Winning three golds, one silver and one bronze medal, Whitetooth Brewing from Golden, BC, was the big winner at the 2020 Canadian Brewing Awards, which were announced in an online ceremony on Saturday, September 12.

Originally planned to be held in Victoria, BC, in May, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the 18th annual Canadian Brewing Awards. The Ontario-based organizing team scrambled to come up with a new method of processing and judging all the beers submitted to the judging panel. In the end, 1,504 beers were entered by 236 breweries from all across Canada, and all were judged in a safe, outdoor setup in Toronto. The awards were announced in a virtual broadcast that included creative videos from the gold medal winners, which is available to stream from the CBAC website

As usual, BC breweries did extremely well: 32 different breweries from British Columbia won a total of 43 awards in 55 categories, including 11 gold, 14 silver and 18 bronze medals. 

Dominating the field of winners was Golden’s  Whitetooth Brewing, which won five medals — more than any other brewery in Canada — including three golds, one silver and one bronze! Co-owner Kent Donaldson admitted they almost didn’t get their act together to submit beers this year, and even had to scramble to buy some packaged beers back from a local liquor store so they could submit it to be judged, but obviously he and the rest of his team are glad they did.

“Every craft brewery is dealing with challenging circumstances right now,” Donaldson acknowledged. “I’m really proud of our brewing, cellar, and packaging team, and the entire tasting room staff and how they have been coping. To think a small brewery in a small town in eastern BC could register on the national craft brewing scene is really gratifying for the team.”

Whitetooth won gold medals for Directissima Dubbel, Sickbird Northwest Pale Ale, and Icefields Belgian-Inspired Pale Ale, along with a silver for La Tenace Belgian Single and a bronze for Trepanation Tripel. 

Hedgerow Sour Cherry Wild Ale from Strange Fellows Brewing in Vancouver BC

The second biggest winner from BC was Vancouver’s Strange Fellows Brewing, which received two gold medals for Jongleur Wit and Hedgerow Sour Cherry Wild Ale, and a silver for Blackmail Oatmeal Stout. 

Street Legal IPA and Pilsner from Red Racer Beer

Several BC breweries won two medals each, including: Parallel 49 Brewing (gold and silver); Longwood Brewery (two silvers); Dageraad Brewing (one silver, one bronze); and Coast Mountain Brewing (two bronze). Central City Brewers and Distillers won two medals as well, including a silver in the Experimental Beer category for its Red Racer Street Legal IPA, which is a dealcoholized beer. Central City also makes a dealcoholized pilsner under the Street Legal brand.

Whistler Brewing won awards for Bear Paw Honey Lager and Forager Gluten Free Lager

Whistler Brewing won two medals, including a silver for its Forager Gluten Free Lager and a bronze for Bear Paw Honey Lager. The gluten-free category is typically dominated by Glutenberg, a Québec brewery that produces gluten-free beers exclusively, so it is impressive that Whistler managed to elbow its way into this category. (Interestingly, the Beer of the Year went to Glutenberg for its Red Ale.)

Two dozen other BC breweries won a single medal each. Of note, these five won gold medals:

Jet Fuel IPA from Ace Brewing in Courtenay, BC

The strength of the craft beer scene here in BC was exemplified by the fact that a few breweries that only opened in the past year won awards, including: Ace Brewing (Courtenay), which won a silver medal for its Jet Fuel IPA in the highly competitive American Style India Pale Ale category; Barnside Brewing (Delta), which won a silver for its Imperial Oatmeal Stout; House of Funk Brewing (North Vancouver), which won silver for Bootsy Farmhouse IPA; and Farm Country Brewing (Langley), which won a bronze for Free Range Country Ale. Also of note, Altitude Brewing, one of the resident incubator breweries at Callister Brewing, won a bronze medal for Vistula Baltic Porter. 

In place of the brewers’ conference that is typically held in conjunction with the awards, the Canadian Brewing Awards recorded several panel discussions earlier this summer, including four that featured BC breweries and were moderated by me. They are available for anyone to watch on the CBAC website.

2020 Canadian Brewing Awards – BC brewery winners

Here is the complete list of winners from British Columbia, arranged by judging category:

European Style Lager (Pilsner)
BRONZE: Pixel Pils | Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks 

BRONZE: POTTS PILSNER | Moon Under Water Brewery

German Style Kolsch
BRONZE: Köl Story Bro Kölsch | Brewhall Beer Co.

Wheat Beer – Belgian Style (Wit)
GOLD: Jongleur | Strange Fellows Brewing 

Baltic Porter
BRONZE: Vistula | Altitude Beer 

Belgian-Style Dubbel or Quadrupel
GOLD: Directissima Dubbel | Whitetooth Brewing 

Belgian-Style Tripel
BRONZE: Trepanation Tripel | Whitetooth Brewing

Belgian-Style Abbey Ale / Pale Ale
SILVER: La Tenace Belgian Single | Whitetooth Brewing
BRONZE: Burnabarian | Dageraad Brewing

Belgian-Style Strong Ale Pale / Dark / Specialty
BRONZE: Belgian Blond | Sooke Brewing

Belgian-Style Sour Ale – Flanders Red Ale , Oud Bruin , Lambic / Gueuze , Fruit Lambic
BRONZE: Profondo Rosso | Parallel 49 Brewing

Brown Ale
BRONZE: Woodnutt Brown Ale | Coast Mountain Brewing

Scotch Ale
SILVER: Hellroaring Scottish ale | Fisher Peak Brewing

English Style Pale Ale
SILVER: Honey Hop Pale Ale | Longwood Brewery
BRONZE: Free Range Country Ale | Farm Country Brewing

Oatmeal Stout
SILVER: Blackmail | Strange Fellows Brewing | British Columbia

Imperial Stout
SILVER: Imperial Oatmeal Stout | Barnside Brewing

North American Style Lager
GOLD: Crispy Buoy | Tapworks Brewing
BRONZE: Red Racer Lager | Red Racer Beer

North American Style Amber Lager
GOLD: The Wobbly Code | Electric Bicycle Brewing

North American Style –  Amber / Red Ale
SILVER: Rodeo Red Ale | Big Ridge Brewing
BRONZE: Round Trip Amber Ale | Red Truck Beer Company

American Style Black Ale
BRONZE: Snake Island Cascadian Dark Ale | White Sails Brewing

North American Style Pale Ale
GOLD: Sickbird Northwest Pale Ale | Whitetooth Brewing
BRONZE: Method West Coast Pale Ale | Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers

American Style India Pale Ale
GOLD: Filthy Dirty | Parallel 49 Brewing
SILVER: Jet Fuel IPA | Ace Brewing

Session India Pale Ale
GOLD: Glitter Bomb Hazy Pale Ale | Phillips Brewing & Malting
SILVER: Beep Beep | Steel & Oak Brewing

American Style Imperial India Pale Ale
GOLD: Deep Thoughts | Triple IPA | Another Beer Company

American Belgo-Style Ale
GOLD: Icefields Belgian-Inspired Pale Ale | Whitetooth Brewing
SILVER: Bootsy | House of Funk Brewing 

American Style Brett Beer
GOLD: Hedgerow | Strange Fellows Brewing
BRONZE: Mr Natural | Brassneck Brewery

Special Honey / Maple Lager or Ale
BRONZE: Bear Paw Honey Lager | Whistler Brewing

Gluten Free Beer
SILVER: Forager Gluten Free Lager | Whistler Brewing

Experimental Beer
SILVER: Red Racer Street Legal IPA | Red Racer Beer

Herb and Spice Beer
SILVER: Nightwatch Coffee Lager | Lighthouse Brewing
BRONZE: Fireside | Salt Spring Island Ales

Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer – Pale to Amber / Dark
GOLD: Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout | Russell Brewing
SILVER: Entropy Series No. 12 – Old Bretts | Dageraad Brewing 

Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
SILVER: BBA Triple Stout | Longwood Brewery 

Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
BRONZE: FOUR Barrel-Aged Golden Sour w/ Plum & Lingonberry | Foamers’ Folly Brewing

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