The prize-winning pints of the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards

A re-cap of this year’s Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards from your buds, 902 BrewCast.

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Philip Church, Kyle Andrus and Jeremy White of the ACBAs Best Brewery, Big Spruce - ANTHONY WIGHT
  • Anthony Wight
  • Philip Church, Kyle Andrus and Jeremy White of the ACBAs Best Brewery, Big Spruce

The fourth annual Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards were presented this past weekend at the Stubborn Goat in downtown Halifax. The awards showcased the best in beer and cider from around the Atlantic region, with a whopping 321 entries submitted from New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and PEI (which is up from 257 total entries in 2016).

Organizers Mark DeWolfe and Becky Grant from the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers were charged with getting all of the entries into one place, then organizing them by category and subcategory. In the end, there were 296 beers submitted from 43 breweries and brewpubs, as well as 25 ciders from seven different cider houses. Over the course of 18 hours, and with the help of eight stewards, 20 judges tasted and scored the entries based on a tailored version of the Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines.

Top performers from the initial tasting rounds of the various categories and subcategories then went to a mini Best of Show to determine the awards for gold, silver and bronze across the 14 different categories. The highest scoring entries, breweries, brewpubs and cider houses were then selected for Beer of the Year, Brewery of the Year, Brewpub of the Year, Cider of the Year and Cider House of the Year awards.

Amongst all the buzz during the reception before the awards was a sense that win or lose, the ACBAs were a chance for the breweries, their staff and their families to celebrate the accomplishments of the last year, the work that goes into crafting great beer and cider, and the camaraderie that comes with being a part of the ever-improving Atlantic craft beer and cider scene.

Through the course of the awards there were cheers and laughs as winners were read out, and you could feel the support of the community for each of the winners as congratulations were shared.
As far as the notable awards go, Big Spruce Brewing of Nyanza was awarded Brewery of the Year while also winning gold for Belgian Specialty Ale and silver in three other categories. Halifax newcomers Chain-Yard Urban Cidery won Cider House of the Year, along with gold in the Standard Cider Category and bronze in Specialty Cider. The beer and cider that scored the highest individual scores were then awarded ACBAs for Beer and Cider of the Year, with the Sterling Hefeweizen from Breton Brewing of Sydney winning the top honour for beer and the Fall Cider from Fredericton’s Red Rover winning for cider.

The public weighed in and voted Go Devil from Upstreet Brewing in Charlottetown as People’s Choice Beer and the Original Cider from Long Reach, NB’s Yip Cider as People’s Choice Cider.

After the awards portion of the evening, there was a four-course dinner prepared by the Stubborn Goat with each course paired with a beer. Breweries highlighted in the pairings were Garrison, Spindrift, Big Spruce and Breton. The event quickly sold out this year with seats going to brewery staff, judges and any craft beer fan that wanted to attend. Now that the ACBAs are over, the next big awards event for beer is the Canadian Beer Awards, which will be taking place in Halifax in May of 2018.

To hear interviews with some of the ACBA winners, check out 902 BrewCast's latest episode here, it'll be live October 31.

2017 Atlantic Canadian Beer Award winners:

North American & European Style Lager

Gold Boxing Rock Brewing Co.- Stayin’ Alive Bock
Silver Moosehead Breweries Ltd.- Moosehead Lager
Bronze Good Robot Brewing Co.- Extra BIG-ASS Beer

German Style Specialty Ales
Gold Breton Brewing Co.- Stirling Hefeweizen
Silver Tatamagouche Brewing Co.- North Shore Lagered Ale
Bronze North Brewing Company- Little Beast

UK Style Specialty Ales
Gold Pump House Brewery- Barley Wine Ale
Silver Split Rock Brewing Co.-  Alli’s Big Brown Ale
Bronze Garrison Brewing Co.- Irish Red

North American Style Specialty Ale
Gold: Trider’s Craft Beer- Brew-Deau Cream Ale
Silver: Tatamagouche Brewing Co.-  Giantess Barleywine
Bronze: Oland Brewery - Keith’s IPA

Belgian Style Specialty Ale
Gold Big Spruce Brewing- S’Il Vous Plait
Silver Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault- Tante Blanche
Bronze Quidi Vidi Brewing Company- Winter Ale

North American Style Amber / Red Ale
Gold Sea Level Brewing Co.- Blue Heron Extra Special Bitter
Silver Boxing Rock Brewing Co.- Temptation Red Ale
Bronze Hammond River Brewing - Red Coat India Red Ale

Fruit & Field Beer
Gold Alexander Keith’s Brewery- Hortonville Pumpkin Ale
Silver Big Spruce Brewing- Guava Get Me Some!
Bronze Tatamagouche Brewing Co.- Rushton’s Peach

Pale Ales
Gold Breton Brewing Co.-  Seven Years Pale Ale
Silver Big Spruce Brewing- Kitchen Party Pale Ale
Bronze North Brewing Company- Priority Pale Ale

Stout / Porter
Gold Tatamagouche Brewing Co.- Two Rivers Baltic Porter
Silver 2 Crows Brewing Co.- Midnight Mood American Porter
Bronze Big Axe Brewery- Shakespeare Stout

India Pale Ale
Gold Roof Hound Brewing Co. Ltd. – Big Stink IPA
Silver Big Spruce Brewing – Tim’s Dirty American IPA
Bronze Nine Locks Brewery – Fathom DIPA

Experimental Beer
Gold North Brewing Company- Oh My Darlin’ Clementine Brett Pale Ale
Silver Uncle Leo’s Brewery- Nachtical Illusion Schwarzbier
Bronze Good Robot Brewing Co.- Damn Fine Coffee & Cherry Pie v3.0

Wood & Barrel-Aged Beer
Gold Garrison Brewing Co.- Barrel-Aged Ol’ Fog Burner Barleywine
Silver Big Spruce Brewing- Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Wild Wild Wit
Bronze 2 Crows Brewing Co.- Bonanza! Calvados-Aged Wheat Wine

Standard Cider and Perry
Gold Chain-Yard Urban Cidery – Foundation
Silver Yip Cider – Russett
Bronze Coastliner Craft Cider – Coastliner Original

Specialty Cider and Perry
Gold Red Rover Craft Cider – Fall Cider
Silver ShipBuilders Cider Ltd. – Sid’s Chai Apple Cider
Bronze Chain-Yard Urban Cidery – Hopped Up

Brewery of the Year
Big Spruce Brewing (Nyanza, NS)

Brewpub of the Year
Paddy’s Pub (Wolfville, NS)

Cider House of the Year
Chain-Yard Urban Cidery (Halifax, NS)

Beer of the Year
Stirling Hefeweizen – Breton Brewing (Sydney, NS)

Cider of the Year
Fall Cider – Red Rover Craft Cider (Fredericton, NB)

People’s Choice Award – Cider
Original – Yip Cider (Long Reach, NB)

People’s Choice Award – Beer
Go Devil – Upstreet Craft Brewing (Charlottetown, PE)


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