Brews News: Muddy York and Paris Beer Company big winners at brewing awards

Setting course this summer for Muddy York or Paris should be on the to-do list for craft beer fans.

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Toronto’s Muddy York Brewing Company — the brewery that offers ukelele lessons with your draft — and Paris Beer Company — run by seventh-generation farmers — are the big winners at this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards.

Muddy York won brewery of the year and gold medals for Haberdasher, its German-style wheat beer, and Jail Fire Rauchbier, its smoked beer. Haberdasher is available through the Muddy York online store and the LCBO, priced at less than $3 for a 473 ml can.

Paris won gold for Lazy Dog, its traditional German bock, and silver for Tagwerk Brett Triple. Tagwerk is available in 355 ml old-school stubby bottles for $5.25 at the brewery and its online store. It’s a beer that can be cellared for years. It’s also a fundraiser beer for the Bruce Trail Conservancy.

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Chatham’s Sons of Kent won two silver medals and a bronze. It was silver for both its English IPA and Mammoth, a barrel-aged imperial stout, Juice Box took bronze in the competitive New England-style IPA category.

Sarnia’s Imperial City brought home a gold medal in the flavoured stout/porter category for its Chocolate Milk Peanut Butter Porter. This is a delicious beer that echoes the flavour of a peanut butter cup. On a similar theme, Wellington of Guelph won gold for its Chocolate Milk Stout in the sweet or cream stout category.

Imperial City co-owner Mike Barker shows the Sarnia brewery’s Canadian Brewing Awards gold medal for the beer he created, Chocolate Milk Peanut Butter Porter. (Imperial City photo)

Experts judged blind-tasted beers entered from across Canada in 59 categories, awarding 191 gold, silver and bronze medals. Winners were announced in Halifax on the final day of a three-day conference.

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Best of show went to an Alberta brewery, Blindman of Lacombe, for its Dwarf Sour Cherry.


A Massachusetts brewery used Canadian ingredients for a Helles-style lager christened Canada Gold. Treehouse Brewing made it with Sasquatch hops shipped from British Columbia and Canadian malt.

Sasquatch is the first and I believe only trademarked Canadian hop. It was developed in the Fraser Valley and is grown there commercially and in southern Ontario.

The artisan Treehouse Brewing has five locations, including a charmer in Cape Cod.


Barncat Artisan Ales in Cambridge has been the cat’s meow for over seven years, but it’s closing permanently at the end of August.

Barncat’s owners announced the closure on Instagram, where they also noted to those in the industry that Barncat’s brewing equipment is for sale.

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Despite closing in three months, there will still be new beer releases including an IPA collaboration with Old Galt Bottle Shop. OG IPA is brewed with two varieties of hops, Nelson Sauvin and Citra.

While the taproom is currently closed, fans can buy beer to go.


Sons of Kent in Chatham has a new, low-alcohol session ale. The Grand Wazoo is 2.5 per cent alcohol and is brewed with Zappa hops, originally from New Mexico. Zappa hops provide a spicy, tropical fruit flavour. The beer’s name and label are a nod to Frank Zappa and his song, the Grand Wazoo. Also new at Sons of Kent: POG (Passionfruit-Orange-Guava), a kettle sour brewed in collaboration with Chatham’s Festival of Giving.

Forked River in London has a new kettle sour. Twango is flavoured with lime juice and mango puree.

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Peak Season Sundae Sour, featuring strawberries from Heeman’s, is back at Storm Stayed in London. There’s twice the amount of lactose that Storm Stayed uses in its Shook series.

And London’s Powerhouse also has a new sour. Jump-N-Jive Strawberry Milkshake Sour is on tap and in cans, ready to refresh at 100 Kellogg Lane.

Powerhouse has a new thirst-quenching strawberry sour, Jump-N-Jive. (Powerhouse photo)

Moosehead updated its packaging with a new-look moose that’s more prominent while keeping its emerald green and gold colours. To celebrate, it’s offering chances to get a free beer literally with your name on it if you tag photos of your achievements (@moosehead) on Instagram. The contest also ran last summer.

Ale and rail fans unite in Palmerston for the second annual Raleway Festival. Breweries taking part include Railway City of St. Thomas along with Cowbell, MacLean’s, Neustadt and Steam Whistle. It’s June 24 during the afternoon, ticketed admission with drink tokens sold separately. The venue is Palmerston’s historic passenger station, railyard and pedestrian bridge.

Wayne Newton is a freelance journalist based in London.

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