Competition in B.C.’s growing craft beer market is tough these days, and that’s why a win at the BC Beer Awards is a really big deal for Dageraad Brewing.
Burnaby-based Dageraad took home a gold and bronze medal at the BC Beer Awards last Saturday, dominating the strong Belgian ale category – and it makes sense; it’s a Belgian-style brewery, after all.
“It is our category. We’d hoped to win other stuff, but that’s the one that we always do really well in,” said Ben Coli, founder and owner of Dageraad Brewing.
This year’s winning beers were Antwerpen (third place) and Brune (first place). This is the first time Brune has won an award, according to Coli.
“I’ve always really loved that beer,” he said. “It’s nice to see that beer get some love. It’s also always nice to win a medal like that for one of our year-round beers. It’s one we have available all the time.”
Dageraad has won an award (or five) at every BC Beer Awards for the past three years. Asked if he was disappointed Dageraad didn’t win more awards this time around, Coli said he was happy they won anything at all.
“We won Brewery of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards this year, which is a little like winning the lottery, so you can’t go and complain about not winning the lottery the next time,” he said.
When Dageraad first opened in 2014, there were fewer than 100 craft breweries in the province. That number has since grown to close to 160, with sales of B.C. craft beer doubling in the last four years, according to the BC Craft Brewers Guild.
“It is getting fierce, and there’s a lot of breweries out there. There’s breweries out there that no one’s ever heard of suddenly taking gold in a major, competitive category,” Coli added.
Looking forward, Coli said there’s a lot on the go at Dageraad. Customers can expect another batch of Antwerpen, 8 Degrees and Anno 2018, which is an annual, year-end beer made with pears. The brewery has also started bottling a new beer called Rainshine, which is a reimagining of another award-winning beer, Louise, named after Coli’s daughter.
Dageraad Brewing wasn’t the only Burnaby brewery to take home some medals at the BC Beer Awards on the weekend.
Steamworks, which has a brewery located in Burnaby, won two gold medals for best amber German beer (Winter Lager) and best North American amber and brown ale (Heroica Red Ale). It also took home a silver medal in the best fruit beer category for Frambozen.