The top 10 craft beer stories of 2019, as decided by you!

This past year was full of big news in the world of craft beer, but what were the biggest stories? In order to find out, we cracked open our website and looked at the gooey bits inside: web traffic analytics! Here, then, are The Growler‘s most popular stories of 2019 determined by their web traffic and decided by the people.


storm brewing
Storm Brewing’s James Walton says the future of the iconic craft brewery is uncertain after its lease expires next year. Dan Toulgoet photo

1. B.C. craft breweries could be forced from communities they helped create, thanks to rising real estate and property taxes

Thanks to the two-headed hydra of rising taxes and runaway real estate speculation, the very breweries that helped create Yeast Van may be forced out of it. Craft beer has helped transform the area: instead of merely serving as a conduit for commuters travelling in and out of downtown, Powell Street has become a destination for locals and tourists alike thanks to the many craft breweries that have opened there. The streets are no longer creepily vacant after 6 p.m., and so they’ve become safer, and the neighbourhood has become desirable. Today, the area is home to 13 craft breweries, two distilleries, coffee roasters, ice cream shops, music studios, trendy restaurants and grocery stores. And, of course, condos that advertise themselves as being in the heart of the city’s brewery district. But those businesses—and the neighbourhood they helped create—may be in peril unless something can be done.


House of funk
North Vancouver’s House of Funk Brewing opened in May. Contributed photo

2. The most anticipated craft brewery openings of 2019

Our annual preview of the most anticipated breweries in B.C. for 2019 was a big hit with readers. Check out our 2020 edition here!


3. Here are the winners of The Growler’s 2019 Craft Beer Readers’ Choice Awards

Abbotsford’s Field House Brewing was the big winner this year in the Growler’s 2019 Craft Beer Readers’ Choice Awards, with nine gold medals, including Brewery of the Year. For the second year in a row, Driftwood’s Fat Tug IPA took the gold in the West Coast/Specialty IPA category, and moved up from silver last year to take the coveted Beer of the Year title. Four Winds took home nine awards, while Port Alberni’s Twin City Brewing won seven medals, including the Unsung Hero award for best small market brewery.


4. Central City wins Beer of the Year as B.C. breweries bring home 50 medals from the 2019 Canadian Brewing Awards

Central City Brewers and Distillers was the big winner at the 2019 Canadian Brewing Awards in Toronto in May, as it picked up Best in Show for its After Hours Old Fashioned Pale Ale. In all, B.C. breweries brought home 50 medals from the awards.


The team from Dageraad Brewing celebrates its nine medals at the 2019 B.C. Beer Awards. Rob Mangelsdorf photo

5. Here are all the winners of the 2019 B.C. Beer Awards

The B.C. Beer Awards celebrated its 10th anniversary in October, with Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Brewery Diploma Program shocking the crowd by taking the top prize as Brewery of the Year. Burnaby’s Dageraad Brewing won the most medals, with seven beers earning awards, while Richmond’s Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks won the coveted Best In Show award for its Pixel Pils,


6. Local, not Lucky: Friends don’t let friends drink foreign-owned macro swill

As it turns out, Lucky Lager, Vancouver Island’s unofficial beer, isn’t brewed on Vancouver Island. In fact, it isn’t even brewed in B.C!


The Crow & Gate Pub near Nanaimo was the first neighbourhood pub in B.C. Rob Mangelsdorf photo

7. You have to visit B.C.’s Bucket List Pubs

Here’s our list of unique and charming pubs around the province that we think you should venture off the beaten track to visit if you haven’t already done so. And if you’ve already visited B.C’s best pubs, then visit them again! Maybe you’ll even win the meat draw!


Who says non-alcoholic beers need to taste like garbage? Dan Toulgoet photo

8. Don’t Fear the Near Beer: The Growler’s guide to non-alcoholic beer

I think we can all agree that beer is awesome, otherwise why would you be reading this right now. However, there are times when you might want something to drink without any alcohol in it. With that in mind, Dogwood Brewing’s Claire Wilson and I sat down with seven of the most popular near beers available in B.C. to figure out which one was best (or least worst, anyways).


9. Beer Crimes: 9 of the weirdest and worst beers ever brewed

Here’s our list of unusual and largely undrinkable beer, most of which should have never existed. Because sometimes when you swing for the fences, you strike out. Hard.


Pictured from left: Sean Hodgins, president of Century Group, Adam Mills, sales and marketing director and co-founder of Four Winds Brewing Company, Greg Mills, co-founder, Brent Mills, brew master and co-founder and Kylo Hoy, head brewer. Delta Optimist file photo

10. Plans for new Four Winds brewery quashed by Delta council

Delta mayor and council voted to reject an application by Four Winds Brewing in April, quashing plans for a new 200-seat craft brewery and restaurant in the new Southlands development in Tsawwassen. The proposal would have seen the brewery and eatery housed in a 30,000-sq.-ft. building that would be up to 51 feet in height. Thankfully, Four Winds has doubled the size of its original tasting room. But still… 🙁


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