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The 18th annual CBAC’s (Canadian Brewing Awards & Conference) was held recently and Alberta did very well, scoring 37 medals, 17 of them gold. The competition is open to all Canadian brewers, regardless of size. Common Crown Brewing, situated on 28th Street in northeast Calgary, took home Brewery of the Year as well as three gold medals for their Ploughman Wheat Ale, Coppersmith Brown Ale, and Andy’s Wee Scottish Heavy. I have not tried the latter two, but I have had the wheat ale: it’s classically styled with some sweet bready notes along with citrus and floral tones. You can go to www.canadianbrewingawards.com to see the full list of medalists. Other winners from Alberta include Fahr, Cabin Brewing, Medicine Hat Brewing, Blindman Brewing, Snake Lake Brewing, Eight-Eight Brewing, Ribstone Creek Brewing, Town Square Brewing, Analog Brewing, Brewsters Brewing, Inner City Brewing and Sea Change Brewing.

Alberta also has a provincial competition, the Alberta Beer Awards, co-presented by the Alberta Small Brewers Association and Avenue Magazine. Some local beer aficionados will have noticed a conspicuous absence of their local favourites from the CBAC awards. My guess is that many of them simply decided not to participate although I don’t know this to be fact. The Calgary-based gold medal winners in this competition — and many of them are among my personal favourites — include Establishment Brewing, Cabin Brewing, Tool Shed Brewing, Ol’ Beautiful Brewing, Brewsters Brewing, Village Brewing, OT Brewing and Born Colorado Brewing. You can find the full list of winners here.

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