Vancouver Island breweries sweep the BC Beer Fest awards

Vancouver Island breweries sweep the BC Beer Fest awards

The Comox Valley has many things—snowboarding, mountain biking, and fall music festivals—and now it can add the best brewery in BC to that list.

At the BC Beer Awards this past weekend, Gladstone Brewing Co. won Brewery of the Year and claimed five medals. The Courtenay brewery won gold with its Porter, Hazy IPA, Red Ale, and Czech Dark Lager in each of their respective categories.

Its only silver in the light ale category saw Gladstone’s Cream Ale sandwiched between two other Central Island breweries: Courtenay’s Ace Brewing Co., which won gold for Droptank, and Port Alberni’s Dog Mountain Brewing, which won bronze for its Lit Wit. 

Over 120 BC breweries submitted their beers for competition in the BC Beer Awards, and 44 judges worked through 1,000 beers this past September and October to decide which were the best.

The South Island really impressed judges with its specialty beers, sweeping the category. Whistle Buoy Brewing in Victoria took bronze with its Undersea Gose, Sidney’s Beacon Brewing won silver with its Capacitator, and Victoria’s Ile Sauvage Brewing won gold with its Loral beer.

And it didn’t end there, either. Here are nine South Island breweries that made their mark. 

Category 12—Saanichton

Category 12 Brewing took second place for its Czech style Pilsner, Westy. An honourable mention in this category went to Comox Valley’s Ace Brewing Co. for its Spitfire Lager. 

Il Sauvage Brewing Company—Victoria

Il Sauvage is known for its vast array of sours; now, it has a well-earned award for its dedication. This year, it took home silver in the European Sour Ale category for its Pinot—a sour made with Pinot Noir grapes.

Lighthouse Brewing Co.—Vic West

Out of 11 entries to take home gold for the Imperial IPA category, Vic West’s Lighthouse Brewing Co.’s Numbskull Rakau Edition came in second. This brewery’s been around since 1998, so it’s a pleasure to see them on the list. Also: its coffee lager is fantastic too.

Mayne Island Brewing—Mayne Island

This brewery may not have won any of its categories, but it sure did make an impression. In the Smoke & Wood-Aged Beer category, Mayne Island Brewing came in third for its Barrel-Aged Brown Ale out of 19 entries from around the province.

Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.—Victoria

The brewery most synonymous with Victoria always performs. This year the Dinosour Blackberry came in second for Speciality Wild Ale, and the Blue Buck Ale also took silver in the North American Amber & Brown Ale category.

Phillips (Instagram)

Small Gods Brewing Co.—Sidney

The mighty Small Gods Brewing Co. came in strong, and out of 46 entries into the Fruit Beer section, its saison with tangerines, A Many Splendored Thing, came in second place. Here’s an article we did on Sidney’s latest brewery.

Sooke Oceanside Brewery—Sooke

With a name like Bear Beach Baltic Porter, it’s no wonder Sooke Oceanside Brewery came second in the Strong Ale & Lager category.

Vancouver Island Brewing— Victoria

With 26 entries into the Weissbier category (a 50% wheat to barley malt which makes a light-coloured top-fermenting beer), Vancouver Island Brewing took home silver for its refreshing Beachcomber Hefeweizen.

4 Mile Brewing Co.—View Royal

In the North American Pale Ale category, View Royal’s own 4 Mile Brewing Co. took home gold with its Hazy Citra Pale Ale. In third came Parksville’s Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company’s Salish Sea Pale Ale.

To see the full list of 2022 winners, visit the BC Beer Awards website here.

Written by

Ryan Hook

Ryan Hook