There’s no better brewery in Alberta than Blindman Brewing.
For the first time, the Lacombe craft brewery took home both the Brewery of the Year award and Best in Show at the 2022 Alberta Beer Awards this week at Westerner Park.
Hosted by the Alberta Small Brewers Association, the awards were handed out at the Alberta Craft Brewing Convention where more than 60 breweries participated in 32 beer categories and more than 420 entries.
Blindman co-founder Hans Doef said winning the awards was incredible and credits his team at Blindman and uncompromising quality of its beers.
“We’re humbled by it and celebrate our team for this success,” Doef said.
Blindman was named Brewery of the Year for winning the most medals at the competition and was judged Best in Show for its 24-2 Brett Stock Ale from among the gold medal winners.
Blindman won gold for its Dwarf Sour Cherry Saison in the Mixed Fermentation Beer category and gold for its 24-2 Brett Stock Ale in the All-Alberta Malt and Hops Beer category.
The brewery also won three silver medals. In the German/Czech Style Pilsner category, it was recognized for its Five of Diamonds Pilsner, in the Brown Ale category for its 24-2 Brown Ale, and in the Barrel Aged Beer category for its Foedered Lager: Munich Dunkel.
Several other central Alberta brewing companies also collected awards.
“The craft beer scene in central Alberta is just phenomenal. I’m very, very proud to be part of this cool group in Red Deer and surrounding area,” Doef said.
Other central Alberta winners included:
l Snake Lake Brewing Co., of Sylvan Lake, won gold in the Wheat Beer category for its Hefeweizen No. 1, and gold in the Low and No-Alcohol Beer category for its Drink Easy Lo-Cal SIPA. The company won silver in the Seltzer and Ready-to-Drink Beverage category for Easy Vodka Lemonade.
l Olds College Brewery won gold in the IPA category for its Prairie Gold.
l Siding 14 Brewery, of Ponoka, won gold for its Raspberry Creamsicle Ale and silver for its Pineapple Express in the Fruit Beer category, and bronze for its Helles Lager in the All-Alberta Malt and Hops Beer category.
l Sawback Brewing Co., of Red Deer, won silver for its Hazy Blonde Ale in the Session Hoppy Beer category, silver for its India Dark Ale in the Specialty IPA category, and silver for its Wild Sour Saison in the Sour Beer category. The company also won bronze for its West Coast IPA in the IPA category.
l Troubled Monk, of Red Deer, won gold for its If the Crown Fits in the Sour Beer with Fruit category, gold for its Troubled Tea: Yuzu Citrus, and bronze for its Troubled Tea in the Seltzer and Ready-to-Drink category.
l Red Shed Malting, of Penhold, won the Community Builder of the Year- Partners award.
Blair Berdusco, executive director of the Alberta Small Brewers Association, said there’s definitely a lot of creativity and ingenuity among Alberta beer producers, and as Alberta’s population is expected to grow, the sector will also expand.
“We’re set up for more success going forward,” Berdusco said.
Both Doef and Berdusco were excited about the upcoming launch of the Alberta Ale Trail which will initially focus on central Alberta.
“We’re hoping to capitalize on the popularity of beer tourism and the great product that we have here,” Berdusco said.
For more information visit www.abcraftbrewing.ca/aba2022.