2015 Ontario Brewing Awards

Friday, April 17, 2015

Last week I had the chance to attend The 2015 Ontario Brewing Awards, an event that recognizes the excellent beers and brewers that come from Ontario.

In order for breweries to be qualified for judging they must comply with the Ontario Brewing Awards criteria. The beer must be brewed in Ontario, one rep should be on hand at the ceremony and most importantly lots of samples of the beer!

The judging took place on March 10th and 11th at the Three Brewers on Yonge and qualified judges that take part at the Canadian Brewing Awards were there to assess the fine brews in over 30 different beer styles.

Each beer will be assessed individually in its style-category based on BJCP judging standards. The standard ‘blind taste' technique ensures an unbiased opinion. The judges will score each beer independently and winners will be decided by consensus of the judging team. Brewers will receive judging sheets upon completion of the Awards Ceremony if requested.

Here were the winners of the night:

North American Light Lager
Gold: Cool Beer Brewing Co. – Stonewall Light
Silver: Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery – Antigravity 
Bronze: Laker Brewing Company – Laker Light

North American Lager
Gold: Triple Bogey Brewing Co. – Premium Lager
Silver:  Laker Brewing Company – Laker Lager
Bronze: Sleeman Breweries – Original Draught

Gold: Steam Whistle – Pilsner
Silver: Creemore Springs Brewery Ltd – Lot 9
Bronze: Kichesippi Beer Co. – Donny’s Dort

Amber Lager
Gold: Old Flame Brewing Co.- Red
Silver: Hop City Brewing Co.- Barking Squirrel
Bronze: Cool Beer Brewing Co. – Millennium Buzz

Dark Lager
Gold: Silversmith Brewing Company – Black Lager
Silver: Hop City Brewing Co. – 8th Sin Black Lager   
Bronze: F&M Brewery- StoneHammer Dunkel 

Gold: Lake of Bays Brewing Company – Crazy Eyes Darcy Tucker
Silver: Creemore Springs Brewery Ltd – UrBock
Bronze: Cameron’s Brewing Co. – Rye Pale Ale

Honey / Maple Beers
Gold: Haliburton Highlands Brewing – Honey Brown Ale
Silver: Railway City Brewing Co. – Shambock           
Bronze: The 3 Brewers – Maple Ale

Gold: Side Launch Brewing Company – Wheat
Silver: Smithworks Brewing Company – Hefeweizen
Bronze: Muskoka Brewery – Summer Weiss

Gold: Mill St. Brewery – Belgian Wit
Silver: Northwinds Brewhouse – Moonlit Wit
Bronze: Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery – Solstice Saison

Flavoured Beer
Gold: Wellington Brewery – 2014: A Spice Odyssey           
Silver: Trafalgar Brewing Co. – Ginger Beer   
Bronze: Mill St. Brewery – Lemon Tea

Farmhouse Ales
Gold: Nickel Brook Brewing Co. – Le Paysan Saison 
Silver: Cameron’s Brewing Co. – Into the Shade Saison        
Bronze: Amsterdam Brewing Co. – Howl

Lagered Ales
Gold: Sawdust City Brewing Co. – Gateway Kolsch
Silver: Nickel Brook Brewing Co. – Cause and Effect            
Bronze: Sleeman Breweries – Cream Ale

British Pale / Bitter
Gold: Big Rig Brewery – ESB
Silver: Wellington Brewery – Arkell Best Bitter
No Bronze Awarded

American Pale Ale
Gold: Great Lakes Brewery – Canuck Pale Ale
Silver: Nickel Brook Brewing Co. – Naughty Neighbour
Bronze: Liberty Village Brewing Co. – 504 Pale Ale

British IPA
Gold: Longslice Brewery- Hopsta La Vista
Silver: Railway City Brewing Co. – Dead Elephant Ale
Bronze: Sleeman Breweries – India Pale Ale

West Coast IPA
Gold: Sawdust City Brewing Co. – Twin Pines IIPA
Silver: Stone City Ales – Green Goddess Imperial IPA
Bronze: Stone City Ales – Uncharted IPA

Dark IPA
Gold: Nickel Brook Brewing Co. – Malevolent Black Imperial Ale
Silver: Manantler Brewing Co. – Dark Prince
Bronze: Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery – Netherworld

Amber Ale
Gold: Kilannen Brewing Co. – New Zealand Red Ale
Silver: Orange Snail Brewers – Rattle N’ Nemo
Bronze: Old Tomorrow Brewing  – Canadian Pale Ale

Dark Ale
Gold: Wellington Brewery – County Dark Ale 
Silver: Clocktower Brew Pub – Bytown Brown
Bronze: Wellington Brewery – Iron Duke Strong Ale

Gold: Clifford Brewing Co. – Porter
Silver: Innocente Brewing Company – Charcoal Porter
Bronze: Block Three Brewing Co. – Pushbroom Porter

Gold: Trafalgar Brewing Co.- Schwartzy 
Silver: Liberty Village Brewing Company – Black Blessing
Bronze: Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery – Cadillac Graveyard

Imperial Stout/ Baltic Porter
Gold: Wellington Brewery – Imperial Russian Stout
Silver: Big Rig Brewery – Cherry Bomb Imperial Chocolate Cherry Milk Stout
Bronze: 5 Paddles Brewing Co. – Midnight Paddler

Fruit Beer
Gold: Mill St. Brewery – Frambozen
Silver: Trafalgar Brewing Co.  – Raspberry Mint
Bronze: Amsterdam Brewing Co.  – KLB Raspberry Wheat

Vegetable Beer
Gold: Trafalgar Brewing Co. – Pumpkin Ale
Silver: Wellington Brewery  – Farmers’ Market Rhubarb Saison
Bronze: Garden Brewers – Green Thumb IPA

Flavoured Porters / Stouts
Gold: Trafalgar Brewing Co. – Schwartzy Xpresso
Silver: Barley Days Brewery – Scrimshaw Oyster Stout
Bronze: Amsterdam Brewing Co.  – Full City Double Tempest

Strong Beer
Gold: Smithworks Brewing Company- Blonde
Silver: Side Launch Brewing Company – Belgian Hat Trick 
Bronze: Amsterdam Brewing Co.  – Vicars Vice

Gluten Free
Gold: Snowman Brewing Co. – The Rambam
Silver: Trafalgar Brewing Co. – Ginger Mead
No Bronze Awarded

Barrel Aged – Whisky
Gold: Amsterdam Brewing Co.  – Double Tempest
Silver: Cameron’s Brewing Co. – Deviator Doppelbock
Bronze: Amsterdam Brewing Co.  – Recidivist

Barrel Aged – Wine
Gold: Nickel Brook Brewing Co. – Winey Bastard 
Silver: Amsterdam Brewing Co. – Sour Cherry Imperial Stout
Bronze: Sawdust City Brewing Co.  – ODB

Smoked Beer
Gold: Black Oak Brewing Co.  – Nox Aeterna
Silver: Covered Bridge Brewing – La Cabane à Sucre 
Bronze: Mill St. Brewery – Rauchbier

Newcomer of the Year
Trafalgar Brewing Co.

Beer of the Year
Amsterdam Brewing Co. – Double Tempest

It was great to see some well-deserved wins such as Nickel Brook winning gold with their Winey Bastard (Pinot Noir Barrel Aged) in the barrel aged wine catergory. The dark IPA was awarded to Nickel Brook again but this time for their Malevolent which is a dark, thick and toasty beer with lots of hop flavour. The wheat beer by Side Launch won gold which seems to be a real fan favourite when it comes to finding a proper Ontario hefeweizen. The imperial stout went to Wellington Brewery for their brilliant Russian Imperial Stout. Best Porter went to Clifford Brewing Co which I tried for the first time that night and absolutely loved.  Such a solid, drinkable porter with tasty notes of cocoa and coffee.

The brewing awards was a great event and the continuous efforts to honor Ontario's best beers and breweries each year is an achievement in itself. Thank you to the team at Beerlicious who put on a great event and congrats to all of the 2015 winners!

Although I'm only a craft beer fanatic and blogger, the event inspired me to dabble into home brewing.  I'll be starting out with the everyday IPA kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop and will be documenting my experience on the blog within the next month or two!

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