Beer enthusiasts, rejoice!
Eight Vancouver Island breweries took home nine winning titles at the 2019 B.C. Beer Awards in Vancouver on Oct. 20. Here’s a quick snapshot of the island winners from the 10th annual competition.
Rookie of the Year: Île Sauvage Brewing Company, Victoria, 2960 Bridge Street
European Sour: Shiro Shiro, Île Sauvage Brewing Company & Whistle Buoy Brewing Company, Victoria, 2960 Bridge Street
Best Packaging Design: Vancouver Island Brewing’s Pod Pack, Victoria, 2330 Government Street
Dark and Strong European Beer: Hermannator Ice Bock, Vancouver Island Brewing, Victoria, 2330 Government Street
Specialty Fruit Beer: Late Bloomer Strawberry Hibiscus Sour, Twin City Brewing Company, Port Alberni, 4503 Margaret Street
North American Pale Ale: Hazy Citra Pale Ale, 4 Mile Brewing Co., Victoria, 199 Island Highway
North American Blonde Ale: Bastion Blonde Ale, White Sails Brewing, Nanaimo, 125 Comox Road
North American Porter and Stout: Porter, Gladstone Brewing Company, Courtenay, 244 4th Street
Best Merch and Apparel: Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company, Parksville, 425 Stanford Avenue East
Four breweries in Greater Victoria alone took first place in various categories, including newly opened breweries Ile Sauvage and Whistle Buoy Brewing companies.
Shiro Shiro Berliner Weisse won top prize place at the awards in the European Sour category, which had 25 entries from around B.C.
The beer is named after shiro plums, a Japanese plum variety that were grown in Victoria, which were harvested by the Lifecycles project, a local non-profit organization that focuses on food security.
“This hyper-local product is a great example of how small businesses are working together in Victoria and competing on a high level in a very competitive craft beer market,” says head brewer and co-owner Stephane Turcott.
“We kind of felt like the rest of BC was having so much fun doing amazing collaborations. So once Whistle Buoy opened we knew we had new peers that we could have fun with and hopefully bring awareness to a new wave of beer from Victoria. At the end of the day, it was a really fun and creative project that I hope we are all proud of.”
This beer was packaged by Valkyrian canning, a new Victoria start-up owned and operated by Zac Roff that offers a mobile packaging service to breweries on the Island. The labels were designed by Kayla Craven, a freelance graphic designer from Victoria.
Year after year, the event grows bigger. Back in 2010, only 187 beers were entered by 36 breweries. This year, 1,185 were entered by 122 breweries.