Most noteworthy Canadian breweries in 2019
Another fantastic year of good beer has come to a close. As this is the BEST OF 2019 issue, I would be remiss not to include some of this wonderful year’s most noteworthy Canadian breweries.
Clifford Brewing Co.
This Ontario brewery managed to snag the Best Brewery Award at the Canadian Brewing Awards this year. Its barrel-aged porter is the stuff of legend!
The Dandy Brewing Co.
This much-loved Calgary brewery recently put on its first annual DandyFest. The festival celebrated the brewery’s five years in business and included beers from other breweries like Blind Enthusiasm, Twin Sails, Bellwoods, Nokomis Ales and Dieu du Ciel.
[Dandy Brewing Co. taproom pictured above.]
House of Funk Brewing
North Vancouver, BC
This new brewery brought the funk to North Vancouver with its wonderful tasting room and cafe. So far, the brewery has been delivering on its promise of beers that put a heavy emphasis on wood, brettanomyces, different yeast strains and all things good and funky.
Black Lab Brewing
A unique explicitly dog-friendly brewery (complete with its mascot Snoopy), Black Lab recently won the Golden Tap Awards for Best New Brewery in Ontario. And Snoopy’s Legacy, the brewery’s barrel-aged table saison with black cherries, won Favourite New Beer in Ontario.
Mount Pearl, NL
Now celebrating its first year in business, Landwash Brewery has quickly established itself as a Newfoundland beer hub, with incredible beers made by head brewer Christina Coady.
District Brewing Co.
District’s ethos seems to be making simple beers really, really well. The brewery’s West Coast Wheat Lager, generously hopped with Sorachi Ace, is well balanced and incredibly refreshing.
Little Beasts Brewing Co.
With head brewer Erin Broadfoot at the wheel, this small brewery has made some big waves with its award-winning beers that range from table saisons and sours to pale ales and stouts.
Brasserie du Bas-Canada
The very American hop-focused beers at this Gatineau brewery are unquestionably some of the most sought-after in the province.
To make for an even ten, I must mention two people who have helped pave the way for a better and brighter craft beer world in 2020.
Ren Navarro has had a busy year. The owner of the award-winning consulting company Beer.Diversity. has hosted speaking engagements, worked on beer collaborations with breweries, and attended panels for internationally renowned beer events like the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver, all in the name of supporting a more diverse beer scene.
Dr. J. Jackson-Beckham
Craft Beer For All
Beer circles on Twitter can be fraught with negativity, frustration and zero respite. But this year we saw a change. When Chicago beer writer Chalonda White from Afro.Beer.Chick. received a hate-filled, racist email, Dr. J. Jackson-Beckham, the Diversity Ambassador for the Brewers Association in America, created the #IAmCraftBeer hashtag. His instructions were simple: post a selfie and tell everyone about yourself. The ensuing wave of positive posts highlighted that the craft beer world is beautiful and filled with many people that want to share their love of good beer.