Skip to content

Silver linings: Port Coquitlam business sips victory at national brewery awards

Cheers, to Boardwalk Brewing as its Cotton Candy Belgian Red added some crystal to the Port Coquitlam beer company's taproom.
Port Coquitlam's Boardwalk Brewing brought home a silver medal from the 2023 Canadian Brewing Awards in Halifax, N.S., for its cotton candy Belgian ale.


That's Belgian for "Cheers," which is likely what the owners of Boardwalk Brewing are shouting after winning some hardware at a recent national beer gala.

The young Port Coquitlam business, which opened in 2021, brought back a silver medal from the 2023 Canadian Brewing Awards in Halifax, N.S., on June 3.

Its Cotton Candy Belgian Red claimed the prize in, what was called, the "Honey/Maple/Alternative Sugar Lager or Ale" category at the 21st annual event.

Boardwalk also received a shiny piece of crystal to commemorate the honour for its taproom.

"This is an incredible achievement for our brewery and we are so proud of our team for their hard work and dedication to producing quality brews," Boardwalk Brewing stated in a social media post.

"We would like to thank our amazing crew for their tireless efforts in crafting delicious and innovative beers that truly stand out in the industry. We couldn't have achieved this success without their passion and expertise."

Triumph after theft

The PoCo company's Cotton Candy ale was publicly introduced in late February.

Boardwalk Brewing is located at 2155-575 Seaborne Ave. in the Dominion Triangle neighbourhood, inspired by the confluence of the Pitt and Coquitlam rivers.

And the award may be a prime example of patience and perseverance for the industry.

Boardwalk was set to open in late 2020, but two one-tonne beer tanks were stolen at a value of $40,000.

Police, however, were able to find and recover the equipment in Maple Ridge and Surrey in a span of three days.

Boardwalk officially opened July 17, 2021, after the "hiccup" and "headache," as described by owner Phil Saxe to the Tri-City News at the time.

Sweet victory

In Halifax, Boardwalk was the only Tri-Cities brewery to win a medal at the annual banquet.

The silver was one of 51 awards accumulated by B.C. breweries — more than 20 by those crafting specialty drinks across Metro Vancouver — which was the most individual honours for a province.

Boardwalk's Cotton Candy drink is described as a strong "complex ale" as its winter-season concoction includes caramel, candy syrup and, of course, cotton candy.

Layered Munich malts are also used along with a "gentle touch" of wheat.

This turned the heads of certified professionals that judged the blind-tasting competition at the Canadian Brewing Awards, which saw 2,171 submissions from more than 400 craft breweries across the nation.

"We extend our deepest gratitude to our wonderful customers who have supported us," Boardwalk added. 

"Your loyalty and enthusiasm for our beers have been a constant source of inspiration and motivation for us to continue pushing the boundaries of what a great beer can be."

- with a file from Brendan Kergin, Vancouver Is Awesome