Jason Armitage, head brewer at Surrey’s Big Ridge Brewing Co., with his “Cask Off” championship belt. (Photo: facebook.com/bigridgebrewingco)

Surrey brewpub’s 20th-year ‘Cask Off’ championship belt won by its head brewer

‘Jason’s Mimosa’ among crafty creations at annual competition

A special “Cask Off” competition served to celebrate the 20th anniversary of “Surrey’s original brewpub.”

The event was held June 22 at Big Ridge Brewing Co., where casks of beer crafted by nine local breweries were judged by pub patrons in an afternoon-long voting period.

Creative names for the entries included Dry Hopped Lychee Sour, Espresso Dry Irish Stout, Neighbourhood Threat Raspberry Tart Ale and Zexy Bastard Hef with Blackberries and Hibiscus, among others.

In the end, with a wrestling-style “Royal Rumble” belt up for grabs, the winner was Jason’s Mimosa, crafted by Jason Armitage, head brewer at Big Ridge – the first time in six years the host brewpub has won its own Cask Off.

“I took a hefeweizen that we had on tap and put in blood oranges and bitters, which is supposed to emulate a cocktail I found in a beer book,” Armitage explained. “I used to be a bartender, so I love cocktails.”

Armitage, a Cloverdale-area resident, has been with Big Ridge since the spring of 2018.

Turns out Armitage won the Cask Off belt last year, too – when he worked at Langley’s Trading Post brewery.

“It’s all about experimenting and being creative,” he said about the informal competition.

“There’s a lot of creativity from my colleagues in the industry,” Armitage added. “Normally we do four breweries (for the Cask Off), but Rob (Bader, general manager at Big Ridge) wanted to go with more this year, so we settled on eight – but I forgot to include us, so there were nine involved this time.”

Other Cask Off competitors this year were Yaletown, Russell, Whistler Brewhouse, Trading Post, Central City, Mariner, Ravens and Fuggles and Warlock brewing companies.

Big Ridge originally opened in a building at Highway 10 and Panorama Drive, across from Tong Louie YMCA there, and then moved kitty-corner to a site southeast of Highway 10 and 152nd Street about nine years ago, around the time Bader began working at the pub.

“We were the first brewpub to open in Surrey,” Bader said. “Central City came after us.”

With the Cask Off, the idea for a championship belt was planned for the brewpub’s 15th anniversary, five years ago, so the champ must now return to defend the title every year, Bader said.

“A decade ago, we couldn’t have held a cask event like this, because people wouldn’t have come,” Bader added. “You know, ‘A Cask Off, what’s that?’ Tastes have changed, with more people drinking craft beer, for sure.”

On June 18, a Brewmaster’s Beer Pairing Dinner at Big Ridge also celebrated the 20th year of the brewpub, owned by Mark James Group.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Delta students talk mental health in newly-published book

The book was researched, written and published by students in Delview Secondary’s Innovation 10 class

Surrey Police’s role in Barnston Island still needs ‘to be looked at’

Surrey RCMP polices unincorporated island a short ferry ride across Parson’s Channel

Deltassist volunteers offering free tax help for low-income Delta residents

The service is available for those who are unable to complete their tax return or pay for assistance

Surrey looking into reducing residential speed limits

Surrey city council on Feb. 24 approved five ‘key pillars’ of a Surrey Transportation Plan

North Delta crime beat, week of Feb. 16

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Most Read