Categories: Beer AwardsPublished On: March 28, 2007


Bar Towel News Editor


The 4th annual Ontario Brewing Awards will be taking place next Wednesday, April 4th at the Esplanade Bier Markt (58 The Esplanade).
Hosted by Roger Mittag, the awards will be announced during a media event from 3:00 to 5:00 PM, followed by a public event from 5:00 to 7:00 PM where complimentary samples of the nominated beers will be served.
The awards line-up has expanded this year to cover 15 categories including: North American Light Lager, Lager, Pilsner, Amber Lager, Dark Lager, Cream Ale, Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Dark Ale, Bitter, Honey Beer, Wheat Beer, Porter/Stout, and Specialty/Flavoured.
The full press release follows behind the cut.

Diversity of beer styles reflected in this year’s Ontario Brewing Awards
TORONTO, ONTARIO: March 28, 2007…. They excel in the beer industry, exemplify creativity and are determined to succeed. They are the brands entered in the fourth-annual “Ontario Brewing Awards”, and there are five additional style categories in this year’s judging, a total of 15 styles! The increase in the number of award categories is representative of the variety of styles that Ontario Brewers are creating, providing a broad choice of top quality beers for Ontarians.
Roger Mittag, the Professor of Beer, will host the festivities at Toronto’s own nirvana for beer lovers at the Esplanade Bier Markt on Wednesday April 4th, from 5:00-7:00 pm.
This competition provides an opportunity for commercially produced beers to be judged against the best beers in the province. It also provides beer lovers with an opportunity to meet the brewers behind the brand, and sample the winning brews for themselves!
Starting at 5:00 pm, complimentary tastings of these award-winning brands are offered courtesy of sponsors NOW Magazine, Toronto’s Festival of Beer, The Beer Store, Esplanade Bier Markt, Ontario Brewers and
Breweries are judged in the following categories:
North American Light Lager, Lager, Pilsner, Amber Lager, Dark Lager, Cream Ale, Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Dark Ale, Bitter, Honey Beer, Wheat Beer, Porter/Stout, Specialty/Flavoured.
“I’m very proud to be associated with the OBA’s as these awards show the average beer consumer’s voice can be heard,” said Roger Mittag from Thirst for Knowledge Inc. “What makes this year’s event even more special is the fact that several beers have been awarded gold medals two years in a row. And with a different group of judges than last year, this once again shows that Ontario brewers have been rewarded for their outstanding consistency,” he added.
The winning entries for the Ontario Brewing Awards will be announced on Wednesday, April 4th at the Esplanade Bier Markt, during the Press Pub and Awards Ceremony for media and brewers only from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The Consumer Tasting event is open to Beer Enthusiasts from 5:00-7:00pm. For dinner reservations please contact the Esplanade Bier Markt directly at 416-862-7575.
4th annual Ontario Brewing Awards Judges:
Host Roger Mittag – Roger Mittag is the founder of Thirst For Knowledge Inc., an innovative new company that delivers creative and exciting beer events. He is also recognized as one of Canada’s leading draught beer experts. Roger has been helping Canadians appreciate beer since 1997 and is currently teaching Beer Appreciation classes at Humber College.
Scott Rondeau – Scott is the Co-Founder of Toronto’s Festival of Beer which is approaching its twelfth year. He’s the Site Manager for the Juno Awards and also founded The Juno Cup; a hockey event in association with the Junos. Hockey, Music and Beer – the perfect Hat Trick! Scott is generally a big fan of beer. Hello?… He started a Beer Festival!
Bill George – Bill is a retired educator, a BJCP beer judge, and a winner of over 20 medals in North American brewing competitions. He also works part-time for the LCBO.
Robert Medal – Robert is the General Manager of the Esplanade Bier Markt, one of Canada’s premier Rest-Bars and a showcase for many of the world’s top beers. Robert’s background spans over 11 years in the hospitality and beverage industry with extensive experience in the beer and wine segments.
Candy Higgins – Candy is a marketing executive at NOW Magazine. A veteran of both the restaurant business and the music industry, she has traveled extensively and tasted more beer than it would be prudent to admit. As a result, she can confirm that Canadian beer (tied with Guinness) is the best beer in the world.
Graham Duncan – Graham writes the Drink Up column which appears weekly in NOW Magazine. Graham has also written about food and urban culture for the Globe and Mail and the CBC and was the restaurant reviewer for the Victoria Times Colonist.
John Tyler – John is the Global e-Commerce Manager for Kraft Foods. He has a passion for beer, especially cask conditioned ales, and is an award winning home brewer and certified beer judge.
Jon Purdy – Jon has been living and breathing beer for the last 4 years as the Marketing Manager at The Beer Store. Along with his professional experience, Jon has an overdeveloped nasal cavity and enlarged taste buds that will greatly assist him in his role of assessing various brews.
Aonghus Kealy – is the only writer with a weekly column devoted to beer in Canadian daily newspapers. He began with Sun Media’s 24 Hour Magazine and currently serves as the Food and Drink Editor at Metro Magazine. When not writing about beer, Aonghus can be found doing extensive research on the subject. Slainte!
Niki Bobko – Niki is the Promotions Coordinator at The Beer Store. Besides being a big fan of the golden beverage, she spends her days promoting the biggest Brewery Retail Outlet in the Country and helps in making some of our favourite brands available to us. Who could be better? Bless you Niki!
Josie Dye – Josie is the Midday announcer and Assistant Music Director at 102.1 The Edge. She lives and breathes Rock and Roll. How can she NOT know her beer?
Mirella Amato – Having recently returned to Toronto after living in Italy, where she reluctantly gave up beer in favour of wine (when in Rome!), Mirella has spent the past two months scrupulously retraining her taste buds to recognize the fine points of beer- her drink of choice! They are good and ready for this affair and she can’t wait to treat them to Ontario’s finest.
Dan Ferracuti – Dan owns two locations of Safari Bar and Grill, both in Ajax and Toronto. Dan has been in the hospitality business for years and is he’s a HUGE lover of beer.
Lisa Dunbar – As Marketing Manager for the Ontario Craft Brewers, Lisa spends her time building the Ontario Craft Brewers’ brand and promoting the virtues of our local brewing industry – who could be better?
Jeff Marek – Jeff is the host of “Leafs Lunch” along with Bill Watters on AM640 Toronto Radio heard Monday to Friday from 12-2pm. One of the country’s premier hockey analysts, Marek makes frequent appearances on CBC news Morning, TSN’s “Off The Record” and various TV and radio properties across the country. When you have to talk this much you appreciate quenching your thirst with a little brew.
Sara Taylor – Sara is the Manager of Communications for The Beer Store. Since beer has long been her beverage of choice, she figured – why not work for the best place to buy your suds? And after four years of getting to know beer even better at The Beer Store, she feels the best beer is the cold one in your hand!
Barry Taylor – personality on 102.1 the Edge and stand up comedian. Barry works evenings and late afternoons…the reason? His love of beer requires him to sleep in. He’s that dedicated to the hops and barley.
Zach Slootsky – Zach has been organizing the annual beer review for U of T’s independent weekly, “The Newspaper”, for three years now, more than doubling its size in the first year alone. He’s been throwing keg parties since he turned 19 and is working now as a freelance photographer at
Chris Kelly – Chris spends eight hours of his day as a mild mannered Software Engineer at a Fortune 500 company. This allows him to spend the other sixteen as a fine beer aficionado and avid home brewer. Chris cherishes good beer and does not abide poor ones. As such, Chris looks forward to having his say in which beers are the best that Ontario has to offer.
Jason Davis – Jason is a Financial Systems Specialist on Bay Street. Small-cog-in-the-machine by day, Jason has honed his social networking skills over pints by night. Jason cherishes this newfound opportunity to praise beer while perched on a bar stool.
Josh Rubin – Josh has been drinking good, craft-brewed beer for as long as he can remember. He’s spent many a happy afternoon and evening sipping from Bavarian masskrugs, Belgian chalices and English pint glasses across Canada and other great beer countries. These days, he’s also the beer writer for the Toronto Star.