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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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!

Brews Brothers (Vol 3) – Parallel 49 Brewing


Brews Brothers was born two years ago as a 12 case collaboration mixed pack.  The first two packs were collaborations within the province of British Columbia.  Volume One was a Blues inspired pack and year two was a Rock and Roll theme. This year things have changed as it is now a 4 bomber pack in Collaboration with American breweries.

 

This year the theme is Old School Rap and the entire West Coast of Canada and the USA has been involved.  It is almost like an Extended Cascadia colab.

This years Brews include from North to South:

49th State Brewing (Anchorage, AK) – Gettin’ It, a Northern Farmhouse Style Beer
Scuttlebutt Brewing Company (Everett, WA) – Baby Got Back, a Hoppy Hefeweizen
Gigantic Brewing Company (Portland, OR) – Blazing Arrow, a Tawny IPA
Green Flash Brewing (San Diego, CA) – What’s Golden, an “East Meets West” IPA

 

What’s Golden, an “East Meets West” IPA

This creation of Parallel 49 Brewing and Green Flash Brewing out of San Diego California pours an orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of mango, citrus, very fruity, caramel and a floral finish.  The flavour is of caramel, resin, citrus, grapefruit, tropical fruit, pine and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%.  This is a really juicy beer and has everything you like from East Coast and West Coast Beers.

Beers Namesake

Blazing Arrow, a Tawny IPA

This creation of Parallel 49 Brewing and Gigantic Brewing out of Portland Oregon pours a cloudy copper colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of pineapple, tropical fruit, juicy fruits, caramel and floral hops.  The flavour is of pineapple, tropical fruit, melon, juicy, caramel, mild dank hops and mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6%.  I really enjoyed this beer and I would drink it again if I found it!

Beers Namesake

Baby Got Back, a Hoppy Hefeweizen

This creation of Parallel 49 Brewing and Scuttlebutt Brewing from Everett Washington pours a golden colour with a slightly white head.  The aroma consists of banana, bubblegum, citrus, wheat and floral hops.  The flavour is of banana, citrus, bubblegum, earth, herbal hops and mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%.  This was a tasty beer but my least favourite beer of the 4 but mostly as I am not a fan of Hefeweizen’s as a rule.

Beers Namesake

Gettin’ It, a Northern Farmhouse Style Beer

This creation of Parallel 49 Brewing and 49th State Brewing from Anchorage Alaska pours a slightly cloudy golden colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of yeast, lemon, candied pears and grain.  The flavour is of bready malts, grain, yeast, lemon, pear and grassy hops.  The alcohol content comes in at 7%.  This is more of a sweet saison than a farmhouse ale but that does not change the fact that it is a well made ale.

Beers Namesake

I have tried all three Brews Brothers collaboration boxes and reviewed two now.  This one was just as good as the others and well worth picking up in the liquor stores now!

full sized photos

Tri-Cities Cask Festival Winter 2017 Pro-Am – Coquitlam


On January 22, 2017 I finally attended the Tri-Cities Cask Festival Winter 2017 Pro-Am.  What a festival it turned out to be.

tricitiescaskpas-001

As beer festivals go this has to be one of the best fests for your buck in the province.  With $49 dollars getting you 10 samples, a custom burger and custom poutine you just can not go wrong.  I also love that this beer fest is 100 percent casks!  Basically every beer that was on offer was a one off creation just for this festival and that seems to be lost in the majority of beer fests these days.  When I saw that 577 people would be in attendance for this festival I expected the room at the Executive Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre to be larger.  Somehow with even this many people in the space it never seemed super busy.  I never had to wait more than a minute to get a sample of a beer I wanted to check out.

Here are the breweries that took part in the cask festival:

One of the more interesting facts about this festival was that it was a pro-am so there were also casks from some home brew clubs that were made in collaboration with local breweries.

Here are the home brew clubs involved:

Everyone that I talked to at the festival was having a great time and seemed to be really happy with the cask beer that was on offer.  I have to say that the burger and the poutine were also awesome!

The following photos are of the different beer that I was able to sample while enjoying the festival.  Every beer that I consumed was enjoyable but like all experimentation some were better than others and some were next level.

I had a great time tying out all of the beers that I did try and I wish that I could have tried more.  Here are my winners for the ones that I was able to try.

Best Commercial Brewery – Storm Brewing – Vanilla Brandy Black Plague

Best Home Brew Club – Full Barrel Brew Club (Langley) – Maple barrel Imperial Stout

Most Intriguing Beer – Mango Habanero Play Dead IPA

My Best of Show – Full Barrel Brew Club (Langley) – Maple barrel Imperial Stout

Now the festival had awards that were voted on by the ticket holders of the festival.  All voting was done via a website and near the end of the festival the winners were announced.  While one of the awards Lines up with mine the other one did not.  Here are the festival winners as per the overall festival goers.

Best Amateur – Full Barrel Brew Club (Langley) – Maple barrel Imperial Stout

Best Pro – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Haze For Daze

Best of Show – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Haze For Daze

There is no doubt in my mind I will be attending more festivals in the future put on by the Tri-Citires Cask Festival people and you should check one out too!  They consist of great beer, food, people and you never have to wait long for a sample like you do at some festivals. Also as the BC government opens up the liquor laws these pro-am events may become even more easy to host.

The next festival they are holding is taking an whole new spin on the festival and making it about the Women in Beer in the Province of British Columbia.  Not all of the women involved will be brewers per say but they are all integral in making their brewery awesome and will help make the casks for the event!

Make sure to check out Siris Cask Fest coming up on April 22nd, 2017.  An added bonus for the women out there the first hour is only open to Women!

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Barley Wine 2014 Vintage (Aged 2+ year) – Parallel 49 Brewing


From East Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing comes their latest beer in their Barrel Aged series the “Barley Wine” 2014 Vintage aged from December 2014 to January 2017.  The beer pours a deep cloudy brown amber colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of brown sugar, dark fruits, toffee, caramel, oak with an overall sweetness in the finish.  The flavour is of brown sugar, dark fruits, toffee, caramel, anise, chocolate, vanilla, oak, earth, bitterness and some alcohol.  The alcohol content comes in at 11.8% with an IBU of 61.  This is the third and last bottle of this vintage that I had and it is tasting more and more smooth.

Commercial Description:  The granddaddy of English ales, this beer pours a tawny amber and boasts a huge mat flavour. Aging in whiskey barrels for 10 months has added a woody vanilla note that will age beautifully. This beer begs to be cellared.

Here is my original post.
Here is my second post.

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