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Courtenay brewery takes silver medal at Canadian Brewing Awards

“It’s huge - they are the biggest awards in Canada that you can get (in the brewing industry).”
Courtenay’s Ace Brewing Company’s Jet Fuel IPA was chosen for second place in the annual Canadian Brewing Awards. Photo submitted

Courtenay’s Ace Brewing Company has earned a silver medal for its American-style India Pale Ale at the 2020 Canadian Brewing Awards.

Ace Brewing Company’s Jet Fuel IPA placed second 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),” says Ace’s head brewer Dan Lake.

It’s the brewery’s first award, and an impressive feat as they opened in September 2019.

They found out about the award around their one-year anniversary and watched the award ceremony via livestream, says co-owner Jo-Anne Landolt.

“We submitted six cans of the beer (for tasting); we got an email and we knew we won something, but we didn’t have any idea what it might be.”

READ MORE: Port Alberni’s Twin City wins coveted BC Ale Trail Best Brewery Experience Award

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 include poor yeast, clarification and any off-flavours. What judges grade a beer on are appearance, aroma and flavour, Lake says.

“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.”

The IPA category is probably the biggest category in terms of submissions, which makes the silver medal that much more special, he adds.

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 its Filthy Dirty IPA and La Racoleuse from La Voie Maltée in Quebec took bronze.

READ MORE: BC craft brewers pour it on for Christmas

Did you know:

Located near Canadian air force base CFB Comox, the “Ace” in Ace Brewing Company references the Ace fighter pilots of the First and Second World Wars.

To get there:

Visit Ace Brewing at 150 Mansfield Dr. in Courtenay and online at


Please note that Provincial Health Protocols currently advise against travelling outside your region to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Erin Haluschak

About the Author: Erin Haluschak

Erin Haluschak is a journalist with the Comox Valley Record since 2008. She is also the editor of Trio Magazine...
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