SOOKE – It hasn’t even been two years since Sooke Brewing Company opened its doors, and it’s already garnering national acclaim.
Just six months ago, Sooke Brewing Company cleaned up at the BC Beer Awards, taking home the Rookie of the Year and Best Tasting Room awards, plus three silvers and a bronze in individual beer categories.
This year, the company won a bronze in the American Belgo-Style ale category at the 2019 Canadian Brewing Awards for Sextuple, a beer made in partnership with Dageraad Brewing in Burnaby.
“Winning this award with Dageraad was very exciting for us,” says Sooke Brewing’s General Manager Kris Schill. “We were honored to collaborate with them, as both our breweries specialize in the Belian style. We are very happy with the way the beer came together.”
This isn’t the company’s first award at the national level. Last year, Sooke Brewing took hom another bronze for their Gin Bourbon Barrel Aged Saison, which was aged in barrels provided by Wayward Distillation House.
The relationship between Sooke Brewing company and Dageraad began after last year’s BC Beer Awards.
“Both companies won awards in the Belgian category,” says Schill. “They won a gold and a bronze, and we won silver. After that point, our brewers started talking.”
The companies’ brewers corresponded over email before meeting up at the Burnaby facility to create the beer.
“They wanted to put their minds together and come up with a really unique beer,” Schill remarks. “It’s quite a process, and requires lots of collaboration.”
The result was an Abbey Tripel beer made from three different hop types (originating in Australia, Germany, and New Zealand).
“There were a lot of hops – I would compare it to an IPA,” Schill continues. “Both breweries are very good at making heavier-hitting beers pretty smoothe, so the result was incredible. It blew everyone’s mind how smoothe the beer was for a nine per cent.”
After its release in January, Schill remarks that the company sold out of Sextuple in a matter of week. In addition to its acclaim from peers and the Canadian Brewing Awards, the beer was extremely well-received by Sooke Brewing patrons.
“I’m not sure if we’ll be making another batch of the Sextuple, but we would love to do another beer with these guys,” she says. “It might be the same, or maybe something new. Either way, we’re super happy with the first one.”
Sooke Brewing was founded by five multi-generational Sooke locals, each of whom have deep roots in the area. The company has been embraced by the community, becoming one of its most popular watering holes, and a source of pride for craft beer enthusiasts.
Winning multiple awards on both a provincial and national level is not it’s only accomplishment. The company has also created a special community atmosphere for locals.
“Our Thursday night open mics started last year, and they have really taken off,” Schill says. “We’ve become very well-known for these events, and the level of talent that performs here is incredible.”
This summer will mark the launch of Sooke Brewing’s new food truck.
“This will be a game-changer for us,” comments Schill. “Who doesn’t love great food to go with a great beer? The food truck is currently being built, and will be on-site full-time.”
This month, the company also announced the launch of the SBC Saw Club. This new initiative will recognize patrons who attend the company’s regular beer release events.
A recent social media post states, “Once you’ve attended 10 different beer releases, you’ll receive a saw blade plaque with your name on it, which will be mounted on the wall in our brewery.”
The first release event was held earlier this month. With many more events to follow, the race is on to become the first member of the SBC Saw Club.