From Mission BC’s Mission Springs Brewing comes their “Big Chief Cream Ale”. The beer pours an amber colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of grainy malts, citrus and a sweet finish. The flavour is of bready grainy malts, big citrus notes, with mild notes of earth, herbal and bitterness in the finish. The alcohol content comes in at 5.5% with an IBU of 19. This beer is not going to knock your socks off as it is a fairly basic beer. But there is nothing wrong with that it just wont challenge your palate.
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.
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!
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)
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.)
European Dark Beer
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.)
1: English Bitter (Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.)
2: Red Devil Ale (R&B Brewing Co.)
3: Beacon ESB (Lighthouse Brewing Company)
British Pale Ale
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)
2: Perfect Storm (Townsite Brewing Inc.)
3: 710 Oaked Stout (Faculty Brewing Co.)
2: Wee Heavy (Persephone Brewing Company)
3: Wobbly Bob (Red Collar Brewing Company)
1: Pinot Noir Raspberry Blonde (Tin Whistle Brewing Company)
2: Red Truck Raspberry Ale (Red Truck Beer Company)
3: Tropic Vice (Dead Frog Brewery)
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)
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)
North American Brown Ale
3: Kim-Ach-Touch Ale (Tree Brewing Co.)
North American Porter and Stout
North American IPA
3: The Ultra Deluxe (Boombox Brewing)
1: Blonde IPA (Dageraad Brewing)
2: White ISA (Red Truck Beer Company)
3: YVR ISA (Steamworks Brewing Company)
2: Cosmic Wave Double IPA (Tofino Brewing Company)
3: Second Anniversary Double IPA (Main Street Brewing Company)
1: Jongleur Wit (Strange Fellows Brewing Company)
2: Bier de Garde (Old Abbey Ales)
3: White Gold Witbier (Barkerville Brewing Co.)
Belgian Strong Ale
2: Saison #7 (Main Street Brewing Company)
3: Old Barn Saison (Fernie Brewing Company)
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
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
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
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.
From Mission BC’s Mission Springs Brewing comes their “Spirit Bear Spiced Chocolate Imperial Stout”. The beer pours a deep black colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of all spice, chocolate, roasted malts and some sweetness. The flavour is of burnt coffee, chocolate, all spice, roasted malts, bitterness and earth. The alcohol content comes in at 8%. I was personally hoping for the chocolate to shine through much more with this beer as the all spice is really prominent.
Mission Springs Brewing out of Mission BC have been quietly building up a brand new series of beers. This series of beer is called the Stave Lake – Lost Barrel Series and this is one of the first beers in the series. The beer is aa called “Barrel Aged Apricot Ale” but sadly with this beer they did not bother to number the bottles on this release like the last Barrel Aged Scotch Ale. This golden ale was aged in a blend of white and red French Oak wine barrels. The beer poured a deep orange colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of apricots, sweetness and some wine. The flavour is of apricots, sweetness, red and white wine, wood, lots of fruit and some oak and alcohol. The alcohol content comes in at 8%. Not as complex as their last barrel aged beer but this is really enjoyable and I would recommend you pick up a bottle if you can find it.
Commercial Description: This golden ale has been aged to perfection for one full year in a blend of red & white French Oak wine barrels. After careful selection the beer was moved on to farm fresh apricots for a month of infusion. This bold ale has a beautiful balance of alcohol warming notes, oak and fruit leaving a pleasurable unique lasting impression of barrel aged intensity. Open now or later, but always enjoy with friends and family.
Last September I attended what turned out to be one of my favourite beer festivals in BC in the Whistler Village Beer Festival. The weather was beautiful and the beer was amazing! Here is last years official festival video.
Last year was such a success that this year Gibbons Events Co decided to make the Main Festival happen over two days with many satellite events that ran over 5 days. The main Festivals took place on September 19th and 20th 2015.
While last year had epic weather this year we did not get so lucky! But hey this is BC and we all own rain jackets so a little rain didn’t stop an epic party! I was only able to attend the Saturday Main Event which was lucky for me as the rain was not quite as bad. The festival was held at the Whistler Olympic Park in the Whistler Village once again. The event started for average attendees at 1pm (opened at 12 for gatecrashers) and ran until 5pm (last call at 4:45). I got into the grounds before the festival opened to the public and gate crashers and was to take lots of photos of the booths as they set up.
This year the Resort Municipality of Whistler gave the green light to increase the festival grounds by 40% to increase the amount of breweries to around 80. This is impressive as 2013’s event was half the size of 2014!
Breweries involved included the following (Ordered by booth Number)
Muskoka Brewing, Steam Whistle Pilsner, Steamworks Brewin, Persephone Brewing, Big Rock Brewery, Off The Rail Brewing, Moody Ales, Russell Brewing, Red Truck Beer Company, Glutenberg, Bomber Brewing, Phillips Brewing, Howe Sound Brewing, R&B Brewing, Steel & Oak Brewing, Postmark Brewing, Lighthouse Brewing, Shacksbury, Lagunitas, Deschutes Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Double Mountain Brewing, Scuttlebut, Stone Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, Ninkasi Brewing, Strongbow, Maui Brewing, North Coast Brewing, Crabbie’s Ginger Beer, Czechvar, High Mountain Brewhouse, Yaletown Brewing, Big Ridge Brewing, Bowen Island Brewing, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Parallel 49 Brewing, Fernie Brewing, Prohibition Brewing, Rider Cider Company, Whistler Brewing, LoneTree Cider, Stanley Park Brewing, Old Yale Brewing, Hoyne Brewing, Goose Island, Okanagan Springs, Unibroue, Tofino Brewing, Black Kettle Brewing, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Scandal Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Yellow Dog, Dead Frog Brewery, Strange Fellows Brewing, Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers, Doan’s Craft Brewing, Mt Begbie Brewing, Beverage Concepts, Pilsner Urquell, Spinnakers, Coal Harbour, Main Street Brewing, BC Tree Fruits Cider, Four Winds Brewing, Off the Rail Brewing, Granville Island Brewing, Hearthstone Brewing, Mission Springs Brewing.
Last years attendance came in around 3,500 for the festival and this year even with bad weather beat that with around 3,000 people on Saturday and 1,300 on Sunday with a total over the five day of around 5000 people (numbers from here). Craft Beer fans are tough (and own rain gear) and we don’t stop for rain. I could only imagine how big Sundays numbers would have been on a sunny day.
Like at all festivals I attend I took photos of many of the samples I drank while enjoying the event.
Even with awful weather this year everyone in attendance had a great time! I still think this is one of the best festivals I have attended (even this year) as even though there are tons of people there are little to no lines and everyone is just having a great time! The only issue was a lack of washrooms probably made worse with all the rain.
I am excited to see what Gibbons Events has in store for us next September!
This years top three breweries as voted by Festival Goers won 1 year tap or bottle contracts at multiple pubs in Whistler Village which is a very lucrative prize!
Parallel 49 Brewing – Longhorn Saloon, Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub, Garibaldi Lift Co
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Tapley’s Pub, Merlins Bar & Grill, Amsterdam Pub
Whistler Brewing Co – FireRock Lounge, Dusty’s Bar & Grill