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January 20, 2010
CAMRA Vancouver Acclaims the Best of Local Beer
Gold, Silver, Bronze.

(Edited from the press release.)

The Vancouver chapter of the Campaign for Real Ale has announced the results of its annual members poll recognizing local and regional excellence in brewing and beer service. Surrey's Central City Brewing was awarded "Best Local Brewpub"; the Alibi Room won "Best Local Beer Cafe, Pub, or Restaurant"; and Brewery Creek Liquor Store was named "Best Local Liquor Store" for beer selection. This is the second year both the Alibi Room and Brewery Creek were rated the best in their categories.

With the growing popularity of cask-conditioned ale (Real Ale) in Vancouver, more establishments have been adding this type of beer to their offerings. For this reason, CAMRA Vancouver added a "Best Local Cask Night" to its list of awards. In a nod to its pioneering role in popularizing Real Ale in the city, Dix Barbecue and Brewery won this category and also won silver for its Winter Cask Ale Festival. The Whip was also acknowledged for its "Real Ale Sundays" when they have featured a different cask every week supplied by R&B Brewing.

Since last year, Amber Jack's Tap House, St. Augustine's Restaurant & Lounge, and Yaletown Brewing have each begun offering Real Ale on a weekly or monthly basis. The Alibi Room now offers a continuously changing selection of three cask ales nightly. They celebrated their 100th beer menu rotation on December 3rd.

Victoria continues to be a hotbed for innovative craft brewing, as evidenced by Phillips Brewing win of  "Best BC Brewery" for the fourth consecutive year, and Driftwood Brewery coming in second place in a tie with Central City Brewing. The latter's Red Racer IPA captured the imagination of CAMRA Vancouver members for a second year running as "Best BC Beer".

Seasonal favourites were reflected in the first commercial introduction of fresh hop beer in BC and last year's popularity of pumpkin ales. Local beer is most often produced with dried hop pellets. Driftwood's Sartori Harvest IPA was brewed instead with fresh Centennial hops from Sartori Cedar Ranch, a new hop yard in the Columbia Valley that is part of a grassroots effort to bring large-scale hop production back to the province. Phillips also released a fresh hop ale, their Growhop Fresh Hop Bitter, made with Chinook hops from Mission's Eagle Road Organics.

This year should be an exciting time for craft beer in BC with the premiere of the annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival from May 10-16, 2010.

The results of the 2010 CAMRA Vancouver Awards are as follows:

Best Local Brewpub

Gold: Central City Brewing
Silver: Steamworks
Bronze: Dix Barbecue and Brewery

Best Local Beer Cafe, Pub, or Restaurant

Gold: Alibi Room
Silver: The Whip Restaurant & Gallery
Bronze: The Railway Club

Best Local Liquor Store

Gold: Brewery Creek Liquor Store
Silver: BCL 39th & Cambie
Bronze: Firefly Fine Wines & Ales

Best Local Cask Night

Gold: Dix Cask Thursdays
Silver: The Whip Real Ale Sundays
Bronze: Yaletown Making it Real (Ale)

Best Local Beer Event

Gold: Alibi Room 100th Beer Menu Rotation
Silver: Dix X-mas X-treme
Bronze: CAMRA on a Mission to Mission

Best BC Brewery

Gold: Phillips Brewing
Silver: Driftwood Brewery, Red Racer aka Central City Brewing (tie)

Best BC Beer

Gold: Red Racer IPA
Silver: Phillips Longboat Double Chocolate Porter
Bronze: Crannog Back Hand of God Stout

Best BC Seasonal Beer

Gold: Driftwood Sartori Harvest IPA, Phillips Crooked Tooth Pumpkin Ale (tie)
Bronze: Phillips The Hammer Imperial Stout

About the Campaign for Real Ale:
In 1971, angry beer lovers in England formed the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) to combat the replacement of traditional regional beers with "mainstream" factory beers. Affiliated with the now 108,000-strong CAMRA UK, CAMRA BC was incorporated in 1990 as an independent consumer organization to:
- maintain consumer rights
- promote quality, choice, and value for money
- campaign for greater appreciation of traditional beers, ciders, and perries as part of our heritage and culture
- promote and preserve full-flavoured & distinctive beers and decent pubs
CAMRA Vancouver was established as a chapter of CAMRA BC in 2002.

What is Real Ale?
Real ale is a natural product brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature in the cask (container) from which it is served in the pub through a process called secondary fermentation. It is this process which makes real ale unique amongst beers and develops the wonderful tastes and aromas which processed beers can never provide.

Rick Green
President, Campaign for Real Ale Vancouver

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Copyright Cityfood Magazine 2009