New Brunswick

New Brunswick taps into success at this year's national beer awards

Distinguished awards kept pouring in for New Brunswick craft brewers at the Canadian Brewing Awards in Halifax over the weekend.

Grimross Brewing and Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault win gold at the Canadian Brewing Awards

Grimross Brewing from Fredericton has only been brewing its Après Lager for 10 months and it's already won two major awards. (Submitted by: Dawn Vincent-Dixon)

Distinguished awards kept pouring in for New Brunswick craft brewers at the Canadian Brewing Awards in Halifax over the weekend.

The breweries took home a total of eight awards, including two gold awards at the 16th annual awards ceremony.

Grimross Brewing of Fredericton and Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault in Edmundston won the two gold awards.

Meanwhile, Foghorn Brewing of Rothesay and Pumphouse Brewery of Moncton, along with Grimross, picked up six other awards.

"It's fantastic," said Stephen Dixon, co-founder of Grimross.

The national competition selects 55 of the best beers across the country, which are sampled by judges while blindfolded. 

2nd win in a year

The Après Lager that helped Grimross win gold, has only been in production for about 10 months. This is the second major award the beer has won this year.

"When you get gold two times in a row, it's fairly good validation that you're doing some things right," said Dixon.

His partner Dawn Vincent-Dixon said the win was made sweeter by the people who were there to celebrate in all the hype.

Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault in Edmundston won a gold award at the Canadian Brewing Awards that took place in Halifax over the weekend. From left to right, brewer Patrick Dionne, co-founder André Léger and brewer Michaël Dubé of Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault. (Submitted by: André Léger)

"The great thing about it was that we were also there to share with the other New Brunswick breweries" she said.

That sentiment is also shared by André Legér, co-founder of Petit-Sault.

He feels craft brewers in New Brunswick have good reason to stick together. 

"Collaboration has always been very important for us," he said.

More work needs to be done

But he said more still needs to be done to grow the industry in New Brunswick. 

Legér, who is also beer director with the New Brunswick Craft Alcohol Association, said small brewers in the province have been working hard to make up their 4 per cent market share.

But he said much more work is needed to reach the levels seen in Nova Scotia, who has an 8 per cent market share. Meanwhile, Quebec's market share is triple that of New Brunswick's. 

"We have a lot of work to do and we have to work together to create that market share," he said.

But Legér said the awards are a good sign that they're on the right track.

"We don't brew beer to win awards," he said "However it's sort of a validation from peers that we're doing something right."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matthew Bingley is a CBC reporter based in Saint John.

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