The Best Beers in Canada

I have written about the best beers at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival (see below). but are there any good beers in Canada? Many of us are familiar with Labatt’s, Molson, and Kokanee, Canada’s equivalent to Bud and Miller, but what about craft beers? So glad you asked!

The Canadian Brewing Awards (CBAs) were recently announced for 2011. Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery in Victoria, BC won Beer of the Year.

British Columbia grabbed the most medals with 37, followed by Ontario with 31 and Quebec with 22. Ontario won the most Gold medals in the 39 categories that were judged. I was pleased to see some of my favorites from the Great Canadian Beer Festival earn medals this year.

According to the CBA website:

The Canadian Brewing Awards are the premiere competition for judging the quality of Canadian brewed beer. The contest is the only truly national competition that invites breweries of all sizes from across the country to compete in a blind tasting to see who brews the best beer in a variety of style categories.

They have been doing this for nine years now. If you want to know what the best craft beers in Canada are, here is a list of the GOLD medal winners, sorted by province. The availability of these beers is often limited to a short distance from the brewery, and several are not available in bottles. Problem? No way! ROAD TRIP!!!!!

British Columbia

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

New Brunswick

• Best Bitter, Picaroon’s Traditional Ales (NB) • Timber Hog Stout, Picaroon’s Traditional Ales (NB)

Nova Scotia

• Grand Baltic Porter, Garrison Brewing Co. (NS)

Ontario

• Beaver River, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. (ON) • Brown Ale, Mill Street Brewery (ON) • Coffee Porter, Mill Street Brewery (ON) • Crazy Canuck Pale Ale, Great Lakes Brewery (ON) • Creemore Kellerbier, Creemore Springs Brewery (ON) • Creemore Traditional Pilsner, Creemore Springs Brewery (ON) • Framboise, Amsterdam Brewing Co. (ON) • King Dark Lager, King Brewery (ON) • King Vienna Lager, King Brewery (ON) • Muskoka Craft Lager, Muskoka Brewery (ON) • No Chance With Miranda, Great Lakes Brewery (ON) • Northumberland Ale, Church Key Brewing (ON) • Red Cap, Brick Brewing Co. (ON) • Ten Bitter Years, Black Oak Brewing Co. (ON)

Quebec

• Buteuse Brassin Special, Microbrasserie Le Trou Du Diable (QC) • Cache-a-epices, Microbrasserie du Lac Saint-Jean (QC) • Dominus Vobiscum Hibernus, Microbrasserie Charlevoix (QC) • Don de Dieu, Unibroue (QC) • Dulcis Succubus, Microbrasserie Le Trou Du Diable (QC) • Frappabord, Microbrasserie du Lac Saint-Jean (QC) • St. Ambroise Pumpkin Ale, McAuslan Brewing Inc. (QC) • St. Ambroise Scotch Ale, McAuslan Brewing Inc. (QC)

Saskatchewan

• Tartan Tsar Russian Imperial Stout, Bushwakker Brewing Co. (SK)

Molson Coors

• Carling Light, Molson Coors Canada

Moosehead

• Moosehead Lager, Moosehead Breweries Ltd.

Prince Edward Island

• Sir John A Honey Wheat, Gahan Brewery (PEI)