Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BC Craft Beer Month Buzz is Building

And Fast Approaching

October is fast approaching which means BC Craft Beer Month (BCCBM) is just around the corner and a buzz is beginning to build in the craft beer community, at least in the Lower Mainland and Victoria areas.

For those of you who do not know, October has been officially declared, by the BC Provincial Government, to be BCCBM, a month that, according to the official proclamation, "will feature a celebration of British Columbia craft beer". It is a time for craft beer lovers and those who support the BC craft beer industry, through their businesses, to shine the spotlight on themselves and on our flourishing craft beer industry which provides jobs, enhances tourism, offers a market for homegrown goods and services and produces world-class, award-winning craft beers which are finding a market all over North America.

According to Lundy Dale, Mainland Director for BCCBM, the month is, "designated by the BC government for celebrating B.C craft beers, coordinated by people who are driven by a love and passion of good craft beer". She emphasises this is not a month-long version of Vancouver Craft Beer Week or the Great Canadian Beer Festival and is not a CAMRA initiative, but is instead a month for brewers to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labours and join in the festivities created by those who support and love BC craft beers. It is a month to highlight BC craft beers and raise awareness of the importance of the craft beer industry to our province. Many business establishments do this on a daily basis and BCCBM organizers are inviting them to highlight just how they support and celebrate our local craft beer industry by spreading the word to the masses.

"We are proud of our 25-plus provincial breweries and brewpubs," states Dale, " and that number is growing. Cheers to all of them".

Yes, cheers the craft brewers of BC indeed.

So keep an eye out at your local craft beer water hole for upcoming celebrations. Let's hope the buzz continues to grow and that this month is a huge success so it can be built upon and grow into a BC tradition in years to come.

For more information on what is happening and how to get involved email info@craftbeermonth.ca or check out http://www.craftbeermonth.ca/

Saturday, September 17, 2011

BC Rocks the Canadian Beer Awards

BC brewers/breweries dominated the 9th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards, held in Toronto August 25-28, taking home 38 of the 117 medals awarded including the gold medal for "Beer of the Year" by Driftwood Brewery for their Fat Tug IPA.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am probably responsible for about 10% of Fat Tug's sales in the Lower Mainland. I have been telling everyone who will listen it is the best bottled beer in BC, but I guess I was wrong, as it has now been judged the best bottled beer in Canada.

This year's event, which was sanctioned by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), incorporated style guidelines used by the BJCP, the Brewers Association Style Guidelines and the Great American Beer Festival and included only bottled beers.

When the dust had settled and the last sample had been judged, BC easily outdistanced their closest competitors, Ontario, who brought home 31 medals and Quebec, who snagged 22. Leading the charge for BC breweries were Howe Sound Brewing, who brought home an impressive seven awards, with four silver and three bronze and Tree Brewing who were recognized four times with one gold and four bronze medals.  Not only did Howe Sound top all BC breweries, but by my count, they brought home more medals than any other brewery in the country, narrowly beating out Quebec's Unibroue who captured six medals. In total 16 BC breweries were honoured, bring home 11 gold, 14 silver and 14 bronze medals.

Last year BC made a big impact as well with, Surrey's Central City Brewing taking home three golds plus "Beer of the Year", with Thor's Hammer and "Brewery of the Year" honours. It just goes to show the quality of the brewers we have in our province and how they are pushing each other to get better and better which benefits us, the consumers, who get to taste these brilliant brews and the industry as a whole.

Well done and congratulations to all the BC brewers and breweries who were honoured!!
What a way to start building the buzz for October's BC Craft Beer Month, a month designated to celebrate BC craft beers.

List of BC winners

Howe Sound
     Silver: Diamond Head Oatmeal Stout - Stout
     Silver: Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Pumpkin Beer
     Silver: Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout - Experimental Beer
     Silver: Baldwin and Cooper Best Bitter - English Style Pale Ale (Bitter)
     Bronze: Howe Sound Lager - Kellerbier
     Bronze: Garibaldi Honey Pale Ale - N American Style Blonde/Golden Ale
     Bronze: Woolly Bugger - English Style Barley Wine
Tree Brewing Co
     Gold: Serendipity #3 - Wood or Barrel Aged  Beer
     Bronze: Thirsty Beaver Amber Ale - N American Style Amber Lager
     Bronze: Captivator Doppelbock - Bock Traditional German Style
     Bronze: Hop Head Double IPA - Imperial IPA
Driftwood Brewing Co
     Beer of the Year – Fat Tug IPA
     Gold: Fat Tug IPA - N American Style IPA
     Silver: Singularity Russian Imperial Stout - Wood or Barrel Aged Strong Beer
Vancouver Island Brewery
     Gold: Hermannator Ice Bock - Bock Traditional German Style
     Gold: Sea Dog Amber Ale - N American Style Amber/Red Ale 
     Silver: Hermann’s Dark Lager - N American Style Dark Lager
Granville Island Brewing Co
     Gold: Belgian Wit - Wheat Beer-Belgian Style White/Wit
     Silver: Cypress Honey Lager - Special Honey/Maple Lager or Ale
     Bronze: Ginger Beer - Fruit Beer
Lighthouse Brewing Co
     Bronze: Overboard Imperial Pilsner -  European Style Lager/Pilsner
     Silver: Navigator Doppelbock - Bock Traditional German Style
Okanagan Spring Brewery
     Bronze: Brewmaster’s Black Lager - N American Style Dark Lager
     Silver: Porter - Strong Porter (Baltic)
Swans Buckerfields Brewery
     Silver: Scotch Ale - Scotch Ale
     Bronze: Pandora Pale Ale - English Style Pale Ale (Bitter)
R&B Brewing Co
     Silver: Hoppelganger IPA - English Style IPA
     Bronze: East Side Bitter - N American Style Pale Ale (Bitter)
Yaletown Brewing Co
     Gold: Hill’s Special Wheat - Wheat Beer-German Style Hefeweizen
     Silver: Yaletown Oud Bruin - Wood or Barrel Aged Sour Beer
Central City Brewing Co
     Gold: Thor’s Hammer - English Style Barley Wine
     Silver: Red Racer Imperial - Imperial IPA
Dead Frog Brewery
     Gold: Pepper Lime Lager - Fruit Beer
     Bronze: Citra IPA - N American Style IPA
Mt. Begbie Brewing Co
     Gold: High County Kolsch - Kolsch
Nelson Brewing Co
     Silver: Harvest Moon Organic Hemp Ale - Kolsch
Phillips Brewing Co
     Bronze: Analog 78 - Kolsch
Fernie Brewing Co
     Gold: Sap Sucker Maple Porter - Special Honey/Maple Lager or Ale

For a complete listing of all the medal winners check out the Canadian Brewing Awards.