The newly expanded BC Beer Awards and Festival took place in Vancouver on Saturday, with six-month-old Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company of Parksville taking the inaugural Brewery of the Year prize.
The other big winner in the eighth annual BC Beer Awards ceremony — a highlight of the province’s annual beer calendar and the showpiece event of BC Craft Beer Month — was a smoked lager collaboration between Victoria’s Swans Brewery and Nanaimo’s White Sails Brewing , which earned the coveted Best in Show award.
Brewery of the Year was one of several new awards announced, including a raft of Creative Industry Awards and Innovator of the Year, awarded to Twin Sails Brewing of Port Moody. Backcountry Brewing of Squamish was named Rookie Brewery of the Year.
The awards ceremony at the Croatian Cultural Centre, hosted by the CBC’s Dan Burritt, was wrapped into a lavish beer festival featuring almost 70 BC breweries and eight cideries, an impressive showcase of the craftsmanship the province has to offer.
For the individual style awards, judges took three days in late September to work their way through 879 entries — a record number — from almost 100 BC breweries. Awards were presented over 30 categories.
Breweries from Metro Vancouver’s suburbs recorded the best award hauls, with Dageraad Brewing of Burnaby taking home the most golds (three), along with two silvers and an honourable mention. Twin Sails (two gold, two silver, two bronze) and Steel & Oak Brewing Co. of New Westminster (four silver, two bronze) also won six honours each, while Twin Sails’ next door neighbour Yellow Dog Brewing Co. took home two golds and a bronze.
Vancouver was strongly represented by Bomber Brewing (two golds, two silvers), Parallel 49 Brewing Company (two golds, two bronze and an honourable mention) and Strange Fellows Brewing (two golds), while R&B Brewing struck gold in the most hotly contested category of North American IPA (82 entries) with its Vancouver Special IPA.
Even more hotly contested was the Best in Show award, which was decided between the 30 category winners. Judges ultimately settled on the Oktoberfest Flammenbeer, a subtly smoked amber lager brewed collaboratively by Swans and White Sails.
At the present time, the Flammenbeer is only available in limited quantities on draught and in bottles on Vancouver Island, but no doubt more will soon be brewed to satisfy what will certainly be high demand for this beer.
Some judges had to put in an additional shift immediately before the awards to decide the winner of the Brewers Challenge, which this year took the theme of a single-malt, single-hopped (SMaSH) beer. The award went to Postmark Brewing‘s Bohemian Pilsner.
Other notable results included Twin Sails sweeping the Imperial IPA category, and Boombox Brewing winning the CBC People’s Choice Award for the second year running, this time with its Rad Seeker IPA.
The final award announcement of the night gave the Brewery of the Year award to Mount Arrowsmith, which scored a gold for its blonde ale and a silver for its saison. The decision came down to the percentage of beers a brewery entered that won awards, organizers said.
Read on for the full list of winners of the 2017 BC Beer Awards, and listen to our podcast here.
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 – Mark James Group
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: Oktoberfest Flammenbeer – Swans Brewery and White Sails Brewing Collaboration
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
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 Co.
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 Co.
2: De Witte – Dageraad Brewing
3: Dino Sour – Phillips Brewing & Malting Co
Dan Small Award
Bryan Major – SMaSH Pils with Pils Malt, Mosaic hop
Rookie of the Year, presented by Richards Buell Sutton LLP
CREATIVE INDUSTRY AWARDS
Best Can Design, presented by West Coast Canning
Doan’s Craft Brewing (Crystal Weiss)
Best Bottle Label Design, presented by Great Little Box Company
Steamworks Brewing Co (Barrel Aged Series Imperial Stout)
Best Packaging – Boxes and Carriers, presented by Great Little Box Company
Doan’s Craft Brewing (Happy Pack)
Best Tap Handle, presented by Smooth Edge Design
Best Website, presented by MyZone Media
Field House Brewing
Best Social Media Presence, presented by Agency Media
Brewers Challenge, presented by Krones
Bohemian Pilsner SMaSH, Postmark Brewing
Best in Show, presented by Country Malt Group
Oktoberfest Flammenbeer, Swans Brewery and White Sails Brewing
CBC People’s Choice Award
Rad Seeker, Boombox Brewing
Innovator of the Year, presented by Newlands Systems
Twin Sails Brewing
Brewery of the Year, presented by Tap & Barrel
Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company