember correctly on Saturday around 3pm all of the judges made their way to the Main Stage for the awards ceremony.  Here are the winners from this years festival.

The Awards were distributed as follows:
Best in Show, Judges’ Choice Award:
High Five Hazy IPA – Yellow Dog Brewing, Port Moody, BC

Best in Class, Judges’ Choice Awards:
Pilsner/Golden Lager Pixel Pils – Fuggles & Warlock, Richmond, BC
Pale Ale Dusk Pale Ale – Parkside Brewery, Port Moody, BC
Wheat Ale Summer Ale, Witbier – Steamworks Brewing, Burnaby, BC
Saison Sirens Chai Saison – Britannia Brewing, Richmond, BC
Amber/Dark Ale Brave Liver Scotch Ale – Mt. Begbie Brewing, Revelstoke, BC
IPA Street Legal IPA – Twin Sails Brewing, Port Moody, BC
Specialty IPA High Five Hazy IPA – Yellow Dog Brewing, Port Moody, BC
Dark Lager Dark Lager – Steel & Oak Brewing, New Westminster, BC
Stout/Porter Dry Irish Stout – Ravens Brewing, Abbotsford, BC
Sour Nectarous – Four Winds Brewing, Delta, BC
Cider Pippin’s Fate – Twisted Hills Craft Cider, Cawston, BC
Fruit Beer Park Life Passionfruit Ale – Bomber Brewing, Vancouver, BC

The People’s Choice Awards, voted for by guests at the event:
Best Beer Old Style Lager – Red Arrow Brewing, Duncan, BC
Best Cider Pears & Peaches – BC Tree Fruits Cider, Kelowna, BC
Best Food Brodo Kitchen, Penticton, BC

When it comes right down to it if you can only make it to one beer festival in British Columbia in a year then the Okagnagan Fest-Of-Ale is that one festival.  They also have an amazing pop up liquor store to boot!

East Van SMaSH (Amarillo) – Bomber Brewing


From Bomber Brewing in East Vancouver comes their “East Van SMaSH (Amarillo)” the latest India Session Ale in their Single Malt and Single Hop series of beers.  The beer uses German Munich malts and a Vermont Ale yeast.  The beer pours a mild cloudy copper colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of citrus, grapefruit, peach, melon, caramel and floral hops.  The flavour is of citrus, grapefruit, peach, melon, caramel, resin and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.4%.  The East Van SMaSH is always a good beer but this batch was one of my favourite so far.