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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The Fraser – Steel & Oak Brewing (Four Winds Brewing)


From Steel & Oak Brewing in New Westminster in collaboration with Delta’s Four Winds Brewing across the river comes “The Fraser” a pale ale fermented with Saccharomyces Trois.  The beer pours a cloudy orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of light tropical fruit, yeasty, mild funk and some floral hops.  The flavour is of mango, stone fruit, tropical fruit, citrus rind, yeast, mild funk with a dry not sweet finish.  There is very little bitterness in this brew.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.2% with an IBU of 24.  This beer is not going to punch you in the face with flavour but it is an excellently executed collaboration brew from two great breweries.

Commercial Description:  Fermented with Saccharomyces Trois yeast this Pale Ale was brewed with Amchoor (Green Mango spice) and hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and Azacca, as well as some fresh Cashmere for good measure. The Fraser is fruity, tropical, and funk. Not as funky as the people who brewed it but still pretty funky.

En Blanc (Barley Wine) Cellared 10 Months – Steel & Oak Brewing


From New Westminster’s Steel & Oak Brewing comes their “En Rouge (Barley Wine)” a Barley Wine aged in Chardonnay Barrels.  This beer was cellared for 10 Months after beeing aquired on November 10, 2016.  The beer pours a deep red almost brown with a tan head.  The aroma consists of dark fruits, mild chardonnay, sweetness and almost a candi sugar finish.  The flavour is of dark fruits, toffee, caramel, roasted malts, coconut, oak, chardonnay and grapes in general, leather, hint of bitterness and a mild lingering alcohol bite.  The alcohol content comes in at 10% with an IBU of 15.  Now that the Chardonnay is stepping back a bit I really enjoy this one not being a wine fan.

Commercial Description: En Blanc and En Rouge are the same 10% abv barley wine fermented with wine yeast, and aged for a year in Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon barrels respectively. En Blanc is described as having notes of “vanilla, coconut, apricot, peach, molasses and fruitcake with a touch of citrus,” while En Rouge offers “black currant, dark cherry, leather, tobacco, plum and dates.”

Original review

Wild Dark Currant Sour – Field House Brewing (Steel & Oak Brewing)


From Field House Brewing in Abbotsford in collaboration with Steel & Oak Brewing in New Westminster comes their “Wild Dark Currant Sour”.  This is the third of 4 coolship collaborations that Field House will be doing.  The beer pours a dark red colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of currants, milk funk with sweetness in the finish.  The flavour is of currants, mild funk, with little sweetness and a dry finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 7% with an IBU of 30.  I think this beer will get better with age as the Brett kicks the funk up a notch but it is still enjoyable now.

Commercial Description:  Edition 03/04 is a dark sour, fermented with brett yeast. Pre-fermentation we transferred this malty brew into our Copper Coolship, where we steeped 30lbs of dried organic currants, releasing the sweet and tart characteristics of this intense black fruit.

Baltic Porter – Steel & Oak Brewing


From New Westminster’s Steel & Oak Brewing comes their brand new seasonal the “Baltic Porter”.  The beer pours a deep brown colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, licorice, toffee, chocolate and sweetness.  The flavour is of chocolate, roasted malts, licorice, toffee, hint of coffee, earth, hint of saltiness and mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.6% with an IBU of 28.  This might be one of my favourite releases from Steel & Oak Brewing.  It has all the makings of a great beer and comes in the winter a great time for porters.

Commercial Description:  At 7.6% and originally brewed by countries bordering the Baltic Sea this Porter was brewed in a city that borders the Fraser River. Fermented with lager yeast, the S&O Baltic Porter has notes of licorice, cocoa, and toffee followed by a lightly spiced finish. This beer will be available mid month.

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