Top 1 Percent of BC Craft Beer

1000 Bottles of Craft Beer On The Wall – The Top 1% of all BC Craft Beer

The Top 1 Percent of BC Craft Beer4 Years, 1000 Reviews, The Top 1% of BC Craft Beer

The first beer review on went live on April 20, 2012. Fast forward to March 14, 2016 and the 1000th beer review was posted. The bookends of this monumentous occasion are the Phillips Amnesiac Double IPA and the Steel & Oak Weizenbock. Over the course of nearly 4 years the BC Craft Beer industry saw great change. The number of breweries nearly tripled, conventional beer style classifications have been stretched and even a few breweries have closed in that time. But, superseding everything else there has been some amazing beers for BC beer consumers to enjoy. More recently, local libations have been shared abroad as the local craft beer scene expands outside the borders of British Columbia. BC clearly is the best place in Canada for craft beer.

Over the past 4 years and reviewing 1000 beers there are a number of stand out products that have been truly memorable. Looking at the rating scores for the top BC craft beers, the differences between many are minute and opinion is subjective, but out of 1000 reviews only 10 can claim the top 1 percentile of scoring.

Here are the top 10, or 1% of BC Craft Beers Reviewed on Beer Me BC.


Four Winds Brewing Phaedra Rye IPA Review

Top Rated BC Craft Beer #1 – Four Winds Phaedra Rye IPA

The Four Winds Phaedra was a popular beer but not as highly recognized as some of their other releases. Despite that fact, this beer claimed the top spot in the review scoring at 4.825. This is a fantastic Rye IPA that is smooth, bitter and lightly spiced with notes of Rye. A fantastic rendition of the Rye IPA Style by 2015 Canadian Brewery of the year from Delta BC, Four Winds Brewing Company.
Read the Phaedra Rye IPA Review

Four Winds Brewing Vexillum Imperial IPA Review

Top Rated BC Craft Beer #2 – Four Winds Vexillum Imperial IPA

Four Winds Brewing Company has really made a splash since opening in 2013. Not only did they take top spot with the Phaedra, but the Vexillum came in just behind in 2nd spot with a score of 4.73. This is a big and bitter, 100 IBU Imperial IPA that takes the fresher, fruitier approach to hop flavour. Mango, melon and grapefruit tones dance on the tongue while high alcohol content warms the throat back to front. The Vexillum is balanced while being big, intense and a massive sensory experience.
Read the Vexillum Imperial IPA Review

Tofino Brewing Hoppin Cretin IPA Review

Top Rated BC Craft Beer #3 – Tofino Brewing Hoppin’ Cretin IPA

The Hoppin Cretin is as well known for its BC IPA flavour as it is for its label. Playing homage to the Ramones and their hit ‘Cretin Hop’. The tribute to a classic song is nothing compared to what the beer has in store though. A score of 4.63 is well deserved as a classically piney and citrus flavoured IPA. BIg hops, fairly high alcohol and a classically bitter finish, the Hoppin Cretin is the epitome of what has made pacific northwest style IPAs so popular.
Read the Hoppin’ Cretin IPA Review

Driftwood Fat Tug IPA (New Label)

Top Rated BC Craft Beer #4 – Driftwood Fat Tug IPA (tie)

British Columbia’s favourite beer has been time and time again the Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery. Driftwood set the bar high and they set the bar early with this big-hop IPA. With a score of 4.63 The Fat Tug is tied for 3rd spot in our top 1% List. The Fat Tug has defined what a BC IPA can be and many breweries now use this beer as a benchmark for where they need to be. The beer is fruity, piney, and a massive hit of hops to the palate. It is intense and that is just why BC loves Fat Tug.
Read the Fat Tug IPA Review

Red Racer Imperial IPA Review

Top Rated BC Craft Beer #5 – Central City Red Racer Imperial IPA

The Red Racer Imperial IPA was first released under the Central City brand but later moved under the Red Racer Label. The beer though, has remained consistent and delicious throughout the shift. One of the original big beers in the current BC craft beer movement the Red Racer Imperial IPA has become a symbol of what BC has to offer with many craft beer fans. In addition to a score of 4.61, the accolades that come after this beer’s name show that it is not only one of BC’s best but it has also survived the test of time.
Read the Red Racer Imperial IPA Review

Driftwood Brewery Black Stone Porter Review

Top Rated BC Craft Beer #6 – Driftwood Black Stone Porter

While best known for the Fat Tug IPA, Driftwood Brewery has a strong roster of beers that rival BC’s best. It isn’t all about hops either and with a score of 4.60, the Black Stone Porter is the #6 top beer in our list. This big-bodied porter has delicious notes of coffee and chocolate balanced with a smooth and bitter finish. Hoppier than many porters this beer balances tradition with the unquenchable BC thirst for hops.
Read the Black Stone Porter Review

Bridge Brewing Imperial White IPA Review

Top Rated BC Craft Beer #7 – Bridge Brewing Imperial White IPA

Bridge Brewing has come out with a number of great beers but at the top of their brews is the Imperial White IPA. This is no normal IPA as light wheat tones give a softness to the flavour while white wine oak gives a grape and gooseberry flavour to the beer along with an earthiness. With a score of 4.59 the Bridge Brewing Imperial White IPA is the 7th top rated beer.
Read the Bridge Imperial White IPA Review

Driftwood Brewing Co. – Sartori Harvest Fresh Hopped IPA Review

Top Rated BC Craft Beer #8 – Driftwood Sartori Harvest Fresh Hopped IPA

Driftwood Brewery’s Sartori Harvest Fresh Hopped IPA paved the way for fresh hop beers in BC. Every year this brew remains at the top of BC beer fan’s hit list for limited release seasonals and sells out nearly immediately. Big, resinous hop flavour takes control of this beer with a light sweetness and grassy flavour in a palate exploding experience. The Driftwood Sartori Harvest IPA receives a score of 4.58 and takes the 8th place spot.
Read the Sartori Harvest Fresh Hop IPA Review

Hoyne Brewing - Dark Matter Review

Top Rated BC Craft Beer #9 – Hoyne Dark Matter

Hoyne Brewing’s Dark Matter is a delicious mystery for many craft beer fans. The beer is not categorized by the brewery and sits somewhere between a Brown Ale and a Porter in colour and flavour. Despite not being easily categorized it is none-the-less delicious. Roasty flavours meld with chocolate hints that lead into coffee notes on the finish. The Dark Matter is in a class of its on for flavour and that is why it receives a score of 4.55 and 9th place.
Read the Dark Matter Review

Townsite Brewing Perfect Storm Oatmeal Stout Review

Top Rated BC Craft Beer #10 – Townsite Brewing Perfect Storm Oatmeal Stout

Probably the least known beer in the top 10 rated beers is from Powell River BC’s Townsite Brewing. While best known for Belgian styled beers their Perfect Storm Oatmeal Stout rounds out the top 10 list with a score of 4.53. This beer is classically styled with flavours of caramel, hazelnuts, chocolate and coffee in a delicate balance. This bitter-sweet beer is just as the label states, a ‘perfect storm’ that brought together an impeccable beer that highlights tradition while bringing the flavour intensity up just enough to make something truly special.
Read the Perfect Storm Oatmeal Stout Review

What are your favourite BC craft beers? A lot has changed in the last four years! Share with us what your top 10 BC beers of all time would be!



About Author

Dustan Sept

Dustan Sept is the founder of Beer Me BC. His passion for craft beer drove the creation of in 2012. To learn more about the editorial team visit


  1. Lukazi
    Lukazi 15 March, 2016, 09:35

    How any list like this can go with out Lucky Lager on it I’ll never understand

    Reply this comment
  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous 15 March, 2016, 12:49

    hopefully that was tongue in cheek.Lukazi

    Reply this comment
  3. MalcolmM
    MalcolmM 15 March, 2016, 13:15

    Most of the beers on your top ten list would be on my list as well.

    Probably Vexillum would be number one, I wish it was available more frequently. Juxtapose would a top ten as well.

    Bridge Brewing Dark Rye Sour Saison would be in my top ten as well as Powell Street Mosaic Sour.

    There are so many fine craft beers in BC, making a top ten list is tough. And my tastes change, I sometimes overdo a certain style and want to try something new. I’m looking forward to trying some of the barrel aged sours that breweries are currently aging.

    Reply this comment
    • Ken McNamara
      Ken McNamara 15 March, 2016, 19:26

      I too wish Vexillum was a year round offering. I think the staff at Four Winds is getting sick of me telling them that every time I go in there.

      Reply this comment
  4. John Thomson
    John Thomson 15 March, 2016, 14:18

    7 of the top 10 are some variation of an IPA…is there a personal bias of the tasters at work here..? As you say it’s very subjective isn’t it. Personally I’m not a fan of the big hop beers so unlikely to enjoy many of these, though I have had the dark matter from Hoyne and that is fantastic :)

    Reply this comment
  5. MikeW
    MikeW 15 March, 2016, 19:07

    I was thinking the same thing about the % of IPAS on the list. Personally I’m not a big IPA fan and prefer a darker ale. Too bad we didn’t get a top 10 of each family.

    Reply this comment
  6. dustansept
    dustansept Author 15 March, 2016, 19:26

    Thanks for the comments. Perhaps we can do a top 10 by style down the line. Of the 1000 reviews there are close to 250 that are IPAs alone. BC loves their IPAs and BC breweries love to brew them. There are fantastic beers across all categories though and all ratings are subjective.

    Reply this comment
  7. Triplesmoke
    Triplesmoke 15 March, 2016, 20:56

    IPA fans? Dark Matter should be number 1. I have my own list, some of yours didn’t make mine and vice versa. We all have our own.

    Reply this comment
  8. Anonymous
    Anonymous 16 March, 2016, 09:01

    I’m not sure what my top ten would be but the Hoyne Pilsner would definitely be on the list

    Reply this comment
  9. Perry A
    Perry A 16 March, 2016, 11:52

    I too prefer the dark ales, stouts and porters. My #1 these days is the Red Racer Chocolate Cherry Stout. Unfortunately It’s not available in bottles or cans. I believe one can only get it on tap at Earl’s Restaurant or by filling your growler direct at Central City Brewing. I highly recommend this one to any Stout lover. Get it before it’s gone……

    Reply this comment
  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous 16 March, 2016, 14:28

    Either of the Four Winds’ offerings could and should be supplanted by the electric unicorn Belgian IPA from Phillips. It’s a brilliant seasonal that regularly defies logic by balancing the sweet spices of a Belgian with the crisp tang of a westcoast IPA.

    Reply this comment
  11. CraftRandy
    CraftRandy 16 March, 2016, 19:06

    I’m all over that #9 – Townsite Brewing Perfect Storm Oatmeal Stout. Something about #darkbeers that make my mouth water!

    Reply this comment
  12. J
    J 17 March, 2016, 18:54

    Cannery doesn’t even make the list?

    Reply this comment
  13. Anonymous
    Anonymous 28 March, 2016, 09:33

    My #1 fav is Triplicity by Four Winds. I see 2 of their beers made your list. It’s an amazing Belgian Tripel with texture and flavour to die for.
    I’ve also had a long time love affair with Hop Head from Tree Brewing. Hops lovers rejoice.

    Reply this comment
  14. A C
    A C 30 March, 2016, 22:05

    A top-10 by style would be fantastic. 10 is nowhere enough to cover the excellence that gets put out there.

    Reply this comment
  15. Nic
    Nic 14 December, 2016, 01:06

    Beer from breweries I frequent that can make a case:

    Field House Brewing: Sour Wheat Gose and Salted Black Porter

    Old Abbey Ales: 100% Brett IPA, Barrel Aged RIS, Belgian Trippel, Mountains to Fields Dry-Hopped Sour (collar with Coast Brewing)

    Ravens Brewing: Skull, Barrel Aged Cassis Saison

    Parallel 49: Rock the Bells cranberry sour, Flanders Red Ale, Salty Scot, and The Toques of Hazzard

    Old Yale: Sasquatch Stout (this one especially).

    I feel this list doesn’t venture enough into the lower mainland. Great beers down this way!

    Reply this comment
  16. Wesley Hooge
    Wesley Hooge 17 January, 2017, 10:24

    Another total hop head here… my personal favorite is Four Winds IPA, followed closely by Four Winds Vexillum Imperial IPA. It was nice to see Vexillum around a little longer recently but i would love to see it available all the time. It’s tough to put the rest of the top 10 in order but I’ll throw out some of my other favorite B.C. beers: Four Winds Featherweight IPA, Lighthouse Shipwreck IPA, Driftwood Twenty Pounder, Phillips Bottle Rocket, Russell Punch Bowl IPA, Red Truck White IPA, Driftwood Sartori Harvest IPA, Phillips Green Reaper Fresh Hop IPA…. I could go on and on!!

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