B.C. Beer Blog

The who, what, where, when, why, and how of B.C. craft beer

CAMRA Vancouver Recognizes Local Beer Excellence

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Central City brewer, Gary Lohin

Central City brewer, Gary Lohin.

The Vancouver chapter of the Campaign for Real Ale has announced the results of its annual members poll recognizing local and regional excellence in brewing and beer service. Surrey’s Central City Brewing was awarded Best Local Brewpub; the Alibi Room Best Local Beer Cafe, Pub, or Restaurant; and Brewery Creek Liquor Store, Best Local Liquor Store for beer selection. This is the second year both the Alibi Room and Brewery Creek were rated the best in their categories.

With the growing popularity of cask-conditioned ale (Real Ale) in Vancouver, more establishments have been adding this type of beer to their offerings. For this reason, CAMRA Vancouver added a Best Local Cask Night to its list of awards. In a nod to its pioneering role in popularizing Real Ale in the city, Dix Barbecue and Brewery won this category and won silver for its winter cask ale festival. The Whip is also acknowledged for its Real Ale Sundays with a different cask every week supplied by R&B Brewing.

Since last year, Amber Jack’s Tap House, St. Augustine’s Restaurant & Lounge, and Yaletown Brewing have each begun offering Real Ale on a weekly or monthly basis. The Alibi Room now offers a continuously changing selection of three cask ales nightly. They celebrated their 100th beer menu rotation on December 3.

Victoria continues to be a hotbed for innovative craft brewing, as evidenced by Phillips Brewing winning Best BC Brewery for the fourth year and Driftwood Brewery coming in second place, in a tie with Central City Brewing. The latter’s Red Racer IPA captured the imagination of CAMRA Vancouver members for a second year running as Best BC Beer.

Seasonal favourites reflected the first commercial introduction of fresh hop beer in BC and the popularity of pumpkin ales last year. Local beer is mostly produced with dried hop pellets. Driftwood’s Sartori Harvest IPA was brewed instead with fresh Centennial hops from Sartori Cedar Ranch, a new hop yard in the Columbia Valley that is part of a grassroots effort to bring large-scale hop production back to the province. Phillips also released a fresh hop ale, their Growhop Fresh Hop Bitter, made with Chinook hops from Mission’s Eagle Road Organics.

This year should be an exciting time for craft beer in BC with the premiere of the annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week festival from May 10-16.

The results of the 2010 CAMRA Vancouver Awards are:

Steamworks brewer, Conrad Gmoser

Conrad Gmoser, Steamworks brewer.

Best Local Brewpub

Gold: Central City Brewing

Silver: Steamworks

Bronze: Dix Barbecue and Brewery

Best Local Beer Cafe, Pub, or Restaurant

Gold: Alibi Room

Silver: The Whip Restaurant & Gallery

Bronze: The Railway Club

Best Local Liquor Store

Gold: Brewery Creek Liquor Store

Silver: BCL 39th & Cambie

Bronze: Firefly Fine Wines & Ales

Best Local Cask Night

Gold: Dix Cask Thursdays

Silver: The Whip Real Ale Sundays

Bronze: Yaletown Making it Real (Ale)

Driftwood brewer, Jason Meyer

Driftwood brewer, Jason Meyer.

Best Local Beer Event

Gold: Alibi Room 100th Beer Menu Rotation

Silver: Dix X-mas X-treme

Bronze: CAMRA on a Mission to Mission

Best BC Brewery

Gold: Phillips Brewing

Silver: Driftwood Brewery, Red Racer aka Central City Brewing (tie)

Best BC Beer

Gold: Red Racer IPA

Silver: Phillips Longboat Double Chocolate Porter

Bronze: Crannog Back Hand of God Stout

Best BC Seasonal Beer

Gold: Driftwood Sartori Harvest IPA, Phillips Crooked Tooth Pumpkin Ale (tie)

Bronze: Phillips The Hammer Imperial Stout

2 Responses

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  1. Did Brewery Creek lose any points for being horrendously expensive?

    Schramm vodka from Pemberton: $62 at Brewery Creek, $50 in the BC Liquor Stores. I’m pretty sure they’re not paying great wages, so where does the money go?


    January 23, 2010 at 1:06 am

    • Cost was not a factor in the voting — beer selection and service. As for wages, they actually do pay above industry standard, which is why they have competent staff with product knowledge, not just shelf stockers and cashiers.


      January 23, 2010 at 9:16 am

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