2015 Ontario Brewing Awards Winners and Gallery

The Ontario Brewing Awards took place last night celebrating their 12th year of honouring some of Ontario’s best beers and breweries. The event took place at Corus Quay on 25 Dockside St in Toronto, which housed brewers and industry professionals from all over the province. Here are your 2015 Ontario Brewing Awards Winners:

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

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

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

I would like to thank Beerlicious Inc. and Roger Mittag, of Thirst for Knowledge, for the truly amazing evening, as well as all the staff from Corus and the other staff that helped make this night happen.

Ottawa Craft Beer Pub Crawls: The Glebe

Everyone loves a good pub crawl, but who wants to crawl from bar to bar drinking weak, tasteless beer? In this ongoing series, I’m going to lay out the best craft beer pub crawls that Ottawa has to offer. Each bar has a suggested beer, and an alternate option if you want to shake it up a little.

Glebe Pub Crawl


1. Local Public Eatery- Landsdowne
Rotating Taps
Alternate Option: Whitewater Whistling Paddler

Start your night out with a beer of your choice from one of the best new taps in the city. Local offers a diverse set of six rotating taps, so ask what’s on deck this week and let the pub crawl begin.
If you’re not feeling a surprise then you can rely on some Whitewater Whistling Paddler, English ale from the Ottawa valley.

2. Irene’s Pub- 885 Bank Street
Beau’s Lug Tread
Alternate Option: Ashton Brewing Company

Saunter along from one of Ottawa’s newest hotspots to an old classic just three blocks away. Irene’s has long been a staple of Ottawa’s pub community, so pair it with a staple of Ottawa’s beer community- Beau’s Lug Tread. Between the pub and the pint, you’ll get the most authentically Ottawa experience that this pub crawl has to offer. If you plan well, you’ll even get to soak up some of a live show while you’re at it.
If Beau’s isn’t your style, Ashton Brewing Company has made a name for itself in Ottawa bars, so ask what they have from ABC on tap.

3. The Arrow and Loon- 88 Fifth Avenue
Beer of Your Choice

As that second pint crawls up to your frontal lobe, you’ll find the widest selection of beers the Glebe has to offer two more blocks up. Tucked a little off Bank street in Fifth Avenue Plaza, The Arrow and Loon is another establishment with an ever-changing selection of beer. At this stage of your crawl, it’s about time to get adventurous. Check out what’s on tap this week and choose for yourself.

4. Pints and Quarts- 779 Bank Street
Kitchessippi Heller High Water
Alternate Option: Amsterdam Natural Blonde

While it may not have the glitz and glamour of some other choices, Pints and Quartz is secretly a solid pub to sip on your fourth pint of the night. This time you can order up another Ottawa classic from Kitchessippi Brewing. A German style pale lager, this beer will shake you out of your Ontario state of mind, while still keeping it local.

For a different choice, try Amsterdam Brewery’s easy-drinking blonde ale.

5. Corner Bar and Grill- 777 Bank Street
Beyond The Pale Pink Fuzz
Alternate Option: Muskoka Mad Tom

As your night is getting deeper you might need to relax a little, and Corner is the perfect place to do it. Calm your nerves with a pint of Hintonburg’s own Beyond the Pale. Corner offers Pink Fuzz, a soothing grapefruit ale with a surprising 6% bite to it. Rest up your legs too, because it’s a bit of a hike to tonight’s final destination.

If you’re looking for something with a bit more oomph, try out the hoppy delights of Muskoka’s Mad Tom IPA.

6. The Clocktower Brewpub- 575 Bank Street
The Clocktower Red
Alternate Option: Raspberry Wheat

You can’t talk Glebe craft beer without talking Clocktower. While it’s a bit further away from the rest of your journey, it’s well worth the trek. This brewpub offers a wide selection of their own beers, and is the perfect place to finish off the night. The Clocktower Red gives you a rich pine flavour, or if that’s not your thing their Raspberry Wheat can soothe your tastebuds.


UntappedTO Event Wrap Up

For those of you who missed this event, you missed a truly unique experience. UntappedTO was a fundraising event, with all the proceeds going to the Daily Bread Food Bank Foundation, as well as the George Brown Scholarship program. The event was hosted by Special Event Planning students from George Brown College, as the final capstone event. The event took place on Thursday, February 12, 2015, from 7:00 pm—10:00 pm and was located at the Burroughes on 639 Queen St. West. The Burroughes gave the event a rustic loft feel, with beautiful exposed brick, hard wood floors and large windows overlooking downtown Toronto.

Being that this event was the first ever, it was a huge success!  Just after 7:00 p.m., the room was packed with a mix of people wanting to experience craft beer from all over Ontario, as well as student and local entertainment. I asked Shelly Avener, one of the organizers of the event, where they got the idea to organize this event and she told me, “October of last year, we were required to pitch an idea for our final capstone event. Tristan (head of beer sponsorship) came up with the idea to have a craft beer fest because of his love for craft beer. We then formed our group, created a name, and UntappedTO was born.” 

The event featured brewers from all parts of Ontario, which brought some of their main state beers as well as some one off for the event goers to try. The list of breweries included the likes of:

  • Lake of Bays
  • Amsterdam Brewery
  • Junction Brewery
  • Beau’s All Natural
  • Kensington Brewing Company
  • Wellington Brewery
  • Cameron’s
  • Railway City Brewing Co.
  • Black Oak Brewing Co.
  • Brimstone Brewing Co.
  • Brickworks Cider House

The small venue allowed the sold out crowed of 378 people to enjoy an intimate event.  The crowed not only was given the chance to get up close and personal with the breweries but they were also entertained by a DJ, a local duet group and the most impressive, a dance crew made up of students from the school (Watch the performance HERE). When I asked Shelly how she felt the event went she said, “I thought the event went incredibly well. Our rush of people started way before we opened the doors and lasted till about 10:15 p.m. which was already post event. We hit 378 people which was 28 people over our ticket capacity, and that was amazing for all of us. We raised an incredible amount of money for two great causes, we met amazing people, and we brought our ideas, work, and talents to life.”

With a great group of the student organizers, the event was very much a success. Not only were they able to raise money for two great causes, they were able to introduce people to some of the great breweries we have in our province. Be sure to keep your eyes open for possibly a encore UntappedTO summer event. As the event quote says, “We’re here, Drink beer, Get used to it!”

Learning From Beer

George Brown College students select the growing trend of craft beer for their most ambitious project yet


I love beer festivals.

I love the selection. I love being surrounded (for the most part) by people who love beer as much as I do. I love having the ability to connect with my favourite brands and give them thanks for a brew that I particularly enjoyed.

With that in mind, it seems I’m not the only twenty-something student in the universe that not only loves beer, but loves the culture surrounding it.

Shelly Avner, the head of Marketing for UntappedTO, is one of the 16 Event Planning students running UnTappedTO, Toronto’s newest (and only indoor one I can think of ) winter festival celebrating the best in craft beer.

“The breweries have been extremely supportive,” says Shelly. “They are all about getting their product in the hands of new drinkers, and have been great to work with so far.”

The large student team has been extremely busy the past few months, carefully planning each aspect of the event, from sponsorship to vendors, as a part of their Capstone project.  Sponsors and vendors (including popular trendsetters Smoke’s Poutinerie) will be present, keeping you entertained, and well fed.

Attending breweries include Amsterdam, Junction, Beau’s, Wellington, Lake of Bays, Cameron’s, Railway City, Black Oak, Brimstone, and Brickworks Ciderhouse.

They’re on Twitter and Instagram @untappedTO as well – give ’em a follow, especially to take pictures of the event and let them know what you think!

There’s no doubt Bottomless Pint readers will want to attend, so come on down – Matt and I will be there to get some pictures and quotables for a recap of the event coming in a couple of weeks.

Here are the deets:


Grab you and your friends some tickets from here – and enjoy!

Practically Irish Brings Craft Beer to Pickering

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There are a growing number of breweries opening up in the Durham Region, which is amazing if you live in the area. Practically Irish is one of the new additions to the growing list of craft brewers in the area.

Practically Irish officially started in June 2014. The idea came about like most great ideas, over a few beers with friends. In this case, it was between long time friends and homebrewers Brian James (President) and Dwayne Fernandes (Brewmaster). Their dream started back in 2012, after attending OCB Conference, which after creating a business plan and working out all the details, they took possession of an industrial unit in January 2014. As things started to take shape, Brian and Dwayne brought in Alex Bitterman, who is Vice President and Sales and Promotions. Not only are the 3 friends working hard to complete the brewery, they have hired a couple of assistants in addition to having had tons of help from friends and family.

Currently they are running on a 250L system, which with help from an overseas investor will allow them to double their production in February 2015. Practically Irish is already looking to expand with the addition of a bottling line, 8 new fermenters and a new Brite Tank. As of right now, they are brewing their Blonde Ale which can be found in bars and restaurants in Durham Region and 9 bars in Toronto. They are already expanding their selection with a Midnight Milk Stout, which I was lucky enough to sample and I must say it was amazing. Already there are plans for a Cream Ale and an ESB in the Spring. Practically Irish is also in talks about the possibility of opening a brewpub in Pickering at a later date.

The retail area of the brewery will be fully completed and licensed in early February 2015. They are located at 1033 Toy Ave, Unit 8, Pickering, ON. So give them a follow on twitter (@pracirishbeer) and check out their site at practicallyirish.com for all the information on their opening date.

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel Raspberry Chocolate Ale Now Available at the LCBO


The pink bottle is back! Rogue Ales has collided with Voodoo Doughnut yet again to create Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel Raspberry Chocolate! This is the third beer in the Rouge Voodoo Doughnut collaboration. This unique artisan creation contains a baker’s dozen number of ingredients including pretzels and raspberries from one of Voodoo’s signature doughnuts. This very unique beer is now available at the LCBO in 750ml bottles, priced at $10.95.  Check online (http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/search?searchTerm=Rogue) at the LCBO for store availability as it is just rolling out into stores.

Tasting Notes: 860e11a2-dc47-4ca4-9f4d-2a319385310b

The aroma begins bready with subtle toasted malts, and milk chocolate, before developing a hint of raisin.  Midway through the aroma there are notes of raspberry and slightly salty pretzels before a long, lingering chocolate finish.  The aroma at least hits all the expected notes, with the right mix of doughnut-y malts, raspberry, pretzel, and chocolate.

Food Pairing:

Deserts, Crème Brulee, Donuts.


2-Row, Munich, C120, Chocolate, Black – Kiln Coffee & Rogue Farms Dare™ and Risk™ Malts; Rogue Farms Rebel Hops™; Pretzels, Rasberry Extract, Chocolate, Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water


*Information provided by Premier Brands, Ltd

Straight Up: The Issue of Alcohol in Ontario

Straight Up: The Issue of Alcohol in Ontario from Peter Lenardon on Vimeo.

A documentary exploring the peculiar system of alcohol retail and distribution in Ontario

The beverage alcohol system in Ontario is unique in the world. A government monopoly and a few private companies enjoy preferential access to the province’s consumers. Meanwhile, about 300 Ontario breweries, wineries, and distillers face a number of bureaucratic and structural barriers that effectively shut them out of the market in Ontario. This film tries to explain the origins of the beverage alcohol system in Ontario, and what it means for producers and consumers in the province today.

Hungry Brew Hops Visit

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I finally had the opportunity to check out Hungry Brew Hops! It’s a gastropub that I have been hearing about for months from friends and fellow beer lovers, and all I can say is it was worth the wait.

Hungry Brew Hops is located at 211 Main St. in Newmarket, Ontario. The restaurant is placed among little boutique stores and cafés and fits in very well. When you wilk in the door you get taken away with the rustic décor and large scale art on the wall, but it’s the little touches that make this place special. The details that went into the design are amazing, from the warm rustic tables, to the wall of kegs at the front entrance. As you walk past the bar, you will notice the 28 tap handles including 4 wines on tap. One thing you can’t miss is the “Hungry” light sign hanging on the wall of the bar. This is definitely an eye catcher!
My girlfriend and I, were seated near the back of the restaurant by the open kitchen. Once seated, we got to see the full beer list with brews from around Ontario and the world, but our eyes were easily taken away from the menu when we noticed the beautiful chalk art on the wall displaying all the beer styles. It is truly a work of art.
Once we ordered our first set of beers, myself a GLB Saison Dupump and my girlfriend a flight, the service was excellent. Our beers came promptly and our orders for food were taken. The food menu at Hungry Brew Hops is quite vast. There is definitely a great selection of food to pair with the amazing beers that they offer.
The food was delicious. Very good portion sizes and full of flavour. Even though I was full I had to order dessert and another beer. I went with their apple cheesecake and a Sawdust City Skinny Dipping Stout. It was truly the perfect pairing.
My overall experience was great! The food, service and beer were on point and the décor was so welcoming it made you want to stay. It was definitely worth the trip and I will for sure making another trip out there.