Best Beer in Alberta: Winners of the 2020 Alberta Beer Awards
All the winners of the third annual Alberta Beer Awards, co-presented by the Alberta Small Brewers Association and Avenue Magazine.
By Avenue Staff | April 7, 2020
Here are the results of the third annual Alberta Beer Awards, co-presented by the Alberta Small Brewers Association and Avenue Magazine. The entries are judged by a panel of beer experts who blind-taste the hundreds of beer entries. With a wide variety of styles and breweries from across the province represented, you’ll be sure to find something you love.
Brewery of the Year
The brewery with the highest number of points. Points are awarded for medalling in categories only (not Best of Show) on the following basis: four points for a gold, two points for a silver, one point for a bronze finish.
Awarded to a brewer that opened in 2019 and received the most Brewery of the Year awards. Points are awarded on the following basis: four points for a gold, two points for a silver, one point for a bronze finish. (Best of Show and Soda categories are not included.)
Lagers or ales that are light-bodied, refreshing and not overly hopped. Colour may vary but the overall emphasis should be on balance and accessibility with no aggressive flavours. With 34 entries this year, this was the most popular category among Alberta brewers.
Ale brewed with wheat as a key ingredient, and using traditional German or Belgian yeast. Wheat is a dominant flavour characteristic, balanced with a noted yeast character appropriate to regional sub-style.
Amber-coloured, malt-accented ale. Malt should have darker flavours without being overdone, including caramel, toast, bread and biscuit. Hops can vary in profile and perception, but without becoming too dominant in the balance.
Any lager or ale where the addition of spice or other adjunct (coffee, for example) is a key ingredient and important flavour and aroma component. With 27 entries from Alberta breweries, this was the second-most competitive category this year.
Ale or lager brewed with addition of alternative ingredients that do not fit into other categories. Includes beer made with alternative grains (gluten-free, for example) or alternative sugars (honey, for example), and smoked beer, as well as beer cocktails.
Beer produced through the use of “wild” yeast and bacteria, including brettanomyces, or through spontaneous fermentation. Should exhibit the flavour profiles of the organisms used, including earthiness, spiciness, sourness, mustiness and cellar characteristics.
An IPA designed with features that deviate from traditional IPA, including colour, ingredients or yeast. Central feature of the beer is bitterness and hop flavour and aroma, with varying balance appropriate to variation.
Hazy, light-coloured, medium-bodied hop-accented ale. Moderate-to-strong citrus-fruit flavours and aromas with low-to-moderate bitterness. Mouth feel will be full with a silky character. Designed to reflect the characteristics of the ales originating in Vermont.