With so many fantastic events out there, it can be hard to choose a favourite, but for me, the annual BC Beer Awards is always a real highlight of BC's 'craft beer calendar'. Like GCBF, where our craft beer industry converges on Victoria for BC's oldest beer festival, the BCBAs are a great time to catch up with friends and clients in the industry, and to enjoy some well-known and some not so well-known beers from across the province. I go to a fair number of beer events, and I'm consistently impressed by not only the organization and execution of the BCBAs, but also by how BC Craft Beer Month's signature event just keeps growing year after year, with new breweries, new submissions, and new highlights.
One major highlight for me is this year's 'Brewer's Challenge'. As you probably already know, 2015 has been dubbed the international 'year of the sour', so naturally that will be the focus for this year's challenge. As a lover of all things wild and spontaneously fermented (who understands the bad rap that some kettle sours get, but who wouldn’t go as far as supporting the small but vocal anti-kettle sour movement), I'm excited to work my way through the various contestants tomorrow night (saving room for my perennial BCBA highlight - the bourbon barrel aged Thor's Hammer).
A new feature for this year's festival is the inaugural 'Richards Buell Sutton Rookie of the Year Award'. This is obviously near and dear to me, as my firm is the sponsor, and I had the pleasure of pitching this award to the fine people behind the BCBAs and working with them over the last few months. The award recognizes BC's best new brewery, and when you look at the competition, it's pretty impressive. From 'yeast van' and the Island to the Fraser Valley, the Thompson-Okanogan and the Peace Country, a lot of fantastic new breweries have opened across our province in the last year. As someone who assists breweries when they’re first starting up and when they’re operational, I know how much care, dedication, and hard work is required to be successful in this industry, so to rise to the top and be recognized is really exceptional.
The ‘Richards Buell Sutton LLP Rookie of the Year Award' was judged on numerous criteria - the most important of which was 2015 BCBA awards tally. In addition to bragging rights and recognition, the winner will be receiving a comprehensive package of free legal services from me and my firm. Partnering with this year’s winner will be a lot of fun, and I look forward to helping them navigate the unexpected challenges and opportunities they face as they grow their exciting new brewery.
See you tomorrow.