Well, is this post ever late...
Steve Peters has done a lot for the Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB). Over the last four years the outgoing Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario has invited member breweries of the OCB into Queen's Park for a tasting with MPP's, Queen's Park staffers and a number of local beer media and brewerianists. Everyone gets to meet the brewers, sample their product and nimble on an outstanding selection of Ontario produced cheeses.
Each year, at the conclusion of each tasting, individuals lucky even to attend are asked to submit ballots with their nominations for the best beer in six different categories. When the votes are tabulated the winning beers will then be featured exclusively at Queen's Park for the year. Peters, who is a big supporter of local product, chooses a "Speaker's Beer" to round out the number to seven.
Over the years the tastings have become quite popular as more and more Queen's Park representatives make their way down to the event to sample some of Ontario's finest, and this year saw the largest turn-out to date. Even Premier McGuinty and Ontario's Lieutenant Governor made and appearance; though both men choose not to indulge in any samples.
This year was especially popular because it is the last time that Peters will be hosting the tasting as he has decided that he won't seek re-election in this years provincial election. Like I mentioned at the beginning, Peters has done a lot for OCB members over the years and let's hope that the next Speaker of the Legislative Assembly will come in and continue on what Peters started four years ago.
The April 19th tasting featured 18 breweries with 61 different beers being sampled. Those breweries included:
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, Lake of Bays Brewing Co., Muskoka Cottage Brewery, Nickel Brook Brewing Co., (Grand River Brewing, Black Oak Brewing Co., Great Lakes Brewery, F&M Brewery, Wellington Brewery, Old Credit Brewing Co. Ltd., Neustadt Springs Brewery, Niagara College Teaching Brewery, King Brewery, Cameron’s Brewing Co., Railway City Brewing), Mill Street Brewery and Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co.
The winning OCB brands were selected in the following categories:
Golden Lagers, Pilsners & Light Beer
Mill Street Brewery - Organic Lager
Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company - Lug Tread Lagered Ale
Amber Lagers, Ales & Honey Beer
Old Credit Brewing Co. - Amber Ale*
Malty Dark Lager or Ale
Kichesippi Beer - 1855
Bold Flavoured Ale, Stout or Porter
Railway City Brewing - Dead Elephant Ale
Wheat Beer & Specialty
Nickel Brook Beers - Green Apple Pilsner
Flying Monkey’s Craft Brewery - Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale