Dageraad continues winning streak at beer awards

It was another standout year for Dageraad Brewing at the B.C. Beer Awards.

The local craft brewery took home three gold medals and two silver medals at the annual awards, held on Oct. 21 in Vancouver, adding to the brewery’s already full trophy case, according to Ben Coli, owner of Dageraad Brewing.

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“We’ve won more medals in the B.C. Beer Awards in the last two years than any other brewery. This little brewery in Burnaby, that’s us,” he said.

Among the gold medals Dageraad received, one was for its Lake City Farmhouse saison.

“I guess it got better this year because last year it didn’t win anything, but this year it was the best saison in the show,” Coli said.

The brewery also took a gold medal for its Anno 2016, a fruit beer Coli said was touted as the brewery’s alternative to champagne. Also taking home gold was the Belgian strong ale Louise, one of two beers named after Coli’s twins in honour of their first birthday. (The other beer is Oscar.)

“Oscar won nothing,” he laughed, “so I have some explaining to do to my son.”

Dageraad also won itself a pair of silver medals in the Belgian strong and wild specialty categories for Antwerpen and De Witte, respectively.

“We started off really slowly. We only had two beers when we first opened. Now we have five fulltime beers that are available year round,” Coli said, adding Dageraad entered more than 20 beers in this year’s contest.

Now in its eighth year, competition at the B.C. Beer Awards is fierce, just like it is in the industry, Coli said.

In the fruit beer category, for example, there were 50 entries. In fact, of the 30 categories included in the awards, there were an average of 20 to 30 entries per category. (North American IPA had 60 entries.)

In all, B.C. Beer Awards received 879 entries from 97 breweries.

“A lot of breweries put in a lot of beers, and most of them won’t win; it’s just a reality,” Coli said.

“The competition has gotten stiff, so I was really happy we did as well as we did again.”

Competition continues even after the awards, Coli said.

The sales team at Dageraad is out and about on a daily basis trying to get the beer into more pubs and restaurants. While Coli knows they’re selling more than they have before, he said it feels harder because of the growing number of breweries in the market.

Last year, Dageraad was producing about 150,000 litres of beer. Today, that is up to about 190,000 litres. The ultimate goal is to have 300,000 litres coming out of the brewery.

“We’re not exploding like some other breweries are intending to. We’re a speciality brewery; we’re going to grow to maybe 300,000 litres a year and then just call it quits and be happy with that,” Coli said.

In the meantime, Dageraad fans can expect two new beers to be released in the coming months. First up is 8 Degrees, a dark strong ale sweetened with date sugar, followed by 10 Degrees.


A few kilometres west…

Burnaby-based Steamworks Brewing Co. brought home its own gold medal last month.

Steamworks won a gold medal for its Heroica Red Ale for best North American amber ale, beating out Whistler Brewing Co. and Brassneck Brewery.

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