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Toronto Beer Week Begins Tomorrow!

September 14th, 2017 Posted by Beer Awards, Beer Events, Feature, Golden Tap Awards No Comment yet

Toronto Beer Week, a 10 day celebration of beer in the city, begins its 2017 edition tomorrow, September 15th. With 200+ events across 60+ venues and 30+ breweries, it truly is an amazing way to experience “The Best Beer City in Canada”.

The Bar Towel (a founding member of Toronto Beer Week), is thrilled to be a part of a number of events during Toronto Beer Week:

Beer Writers Debate & Discussion: Sunday, September 17th. Starting at 3pm at C’est What, I’ll be a part of a panel of local beer writers (including Jordan St. John, David Ort, Robin LeBlanc, Thomas Gilbert and Crystal Luxmore) in debating the meaning of Craft Beer, discussing crap vs. craft, and gazing into the crystal ball to determination the path of Ontario’s beer future.

I&G_Roundel_Logo_2017_CMYK (1)The Science of Flavour with Innis & Gunn Founder and Master Brewer Dougal Gunn Sharp: Tuesday, September 19th. In this Q&A we will chat with Innis & Gunn’s Founder and Master Brewer to get a sneak preview of some of Innis & Gunn’s newest beer innovations before they arrive in Ontario and hear from on his brewing journey, the “happy accident” that led to Innis & Gunn Original and the inspiration behind the flavours in their beers. Tickets are $10, but as a reader of The Bar Towel you get a chance to enter a contest to win tickets! Simply email your name to innisandgunn@bartowel.com and we will draw three winners who will receive a pair of tickets each.

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Golden Tap Awards: Wednesday, September 20th. The Golden Tap Awards returns for its 15th year in recognizing the best in beer in Ontario’s most democratic beer awards event. We will hand out the awards at an all-Ontario beer festival at beerbistro, where all tap lines will be turned over for one night only. Participating breweries include Great Lakes, Shillow, Collective Arts, Nickel Brook, Junction, Indie Alehouse, Tooth & Nail, Bellwoods, Folly, Exchange Brewery, Bench, Beau’s, Left Field, Halo, Side Launch, Granite, Cheshire Valley, Spearhead, Katalyst, 4 Degrees, Merit, Shawn & Ed, Halcyon Barrel House, Cowbell, County Canteen and more! Admission is free and no tickets are required to attend. Doors open at 5pm and the awards show begins at 8pm.

We’ll also be floating around at many of the other great events taking place during Toronto Beer Week. Looking forward to see you in Canada’s Best Beer City!

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2016 Golden Tap Awards Announced

September 23rd, 2016 Posted by Beer Awards, Feature, Golden Tap Awards No Comment yet

Last night at beerbistro the 2016 Golden Tap Awards were handed out at a gala event featuring an all-Ontario craft beer festival.  The Golden Tap Awards are Ontario’s most democratic beer awards event, and have been recognizing achievements in the beer industry for fourteen years. The winners were as follows:

  • Best craft brewery: Great Lakes
  • Best bar for draught beer selection: Bar Hop
  • Best bar for bottled and/or canned beer selection
  • Best brewpub or tied house: Bellwoods Brewery
  • Best regularly-produced craft beer: Great Lakes Canuck Pale Ale
  • Best seasonal, limited release or specialty craft beer: Great Lakes Karma Citra
  • Best craft cidery: West Avenue
  • Best Beer Design and Branding: Collective Arts
  • Most Innovative Brewery: Bellwoods Brewery
  • Best Newcomer (Bar): Bar Hop Brewco
  • Best Newcomer (Brewery): Halo Brewery
  • Best Event: Cask Days
  • Best Staff: Bar Hop
  • Best Beer Writer: Ben Johnson
  • Brewmaster’s Choice: Bellwoods Motley Cru
  • Best Beer of the Festival: Indie Alehouse Interloper
  • Editor’s Circle Award: Escarpment Labs
  • Editor’s Circle Award: Brad Campeau / Brew Donkey
  • Editor’s Circle Award: Stephen Beaumont
  • Editor’s Circle Award: Ralph Morana

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who voted!

Vote For Beer: The 2014 Golden Tap Awards Launch

August 10th, 2014 Posted by Beer Awards, Golden Tap Awards No Comment yet

GTA - logo - Black and ColourThe Golden Tap Awards, Ontario’s most democratic beer awards event, has launched its voting for 2014 with an expanded set of categories to reflect the ever-growing importance of craft beer in the province.

Now in its twelfth year, the Golden Tap Awards is the leading awards event whereby winners are determined through a democratic vote by the general public – and anyone can be nominated or win – as long as they represent craft beer.

This year the Golden Tap Awards is adding a new set of awards recognizing special achievements, to go alongside the established main awards.

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Vote for the 10th Annual Golden Tap Awards!

August 28th, 2012 Posted by Beer Awards, Golden Tap Awards No Comment yet

We are proud to announce the voting for the 2012 Golden Tap Awards.  Now in its tenth year, the Golden Tap Awards are the only craft beer awards event where the general public decides the majority of the awards. Until September 17th, you can vote for your favourites across a number of categories for beer achievements in Ontario:

  • Favourite craft brewery (regular / cask)
  • Favourite craft beer (regular / cask / seasonal)
  • Favourite craft beer bar (bottles / draught / cask)
  • Favourite brewpub

All winners will be determined by public vote, plus there will be a special series of Editor’s Circle awards given to special achievements outside of the voting.

The Golden Tap Awards will be announced at a gala ceremony at beerbistro on Saturday, September 22nd at the closing-night party of Toronto Beer Week.  More details on the event will be announced soon, but in the meantime make sure to vote for your favourites!

Details Announced for 1st Annual Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition

July 30th, 2012 Posted by Beer Awards No Comment yet

In recognition of the recent formation of the Ontario Hop Grower’s Association, a non-profit association of 28 organic and conventional growers in the province, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has announced plans for the 1st annual Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition(GOHCBC).

Open to commercial brewers and students in their graduating year of accredited Ontario Brewmaster courses, the competition will challenge brewers to create beers using exclusively Ontario-grown hops. The beer style chosen for this inaugural edition of the competition is American IPA, with entries to be judged based on the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) guidelines for the style.

Interested participants must register for the competition by December 31st, 2012, and samples must be delivered or dropped off by February 20th, 2013. Judging will take place on February 21st during the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Full competition rules and other details are available on the GOHCBC website.

[This article co-published with Canadian Beer News]

2012 Canadian Brewing Awards – BC Winners

June 16th, 2012 Posted by Beer Awards, British Columbia No Comment yet

This year the BC brewers took home 40% of the Canadian Brewing Awards, and once again the Brewery of the Year is Central City Brewing Company.

There’s always some interesting discussion around these awards, and it has already started in the
forums. Has BC reached its climax? Are other provinces rising up? This year Ontario brewers took the Gold & Silver in the American Style IPA category, and a sour beer from Quebec (Co-Hop V, À La Fût) was awarded Beer of the Year! From coast to coast, there’s some interesting times ahead. Congrats to all the winners!

Here’s what the BC brewers brought home:

Gold
Vancouver Islander Lager, Vancouver Island Brewery
Hermann’s Dark Lager, Vancouver Island Brewing Co.
Coffee Porter, R&B Brewing Co.
Red Racer ESB, Central City Brewing Co.
Swans Scotch Ale, Swans Brewery
Pale Ale, Yaletown Brewing Co.
Steamworks Pale Ale, Steamworks Brewing Co.
Sungod Wheat Ale, R&B Brewing Co.
Woolly Bugger Barleywine, Howe Sound Brewing Co.
Powell IPA, Coal Harbour Brewing Co.
Central City Imperial IPA, Central City Brewing Co.
Mandarin Orange Amber Ale, Dead Frog Brewery
Dark Snout Bacon Stout, R&B Brewing Co.
Thor’s Hammer Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine, Central City Brewing Co.
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BC Brewing in 2011

December 21st, 2011 Posted by Beer Awards, Brewery News, British Columbia No Comment yet

It was another great year for brewing in BC. This year our brewers managed to take home 1/3 of the Canadian Brewing Awards!

Howe Sound took home 7 awards (more than any other brewery), while Driftwood’s Fat Tug IPA was named ‘Beer of the Year’. Congratulations to all the winners. Here’s the list from BC:

Gold:
Fat Tug IPA, Driftwood Brewing Co.
Hermannator Ice Bock, Vancouver Island Brewery
High County Kolsch, Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.
Sea Dog Amber Ale, Vancouver Island Brewery
Belgian Wit, Granville Island Brewing Co.
Hill’s Special Wheat, Yaletown Brewing Co.
Thor’s Hammer, Central City Brewing Co.
Sap Sucker Maple Porter, Fernie Brewing Co.
Pepper Lime Lager, Dead Frog Brewery
Serendipity #3, Tree Brewing Co.

Silver:
Hermann’s Dark Lager, Vancouver Island Brewery
Navigator Doppelbock, Lighthouse Brewing Co.
Porter, Okanagan Spring Brewery
Harvest Moon Organic Hemp Ale, Nelson Brewing Co.
Scotch Ale, Swans Buckerfields Brewery
Baldwin and Cooper Best Bitter, Howe Sound Brewing Co.
Diamond Head Oatmeal Stout, Howe Sound Brewing Co.
Hoppelganger IPA, R&B Brewing Co.
Red Racer Imperial, Central City Brewing Co.
Cypress Honey Lager, Granville Island Brewing Co.
Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Howe Sound Brewing Co.
Singularity Russian Imperial Stout, Driftwood Brewing Co.
Yaletown Oud Bruin, Yaletown Brewing Co.
Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout, Howe Sound Brewing Co.

Bronze:
Overboard Imperial Pilsner, Lighthouse Brewing Co.
Thirsty Beaver Amber Ale, Tree Brewing Co.
Brewmaster’s Black Lager, Okanagan Spring Brewery
Captivator Doppelbock, Tree Brewing Co.
Howe Sound Lager, Howe Sound Brewing Co.
Analog 78, Phillips Brewing Co.
Garibaldi Honey Pale Ale, Howe Sound Brewing Co.
Pandora Pale Ale, Swans Buckerfields Brewery
East Side Bitter, R&B Brewing Co.
Woolly Bugger, Howe Sound Brewing Co.
Citra IPA, Dead Frog Brewery
Hop Head Double IPA, Tree Brewing Co.

The BC brewers did well in a couple of international competitions, in addition to receiving a number of readers choice awards from the North West Brewing News:

Best IPA: Driftwood Fat Tug IPA
Best Barley Wine: Central City Thor’s Hammer
Best ESB: Central City Red Racer ESB
Best Herb or Spice Beer: Saltspring Island Heather Ale
Best Cider: Sea Cider Rumrunner

Yeah, I know the Reader’s Choice Awards are a bit of a popularity contest, but consider the U.S. population in the Pacific Northwest… now consider some of the brews in that region. BC took BEST IPA and Barleywine! Clearly the people of British Columbia are impressed by their brewers!

If you’ve been following the monthly BC Beer Releases here, you’ll know there’s been a heck of a lot this year. The craft beer industry is certainly healthy in BC. A number of Brewers are expanding distribution into Ontario, and there’s continued growth here as well.

In 2012 we’ll finally see the new production facility for Central City Brewing, along with at least 4 brand new starts: Townsite Brewing in Powell River, Firehall Brewery in Oliver, Hoyne Brewing in Victoria, and Parallel 49, which is affiliated with St. Augustines in Vancouver.

It’s GREAT to be here!

2011 Canadian Brewing Awards Announced

September 10th, 2011 Posted by Beer Awards, Beer Events No Comment yet

Last night at 99 Sudbury in Toronto the 2011 Canadian Brewing Awards were announced at a gala event attended by brewers from across the country.  Awards were handed out across 37 beer style categories with gold, silver and bronze medal winners.  The Canadian Brewing Awards, now in its 9th year, is a national beer competition sanctioned by BJCP that saw brewers from every province (except Manitoba) submit beers for consideration.

Notable winners included Picaroon’s Traditional Ales from Fredericton, New Brunswick, who took home the coveted Brewery of the Year and Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood in Victoria, British Columbia who won the Beer of the Year.  Other notable winners included King (Ontario), Mill Street (Ontario), Great Lakes (Ontario), McAuslan (Quebec), Le Trou du Diable (Quebec), Creemore (Ontario) and Lac Saint-Jean (Quebec), all of whom were double-gold medal recipients.  You can see the full list of winners after the break.

Extra congratulations go to Picaroon’s along with Garrison Brewing of Halifax, Nova Scotia who won a gold for their Grand Baltic Porter along with three bronze medals.  Both breweries are represented in Ontario by Bar Towel Imports.

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Vote for the Golden Tap Awards!

August 2nd, 2011 Posted by Beer Awards, Beer Events, Golden Tap Awards No Comment yet

We are proud to announce the voting for the 2011 Golden Tap Awards.  Now in its ninth year, the Golden Tap Awards are the only craft beer awards event where the general public decides the majority of the awards. Until August 21st, you can vote for your favourites across a number of categories for beer achievements in Ontario:

  • Favourite craft brewery (regular / cask)
  • Favourite craft beer (regular / cask / seasonal)
  • Favourite craft beer bar (bottles / draught / cask)
  • Favourite brewpub

All winners will be determined by public vote, plus there will be a special series of Editor’s Circle awards given to special achievements outside of the voting.

The Golden Tap Awards will be announced at a gala ceremony at beerbistro on Saturday, August 27th at a special all-Ontario craft beer festival.  More details on the event will be announced soon, but in the meantime make sure to vote for your favourites!