The BC Beer Awards and Festival served up its customary mix of surprise results, good times and delicious craft beer at the Croatian Cultural Centre in East Vancouver on Saturday evening.

Steamworks Brewing Company of Burnaby scored the biggest prize of the seventh annual awards, winning Best in Show for its recently released Flagship IPA.

That announcement came after trophies were handed out across 30 different style categories — and it was a good evening for Burnaby in general, with its two breweries leaving with the biggest hauls.

The Steamworks team with their BCBA trophy haul. (Photo: Alison Page)
The Steamworks team with their BCBA trophy haul. (Photo: Alison Page)

As well as a first-place trophy for Flagship IPA in the always-hotly contested North American IPA category, Steamworks took home two other golds (Kölsch, Scottish and Irish Ales) and two bronze medals. Meanwhile, Dageraad Brewing had judges swooning over its Belgian ales, landing them three first-place trophies, a silver, a bronze and an honourable mention.

Beer and trophies at the Dageraad booth. (Photo: Alison Page)
Beer and trophies at the Dageraad booth. (Photo: Alison Page)

Eighty-three breweries — around three-quarters of B.C.’s beer producers — entered a total of around 750 samples for the awards this year, the biggest number in the event’s history.

Burnaby’s Dageraad Brewing had judges swooning over its Belgian ales, landing them three first-place trophies.

The 2016 show, the marquee event of BC Craft Beer Month, proved the diversity of the province’s craft beer scene in more ways than one. First off, of course, there was the beer. Around 60 breweries were pouring a staggering range of styles throughout the venue’s two rooms, ranging from casks of 3% ABV traditional mild to cutting-edge lacto IPAs and monstrous barrel-aged stouts: proof enough that the BC Beer Awards and Festival would be one of the province’s top beer festivals even without the prize-giving.

Beer flowing at the Field House Brewing booth. (Photo: Alison Page)
Beer flowing at the Field House Brewing booth. (Photo: Alison Page)

Then there was the geographical spread. As more awards were announced, it became clear that many of B.C.’s furthest flung breweries were winning trophies, from Tofino Brewing in the west to Fernie Brewing Co. out east, from Barkerville Brewing Co. in the north to several of Victoria’s favourite breweries in the south. We may have been standing in BC’s craft beer central of East Vancouver, but the spread of award winners proves the consistent quality of craft beer across the province.


Nigel Springthorpe of Brassneck Brewery admires Main Street brewmaster Jack Bensley's lederhosen. (Photo: Alison Page)
Nigel Springthorpe of Brassneck Brewery admires Main Street brewmaster Jack Bensley’s lederhosen. (Photo: Alison Page)

Such high standards mean there’s no such thing as a surefire winner. In perhaps the biggest shock of the evening, Delta’s Four Winds Brewing Company left empty handed, despite having been awarded Beer of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards in May, and having been named Brewery of the Year in 2015.

The biggest shock of the evening: Delta’s Four Winds Brewing Company left empty handed.

Last, but by no means least, another part of the glass ceiling was broken on Saturday evening. After brewmaster Julia Hanlon led her Steamworks team on stage to collect the Best in Show award, the evening’s host, CBC’s Stephen Quinn, pointed out that Hanlon was the first woman brewer to win the BC Beer Awards’ top prize. The audience duly erupted into the biggest cheer of the evening.

Steamworks brewmaster Julia Hanlon gets the biggest cheer of the evening. (Photo: Alison Page)
Steamworks brewmaster Julia Hanlon gets the biggest cheer of the evening. (Photo: Alison Page)

There were several other big winners on the night. Two other breweries scored a hat-trick of golds: Nelson Brewing Company (plus a silver) and 33 Acres Brewing Company of Vancouver. Surrey’s Central City Brewers + Distillers also had a successful night, bagging six medals in total: two golds, a silver and three bronze.

Attendees voted to give the CBC People’s Choice Award to Pablo Esco Gnar IPA by Boombox Brewing Company, one of the two new brewing teams at Canada’s first collaborative brewery Callister Brewing Co., while fellow East Van operation Brassneck Brewery won the Timber Brewers Challenge for its Old Money Mild.

Field House Brewing of Abbotsford won the Rookie of the Year prize, and the Dan Small Homebrew Award was presented to Sho Ogawa and Novia Chen.

Boombox got the BCBA audience's vote. (Photo: Alison Page)
Boombox got the BCBA audience’s vote. (Photo: Alison Page)

Read on for the full list of winners:

International Lager

1: 33 Acres of Darkness (33 Acres Brewing Company)
2: Vienna Lager (Moody Ales)
3: Red Racer Pils (Central City Brewers + Distillers)

German Pale Lager

1: Red Racer Old School Lager (Central City Brewers + Distillers)
2: Keller Pilsner (Persephone Brewing Company)
3: Steamworks Pilsner (Steamworks Brewing Company)


1: Steamworks Kölsch (Steamworks Brewing Company)
2: High Country Kölsch (Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.)
3: Arctic Kölsch (Swans Brewery)

German Amber Beer

1: Gladstone Altbier (Gladstone Brewing Co.)
2: Vienna Lager (R&B Brewing Co.)
3: Potts Pils (Moon Under Water Brewery & Pub)

European Dark Beer

1: Dark Lager (Steel & Oak Brewing Co.)
2: Baltic Porter (Cannery Brewing Company)
3: Red Racer Dopplebock (Central City Brewers + Distillers)
Honorable Mention:  Brewmaster’s Black Lager (Okanagan Spring Brewery)

German Wheat Beer

1: Demimondaine Dunkelweizen (Barkerville Brewing Co.)
2: This is Hefeweizen (Moon Under Water Brewery & Pub)
3: Weizenbock (Steel & Oak Brewing Co.)

British Bitter

1: English Bitter (Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.)
2: Red Devil Ale (R&B Brewing Co.)
3: Beacon ESB (Lighthouse Brewing Company)

British Pale Ale

1: Clover IPA (Big Ridge Brewing Co.)
2: Paddywhack Organic IPA (Nelson Brewing Company)
3: English IPA (Strathcona Beer Company)

British Brown Ale

1: After Dark Ale (Nelson Brewing Company)
2: Tall Timber Ale (Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.)
3: Aethelred the Mild (Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.)

Scottish and Irish Ales

1: Classic Scotch (Steamworks Brewpub)
2: Irish Stout (Ravens Brewing Company)
3: 1880 Export Stout (Moody Ales)

British Stout

1: 52 Foot Stout (Barkerville Brewing Co.)
2: Perfect Storm (Townsite Brewing Inc.)
3: 710 Oaked Stout (Faculty Brewing Co.)

Strong Ale

1: Thor’s Hammer (Central City Brewers + Distillers)
2: Wee Heavy (Persephone Brewing Company)
3: Wobbly Bob (Red Collar Brewing Company)

Fruit Beer

1: Pinot Noir Raspberry Blonde (Tin Whistle Brewing Company)
2: Red Truck Raspberry Ale (Red Truck Beer Company)
3: Tropic Vice (Dead Frog Brewery)

Spiced Beer

1: Jackline Rhubarb Grissette (Lighthouse Brewing Company)
2: Spruce Tree Ale (Tofino Brewing Company)
3: Hibiscus Wit (Brassneck Brewery)

Smoke and Wood Aged Beer

1: Entropy Series No. 1 (Dageraad Brewing)
2: Inertia II (Brassneck Brewery)
3: Thor’s Hammer Bourbon Barrel Aged (Central City Brewers + Distillers)

Specialty Beer

1: Roggen Weizen (Steel & Oak Brewing Co.)
2: Londen (Dageraad Brewing)
3: Sour Wheat Gose (Field House Brewing Co.)

North American Light Beer

1: Hooligan Organic Pilsner (Nelson Brewing Company)
2: Jerkface 9000 (Parallel 49 Brewing Co.)
3: Cypress Honey Lager (Granville Island Brewing)

North American Blonde Ale

1: Organic Wild Honey Ale (Nelson Brewing Company)
2: Postmark Blonde (Postmark Brewing)
3: Dutch Pale Ale (Field House Brewing Co.)

North American Pale Ale

1: Chase My Tail Pale Ale (Yellow Dog Brewing Co.)
2: One Hop Mind (Callister Brewing Company)
3: East Side Bitter (R&B Brewing Co.)

North American Amber Ale

1: 33 Acres of Life (33 Acres Brewing Company)
2: Troller Bay Ale (Howe Sound Brewing)
3: Thirsty Beaver Amber Ale (Tree Brewing Co.)

North American Brown Ale

1: Bandit Brown (Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.)
2: Slipstream (Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.)
3: Kim-Ach-Touch Ale (Tree Brewing Co.)

North American Porter and Stout

1: Commander Imperial Stout (Dead Frog Brewery)
2: Stag and Pheasant Imperial Stout (Main Street Brewing Company)
3: Russian Imperial Stout (Moody Ales)

North American IPA

1: Flagship IPA (Steamworks Brewing Company)
2: Play Dead IPA (Yellow Dog Brewing Co.)
3: The Ultra Deluxe (Boombox Brewing)

Specialty IPA

1: Blonde IPA (Dageraad Brewing)
2: White ISA (Red Truck Beer Company)
3: YVR ISA (Steamworks Brewing Company)

Imperial IPA

1: 187 On An Undercover Hop (Parallel 49 Brewing Co.)
2: Cosmic Wave Double IPA (Tofino Brewing Company)
3: Second Anniversary Double IPA (Main Street Brewing Company)

Belgian Ale

1: Jongleur Wit (Strange Fellows Brewing Company)
2: Bier de Garde (Old Abbey Ales)
3: White Gold Witbier (Barkerville Brewing Co.)

Belgian Strong Ale

1: Dageraad Blonde (Dageraad Brewing)
2: Saison #7 (Main Street Brewing Company)
3: Old Barn Saison (Fernie Brewing Company)

Trappist Ale

1: 33 Acres of Euphoria (33 Acres Brewing Company)
2: Central City Belgian Strong (Central City Brewers + Distillers)
3: 10 Degrees (Dageraad Brewing)
Honorable Mention: 8 Degrees (Dageraad Brewing)

European Sour Ale

1: Raynard (Strange Fellows Brewing Company)
2: Cantus Fermus (Main Street Brewing Company)
3: Bizarro (Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.)

North American Wild Ale

1: Bodhisattva (Parallel 49 Brewing Co.)
2: Sour Raspberry (Old Abbey Ales)
3: Little Red One (Strange Fellows Brewing Company)

Best in Show

Flagship IPA (Steamworks Brewing Company)

Richards Buell Sutton LLP Rookie of the Year Award

Field House Brewing Co.

Dan Small Homebrew Award

Sho Ogawa and Novia Chen 

CBC People’s Choice Award

Pablo Esco Gnar IPA, Boombox Brewing Company

Timber Brewers Challenge

Old Money Mild, Brassneck Brewery


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