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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ontario MPP'S Choose OCB Beers for 2009-10

Last year I posted the news about the Hon. Steve Peters, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, who introduced his colleagues to Ontario craft beer, and who made it policy to start making them available at Queen's Park. Peters, with help from the Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB), organized a formal tasting for fellow MPP's who then voted on their favourites in six different categories, with the Speaker choosing a seventh one himself titled Speaker's Selection. The winning beers would be available at Queen's Park for one calendar year, exposing the brands to a new audience.

Peters was recognized at last years Golden Tap Awards (hosted by Bar Towel) for his hard work and it seems the idea caught on, as MPP's have once again selected a number of craft beers to stock at Queen's Park. Here is the press release that I received today thanks to the OCB.


Seven new low carbon footprint varieties chosen as “official beers” of Ontario’s Legislative Assembly

(May 13, 2009) – On Monday, May 11th, Ontario MPPs voted in the most popular representatives of Ontario’s Craft Brewing industry during a popular tasting event hosted by Hon. Steve Peters, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

MPPs and Queen’s Park staffers sniffed, swirled and sipped from a selection of 59 of Ontario’s finest craft beers and cast their votes in favour of the craft beers to be highlighted at the Legislative Assembly for 2009-2010.

The new beers, to be highlighted in the main Legislative Dining Room and at other Queen’s Park events, are brewed in local communities throughout the province, including: The Greater Toronto Region, Barrie, Burlington, Cambridge, Carlton Place, Guelph, Muskoka, Neustadt, Oakville, St. Thomas and Tiverton.

“Ontario Craft Brewers have created a thriving and innovative small brewing industry in our province,” says Speaker Peters. “We are very proud to support the industry’s ongoing growth by serving these world-class, locally-produced products in our Legislature.”

This is the second year the Speaker has hosted the exclusive tasting event, part of his ongoing initiative to showcase Ontario products in the Legislature. The tasting event consisted of 59 beers from 17 Ontario Craft Breweries. Tasters cast ballots to choose their favourite varieties in six categories, a seventh category the “Speaker’s Selection” was to be chosen by the Speaker himself. (See below for full results).

“Ontario Craft Brewing is a local success story that can be attributed to the dedication of our industry entrepreneurs, government support and an increasingly sophisticated consumer,” says Gary McMullen, Chair of Ontario Craft Brewers and President of Lakes of Muskoka Cottage Brewery. “Throughout the last three decades, Ontario Craft Brewers have been brewing quality beer, creating jobs in their communities and developing a commercially viable industry in the face of major national and international competition.”

The winning Ontario Craft Beer brands were selected in the following categories:

Golden Lagers, Pilsners & Light: Great Lakes Brewery – Golden Horseshoe Premium Lager

Refreshing Ales: MacLean’s Ales – MacLean’s Pale Ale

Amber Lagers, Ales & Honey Beers: Old Credit Brewing Co. Ltd. – Old Credit Amber Ale

Malty Dark Lager or Ale: Railway City Brewing – Amber Ale

Bold Flavoured Ale, Stout or Porter: Black Oak Brewing Company – Black Oak Nut Brown Ale

Wheat Beer & Specialty: Lakes of Muskoka Cottage Brewery – Muskoka Hefe Weissbier

Speaker’s Selection: Mill Street Brewery – Mill Street Tankhouse

*Picture taken at last years event

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