Awards put brewery on the ale trail map

Whitetooth Brewery wins gold and bronze for beers at brewery awards

The Whitetooth Brewery is at it again, winning coveted awards for their beers.

This time, the brewery won a gold and bronze award for two of their original beers at the Canadian Brewing Awards. The Truth Dare Consequence imperial stout placed first in its category, and the Whitetooth session ale placed third in its category, cinching a bronze award.

The Canadian Brewing Awards hosted nearly 2,000 entries, in 55 beer categoris, with 48 judges from the Beer Judge Certified Program who are experts in blind tested entries.

Mark Nagao, Evan Cronshaw, and Kent Donaldson from Whiteooth all attended the conference and awards held in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the end of May.

“We were just happy to be there, it was our first Canadian Brewing Awards,” Donaldson said. “We thought it was super cool, it was beer from all over the country. You were able to sample those beers through the convention and through the awards. It was almost like if there was free trade in beer across Canada, that’s what it would be like. It was really cool.”

The awards are only for independently owned Canadian breweries, like Whitetooth. There were no mainstream beers, or anything foreign owned vying for the awards. Donaldson said many B.C. breweries won awards, and there were a lot of entries from Quebec and Ontario.

“The other surprise was just how developed the Nova Scotia craft brewing scene is, that was really neat,” Donaldson said.

The breweries at the competition range from small venues and those who are new to the business, to large operations and seasoned brewers who have 20 or more years of experience. The Whitetooth Brewery has been in operation for 18 months now, and the two beers that won awards were their original recipes from before the location opened, when Cronshaw was brewing in a garage, honing in on them.

“The trick with these competitions is you never really know if you have beer in the right category for judging,” Donaldson explained. “Because we sort of make hybrid brews, we mix a couple of styles together, we never really know if we’re putting it into the right category. But, with the imperial stout, it was pretty clear cut.”

The gold-winning Truth, Dare, Consequence Nordic Imperial Stout boasts a hefty 10 per cent Alcohol by Volume (ABV), and is described as a “potent interpretation of a Scandinavian farm stout that features a hearty, smoked malt core, balanced by hops and juniper berries.”

Coming in bronze in a separate category, the Whitetooth Session Ale is a little lighter, only at 4.8 per cent ABV, and is an “easy drinking session ale to quench your thirst after any streneuous activity.” The light pilsner graininess accompanies lingering hoppiness.

The Whitetooth Brewery keeps 12 beers on tap, which Donaldson said is “quite ambitious” for the size of the operations. Last week, the brewery reintroduced the Tomorrow We Ride Hefeweizen, which was a popular beer last summer.

Last year, the brewery competed in the B.C. Brewery Awards, grabbing a silver award for the Belgian-inspired Launchpad Rye Ale. Attending conferences and competing in awards helps to put the brewery on the map, Donaldson said, adding that it is good for them and good for Golden because they pull a lot of local inspiration into naming the beers and the art that goes onto the bottles and onto the descriptive cards.

“It puts Golden on the craft beer map in Canada,” he said, adding that Whitetooth is one of the many breweries on the B.C. Ale Trail.

The ale trail is a resource at www.bcaletrail.ca, that directs locals and travellers to breweries in their area. There are comprehensive maps, broken up into categories, that people can follow to different breweries in their area. Whitetooth Brewery is classified under the Kootenay Rockies East, and in three days, a beer enthusiast can visit four communities and five different breweries.

“That’s a really powerful and well-organized resource for people who want to follow these ale trails,” Donaldson said.

The Whitetooth Brewery is located at 623 8th Ave. North, and is open daily from 2 to 10 p.m.

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