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Central Alberta businesses win at Canadian Brewing Awards

Lacombe’s Blindman Brewing wins Best of Show
Blindman Brewing co-founder Hans Doef holds up awards won by the Lacombe business at the 21st annual Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference this past weekend in Halifax, N.S. (Contributed photo)

Multiple Central Alberta breweries - including Lacombe’s Blindman Brewing - have received awards to prove they have some of the best beers in Canada.

Two Red Deer breweries, Troubled Monk and Sawback Brewing Co., as well as Blindman Brewing, Sylvan Lake’s Snake Lake Brewing Co., Innisfail’s Dark Woods Brewing, and Olds College Brewery, all medalled at the 2023 Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference recently in Halifax, N.S.

Blindman Brewing was a particular standout, winning Best of Show with its Dwarf Sour Cherry.

“It was pretty awesome (to get recognized) in front of all of our industry friends,” said Hans Doef, co-founder of Blindman Brewing.

“To get recognized as having the best beer of all the best beers is pretty crazy. We feel super proud of that beer.”

The Dwarf Sour Cherry also won gold in the Fruit Beer or Field Beer category – the beer has also been recognized with gold medals at the Canada Beer Cup and the Alberta Brewing Awards. Blindman Brewing also won gold in the Barley Wine-Style Ale category with its Perepllut Barley Wine.

“The Dwarf Sour Cherry and our Perepllut Barley Wine are culminations of some of the best practices, products and ingredients. The team that we have came to the floor to make a world-class product,” said Doef.

Troubled Monk won gold in the North American Style Lager category for its Daycation beer and also received an honourable mention in the experimental beer category for its Cold Snap.

Sawback Brewing Co.’s East Coast Style Pale Ale won gold in the Session India Pale Ale category.

Snake Lake Brewing Company took home three medals: a gold in the Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category and two silvers in the American-Style Brett Beer and Session Ale categories.

Smokin’ Fire Smoked Red Ale, from Dark Woods Brewing, won silver in the smoked beer category.

Hay City, a product of Olds College Brewery, was the bronze-medal winner in the North American Style Wheat Beer category.

This was the 21st annual edition of the Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference. The event invites Canadian majority-owned breweries of all sizes to compete in a Beer Judge Certification Program, sanctioned blind tasting to determine the best beers in 59 style categories.

To see a full list of winners, visit

Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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