BC Beer Awards 2016 / Beer Festival – October 15th 2016


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.

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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!

International Lager

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)

Kölsch

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.)

3: Potts Pils (Moon Under Water Brewery & Pub)

European Dark Beer

1: Dark Lager (Steel & Oak Brewing Co.)

2: Baltic Porter (Cannery Brewing Company)

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.)

British Bitter

1: English Bitter (Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.)
2: Red Devil Ale (R&B Brewing Co.)

3: Beacon ESB (Lighthouse Brewing Company)

British Pale Ale

1: Clover IPA (Big Ridge Brewing Co.)

2: Paddywhack Organic IPA (Nelson Brewing Company)

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)

British Stout

1: 52 Foot Stout (Barkerville Brewing Co.)

2: Perfect Storm (Townsite Brewing Inc.)
3: 710 Oaked Stout (Faculty Brewing Co.)

Strong Ale

1: Thor’s Hammer (Central City Brewers + Distillers)

2: Wee Heavy (Persephone Brewing Company)
3: Wobbly Bob (Red Collar Brewing Company)

Fruit Beer

1: Pinot Noir Raspberry Blonde (Tin Whistle Brewing Company)
2: Red Truck Raspberry Ale (Red Truck Beer Company)
3: Tropic Vice (Dead Frog Brewery)

Spiced Beer

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)

Specialty Beer

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)

3: Thirsty Beaver Amber Ale (Tree Brewing Co.)

North American Brown Ale

1: Bandit Brown (Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.)

2: Slipstream (Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.)

3: Kim-Ach-Touch Ale (Tree Brewing Co.)

North American Porter and Stout

1: Commander Imperial Stout (Dead Frog Brewery)

2: Stag and Pheasant Imperial Stout (Main Street Brewing Company)

3: Russian Imperial Stout (Moody Ales)

North American IPA

1: Flagship IPA (Steamworks Brewing Company)

2: Play Dead IPA (Yellow Dog Brewing Co.)

3: The Ultra Deluxe (Boombox Brewing)

Specialty IPA

1: Blonde IPA (Dageraad Brewing)
2: White ISA (Red Truck Beer Company)
3: YVR ISA (Steamworks Brewing Company)

Imperial IPA

1: 187 On An Undercover Hop (Parallel 49 Brewing Co.)

2: Cosmic Wave Double IPA (Tofino Brewing Company)
3: Second Anniversary Double IPA (Main Street Brewing Company)

Belgian Ale

1: Jongleur Wit (Strange Fellows Brewing Company)
2: Bier de Garde (Old Abbey Ales)
3: White Gold Witbier (Barkerville Brewing Co.)

Belgian Strong Ale

1: Dageraad Blonde (Dageraad Brewing)

2: Saison #7 (Main Street Brewing Company)
3: Old Barn Saison (Fernie Brewing Company)

Trappist Ale

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

1: Raynard (Strange Fellows Brewing Company)

2: Cantus Fermus (Main Street Brewing Company)

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

Flagship IPA (Steamworks Brewing Company)

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

Pablo Esco Gnar IPA, Boombox Brewing Company

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.

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Winter Cask Festival 2016 – Central City Brewing


On January 30th, 2016 (Saturday) Central City Brewing held their annual Winter Cask Festival.  This is probably the marquee cask event in BC and I was happy to once again attend.

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This year the festival brought us 40 casks from breweries only found in British Columbia.  This years ticket got you a branded sample glass with three samples tokens.  More tokens could be purchased at the front desk.  Like years past many of the casks swung to the Imperial side of things which makes sense as most winter beers are higher in alcohol.

The Brew List

1 Black Kettle – Kentucky Uncommon
2 Brassneck – Old Money Mild
3 Bridge Brewing – Ambleside Amber Wassail
4 Dogwood – Organic Honey Giner and Ginseng
5 High Mountain Brewhouse – ISA
6 Howe Sound Brewing – Gathering Storm Cascadian Dark Ale
7 Moody Ales – Champions Scotch Ale
8 Phillips – Imperial Rye Lager
9 Red Collar – “Wobbly Bob” Dry Hopped English Strong Ale
10 Vancouver Island Brewing – Mid-Century West Coast Steam Beer
11 Big Ridge – Honey Saison
12 Spinnakers – Honey Muscle Saison
13 Big Rock Urban – The Muscles from Brussels
14 Townsite – Triple Red Power
15 Four Winds – Wild IPA Pepper Pot
16 Nelson – Bent Pole IPA
17 Russell – Barrel Soured Punch Bowl IPA
18 Whistler – Snow…White IPA
19 Driftwood – Old Cellar Dweller
20 Main Street – Barleywine
21 Powell Street – English Style Barley Wine
22 Steel & Oak – Barley Wine
23 Axe & Barrel – Winter Green Cocoa Porter
24 Callister – Midnight in Kentucky
25 Coal Harbour – Blackwing Baltic Porter
26 Fuggles & Warlock – Dark Cow Chocolate Milk Porter
27 Persephone – “Debris Slide” Oaked Chocolate Smoked Porter
28 Real Cask – India Export Porter
29 Bomber – Mocha Imperial Stout
30 Dead Frog – Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout
31 Doan’s Craft Brewing – American Rye Stout
32 Old Yale Brewing – Fresh Chilli and Ghost Chilli Stout
33 Parallel 49 – Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout
34 Red Truck – Swamp Thing Stout
35 Steamworks – Breakfast Stout
36 Deep Cove – Golden Sour
37 Moon Under Water – Oud King Crow 2015
38 R&B Brewing – Cherry Kettle Sour
39 Yellow Dog – Raspberry Sour Bruin
40 Central City Brewing – Mystery Cask

Like I mentioned before this is one of the best if not best Cask events in the entire province every year and it was not different this time.  The beer was great and the people attending were awesome.  I had great conversations that paired amazingly with the beer I was drinking.  I wish more places in BC would hold pure cask events to this scale.

My favourite beers of the night were a tie between two beers once again.

Moon Under Water – Oud King Crow 2015
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Fuggles & Warlock – Dark Cow Chocolate Milk Porter
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If you have never attended a cask festival or one of Central City Brewing’s amazing cask festivals then you need to change it up and attend.  Not only do you try great been but you will meet many new people that are really into Craft Beer.

Here are my full sized photos.

 

 

Special Edition Cask Night – Big Rock Urban Brewery


On Monday August 3rd, 2015 I was invited to a Special Edition Cask Night that was held inside the brewery at Big Rock Urban.  The event was invite only version of their Monday Night Cask Nights they hold every week and made for a great time!

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There were 4 casks on offer including two from Big Rock (Pink Peppercorn Strawberry IPA, German Pale Ale) and one from Real Cask (Summer Ale) and Howe Sound Brewing (Sky Pilot with Spruce Tips).  Even though Peppercorns and Strawberry may not sound like a match made in heaven it was by far my favourite of the night!

Like I said my favourite cask of the night was the Pink Peppercorn Strawberry IPA as shown below.

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Pink Peppercorn Strawberry IPA
Apperance – Copper colour with off white head.
Aroma – Peppercorns that almost overshadow strawberry notes completely.
Flavour – lots of peppercorns followed by hops bitterness, resin and just a hint of strawberry.
Final Thoughts – It may sound like an odd pairing but almost to a person it was everyone’s favourite of the night.

Surprisingly this was actually my first time inside the brew house itself at Big Rock Urban so I took a bunch of photos of the brewing equipment.  This is one beautiful brewery!

It was a great night on a holiday Monday and I was happy I got the invite.  If you have not checked out Big Rock Urban Brewery yet you should head over on a Monday for their cask night and have some great food to boot!

Full sized photos can be found here.

Big Rock Urban Brewery
http://bigrockurban.com
310 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1G9
info.BRU@bigrockbeer.com

Callister Brewing Co – East Vancouver


Callister Brewing is one of the new breweries on the block in Vancouver.  The breweries name has a story and so does the brewery itself.

 

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Callister Brewing gets its name from the Callister Park Stadium located across the street from today’s Pacific Coliseum in the PNE grounds.  Owner Chris Lay’s was the onsite caretaker and lived in a suite beneath the stands (info found here).  The stadium is long gone but Callister Park is still there.  The next thing to know about Callister Brewing is that it is actually a co-op brewery.  Not only is Callister Brewing brewed here but also Real Cask, Brewery Creek Brewing and Machine.  \

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In great BC tradition the tasting lounge has great wood finishes.  The different breweries are all displayed on the chalk board above the bar so you know exactly who to thank for the beer you are enjoying!  From my understanding (correct me if I am wrong) three of the breweries all brew and keg their products with only Real Cask doing all of their beer out of casks.

The brew house is located in behind the bar and is conveniently visible on the way to the washrooms as the back of the space.  The brew house includes both a full blown system as well as a test batch system.  Neither system is big so the brewers here will be busy filling and emptying the tanks and then repeating.  The brew house is small enough to be considered a Nano Brewery.

I had 4oz samples of all 7 beer on tap and I am quite excited to see what they have in store for use at this brewery.  The beer were all quite good with some excellent choices to be had!  I would recommend a walk, ride, transit or if you have to drive down to the brewery so you can check out the beer and the space.

full sized photos here.

Callister Brewing Co
http://www.callisterbrewing.com/
1338 Franklin Street
Vancouver, BC, Canada
info@callisterbrewing.com