Michael Kuzyk was busy pulling beers at Vancouver Craft Beer Week on the PNE grounds when he heard the news.
Category 12, the Central Saanich brewery started by Kuzyk barely six months ago, had just earned its first gold medal at the Canadian Brewing Awards, which were taking place at the same time in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Disruption Black IPA was judged as the best Amercain Style Black Ale in the country.
A friend at the Ontario gala texted Kuzyk, momentarily stopping the flow of beer at his booth for a round of high fives.
“It’s the big event of the year,” Kuzyk said of the national awards.
The fact he was taking part in the Vancouver festival with 100 other breweries also awaiting word from Niagara helped make the news a little sweeter.
“It’s nice to get some recognition,” said Kuzyk, who grew up on the Saanich Peninsula. “It was nice to get some acceptance into the industry.”
The Canadian Brewing Awards, held this year on June 6, received 1,250 submissions for 40 categories of beer.
Disruption, one of the beers that helped launch Category 12 last December, was a hit with Greater Victoria’s craft beer scene.
“A lot of people who love Disruption said they knew it (would win),” Kuzyk said.
Originally planned to be a fall/winter seasonal, the brewery has stopped production of Disruption for now to make way for two summer beers. However, depending on the availability of hops and finding time in the small brewery’s schedule, Kuzyk hasn’t ruled out an early run of Disruption. Current plans call for the next batch to be out in late fall.
— by Jim Zeeben, News staff