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Central City's IPA is CMRA's Best Beer in BC

Friday, April 3rd, 2009 — 2:30pm PDT
Comments 7

Wednesday evening we headed to the local beer & wine shop with Keira so that she could collect the standard thank you for helping me move brews. They didn’t have a run-of-the-mill selection, mostly imports and micro-brews, however we did get a brief education about cask brewing and ending up picking up a pack of the Best Beer in BC, which just happens to be from Central City Brewing in Surrey.

Red Racer

Central City’s Empire IPA (India Pale Ale) was giving this top prize in January of 2009 through the Vancouver chapter of CAMRA – the Campaign for Real Ale. Honorees included:

Best Local Brewpub: Dix BBQ & Brewery
Best Local Beer Cafe, Pub, or Restaurant: The Alibi Room
Best Local Liquor Store: Brewery Creek Cold Beer & Wine Store
Best Local Beer Event: The Whip Real Ale Sundays
Best BC Brewery: Phillips Brewing Co., Victoria
Best BC Seasonal Beer: Yaletown Oud Bruin
Best BC Beer: Central City Empire IPA

So what exactly is “real ale”? CAMRA UK explains: “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.”

CAMRA was formed in 1971 when beer lovers became fed up with the replacement of traditional and regional beers in favour of the more “mainstream”. They are an independent consumer organization that aims 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
  • I’ve always been a fan the Winter Ales, thanks to Sam Adams and local offering from the likes of Granville Island Brewing, and I know our friend Dave has an affinity for Howe Sound.

    According to the Canadian Beer Index there are over 30 microbreweries in BC (and I’m sure there are more) so I’d love to expand my horizons on the brew front – from Fernie Brewing Co., Mt. Begbie Brewing Company, Nelson Brewing Company, to the various selections on Vancouver Island. So, what’s your favourite regional beer or what you consider the “best kept secret” beer in BC?

    The beer theme is in honor of our Tweetup today at The Lions Pub

    Current contests on


    1. While I do enjoy Central City’s brews some of my perennial favourites are Philips Amnesiac Double IPA, Russell Cream Ale, Storm Scottish Cream Ale, and most of the offerings of Granville Island Brewing and R&B Brewing. I’ve also recently discovered and thoroughly enjoyed Okanagan Spring Black, and Whistler Black Tusk Ale.


    2. Tim Ayres says:

      As a true beer nerd, I’d like to say that BC has some amazing microbrew! I like all of the above commenter’s selections, too.

      If you haven’t tried it yet, there’s a new Victoria brewery called Driftwood Brewing Company. Their Driftwood Ale and Farmhand Ale are fabulous, you should give them a try.

    3. I’m partial to the offerings at Swans in Victoria. They taste great, and it’s wonderful to have some on a hot summer evening at the Swans Pub after a walk downtown in the capital.

    4. paul says:

      i really like both whistler and bowen island brewery beers.

    5. AC Money says:

      What? no Yaletown Brewery Love? Their Nut Brown Ale (think it’s called Downtown Brown now) is incredibly flavourful, hands-down my favourite beer. And their hefeweizen (sp?) still is unmatched by anyone anywhere local. If you find a better one, let me know. I have fond memories of sitting on their patio on Sundays in the summer with a hefeweizen and a 1/2 price pizza. Yum yum.

    6. Rick Green says:

      YTB love: Oud Bruin, Le Nez Rouge, India Brown Ale. The Hefeweizen is also good, but compare with Steamworks. The brewers share their yeast.

    7. […] City Cask Conditioned Imperial IPA – Based on the Central City Brewing Company’s award winning IPA, the Imperial IPA Cask was possibly the biggest beer at the fest. This is a hop lovers dream, […]

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