Golden Tap awards

Toronto beers clean up at the 2014 Golden Tap Awards

Last night, at beerbistro, a few dozen representatives of Ontario's beer scene, assorted media, and beverage enthusiasts gathered for the 2014 edition of the The Golden Tap Awards, which bills itself as "Ontario's most democratic beer awards event."

Organized by beer-guy-about-town, Cass Enright, the awards lay claim to that title because they are chosen by the general public so, while something like the Ontario Brewing Awards--chosen by a panel of judges--might be considered the Oscars of Ontario beer, The Golden Tap Awards are essentially the industry's People's Choice Awards.

As has historically been the case, Toronto was well represented at the 2014 Golden Tap Awards, with our centre-of-the-universe-bars, brewers, and events scooping up a rather staggering 13 of the 16 voted awards. Notably, Great Lakes Brewery was named Best Microbrewery in Ontario, unseating Vankleek Hill's Beau's All Natural Brewery, who had previously taken home that distinction every year since 2009.

In addition to the voted awards, the Golden Tap Awards recognize a small selection of achievements that may be overlooked by a voting process that tends to favour obvious or outspoken candidates. These awards, called the Editor's Circle Awards, also featured some local content, toasting George Millbrandt, the owner of C'est What for his years of support for Ontario beer and Nickel Brook Brewery in Burlington for seriously upping their beer game in the last few years.

Here is complete list of last night's honourees:

  • Best Microbrewery - Great Lakes Brewery
  • Best Brewery for Cask-Conditioned Ale - Great Lakes Brewery
  • Best Brewpub or Tied House - Bellwoods Brewery
  • Best Cidery - West Avenue Cider
  • Best Regularly-Produced Beer - Beau's Lug-Tread Lagered Ale
  • Best Seasonal or Specialty Beer - Great Lakes Brewery's THRUST! An IPA
  • Best Cask Ale - Granite Brewery's Hopping Mad
  • Best Bar for Draught Beer Selection - Bar Hop
  • Best Bar for Packaged Beer Selection - Bar Volo
  • Best Bar for Cask Ale - Bar Volo
  • Best Beer Event in Ontario - Cask Days
  • Best Beer Writer - Ben Johnson
  • Best Bar Staff - Bar Hop
  • Best Newcomer - Side Launch Brewing
  • Most Innovative Brewery in Ontario - Bellwoods Brewery
  • Best Packaging Design & Label Artwork - Beau's All-Natural Brewing

Editor's Circle Awards

Brewmaster's Choice Award (favourite beer as chosen by the province's brewers)

Ben Johnson also writes about beer over on Ben's Beer Blog. You can follow him on twitter @Ben_T_Johnson.

Photo from Great Lakes Brewery's Facebook page


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