Credit: Sheringham Distillery

Sheringham Distillery co-owners Alayne and Jason MacIsaac took home a coveted award

Sheringham Distillery claimed the big prize at the annual event, which crowned drinks and edibles from across the province

The 2020 BC Food & Beverage Awards gave us plenty to chew on as they celebrated a dozen winners on September 24. But the top prize at the annual shindig, hosted by industry group BC Food & Beverage (BCFB), went to a local dram.

Sheringham Distillery’s Seaside Gin won the Gold Award for Product of the Year. Founded in 2015 by chef-turned-distiller Jason MacIsaac and his wife, Alayne MacIsaac, Sooke-based Sheringham also makes akvavit, vodka and coffee liqueur. Last year the U.K.-based World Gin Awards named Seaside the best contemporary gin.

The virtual BCFB awards featured appearances by Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who lauded the B.C. food and beverage industry for keeping its supply chain strong and secure during the pandemic.

“We were thrilled with how our virtual awards show came together,” BCFB chief executive James Donaldson said in a statement. “This year’s group of winners was a perfect representation of the industry in B.C.: companies both large and small, with a wide range of products from all over the province.”

The provincial food and beverage processing industry consists of almost 3,000 establishments that provided 35,700 jobs last year. The sector posted record sales in 2019, when a $700-million gain pushed the total to $10.5 billion.

The other 2020 BC Food & Beverage Awards winners:

Product of the Year Silver: Zesty Cheeze Crackers by Free Yumm, Vancouver

Product of the Year Bronze: Nut-Free Tigernut Butter by Farafena, Vancouver

Hall of Fame Inductee: The KB Honey Family, Surrey

Sustainability Award: Coastal Shellfish, Prince Rupert

People First, Health, Safety and Cultural Excellence Award: Vitalus Nutrition, Abbotsford

Innovation Award: Cascadia Seaweed, Sidney

Export Award: Hardbite Chips, Surrey

Best in Brand, Marketing Award: Hippie Snacks, Burnaby

Leadership Award: Christine Coletta, Okanagan Crush Pad, Summerland/Kelowna

BCFB Processor Member of the Year Award: Mogiana Coffee, Burnaby

BCFB Associate Member of the Year Award: Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging, Richmond