Sip sip, hooray: Vancouver Island breweries win big at BC Beer Awards

Sip sip, hooray: Vancouver Island breweries win big at BC Beer Awards
Photo credit: Paloma A/Unsplash

Numerous Vancouver Island breweries sipped and celebrated at the 2023 BC Beer Awards, which annually honours the best beer brewed in British Columbia.

The ceremony was held on Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver, where a quartet of local breweries scored specialty awards.

Port Alberni-based Twin City Brewing Company was named Brewery of the Year, and following the win, staff at the brewery took to Facebook to say they were shocked and honoured.

“Congrats to our whole team and everyone that appreciates what we do,” Twin City said in the post.

“We love you all and want to see you in the lounge to celebrate with us real soon.”

Small Gods Brewing in Sidney was named Innovator of the Year, while Swift Brewing and Hoyne Brewing, both in Victoria, were named Rookie of the Year and Best in Show, respectively.

READ ALSO: Books and brews: New literary-themed brewery opens in Sidney

But winning big is nothing new for Island breweries, which were also recognized at the 2022 BC Beer Awards ceremony.

“The BC Beer Awards is not just a gathering of local breweries, but a platform to bring together like-mind individuals who appreciate the artistry behind every pint,” say organizers.

This year, judges sampled hundreds of entries leading up to the ceremony and narrowed it down to 29 different beer styles.

In total, more than a dozen Island breweries won awards, and the full list of local winners, including their ranking and beer recognized, is below:

International Pale Ale

  • 1st – Sooke Oceanside Brewing (Sooke) – Leetchtown Lager
  • 2nd – Ace Brewing (Courtenay) – Golden Hour Cezch

Pale Malty German Lager

  • 2nd – Gladstone Brewing (Courtenay) – Gladstone Festbier

Amber Lager

  • 1st – Hoyne Brewing (Victoria) – Svec Czech Half Dark Lager

Dark Lager

  • 2nd – Gladstone Brewing (Courtenay) – Czech Dark Lager
  • 3rd – Tofino Brewing (Tofino) – Dark Lager

Strong Ale & Lager

  • 3rd – Category 12 Brewing (Saanichton) – 8th Anniversary Barleywine


  • 1st – LoveShack Libations (Qualicum Beach) – Killer Kolsch

Hoppy UK Ale

  • 1st – Twin City Brewing (Port Alberni) – Tickity Boo

Malty UK & Irish Ale

  • 1st – Hoyne Brewing (Victoria) – Dark Matter
  • 3rd – Ucluelet Brewing (Ucluelet) – St. Aiden’s Porter

Specialty Fruit Beer

  • 2nd – Twin City Brewing (Port Alberni) – Out on a Limb

Spiced Beer

  • 2nd – 4 Mile Brewing Co. (Victoria) – Level Ground Coffee Lager
  • 3rd – Mount Arrowsmith Brewing (Parksville) – The Sprut Spruce Tip Brut IPA

North American Light Lager

  • 1st – Vancouver Island Brewing (Victoria) – Islander Lager

North American Light Ale

  • 2nd – Gladstone Brewing (Courtenay) – Gladstone Cream Ale

North American IPA

  • 1st – Herald Street Brew Works (Victoria) Gonzalas Bay IPA
  • 2nd – Ucluelet Brewing (Ucluelet) – South Swell West Coast IPA

Specialty IPA

  • 3rd – 4 Mile Brewing Co. (Victoria) – Cole Island Session IPA

Hazy IPA

  • 1st – Swift Brewing (Victoria) – Smooth Operator Citra Hazy Pale Ale

Belgian Ale

  • 1st – Twin City Brewing (Port Alberni) – Nocturne

Specialty Wild Ale

  • 1st – Mount Arrowsmith Brewing (Parksville) – Weekend Rambler 4.0
  • 2nd – Whistle Buoy Brewing (Victoria) – Zipline Gose

“We are incredibly proud of the winners, and we salute every brewery that participated, pushing the boundaries of craft beer in B.C.,” added organizers.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!