A Courtenay brewery has been awarded a silver medal for their American-style India Pale Ale at the 2020 Canadian Brewing Awards.
Ace Brewing Company’s Jet Fuel IPA was chosen for second place in the annual awards, the country’s national competition for judging the quality of Canadian-manufactured beer. A Canadian Brewing Award medal is a widely recognized symbol of Canadian brewing excellence.
“It’s huge – they are the biggest awards in Canada that you can get (in the brewing industry),” said Ace’s head brewer Dan Lake.
It’s the first time the brewery has won an award, an impressive feat as they opened just over one year ago on Sept. 13, 2019.
Co-owner Jo-Anne Landolt added they found out about the award around their one year anniversary and watched the award ceremony via livestream.
“We submitted six cans of the beer (for tasting); with got an email and we knew we won something, but we didn’t have any idea what it might be.”
Lake explained the competition includes a blind tasting where members of a panel sample beers and rate them on a scoresheet, which includes different details about a beer. Most importantly, he noted, is that the beer does not have flaws, which includes poor yeast, clarification and any off-flavours. What judges would grade a beer on are appearance, aroma and flavour, he said.
“Particularly in an IPA, they’re looking at the bitterness, hop flavours and aroma, some malt, but not too much to overpower the hops. We got some really good feedback; it’s a beer that’s not trying to hide anything, and it’s what IPAs used to be when they first came out.”
He noted the IPA category is probably the biggest category in terms of submissions, which makes the silver medal that much more special.
Lake describes Jet Fuel IPA as a balance between citrus and pine flavours, with some newer hops flavours consisting of tropical fruit aromas such as mango and peach, and a bit of coconut.
“It’s a balance between traditional and new world hops.”
Fellow B.C.-based brewer Parallel 49 Brewing took gold with their Filthy Dirty IPA and La Racoleuse from La Voie Maltée in Quebec took bronze.