Every year, for the past seven years at least, CAMRA Vancouver puts on a local beer awards. These awards are a little different in that they are voted on by CAMRA Vancouver members like you and me (hopefully you). The award winners are announced and given out in front of the boisterous (drunk) membership at the CAMRA Vancouver AGM, coming up Sunday, January 13th. If you’re not a CAMRA Vancouver member yet, sign up for the sweet benefits and camaraderie and mostly the sweet benefits.
This is who I think should win this year’s awards and why:
Best Local Brewpub: Central City – Sadly there aren’t that many tremendous local brewpubs in Vancouver. Central City lacks the coziness I like in a pub, but makes the best beer by far.
Best BC Brewpub: Howe Sound – They make good beer and have a much cozier pub than Central City, plus Central City already won the previous award and should share.
Best BC Brewery: Driftwood – Because they make the best beer all around. Their regular stuff is loved by all and their seasonals have beer nerds staking out liquor stores.
Best local beer establishment: Alibi Room – Because it’s the Alibi Room with a massive selection of tasty beer, good food, top notch coziness and because it’s the Alibi Room. This is the most obvious award and should be renamed the Alibi Room Award and given to the Alibi Room for being the Alibi Room.
Best local beer server/bartender: Nigel Springthorpe – For bringing us the Alibi Room.
Best local private liquor store: Brewery Creek – Small and friendly, with a great selection and a helpful Facebook feed of new release information. Honors the CAMRA discount on all purchases, unlike other establishments that just discount beer.
Best local cask night: The Whip – In an effort to stave off obesity, I don’t go to cask nights very often. I’ll give this one to The Whip over St. Augustine’s because they’ve been doing it for a long time. Also every night is cask night at the Alibi Room.
Best local beer event: Central City Cask Festivals - I heard the VCBW event at the Alibi Room was amazing, but I didn’t get a ticket and so try to pretend it didn’t exist. Central City Cask Festivals, both summer and winter, are excellent though. Lots of one off amazing beer and, hey, there’s another one in three weeks.
Best BC beer: Driftwood Fat Tug IPA – Because it tastes the best. I want to bathe in it, but don’t because that would be a waste.
Best BC seasonal beer: Driftwood Sartori Harvest IPA – A fresh hop IPA that makes beer geeks behave like sharks at a feeding frenzy on release day. This could go to any number of other Driftwood seasonals, like Cellar Dweller or Singularity. Shout out to Central City Thors Hammer here too.
Best local beer blogger or writer: Barley Mowat – Because unlike most of us beer bloggers, he does actual work and research to write interesting things. Favourite posts include the Cascadia story and his takedown of the upcoming Craft Beer Market. Always a good read.
So that’s who should win and I think I’ll be pretty close to nailing it, but we’ll see what happens. Where am I wrong?