Nine Island breweries are on the Canadian Brewing Awards’ 2022 winners list, with beer slingers up and down the Island winning.
Awards were given in 58 different beer categories based on judges’ blind taste testing of the beers.
Three Victoria breweries won four awards between them: Lighthouse Brewing (bronze for European-style lager and bronze for dry stout), Moon Under Water (silver for specialty IPA) and Whistle Buoy Buoy Brewing Company (silver for historic/regional beers).
Up Island, two breweries from Port Alberni won. Twin City Brewing Company won two silvers (traditional German-style and English-style pale ale) and gold in the smoked beer category while Dog Mountain Brewing won two bronze awards (for Belgian-style dubbel or quadrupel and Belgian-style abbey ale/pale ale). Two Courtenay breweries also picked up awards. Gladstone Brewing Company won a silver (for cream ale) and bronze (for session ale) while Ace Brewing won a bronze award (for North American-style pale ale).
In Sooke, Sooke Brewing Company picked up bronze for Belgian-style strong specialty ale and an honourable mention in the European-style amber to dark lager category while Sooke Oceanside Brewery took bronze in the Baltic porter category. Sooke Brewing Company also won its first gold award in the barley wine-style ale category – having won silver in that category last year.
“It’s a very special beer, we only brew it once a year, it takes just about a full year to be ready. So that’s a month in the steel there and then about 10 months in the barrels,” said John Adair, co-owner and head brewer at Sooke Brewing Company.
Adair said they’re always making changes to the beer to try and improve it, including sourcing the barrels locally this year.
The brewing awards are also having an increasingly local focus on the Island, which is good to see, said Adair.
“The breweries have been exploding in British Columbia for about a decade now, when Vancouver started really taking off, and more recently, we’re seeing a lot of expansion on Vancouver Island outside of the CRD, outside of Greater Victoria. That’s kind of been one of the trends. There’s some good beer being made. So it’s awesome to see other guys win too.”