Far be it from me to sound like a smug West Coaster, but B.C. craft beer is the best in Canada and every other province wishes they could be us. Don’t believe me? Check out the results of the 2022 Canadian Brewing Awards this week: B.C. craft breweries laid waste to the competition, taking home 65 medals and honourable mentions, including 21 golds and the coveted Brewery of the Year award for Squamish’s Howe Sound Brewing. Ontario came second with 46 medals and honourable mentions, while Alberta, which hosted the 2022 awards in Calgary, came in third with 30.
The list of winners came from all over the province, with breweries like Fernie Brewing and Fisher Peak bringing home some hardware for the East Kootenays, and Bulkley Valley in Smithers winning silver for Ullr’s Oatmeal Stout. On Vancouver Island, Port Alberni saw both Dog Mountain and Twin City pick up some hardware. Meanwhile, in the heart of the Okanagan, Penticton’s Cannery, Bad Tattoo, Slackwater, and Abandoned Rail (technically Naramata, but whatever) were all big winners.
You can check out the full winner’s list here and plan your weekend beer sesh accordingly. To that end, here are some of our favourite medal-winners from this year’s competition (or at least all the ones we could find at the liquor store).
10ᵒ by Dageraad Brewing (Burnaby) • 11.2% ABV • 650 mL bottles
SILVER: Belgian-Style Dubbel or Quadrupel
This is a big-ass beer for folks that can handle the strong stuff. Clocking in at close to 12% ABV, this absolute champion of a Belgian quadrupel has notes of molasses, dark fruit, and the regret of a thousand unremembered mornings.
Ruby Tears by Parallel 49 Brewing (Vancouver) • 6.0% ABV • 473 mL tall cans
BRONZE: North American-Style Amber/Red Ale
Ricky Gervais’ favourite beer got the credit it was due this year. Unsurprisingly, this West Coast-style (translation: hoppy) red ale balances malt and hops in expert fashion. This chubby little fat man might know a thing or two about craft beer.
Cherryoperis by Four Winds Brewing (Delta) 7.3% ABV • 473 mL tall cans
SILVER: Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
Brettanomyces, saison yeast and a healthy dose of Montmorency cherries combine to create a fantastic beer worthy of metallic accolades, year after year.
Hip as Funk by Moon Under Water (Victoria) • 7.0% ABV • 650 mL bottles
SILVER: Specialty IPA
Fruity and funky, this saison-esque hop bomb tastes like a West Coast IPA if it had attended private school in Belgium. Complex and more approachable than it would have you believe.
A Wee Angry Scotch Ale by Russell Brewing (Surrey) • 6.5% ABV • 650 mL bottles
Honourable Mention: Irish and Scotch Ales
Malty and smoky and thick enough to float a pound coin, this rich and chocolatey dark ale is a local favourite.