BC Beer Awards 2015 / Beer Festival – October 24th 2015


Once again it is time for the BC Beer Awards.  A time to celebrate the best beer being made in the province of British Columbia.  The awards were held on October 24th, 2015 at the Croation Cultural Centre.

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I have been going to the BC Beer Awards since 2012 and this years awards were much like every year.  The event started at 4pm and ended at 9pm with a beer festival happening during the event.  This year the festival expanded to two rooms to accommodate all of the breweries that came out to celebrate the best BC has to offer.  This year 56 Breweries and Cideries came out to celebrate.  The breweries pouring were as follows:  Bad Tattoo Brewing, BC Tree Fruits, Big Ridge Brewing, Big Rock Urban Brewery, Bomber Brewing, Bowen Island Brewing, Brassneck Brewery, Bridge Brewing, Callister Brewing, Category 12 Brewing, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Coal Harbour Brewing, Dead Frog Brewery, Doan’s Craft Brewing, Dogwood Brewing, Driftwood Brewery, Fernie Brewing, Four Winds Brewing, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Granville Island Brewing, Hearthstone Brewery, Howe Sound Brewing, Kwantlen Polytechnic Uni Brewery, Left Field Cider, Lighthouse Brewing, Lonetree Cider, Main Street Brewing, Merridale Cider, Moody Ales, Moon Under Water Brewery, Off The Rail Brewing, Old Yale Brewing, Pacific Western Brewing, Parallel 49 Brewing, Persephone Brewing, Phillips Brewing, Powell Street Craft Brewery, R&B Brewing, Ravens Brewing, Real Cask Brewing, Red Arrow Brewing, Red Truck Beer, Ridge Brewing, Russell Brewing, Spinnakers Brewpub, Stanley Park Brewing, Steamworks Brewing, Steel & Oak Brewing, Strange Fellows Brewing, Tofino Brewing, Townsite Brewing, Tree Brewing, Twin Sails Brewing, Whistler Brewing, Yaletown Brewing, Yellow Dog Brewing.

Once again Stephen Quinn of CBC Radio was the presenter for the awards.  Once again the beer entered in this years BC Beer Awards has jumped in a big way.  Last year there were 500 beers entered in 18 Categories .  This year 70 breweries entered almost 800 beer in 20 Categories.  To say this was a large increase is would be an understatement!  Lets get to the winning beers of the year!

North American Light Beer

1. Tofino Brewing Company: Tofino Blonde Ale
2. High Mountain Brewing: Lifty Lager
3. Granville Island Brewing: Island Lager

Light European Bier

1. Parallel 49 Brewing Company: Craft Lager
2. Central City Brewers and Distillers: Mayor Kolsch
3. Russell Brewing Company: Eastern Promises

UK Pale Ale

1. Big Ridge Brewing: Big Ridge Clover Ale
2. Forbidden Brewing Co.: Forbidden Pale Ale
3. Bomber Brewing: Bomber ESB

Amber/Dark Lagers

1. Steel & Oak Brewing Co.: Dark Lager
2. Persephone Brewing Company: Oktoberfest
3. Tree Brewing Co. Captivator: Doppelbock

UK Red/Brown Ale

1. Whistler Brewing Company: Black Tusk
2. LIghthouse Brewing Company: Race Rocks
3. Parallel 49 Brewing Company: Old Boy

North American Pale Ale

1. Howe Sound Brewing Co. Sky Pilot Northwest Pale Ale
2. Persephone Brewing Company Pale Ale
3. Russell Brewing Company Hop Therapy ISA

North American Amber/Brown Ale

1. Big Rock Urban Brewery: Hollow Tree
2. Russell Brewing Company: Cream Ale
3. Brassneck Brewery: Brassneck Ale

German/Belgian Wheat

1. Barkerville Brewing Co.: White Gold
2. Big Rock Urban Brewery: Dunkelwiezen
3. Granville Island Brewing: Hey Day Hefeweizen

Fruit

1. Stanley Park Brewing: SunSetter
2. Tree Brewing Co.: Mellow Moon Pineapple Hefeweizen
3. Strange Fellows Brewing: Framboise Noir

Spice/Herb/Veg

1. Tofino Brewing Company: Spruce Tree Ale
2. Stanley Park Brewing: Icebreaker
3. Tofino Brewing Company: Kelp Stout

Specialty

1. Brassneck Brewery: No Brainer Pre Prohibition Lager
2. Bridge Brewing Company: Wee Tipsy Peated Scotch Ale
3. Steamworks Brewing Co.: Steamworks Gose

Stout/Porter

1. Doan’s Craft Brewing Company: American Rye Stout
2. Barkerville Brewing Co.: 52 Foot Stout
3. Mission Springs Brewing Co.: Fat Guy Oatmeal Stout
Wood/Barrel Aged

1. Bridge Brewing Company: Imperial White IPA
2. Four Winds Brewing Co.: Pequeno Cabo Tequila Barrel Aged Berliner Weisse
3. Parallel 49 Brewing Company: Barrel Aged Vow Of SIlence

North American IPA

1. Central City Brewers and Distillers: Red Racer IPA
2. Red Truck Beer: Red Truck IPA
3. Hearthstone Brewing: Hearthstone IPA

Specialty IPA

1. Bridge Brewing Company: Black Rye IPA
2. Moon Under Water Brewery: Hip As Funk
3. Bomber Brewing: Blood From A Stone Red Rye IPA

Belgian/French Farmhouse

1. Persephone Brewing Company: Multigrain Saison
2. Dageraad Brewing: Randonneur Saison
3. Ravens Brewing Company: Farmers Ale

Strong Ale

1. Swans Brewpub: Legacy Ale
2. R&B Brewing Co.: Auld Nick Winter Ale
3. Swans Brewpub: Swans Scotch Ale

Belgian Abbey Ale

1. Dageraad Brewing: Blonde
2. Tree Brewing Co.: Trappist Artist Belgian Dubbel
3. Old Abbey Ales: Belgian Quad

Imperial IPA

1. Brassneck Brewery: One Trick Pony
2. Parallel 49 Brewing Company: 187 On An Undercover Hop
3. Parallel 49 Brewing Company: Hopnotist

Sours/Wild Ale

1. Four Winds Brewing Co.: Juxtapose Wild IPA
2. Strange Fellows Brewing: Roxanne
3. Dageraad Brewing: De Witte

BEST IN SHOW: Brassneck Brewery One Trick Pony

Richards Buell Sutton Rookie of the Year Award went to Doan’s Craft Brewing Company.

After the awards finished everyone got back to enjoying all of the great beer being poured especially the winners and the sours that were being poured as part of a competition on this night.  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!  With more than 100 breweries expected to be open by next year in the province I expect this event to only grow!  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 10am and 3pm.  It makes the festival even more fun when you are able to get involved in any part of the event.

Full sized photos can be found here.

 

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Great Canadian Beer Festival 2015 – Victoria BC – September 12th


After missing last years Great Canadian Beer Festival it looked like a good time to reacquaint myself with the largest Beer Festival on Vancouver Island (and one of the largest in BC).   Like every year the festival was a two day event with a Friday that ran from 3pm-8pm and the Saturday Noon-5pm and was held at the Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.  Much like last time I was not able to make it out to the Friday event and only the Saturday because of work and bad/late planning on my part.  Tickets ran at $40 per day and you got a pamphlet with all of the breweries and beers available and a beer glass.  Beer tokens came in at a fairly average BC price of $1.5 which got you a 4oz pour of beer.

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This years festival has reverted back to Canadian only Breweries with the vast majority being from British Columbia.  I personally like to bring in American breweries because its a good way to compare our brews to some of the most renowned in the world (but that’s just me).  There were still a ton of breweries at the festival with a total of 62.

The breweries in attendance:

33 Acres, Bad Tattoo, Barkerville, Big Rock(AB, BC), Bomber, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Bridge Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Canoe Brewpub, Category 12, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Coal Harbour, Cumberland, Dageraad, Dead Frog, Deep Cove, Dieu Du Ciel, Doan’s Craft Brewing Company, Driftwood, Fernie, Four Mile, Four Winds, Fuggles & Warlock, Gladstone, Granville Island, Howe Sound, Hoyne, Les Trois Mousquetaires, Le Trou De Diable, Lighthouse, Axe & Barrel, Longwood, Merridale Cider, Mill Street, Moody Ales, Muskoka, Okanagan Springs, Parallel 49, Persephone, Phillips, Postmark, Powell Street, R & B, Red Arrow, REd Truck, Russell, Salt Spring Island Ales, Sherwood Mountain, Spinnakers, Stanley Park, Steam Whistle, Steamworks, Steel & Oak, Strange Fellows, Swans Brewpub, Tofino, Townsite, Tree Brewing, Unibroue, Vancouver Island, Wheelhouse, Wolf, Yellow Dog, Yukon.

With a selection of breweries as far north of Victoria as a 2,490km drive and as far East as 4,805km away this festival did a good job of bringing Canadian breweries out to share their beer!  In previous years I kept a log of the beers that I was enjoying but this year I decided against it.  I did take many photos of the beer I was enjoying but not all of them as I would hold up the line while doing it.

Once again the costumes were out in full force as well as the entertainment.  There were lots of familiar faces all around but there were so many people I knew were there but missed. This event is planned and executed very well and is a ton of fun but I found that there might have been to many people.  Some of the breweries had lines that you would be lucky if they only took you 10-15 minutes to get a beer sample.  Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks beat this with a line so long that I didn’t even say hi to the guys at the booth it stretched so long!  I hear the Friday event was much less crowded but I did not get to check that night out.

Full sized photos found here

Overall I had an epic time and I look forward to what next year has to offer!

Pacific Beer Chat Podcast #5


Originally posted on http://www.pacificbeerchat.com

Keeping up with the Beer Geeks (Pacific Beer Chat Podcast #5)

Welcome to Episode 5 of Pacific Beer Chat.

Bloggers involved include;
Joe of http://thirstywriter.com/,
Terry of http://westcoastbeergeek.com/
Mike A of http://thebeerrater.com/
Steve also of http://www.mikescraftbeer.com
mike G of http://www.mikescraftbeer.com.

Topics of Discussion:
1 – Recent attended event recap and upcoming events.
2 – Pumpkin Beers Arrival
3 – Wet Hop Beer Season

BC Breweries 30th Anniversaries


This year was the 30th Anniversary for three different BC Breweries.  First off there is Spinnakers Brewpub in Victoria BC the very first Brewpub in Canada.  The other two breweries that are celebrating their 30th are Vancouver Island Brewery in Victoria and Granville Island Brewing in Vancouver (Owned by Molson).  The craft beer boom may be going strong but these are some of the real pioneers for craft beer in Canada.  I would like to congratulate the breweries on fighting the good fight all these years!

All three breweries released a beer to celebrate this occasion.  Granville Island Brewing released a new 6 pack offering as the start of a new series of beers called the Under The Bridge Series and the beer was called Swing Span Amber Ale.  Read the review here.

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Both Spinnakers and Vancouver Island Brewery released special one off bomber releases.  Spinnakers Brewpub released “30th Anniversary Grand CRU” while Vancouver Island Brewery released a “Thirty Years Imperial Red Ale”.  In great BC tradition both beers were very big imperial ales with tones of flavour that packed a punch.

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Because Spinnakers and Vancouver Island Brewery brewed special one off releases I wanted to honor them together with a combined review.

Spinnakers Brewpub – 30th Anniversary Grand CRU

The beer poured a dark amber almost brownish colour with an off white head short lived head.  The aroma consisted of sweet dark fruits, caramel, candied sugar, wine, spices and some yeast notes.  The flavour was of sweet dark fruits such as raisins, earthiness, candied sugar, spices, Belgian yeast, tartness, some herbal notes, mild bitterness and some alcohol warming.  The alcohol content comes in at 8% with an IBU of 20.  This beer although a little thin was very full of flavour and a really good commemorative brew.  I would like to see Spinnakers play around with this style more and untap the possibilities.

Commercial Descripiton: In celebration of our 30th Anniversary, we present our Grand Cru as a token of thanks. Brewed with UK Marris Otter Pale malt, Belgian yeast and dark candi sugar, our Grand Cru is a medium-dark, malt-forward, complex ale best enjoyed with friends.

Cheers to the next 30!

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Vancouver Island Brewery – Thirty Years Imperial Red Ale

The “Thirty Years Imperial Red” poured a ruby red colour with a tan head.  The aroma consisted of sweet fruits, dark fruits, anise, sweet caramel malts, molasses which is very reminiscent of barleywines.  The flavour was of fruity with good notes of dark fruits (rasins), sweet Caramel malts, orange, citrus, rum, mild hops bitterness and an alcohol warmth at the end.  The alcohol content came in at 8.5% alcohol.  Other than Vancouver Island Brewery’s Hermannator Ice Bock this is their most complex and exciting beer to date (That I have tried that is).

Commercial Description:  For over 30 years we’ve lived the belief that one trend is here to stay – true craftsmanship and quality. With this in mind we decided to pay tribute to our long standing Piper’s Pale Ale and ramped up the recipe to create a big, bold and robust beer. This malty, well-hopped Imperial Red Ale is our way of saying thank-you for your support. Cheers!

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Both of these beers are extremely well crafted brews and well worth being commemorative 30th anniversary beers.  I would like to congratulate all three breweries on 30 years of brewing and look forward to the next 30+!

Congratulations from Mike’s Craft Beer!

I was lucky enough to go over to Victoria and celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Spinnakers Brewpub with the Brewery and locals.  Click here to check it out!

 

 

Fest-Of-Ale Day 1 2014- Penticton


On Friday April 4th, 2014 the Penticton Fest-Of-Ale returned for a the 19th year.  I did not know what to think when I headed out to this festival as it was my first time attending.  I had heard that it was a small event which seemed to make sense as it takes place all the way in the Okanagan.  I was glad to be surprised by the scale of the event though.  The event took place at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.  This year the floor layout was rearranged to allow for more amazing craft beer and some cider makers.  35 brewers came out to the event this year including 8 that had not been to the festival before.

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Breweries and Cider Makers
Alpine Brewing Company – Oroville Washington
Bad Tatoo Brewing – Penticton (Not Pouring)
Barley Mill Brew Pub – Penticton
Big Rock Brewery – Calgary, Vancouver
Bomber Brewing – Vancouver
Bravo Beer Co – International Imports
Cannery Brewing – Penticton
Central City Brewing – Surrey
Crannog Ales – Sorrento
Creemore Springs – Creemore Ontario
Dead Frog Brewery – Aldergrove
Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers – North Vancouver
Driftwood Brewery – Victoria
Fernie Brewing Co – Fernie
Firehall Brewery – Oliver
Four Winds Brewing Company – Delta
Hoyne Brewing – Victoria
Granville Island Brewing – Vancouver
Hoyne Brewing Co – Victoria
Lighthouse Brewing Company – Victoria
McClelland Premium Imports – International Imports
Mill St. Brewery – Toronto Ontario
Mt Begbie Brewing – Revelstoke
Nelson Brewing Company – Nelson
Orchard Hill Cidery – Penticton
Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Vancouver
Phillips Brewing Co – Victoria
Red Truck Beer Company – Vancouver
Stanley Park Brewery – Vancouver
Steamworks Brewing Co – Burnaby, Vancouver
Summerland Heritage Cider Company – Summerland
Tin Whistle Brewery – Penticton
Tree Brewing Co – Kelowna
Vancouver Island Brewery – Victoria
Wards Cider – Kelowna
Whistler Brewing Company – Whisler

I was lucky enough to be given access to the industry event that took place before the doors opened to the public.  This was a chance for industry people to get to the different booths and try the beer before the craziness began.  The Fest-Of-Ale started in earnest at 4pm but the industry was let in at 3pm.  Here are a few photos from this portion of the event.

Once the doors were opened to the public at 4pm the hall really started to fill up!  People were really jacked up to try all of the beer that was being offered.  There was also a bunch of live music on hand including Flashback, Joe’s Garage and Papa Wheeley.  There was also some fantastic food on hand from Barley Mill Brew Pub, Bogner’s, Boston Pizza, Jack Kelly Coffe, La Casa Ouzeria, Murray’s Pizza, Opus Cafe Bistro, Penticton Lakeside Resort, Smoking Hot Donair and Brodo Kitchen.

I think my highlight of the fist day of the event was meeting so many great people from all over the Province from the Owners of the Lions Head Pub in Robson to meeting new Brewmasters and Brewery staff.  My favorite booth and beer of Day one came from Firehall Brewery.  Not only did they have great beer but they also had a really firehall like setup with flashing lights and suspenders.  My favourite food had to be the Meatloaf Sandwich from The Barking Parrot Greasy Spoon.  I drank a bunch of samples during the event although I did not pay close attention as I was more just taking in the event and the people.  I also knew that I was going to have to be up very bright and early to Judge the Beer of the competition.  I kept the beer consumption fairly low.

Here are some photos from Kim who does the Marketing for Cannery Brewing

Day one was a blast and it was only the beginning for me!  I was pretty excited and a bit nervous about day two and being one of the Judges for the event.

Find Full Sized photos of the event here.