The Canadian Brewing Awards were handed out recently, and while it’s good to know my home province wasn’t completely shut out, as was Manitoba, it appears our breweries have their work cut out for them.
Just one — Calgary mainstay Big Rock — managed to medal this year. And looking back over the last few years it’s been tough for our breweries to crack the top three in any categories.
Last year, Alberta was blanked. In 2009, Big Rock’s Grasshopper, which garnered silver this year, nailed a gold medal.
It was Wild Rose Brewery’s year in 2008, with two medals, and Big Rock snagged a pair in 2007.
But aside from that, Alberta barely registers, which is a shame.
While we may not have a huge number of craft breweries, the ones we do have are tremendously good.
Wild Rose has been given recognition for its Velvet Fog and its Barley Wine, its WRaspberry Ale and Brown Ale are contenders. And the Cherry Porter warrants recognition.
And surely Big Rock is better than Grasshopper, with a fine lineup of beers, including McNally’s Extra and McNally’s Reserve, which should be sold in bottles, in this writer’s humble opinion.
Out of Edmonton, both Alley Kat and Amber’s breweries have their own signature offerings.
I know there are many fine beers on the winners’ list this year, and I haven’t tried them all.
But I also have to support the home team. And here in Alberta, it’s as good as any.