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.


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)


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.

Saltspring Island Ales – Salt Spring Island

Living in Vancouver it is almost impossible to get a hold of beer from Saltspring Island Ales.  Their beer is distributed to Vancouver Island but not the Mainland for the most part.  I have been planning to travel over for a while and check out the brewery.  Steve and his Wife asked if I would be interested in riding out to the brewery on August 3rd, 2014 and I jumped at the idea.  If you are looking to make this trip the best idea is to drive out to the long term parking out on the spit at Tsawwassen terminal (or take the buss if you do not drive).  From here you ride up towards the car booths for the ferry and follow the signs for bikes.  At the booth let the person know that you are riding through to Saltspring Island and they will charge you for the through trip currently around $20 one way. You will be taking the Victoria ferry across and then taking the short ride over to the Saltspring terminal directly to the left while you ride off the ferry.  You will be landing at the Fullford Harbour terminal and this is the one you will want to leave from also.  On the way back you can pay for your return trip on the Saltspring ferry which will get you to Tsawwassen via Victoria and will cost you $10.

Once on Saltspring Island there are lots of things to check out including the Brewery some wineries, restaurants and even a few Provincial Parks to name a few things.  Here is the Video of our trip!

Instead of heading straight to the brewery we decided to take a quick peak at a local Provincial Park called Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park.  Its not far passed the brewery but its a nice view.

Once done at the park we backtracked and headed up to the brewery.  It is at the top of a big hill so either hope you have some great legs for riding or you may be walking up the hill.  Keeping with the theme of these brew bike trips I did not actually know what to expect when I arrived at the brewery as I had never looked up any photos.  Arriving at the brewery you find a small tasting room on the second floor of the building where you can sample the beer that they currently have.  You can also buy bombers of their beer and also get growler fills.  They only fill off of taps so the beer has to be consumed in the next day or two after filling.  I was not able to get a tour of the brewery as the brewmaster does not work on weekends to be with family but I did get to see the brewing equipment that is kept outside.

Seeing as we had no other plans on the island and Steve and Sarah both like wine we headed up to a winery further up the road called Garry Oaks Winery.  From the sound of it their wine is very good.  I tried all of the wines on offer and as expected I did not like any of them but it was to be expected as I do not like wine.  They did have some beautiful viniards and a cute little wine shop and tasting room though and it is worth the visit if you enjoy rotten grapes (oh wait fermented grapes lol).

I remembered seeing a sign for a joint venture hop farm on the way towards the brewery and winery so on the way back we stopped to check out the farm.  Hops grown here are used to brew the beer at Salt Spring Island Ales.  These hops are grown organically which makes it even more impressive.

A day of riding would not be complete without some food and brew and what better way to get both than to support a local Island Restaurant?  We Stopped in at Rock Salt Restaurant & Cafe for some food and a Saltspring Island Ale.  My food was awesome and from what I hear the seafood was to die for.

Once our food was done we headed back to the terminal and waited for the ferry to bring us back home after a great day of sampling and riding.  Here are a few photos from the ferry rides on both ferries.

Full sized photos can be found here.

To get to Saltspring Island drive to Tsawwasen ferry terminal and ride onto ferry.

Directions to Saltspring Island Ales
When you get off the ferry head up Fulford Ganges Road
Turn left to stay on Fulford Ganges Road
Turn right to stay on Fulford Ganges Road
Turn left on Furness Road
Follow road until the end where you will arrive at 270 Furness Road

Directions to Garry Oaks Winery
Follow same directions but continue strait when you arrive at Furness Road
Stay Right to stay on Fulford Ganges Road
You will arrive at 1880 Fulford Ganges Road

Salt Spring Island Ales
270 Furness Road, Saltspring Island

Garry Oaks Winery
1880 Fulford-Ganges Road
Salt Spring Island, B.C.
Canada V8K 2A5
Telephone: (250) 653-4687
Fax: (250) 653-4426

Rock Salt Restaurant & Cafe
2921 Fulford Ganges Road
Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 1X6
Reservations by phone only 250.653.4833

Dry Porter – Saltspring Island Ales

Coming from Salt Spring Island’s Saltspring Island Ales (Gulf Island Brewery) comes the “Dry Porter”.   The beer pours a deep brown/black with a tan head.  This beer has the aroma of roasted malts, chocolate and caramel.  The flavour of this beer is of roasted malts, espresso, dark chocolate and a mild bitterness.  The beer is quite dry as the name would suggest.  This porter has an alcohol content of 5.5%.

Food pairings according to the bottle are as follows: roasted lamb, blue cheese and dates or anything with chocolate.

Golden Ale – Saltspring Island Ales

Coming from Salt Spring Island’s Saltspring Island Ales (Gulf Island Brewery) comes the “Golden Ale”.  As the name would suggest the beer pours a golden colour with a white head.  The aroma of the beer is full of bready malts, citrus and floral hops.  The taste of the beer is comprised of sweet bready toasted malts, nuts, citrus and a very mild hops.  The beer has an alcohol content of 5%.  This beer is a two-time gold medal winner at the Canadian Brewing Awards.  This beer deserves the awards!

As per the bottle food pairings are as follows:  hard cheeses, goat cheese, grilled meats and fish, pub fair, mediterranean and asian cuisine.