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!

Casks 4 A Cause – New Westminster BC


On June 14th, 2014 Frankie G’s Pub in Queensborough, New Westminster held a Cask 4 A Cause event.  The proceeds of the event went to BC Children’s Hospital.  Breweries Donated Casks, food was donated and lots of Silent Auction prizes were also donated.  The event started at 1pm and ran until 6pm and cost $25 plus the cost of extra tickets for tasting.

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The event took place in the parking lot of the pub with lots of tables set up and casks all around.  The weather was not great as it was raining and misting most of the day but we all know a little rain does not get in the way of supporting a cause and drinking craft beer.

The Breweries at the event included:

Red Truck Beer – India Session Ale
Dead Frog Brewery – Buckwheat Belgium Ale
Howe Sound Brewing – 5 Alive
Driftwood Brewery – Twenty Pounder Double IPA
Mission Springs Brewing – IPA (Fresh hopped with Nugget Hops)
Bomber Brewing – IPA (Dry hopped with Chinook and Cascade hops)
Steel and Oak Brewing – Smoked Hefeweizen
Townsite Brewing Westview Wheat
Bridge Brewing – Kentucky Bourbon Oak Pale Ale
Stanley Park Brewery – Summer Pale Ale
Moon Under Water – Raspberry Berliner Weiss
Fuggles and Warlock Craftworks – Red Rye Saison
Merridale Cider Co – Hip Hop Cider
Steamworks Brewing – Golden Ale
Parallel 49 Brewing – Wild Ride Ale
Whistler Brewing – Tropical Fruit Punch IPA
Scandal Brewing – Orange Bock
Big Ridge Brewing – CDA
Central City Brewers & Distillers – Prevale
Desert Hills Winery – Gerwarztraminer
Desert Hills Winery – Rose

As a volunteer for the event I showed up early at around 11:30am to help setup as much as I could.  If you know the Camra South Fraser Crew and many of the members of Camra Vancouver then you knew the people behind the scenes.

Once the setup was finished the doors opened and people started to trickle in.  Calvin Basran of Franie G’s Pub wanted there to be judges for the casks with trophies for the winners.  I was asked to be one of the judges with Kevin Wood of This Sandwich, That Beer and three certified beer judges.  The beers were spit up so that one group of three and the other group of two only sampled and judged half of the beer.  Once the top three beer from each group were determined we had all six beers poured so we could decide best of show.  We Deliberated and came up with the best beer of the day.

Once the judging was done the judges were free to enjoy the cask festival and mingle with all of the other guests and possibly try all the other beers that were not sampled by that particular judge.  There was even a DJ and a band entertaining the people.  As a good friend with Camra South Fraser Executives I also volunteered to pour at the cask festival.  Once I had a snack I started pouring and making new acquaintances.  As it approached 6pm everyone was asked to come towards the stage to hear the winners of the cask off.

Best Of Show
Driftwood Brewery – Twenty Pounder Double IPA

Peoples Choice
Moon Under Water – Raspberry Berliner Weiss

Honorable Mentions
2nd Place – Stanley Park Brewing – Pale Ale
3rd Place – Red Truck Beer – India Session Ale

Once the Cask event ended at 6pm everyone was invited to come inside the pub and enjoy a rocking after party with another live band.  The remaining cask beer was now served in 20 oz pints.  The after party was a ton of fun although I think I might have enjoyed myself a bit to much if you catch my drift.

I would like to thank Camra South Fraser and Frankie G’s Pub for inviting me out to take part in this amazing fundraiser.  I had a ton of fun and even left with a bunch of BC Lions Tickets and an autographed BC Lions hat from the Silent Auction!  The best part of the evening though was to find out that the fundraiser had managed to raise a rather large amount of money.  For a rainy day I was very pleased with the amount of money raised!

Full sized photos can be found here

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Frankie G’s Pub
305 Ewen Ave, New Westminster, BC V3M 5B4

(604) 515-1678