The 2023 BC Beer Awards were celebrated at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver on Saturday, October 21. The big winner of the evening was Twin City Brewing from Port Alberni, which returned to the podium after winning Beer of the Year at the 2018 BC Beer Awards and numerous individual awards since then. Overall, Twin City Brewing won three awards: gold medals for Tickity Boo (Hoppy UK Pale Ale category) and Nocturne (Belgian Ale) and a silver medal for Out on a Limb (Specialty Fruit Beer).
Sharing the spotlight at the top was Victoria’s Hoyne Brewing, which won Best in Show for Dark Matter, the gold medal winner in the Malty UK & Irish Ale category. Hoyne also won a gold medal for Svec Czech Half Dark Lager (Amber Lager category).
Other featured winners on the evening included: Victoria’s Swift Brewing, the house brewery at Craft Victoria Harbour, which won Rookie of the Year and a gold for its Smooth Operator Citra Hazy Pale Ale; Small Gods Brewing in Sidney, which won Innovator of the Year; and Moody Ales & Co. (Port Moody), which won the Judge’s Choice Award and a gold medal for its Oktoberfest lager, along with a bronze for its Vienna Amber Lager.
Legend Awards were presented to Don Gordon, President of Parallel 49 Brewing, recognizing his long history of tireless work at the BC Craft Brewers Guild, and Ken Beattie, Executive Director of the BC Craft Brewers Guild and Lead Administrator of the BC Ale Trail.
Don Gordon spent 15 years with Whistler Brewing and Northam Beverages before moving to Parallel 49 Brewing earlier this year. In 2012, Don played a key role in helping to create the BC Craft Brewers Guild. He was a Chair of the Board for a while and played a big part in hiring Ken Beattie as the Guild’s Executive Director. During COVID, Don introduced and pushed for the Buy BC program, which encouraged consumers to continue to support local businesses during the lockdowns. Currently, he is one of the driving forces for Federal Excise Tax reform, working with the Canadian Craft Brewers Association on that important file.
Ken Beattie spent 25 years mostly selling beer for Molson and Okanagan Spring before he joined the craft beer community and began teaching beer education classes in 2012. Then, in 2013 he became the Executive Director of the BC Craft Brewers Guild, an organization he has led ever since. At the Guild he has tirelessly worked to support the craft beer industry by lobbying the government for reform and improvements, helping to develop a Code of Conduct for all members, and leading the BC Ale Trail project, among many other achievements.
Highlighting winners of multiple medals:
Steel & Oak Brewing (New Westminster) won three awards: gold medals for Weissbier and Megalith Barleywine, and a bronze for its Berliner Weisse.
Vancouver’s Container Brewing also won two gold medals for Barrel Aged Seawise Giant and Twice Forgotten West Coast Double IPA.
Dageraad Brewing won five medals in total: silvers for Blonde, Helleraad, Negen and Field Theory, and a bronze for Brune.
Vancouver’s Powell Brewery won four medals: gold for Black Velvet stout, silver for Hop Juice, and bronze medals for Old Jalopy and Powell Lager.
Gladstone Brewing (Courtenay) won three silver medals for its Festbier, Czech Dark Lager and Cream Ale.
Ucluelet Brewing made a strong showing with a silver medal (South Swell West Coast IPA), bronze (St. Aiden’s Porter) and an honourable mention (Storm’s A Brewin’ Latte Stout).
Even though there is no gluten-free beer category, Kelowna’s Grey Fox Brewing, which is an entirely gluten-free facility, made a strong showing by winning an honourable mention for its Humble Lager in the Specialty Beer category.
Other gold medal winners included:
- 33 Brewing Experiment – Mezcal Gose
- Cannery Brewing – Wildfire Dark Lager
- Deadfall Brewing – Cold IPA
- Field House Brewing – Toasted Coconut Black Lager
- Four Winds Brewing – Saison
- Herald Street Brew Works – Gonzales Bay IPA
- HUB Brew Co. – Lightspeed
- Love Shack Libations – Killer Kölsch
- Mount Arrowsmith Brewing – Weekend Rambler 4.0
- Neighbourhood Brewing – Johnny’s Premium Pale Ale
- R&B Brewing – Dill Pickle Gose
- Sooke Oceanside Brewing – Leechtown Lager
- Strange Fellows Brewing – Reynard Oud Bruin
- Studio Brewing – Felix American Stout
- Vancouver Island Brewing – Islander Lager
- Vice & Virtue Brewing – Sweet Salvation Pastry Stout
- White Rock Beach Beer – Peace Arch Pilsner
- Whitetooth Brewing – Blonde Ale
For the complete list of winners go to the BC Beer Awards website.