John and Brad from Sooke Brewing Company (Facebook)

A brewery in Sooke is racking up awards and celebrating success, raising a toast after taking home top honours on the national stage.

This past weekend in Calgary, Alberta, Sooke Brewing Company’s Barley Wine-Style Ale won gold in the Barleywine category at the 2022 Canadian Brewing Awards (CBAC). 

“It feels really good. It really does. It’s a good feeling,” head brewer John Adair told Victoria Buzz in an interview.

Along with gold, Sooke Brewing won bronze for its Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale, as well as an honourable mention for its European Style Amber to Dark Lager.

Adair’s beyond thrilled he was able to attend the annual awards ceremony in person this year, noting the brewery has scored several trophies since opening in 2017.

“We’ve won a number of awards at the Canadian Brewing Awards, but this was my first opportunity to get away from the brewery and personally accept an award, which was really nice,” said Adair.

Crediting itself as a national competition for judging Canadian-manufactured beer, the CBAC invites breweries and beer brands of all sizes to compete each year in a blind tasting to determine the best beers in 58 style categories.

“A Canadian Brewing Award medal is a widely recognized symbol of Canadian brewing excellence,” states a post on its website.

According to Adair, the celebratory weekend also comes amid an uptick in business.

“It’s really starting to get busy. Especially since the vaccine passport was lifted, we’ve really seen a good bump in business,” he added.

“We’re right around that point of our pre-pandemic sales numbers, which is definitely where we want to get back to. We’re hoping that trend continues into the summer.”

CORRECTION: This story previously stated Sooke Brewing Company won bronze at the Canadian Brewing Awards for its Baltic Porter. It was, in fact, Sooke Oceanside Brewery that took home this award. Victoria Buzz apologizes for the error.

John and Brad with the Gold 🥇🥇🥇! Best Barleywine in Canada baaaabay!

Posted by Sooke Brewing Company on Saturday, May 14, 2022

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