Calgary brewery crowned Canada's best of 2020

Calgary brewery Common Crown Brewing Co. has won the title of Brewer of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards. 

Common Crown Brewing Co. won Brewer of the Year, after taking home three golds at Canadian Brewing Awards

Damon Moreau, left, and twin brother Andrew Moreau, right, are the founders of Calgary's Common Crown, which won Brewery of the Year at the 2020 Canadian Brewing Awards. The awards, usually presented at a gala dinner, were held virtually this year due to COVID-19. (Submitted by Damon Moreau)

Calgary brewery Common Crown Brewing Co. has won the title of Brewer of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards. 

Damon Moreau, co-founder and general manager, said he and the team are still processing their win.

"We were completely astounded. I think we're all still in shock, to be completely honest with you," he said on Sunday. "[It was] incredible. There was a lot of high fives."

It was a strong showing for Alberta, which took home 39 awards at the ceremony, with Calgary's Cabin Brewing and Edmonton's Bent Stick Brewing among those represented.

The annual award ceremony awards gold, silver and bronze winners in 55 categories through a blindly judged tasting process.

Common Crown took home three golds at the ceremony, which was held virtually Saturday evening, in the following categories:

  • North American style wheat beer: Ploughman Wheat Ale.
  • Scotch ale: Andys Wee Heavy.
  • Brown ale: Coppersmith Brown Ale.

The brewery was founded nearly four years ago by Moreau, his twin brother Andrew, and business partner Bob Robertshaw.

Moreau was a passionate homebrewer and was looking to get out of the industry he was in.

"It was around about the time that the laws are changed to enable [craft] breweries to open up in Alberta. So we thought, 'oh, well, let's take a stab at that,'" he said.

The brewery aims to be environmentally conscious, working with a company called Agro Systems to ensure its spent grain is used for feed for cattle, pigs, and sheep.

Moreau said 2020 has been a roller-coaster ride for Common Crown, from pivoting into home deliveries within 24 hours of their northeast Calgary taproom being forced to shut down in March due to the pandemic, to Saturday's big win. 

But they won't be resting on their laurels — Moreau said they have always have new beers in the works, from barrel-aged brews to seasonal products.

Best beer of the year went to a gluten-free beer, Glutenberg Red from Montreal's Brasseurs Sans Gluten.