BC Beer Awards 2014 / Beer Festival – October 25th 2014


It’s that time of year again!  It is time to celebrate the best of the best breweries and beer in British Columbia.  On October 25th, 2014 the BC Beer Awards were held at the Croatian Cultural Centre.

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Like every year the beer awards are held with a caskbeer festival that runs at the same time.  The event started at 4pm and went until 9pm.  The beer festival starts right when the doors open and features some amazing beers from both the local Metro Vancouver and Victoria breweries as well as many breweries from around the Province.  The breweries that poured beer at the event are as follows: Bomber Brewing, Bowen Island Brewing, Bridge Brewing Co, Cannery Brewing Company, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Coal Harbour Brewing Company, Dead Frog Brewery, Driftwood Brewery, Vancouver Island Brewing, Four Winds Brewing, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Granville Island Brewing, Howe Sound Brewing Co., Hoyne Brewing Co., Lighthouse Brewing Co, Longwood Brewing, Main Street Brewing Company, Mission Springs Brewing Company, Moody Ales, Moon Under Water, Parallel 49 Brewing, Persephone Brewing Company, Phillips Brewing Company, Powell street craft brewery, Prohibition Brewing Company, R&B Brewing, Red Truck Beer Co, Russell Brewing, Scandal Brewing, Shaftbury Brewing Co., Steamworks Brewing Co., Steel & Oak Brewing Co., Three Ranges Brewing Company, Tofino Brewing, Townsite Brewing, Tree Brewing Company, Turning Point Brewery, Whistler Brewing Company, Yaletown Brewing co, Yellow Dog Brewing, Fernie Brewing, Brewhouse Whistler, Big Ridge, Vancouver Island Brewing.

I am not sure what time the awards began but at a point they announced that everyone should approach the stage.  Like last year Stephen Quinn of CBC Radio was the presenter for the awards.  Last year around 300 beer were entered into 18 categories.  This year there was around 500 entries in the same 18 categories which really shows the growth of craft beer in BC.  This year there was a lot more diversity to the winning breweries at the awards.  Here are the winning beers in the categories as presented.
Light Lager – 22 Beers entered

1    Turning Point Brewing Company – Stanley Park Noble Pilsner
2    OK Springs – Okanagan Spring 1516
3    Hoyne Brewing Company – Helios-Dortmunder Golden Lager

Pilsner – 22 Beers

1    Steamworks Pilsner – Steamworks Brewing Company
2    Barley Station Brew Pub – Canoe Creek Pilsner
3    Russell Brewing Company – Lager

Special Lager – 17 Beers

1    Tree Brewing Company – Captivator Doppelbock
2    Pacific Western Brewing – Pacific Schwarzbock
3    Persephone Brewing Company – Black Lager

Hybrids – 37 Beers

1    Steamworks Brewing Company – Steamworks Brewpub Kolsch
2    Phillips Brewing Company – Slipstream Ale
3    R&B Brewing Company – Sun God Wheat Ale

German Wheat/Rye – 10 Beers

1    Moon Under Water Brewery – This Is Hefeweizen
2    Moon Under Water Brewery – Moon Berliner Style – Weisse
3    Big Ridge Brewing Company – Big Ridge Dunkleweizen

UK Ales – 40 Beers

1    Tin Whistle Brewing Company – Stag Apple Scotch Ale
2    Bowen Island Brewing – Snug Cove ESB
3    Moon Under Water Brewery – Wee Woody

North American Ales – 48 Beers

1    Main Sreet Brewing Company – Main Street Sessional IPA
2    Phillips Brewing Company – Coulrophobia IRA
3    Rossland Beer Company – Paydirt Pale Ale

Porter/Brown – 30 Beers

1    Yellow Dog Brewing Company – Shake A Paw Smoked Brown Porter
2    Powell Street Brewing Company – Dive Bomb Porter
3    Lighthouse Brewing Company – Road Trip Fresh Hopped Dark Ale

Belgian/French – 45 Beers

1    Driftwood Brewing Company – White Bark Witbier
2    Dageraad Brewing – De Witte
3    Four Winds Brewing Company – Juxtapose Brett IPA

Vegetable/Spice Beer – 27 Beers

1    Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Lost Souls
2    Howe Sound Brewing – Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale
3    Fuggles & Warlock Craftwerks – Bean Me Up Espresso Milk Stout

Stout – 24 Beers

1    Persephone Brewing Company – Dry Irish Stout
2    Dead Frog Brewing Company – Commander Imperial Stout (2013)
3    Dead Frog Brewing Company – Commander Imperial Stout (2014)

North American IPA – 44 Beers

1    High Mountian Brewing Company – 5 Rings IPA
2    Four Winds Brewing Company – Four Winds IPA
3    Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer IPA

Imperial IPA – 14 Beers

1    Brassneck Brewery – One Trick Pony
2    Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Imperial IPA
3    Bomber Brewing Company – SuperPest

Fruit/Sour – 24 Beers

1    Driftwood Brewing Company – Bird Of Prey- Flanders Red
2    Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Schwarzwald
3    Brassneck Brewery – Peach Changeling

Strong – 16 Beers

1    Steamworks Brewery – Steamworks Blitzen
2    Townsite Brewing Company – Biere D’Hiver
3    Howe Sound Brewing – Wooly Bugger Barley Wine

Specialty – 29 Beers

1    Granville Island Brewing – Lost In The Barrels
2    Moon Under Water Brewery – Year 2
3    Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Salty Scot

Smoke/Wood – 16 Beers

1    Central City Brewers and Distillers – Thor’s Hammer Barrel Aged
2    Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Braggot
3    Brassneck Brewery – Inerita II

Dan Small Homebrew Award

1    Matt Anderson – Anderson Estate IPA – Fresh Hopped
2    Grayson Barke – Harvest Rye IPA
3    Brad Johnson – Squashmonster

Best of Show

Yellow Dog Brewing Company – Shake A Paw Smoked Brown Porter

Once all of the awards were announced the cask festival ramped back up.  It was now time to see if you could sample some of the winning beers.  Once again it was a very successful event with amazing people and amazing beer!  I look forward to what might come next year as even more breweries are opening up and the industry is only getting better at making beer!  I would like to congratulate all the winners this year!  Every single one of you deserved the award for making a great tasty and enjoyable product!  Here is to another year of sticking it to the flavourless garbage that macro breweries make.

This year I helped with the setup of the beer awards between 11-4pm.  It was great to be able to help in a small way to make this event go off so well.  I thought I would share some of the photos from the setup.

Full sized photos can be found here

Whistler Village Beer Festival (Industry Event) – Whistler BC


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On Friday September 12th, 2014 the Whistler Village Beer Festival held and Industry Event in the Whistler Olympic Park which was the Festival Grounds.  The event ran from 6pm – 8pm and was targeted to the beer and hospitality industry.  Being a blogger and a Beer Buddy (Beer Buddy’s were media and industry members) for the event I was able to attend this closed event.  Many but not all of the breweries involved in the main event on Saturday were present and all were more than happy to talk at length about their beer, breweries and their direction!

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The idea of this event was to meet the breweries and make connections be it the local Whistler hospitality industry or the media.  The group of people present was quite small as would be expected but it made for a very intimate event.  It may have been short and sweet but I was able to catch up with many breweries, brewmasters and brewery reps that I had not seen in quite some time and also meet new ones and make new connections.  Overall the event was a success as the people that attended this small intimate event were able to taste samples and chat at length without holding up lines that were present at the actual event.

Check here for full sized photos.

I hope you enjoyed this little inside look into the closed industry event.  It was a lot of fun to attend.

Whistler Brewing Company – Whistler BC


Craft Beer is everywhere in BC and Whistler is no different.  Whistler Brewing is located in the Function Junction neighborhood of Whistler.  There was a time when the brewery was Alberta owned by a bigger brewery but it has been locally purchased and the entire operation is now located back in Whistler.  The brewery is located in a commercial district with lots of warehouses (I didn’t realize this area existed).

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When you arrive at the brewery you are welcomed by a nice taproom with some hot food options, merchandise area and a cold beer store.  You can sit down and have a glass or two of beer or try samples of their beer.  You can even fill a growler to go.

For around $15  you can do a tour of the brewery which includes 4 samples of their beer.  Three samples are predetermined and the last one your choose after the tour back in the tasting room.  It is a very informative tour especially for people that do not know the brewing process and industry as well as I do.  I recommend taking the tour next time you are in Whistler if you want to learn more about beer.  I was surprised and happy to hear that all beer production was moved back to Whistler and also surprised at how small the brewery was.

I would like to thank the Staff at Whistler Brewing for all the hospitality.  The brewery is well run and is making some tasty beer and is well worth a trip if you happen to be heading to Whistler be it for a weekend, hiking or skiing.

 

Check out full sized photos here

Whistler Brewing Company

1045 Millar Creek Rd, Whistler, BC V0N 1B1

(604) 962-8889

tours@whistlerbeer.com

http://www.whistlerbeer.com/

Fest-Of-Ale Day 2 2014- Penticton


On Day two (April 5th, 2014) of the Fest-Of-Ale in Penticton the party started at Noon.  Seeing as I was one of the Judges for the Fest-Of-Ale Awards I was not able to join the party until 3pm.  From the Judging room it sounded like there was a tone of fun being had though.

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As with Day One the brewery’s involved included the following:

Breweries and Cider Makers
Alpine Brewing Company – Oroville Washington
Bad Tatoo Brewing – Penticton (Not Pouring)
Barley Mill Brew Pub – Penticton
Big Rock Brewery – Calgary, Vancouver
Bomber Brewing – Vancouver
Bravo Beer Co – International Imports
Cannery Brewing – Penticton
Central City Brewing – Surrey
Crannog Ales – Sorrento
Creemore Springs – Creemore Ontario
Dead Frog Brewery – Aldergrove
Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers – North Vancouver
Driftwood Brewery – Victoria
Fernie Brewing Co – Fernie
Firehall Brewery – Oliver
Four Winds Brewing Company – Delta
Hoyne Brewing – Victoria
Granville Island Brewing – Vancouver
Hoyne Brewing Co – Victoria
Lighthouse Brewing Company – Victoria
McClelland Premium Imports – International Imports
Mill St. Brewery – Toronto Ontario
Mt Begbie Brewing – Revelstoke
Nelson Brewing Company – Nelson
Orchard Hill Cidery – Penticton
Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Vancouver
Phillips Brewing Co – Victoria
Red Truck Beer Company – Vancouver
Stanley Park Brewery – Vancouver
Steamworks Brewing Co – Burnaby, Vancouver
Summerland Heritage Cider Company – Summerland
Tin Whistle Brewery – Penticton
Tree Brewing Co – Kelowna
Vancouver Island Brewery – Victoria
Wards Cider – Kelowna
Whistler Brewing Company – Whisler

There was also more great music on day two including Flashback, Joe’s Garage, Papa Wheeley, The Dungbeatles and Thursday Night Jazz Band.

Day one of the Festival was a bit more business for me as I knew that I had friends that would be at day 2.  While spending time with a few groups of friends I noticed that day two was quite a bit busier that the first day.  People seemed to be imbibing in a little more alcohol but everyone was having a great time!  I enjoyed a wide selection of beer although I did not need anymore really after all the judging.

 

Here are some photos from Kim of DogLeg Marketing

It was then time to announce the winners to the entire room.  Not only did they announce the beers that won the Judging portion of the competition but they also announced the people’s choice awards.  The winners of the Fest-Of-Ale are as follows!

Winners

Lager/Pilsner: Hoyner Pilsner – Hoyne Brewing Co., Victoria BC
Pale Ale: Red Truck Ale – Red Truck Beer Company, Vancouver BC
IPA: Four Winds White Rye IPA – Four Winds Brewing Co, Delta BC
Wit/Wheat: Robson Street Hefeweizen – Granville Island Brewery, Vancouver BC
Ales: Naramata Nut Brown Ale – Cannery Brewing, Penticton BC
Stout/Porter: Holy Smoke Stout – Firehall Brewery, Oliver BC
Belgian: Sunkissed Tea Saison – Deep Cove, North Vancouver BC
Fruit Beer: Stiegl Radler – McClelland Premium Imports, BC
Ciders: Red Roof Cider – Orchard Hill Estate Cidery, Oliver BC

Best of Show

IPA: Four Winds White Rye IPA – Four Winds Brewing Co, Delta BC

People’s Choice Awards

Best Beer: Project 9 Pils – Fernie Brewing Co, Fernie BC
Best Booth: Penticton Lakeside Resort, Penticton BC
Best Food: Brodo Kitchen, Penticton BC
Best Band: The Dungbeatles

Here are some photos from Kim of DogLeg Marketing



Click here to see full sized versions of my Photos

The festival went on until 6pm and was a blast!  Once again I did take it easy at the actual event as I had one more event to hit up after this Festival.  I have to say that this is a very well run Beer Festival.  it is more about learning more about craft beer and different flavours than it is about over indulging.  It is great to see that this event has matured in the last 3 or 4 years from what I hear was a bit of a drunk fest.  It is amazing what removing a few vendors can do to change the whole feeling of a festival.  Congratulations to the organizers of the Fest-Of-Ale for pulling off a wonderful 19th Annual Event.

Fest-Of-Ale Day 1 2014- Penticton


On Friday April 4th, 2014 the Penticton Fest-Of-Ale returned for a the 19th year.  I did not know what to think when I headed out to this festival as it was my first time attending.  I had heard that it was a small event which seemed to make sense as it takes place all the way in the Okanagan.  I was glad to be surprised by the scale of the event though.  The event took place at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.  This year the floor layout was rearranged to allow for more amazing craft beer and some cider makers.  35 brewers came out to the event this year including 8 that had not been to the festival before.

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Breweries and Cider Makers
Alpine Brewing Company – Oroville Washington
Bad Tatoo Brewing – Penticton (Not Pouring)
Barley Mill Brew Pub – Penticton
Big Rock Brewery – Calgary, Vancouver
Bomber Brewing – Vancouver
Bravo Beer Co – International Imports
Cannery Brewing – Penticton
Central City Brewing – Surrey
Crannog Ales – Sorrento
Creemore Springs – Creemore Ontario
Dead Frog Brewery – Aldergrove
Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers – North Vancouver
Driftwood Brewery – Victoria
Fernie Brewing Co – Fernie
Firehall Brewery – Oliver
Four Winds Brewing Company – Delta
Hoyne Brewing – Victoria
Granville Island Brewing – Vancouver
Hoyne Brewing Co – Victoria
Lighthouse Brewing Company – Victoria
McClelland Premium Imports – International Imports
Mill St. Brewery – Toronto Ontario
Mt Begbie Brewing – Revelstoke
Nelson Brewing Company – Nelson
Orchard Hill Cidery – Penticton
Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Vancouver
Phillips Brewing Co – Victoria
Red Truck Beer Company – Vancouver
Stanley Park Brewery – Vancouver
Steamworks Brewing Co – Burnaby, Vancouver
Summerland Heritage Cider Company – Summerland
Tin Whistle Brewery – Penticton
Tree Brewing Co – Kelowna
Vancouver Island Brewery – Victoria
Wards Cider – Kelowna
Whistler Brewing Company – Whisler

I was lucky enough to be given access to the industry event that took place before the doors opened to the public.  This was a chance for industry people to get to the different booths and try the beer before the craziness began.  The Fest-Of-Ale started in earnest at 4pm but the industry was let in at 3pm.  Here are a few photos from this portion of the event.

Once the doors were opened to the public at 4pm the hall really started to fill up!  People were really jacked up to try all of the beer that was being offered.  There was also a bunch of live music on hand including Flashback, Joe’s Garage and Papa Wheeley.  There was also some fantastic food on hand from Barley Mill Brew Pub, Bogner’s, Boston Pizza, Jack Kelly Coffe, La Casa Ouzeria, Murray’s Pizza, Opus Cafe Bistro, Penticton Lakeside Resort, Smoking Hot Donair and Brodo Kitchen.

I think my highlight of the fist day of the event was meeting so many great people from all over the Province from the Owners of the Lions Head Pub in Robson to meeting new Brewmasters and Brewery staff.  My favorite booth and beer of Day one came from Firehall Brewery.  Not only did they have great beer but they also had a really firehall like setup with flashing lights and suspenders.  My favourite food had to be the Meatloaf Sandwich from The Barking Parrot Greasy Spoon.  I drank a bunch of samples during the event although I did not pay close attention as I was more just taking in the event and the people.  I also knew that I was going to have to be up very bright and early to Judge the Beer of the competition.  I kept the beer consumption fairly low.

Here are some photos from Kim who does the Marketing for Cannery Brewing

Day one was a blast and it was only the beginning for me!  I was pretty excited and a bit nervous about day two and being one of the Judges for the event.

Find Full Sized photos of the event here.