Brew business booming on the island

Island breweries represent at BC Beer Awards; local coffee roaster honoured

Island brews – of both the beer and coffee variety – were honoured recently, taking home a slew of BC Beer Awards and the year’s top honour from Roast Magazine.

A sold out crowd packed into the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver on Oct. 21 to honour the best in B.C. brewing at the annual awards hosted by CBC’s Dan Burritt. While Phillips Brewing took home top honours in the Best Kolsch and Wild Specialty categories, Swans Brewery shared in the Best in Show title with White Sails Brewing for their Oktoberfest Flammenbeer.

In the British Ale category, Esquimalt’s Lighthouse Brewing wowed the judges with their Tasman Pale Ale, while Forbidden Brewing in Courtenay impressed enough taste buds with their Organic Pale Ale to take first prize in the British Bitter bracket.

Sooke Oceanside Brewery, Twin City Brewing Company and Tofino Brewing Company all placed in top ale categories; over 900 hundred beers were sampled from 60-plus breweries across the province and judged in 34 categories.

But it was Parksville’s Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company that walked away with an armful of honours including best American Blonde Ale, second place in saisons for their Sea Run Saison and the coveted Brewery of the Year Award, despite being open just six months.

And in the land of the bean, Roast Magazine has granted Victoria’s Oughtred Coffee & Tea, Roaster of the Year, the most prestigious award in the North American coffee industry. The award is a first for Western Canada, and only the fourth time a Canadian roaster has taken home the award in almost 15 years. Roast Magazine honoured Oughtred for their commitment to sustainable practices, employee wellness, educational practices and involvement in roasting innovations, marketing and business practices.

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