The Best in Ontario Beer

Media Release

May 1, 2013

10th annual Ontario Brewing Awards recognize the province’s favourite beers and brewers


Toronto, Ont. – Every year for the past decade, Ontario brewers and beer drinkers have come together to share their passion for locally-made beer, and honour the best of the best at the Ontario Brewing Awards.

“Hats off to the brewers of Ontario, who continue to raise the bar, producing the highest quality and tasty brews day in and day out,” says Les Murray, President of Toronto’s Festival of Beer. “It is a pleasure to be associated with such a great industry.”

Presented at the Gladstone Hotel on April 30 by Beerlicious Inc. and hosted by Roger Mittag, a professor of beer at Thirst for Knowledge, the OBAs continue to grow in an effort to keep up with changing demands in the marketplace. For 2013, new categories were added for Gluten Free Beer and Barrel Aged Beer and the People’s Choice Award was replaced with a bronze medal.

“Ontario has a lot to be proud of with its beers,” says Mittag, who also consults for several Canadian breweries. “Brewers across the province are producing some incredible flavours that are truly unique. It is an honour to recognize the hard work they are putting into their craft.”

The gala awards ceremony included suggested food pairings with Ontario beers while guests enjoyed live entertainment by Electric Equation.

New this year is the Home Brewers Award sponsored by Lake of Bays Brewing Company. In support of the growth of the beer industry in Ontario and of all the future Ontario Brewmasters, the Home Brewers Award category is open to anyone wishing to participate that is not a professional brewer nor works for a brewery in any capacity. The Home Brewers category was developed with all the “up and coming” brewers in mind – the category aims to host a platform for people who are truly passionate about brewing, and who are contributing to building Ontario’s brewing profile. In addition to being the first recipient of this new award, the winner will receive an opportunity to brew a batch of the winning beer in Lake of Bays Brewing Company’s full-capacity brewery.

The OBAs are judged by the same judges used in assessing the Canadian Brewing Awards. Judges are placed in groups of three and focus on specific styles and flights. Each beer is judged based on the OBA style guideline which can be found by clicking here.

The standard ‘blind taste’ technique ensures an unbiased opinion. The judges then score each beer independently and winners are decided by consensus of the judging team. 
Breweries are award gold, silver and bronze medals in the following categories:

North American Light Lager, North American Lager, Pilsner, Amber Lager, Dark Lager, Bock, Honey Maple, German Wheat, Belgian Wheat, Cream Ale, Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, North American Pale Ale, British IPA, North American IPA, Amber Ale, Dark Ale, Porter, Stout, Imperial Stouts, Fruit or Vegetable Flavoured Beer, Strong Beer, Homebrew of the Year, Gluten Free, Barrel Aged, Newcomer of the Year and Beer of the Year.

The winners of the 10th Annual Ontario Brewing Awards are:

North American Light Lager
Gold: Cool Stonewall Light
Silver: Laker Light
Bronze: Stonehammer Light

North American Lager
Gold: Amsterdam Natural Blonde
Silver: Muskoka Craft Lager
Bronze: GLB Golden Horseshoe

European Style Lager (Pilsner)
Gold: Big Rig Champion Pilsner
Silver: King Pilsner
Bronze: Steam Whistle Pilsner

Amber Lager
Gold: Nickel Brook Marzenbier
Silver: Cool Millenium Buzz
Bronze: Hop City Barking Squirrel

Dark Lager
Gold: King Dark
Silver: Big Rig Schwarzbier
Bronze: Waterloo Dark

Gold: Amsterdam Springbock
Silver: Cameron’s Deviator
Bronze: Creemore Urbock

Honey/Maple Beers
Gold: Mill Street Spring Thaw
Silver: Mill Street Royal York Stinger
Bronze: Stonehammer Maple Red

German Style Wheat Beer
Gold: Muskoka Summer Weiss
Silver: Beer Academy Hefeweizen
Bronze: Denison’s Weissbier

Belgian Style Wheat Beer
Gold: Shock Top Belgian White
Silver: Mill Street Belgian Witbier
Bronze: Black Oak Saison

Cream Ale
Gold: Clocktower West Brew
Silver: Cameron’s Cream Ale
Bronze: Big Rig Gold

British Pale Ale
Gold: Muskoka Cream Ale
Silver: Black Oak Pale Ale
Bronze: Grand River Plowman’s Ale

North American Pale Ale
Gold: Nickel Brook Naughty Neighbour
Silver: Spearhead Hawaiian Pale
Bronze: GLB Crazy Canuck

British IPA
Gold: Mill Street IPA
Silver: Clocktower Wisharts ESB
Bronze: Grand River Curmudgeon

North American IPA
Gold: Nickel Brook Headstock
Silver: Flying Monkeys Smashbomb
Bronze: Muskoka Mad Tom

Amber Ale (including red)
Gold: Niagara’s Butler’s Bitter
Silver: Clocktower Red
Bronze: Cameron’s Auburn Ale

Dark Ales
Gold: True North Copper
Silver: Get Well Fuggle It
Bronze: Stonehammer Dark Ale

Gold: GLB Harry Porter
Silver: Get Well Porter
Bronze: Bellwoods Lost Porter

Gold: Railway City Black Coal
Silver: Sawdust City Skinny Dipping with Friends
Bronze: Spearhead Belgian Stout

Imperial Stouts
Gold: Muskoka Winter Beard
Silver: GLB Bourbon Aged Russian Imperial Stout
Bronze: Amsterdam Tempest

Fruit Beer
Gold: Mill Street Frambozen
Silver: Amsterdam KLB Raspberry Wheat
Bronze: Clocktower Raspberry Wheat

Flavoured Beers
Gold: Black Oak Double Chocolate Cherry Stout
Silver: Sawdust City Skinny Dipping with Friends
Bronze: Sawdust City Red Rocket

Strong Beers
Gold: Mill Street Barley Wine
Silver: Mill Street Ambre de la Chaudiere
Bronze: Wellington Iron Duke

Gluten Free
Gold: Nickel Brook Gluten Free
Silver: Snowman Top Hat
Bronze: Snowman Who’s That Brown Ale

 Barrel Aged
Gold: Amsterdam Order & Chaos
Silver: GLB 25th Anniversary Bourbon Aged
Bronze: Cameron’s VSPA


Homebrew IPA
Gold: Geoff Conway
Silver: Neal Fuller
Bronze: Steven Mills

Newcomer of the Year

Big Rig Brewing

Beer of the Year

Amsterdam Spring Bock


About Toronto’s Festival of Beer:

Toronto’s Festival of Beer is a celebration of Canada’s rich brewing history, showcasing experts of the brewing craft from around the world. Featuring more than 200 brands, Toronto’s Festival of Beer is Canada’s premier celebration of the golden beverage. The festival takes place July 26th 4:30 – 11:00pm, July 27th 1:30 – 8:00pm and July 28th 1:30 – 8:00pm at Bandshell Park in Exhibition Place, Toronto. For ticket info and more details about this year’s Beer Festival, please visit Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and join the party by using #BeerMe.


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