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Friday, June 6, 2008

Members of Queen's Park Choose OCB Beers!

A while ago I was discussing the state of the Ontario Craft Brewers with a friend who mentioned that something was in the works with members of Queen's Park and OCB beers, and today I received a press release with the following information.

For the sake of being lazy I will include the full release. Enjoy.

Queen's Park Casts Votes for the Official Craft Beers of the Legislative Assembly TORONTO

The votes are in as MPPs at Queen's Park settle on the best Ontario Craft
Beers. Speaker of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, Steve Peters, hosted fellow MPPs and staff Tuesday as they cast their vote at the first ever Ontario Craft Beer Tasting at Queen's Park. "At the Legislative Assembly of Ontario we are extremely proud of the fantastic local products that our great Province provides," says Peters.

"Making the Legislative Assembly of Ontario a showcase of Ontario products is an initiative of mine as Speaker. The Ontario Craft Brewers are a great example of our Province's ability to create quality, world-class products right here in our backyard."

The tasting saw 46 beers brought to Queen's Park with over 100 ballots cast in six different categories. As well, Peters was proud to announce Neustadt Scottish Pale Ale as his choice for the Speakers' Selection winner. These seven winning beers will be the official craft beers of the Legislative Assembly.

"Seeing the Ontario Legislature take an interest in the Ontario Craft Brewers is a sign of how far the Ontario craft brewing industry has come in recent years," says John Hay, President of the Ontario Craft Brewers. "Our province's brewing history began back in the 1800's but really saw a large resurgence in 1985 with brewers like
J.R. Brickman and others. Most recently we've seen an acceleration of this growth thanks to government support, new consumer interest and the hard work of the 29 Ontario Craft Brewers."

Since 2003 capital investment in the Ontario Craft Brewers has been over $40 million. This strong support has been central to the development of craft brewing in Ontario. "We are also proud of our impact on the province's economy," continues Hay. "In fact in the next decade we expect the craft breweries to have close to a $400 million economic impact on the provincial economy in both a direct and indirect way."

Category winners and the official craft beers of the Legislative Assembly are:

Speaker's Selection:
Neustadt Brewery - Neustadt Scottish Pale Ale

Golden Lagers & Pilsners:
Great Lakes Brewery - Golden Horseshoe

Refreshing Ales:
Robert Simpson Brewing Company - Anti-Gravity Light

Amber Lagers, Ales & Honey Beers: Old Credit Brewery - Amber Ale

Malty Dark Lager or Ale:
Brick Brewing Company - Waterloo Dark

Bold Flavoured Ale, Stout or Porter:
Scotch Irish Brewery - Sgt. Major IPA

Wheat Beer:
Mill Street Brewery - Belgian Wit

The Ontario Craft Brewers are a group of 29 small brewers that are dedicated to making great tasting beer in Ontario. The 29 members of the Ontario Craft Brewers brew their beers locally in communities throughout Ontario - from the Ottawa Valley to Windsor and Niagara to Muskoka. The Ontario Craft Brewers employ over 450 people in Ontario, accounting for over20 per cent of the overall brewing employment in the province. For more information about the Ontario Craft Brewers visit http://www.ontariocraftbrewers.com/.

5 comments:

MattB said...

Ralph at the Volo told me that Steve Peters comes in once in a while to check out Ontario beers (Ralph also knows that Peters was a former Minister of the ministry where I work). As far as I'm concerned, it's about time that the Legislature recognizes craft beers and stays away from that Molbatts piddle.

Troy Burtch said...

Yes, I remember discussing this with Ralph and Carl long ago. I agree that the Legislature is on board with the OCB, it only makes sense seeing how the OCB gets money from the government.

Thanks for commenting Matt.

bticknor said...

I just did a quick survey of our local beer stores in Newmarket Ontario.

Neustadt Brewery - Neustadt Scottish Pale Ale NOT AVAILABLE.

Great Lakes Brewery - Golden Horseshoe NOT AVAILABLE.

Robert Simpson Brewing Company - Anti-Gravity Light AVAILABLE AT 1 STORE.

Old Credit Brewery - Amber Ale NOT AVAILABLE.

Brick Brewing Company - Waterloo Dark AVAILABLE AT 2 STORES.

Scotch Irish Brewery - Sgt. Major IPA NOT AVAILABLE.

Mill Street Brewery - Belgian Wit AVAILABLE AT ALL 3 STORES.


Doesn't say much for the beer stores when even the choices of the Ontario Legislature are not available, does it?


Bruce Ticknor
nemsis@beertaster.ca

Troy Burtch said...

Bruce,

Man - that's sad. While they're not the first thing I'd chose at the LCBO, it saddens me to know, but doesn't shock me, that only a few are available in Newmarket. I bet Heineken, Stella, Becks, Keith's, Coors, Corona, and other big names are all represented there.

Anonymous said...

People who are elected to represent "the people" who elected them should do their best to bring beer to those same people...especially when the beer is made by those very people who elected them and whose tax dollars go to supporting the making of that beer. Elected officials of Ontario, "Put more Ontario-made beer in the Beer and Liquor stores of Ontario - and show the people of Ontario that you belive in them, their economy and their gift to their fellow citizens, delicious, hand-crafted, character beer!"

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