Brews News: Local breweries bring home some hardware in national brewing awards

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Where are the best beers in the country?

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Where are the best beers in the country? According to the Canadian Brewing Awards, if you live in Ontario, British Columbia, or Alberta, they are in your backyard. The three provinces, led by Ontario, dominated this year’s awards, which awarded medals in 61 categories. However, the best of show award went to Corsaire Mild Dark from Quebec, and brewery of the year honours went to Boxing Rock in Shelburne, N.S.

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I’m thinking Sons of Kent in Chatham or Meuse in Norfolk will one day win brewery of the year. The seven-year-old Sons of Kent brewery received both gold and silver medals in the wood and barrel-aged strong beer category for its Mammoth and Double Barrel Scotch Ale. Mammoth, a 13 per cent alcohol imperial stout, is released annually. Double Barrel Scotch Ale is made by taking oak-aged Scotch ale and aging it for a year in second-use Scotch whisky barrels.

Meuse Brewing won gold medals for both its Belgian-style tripel and Belgian-style sour and added a bronze for Belgian-style brett beer.

Among other nearby winners were Imperial City in Sarnia, which won gold for Lost in the Zone Part 1 in the herb and spice beer category; Cowbell of Blyth, which won a silver in the North American lager category for Shindig and a bronze for its original beer, Absent Landlord Kolsch; and Anderson Craft Ales of London, which won a silver for its cream ale.


Collingwood comes to London with a new beer shop at Equals Brewing. The retail store on Sovereign Road sells beers by Side Launch, Bangarang hard seltzers, and Equals-branded Shake lager.

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You know it’s summer when Railway City in St. Thomas brews Orange Creamsic Ale. Now branded under its Express label of seasonals, Orange Creamsic Ale starts with recruiting staff to hand-zest oranges. Whole vanilla beans and lots of oats chime in to create a beer homage to the popular ice cream treat.

Railway City's popular Orange Creamsic Ale
Railway City’s popular Orange Creamsic Ale is back for the summer, this year featuring the Express branding for the brewery’s seasonal series. (RAILWAY CITY photo)

A pair of hot weather thirst-quenchers are on the board at Storm Stayed in London. Heets American Lager has jalapeno for a spicy twist on a crisp beer. Keets with Lime delivers a citrus burst to a popular summer crusher lager.

Storm Stayed
Feeling the heat? Storm Stayed in London spiced up its lager with jalapenos for a spicy summer twist on a crispy beer. (STORM STAYED photo)

Spinning again at Forked River in harmony with Speed City Records is Sparton Press, a 4.7 per cent alcohol pilsner brewed with Cascade, Amarillo, and Mosaic hops. The name and label are tributes to a London company that manufactured vinyl albums for major stars.

Summer beer and Sunfest come together at London Brewing where Sunfest Tangerine IPA is now on the board. London Brewing has been a longtime supporter of the annual international music festival. The 30th edition of Sunfest is July 4-7 in Victoria Park.

Cowbell Brewing has a Mimosa Sour Ale ready to satisfy summer thirsts or pair with breakfast. The orange juice and beer blend is brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops. And, hey, is that a hint of white wine flavour?

Upper Thames in Woodstock
Upper Thames in Woodstock has entered the non-alcoholic beer category with Summit IPA and Pinnacle Pale Ale. (UPPER THAMES photo)

There’s a pair of house-brewed non-alcoholic beers now at Upper Thames in Woodstock. Summit is an IPA and Pinnacle is a pale ale, two popular styles in the near beer category. Each is a negligible 0.4 per cent alcohol.

Wayne Newton is a freelance journalist based in London

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