Calgary’s The Establishment Brewing Company named top brewery in Canada

For the second year in a row, a Calgary brewery has taken the top honour at the Canadian Brewing Awards.

The Establishment Brewing Company has been named Brewery of the Year on Saturday during  a ceremony at the Centre des Congrès convention centre in Quebec City.

Last year, the honour went to Calgary’s Common Crown Brewing Co.

“We’re over the moon,” co-owner and general manager David Ronneberg told CBC Calgary’s The Homestretch. “Really, really proud of our team that helped us achieve these medals and this recognition, and just a little bit tired from the weekend.”

The Establishment started out as two friends who met in a home brew club, Ronneberg said.

“My business partner, Mike Foniok, and I both kind of fell in love with the process of making beer and the experience of sharing it with people,” he said.

The Establishment is located in southeast Calgary’s Manchester Brewing District, and the brews are sold across Alberta.

“The quality of beer being made in Canada right now is really exceptional, so, you know, the beers that are entered in, we’re up against [the] best quality you’d find anywhere in the world, really,” Ronneberg said. 

The Establishment also brought in two gold medals for its Erlton Street 2.0 Barrel-aged Golden Sour and its Funkmorphosis Barrel-aged Belgian Ale. 

It was awarded silver and bronze respectively for Ruby, My Dear Barrel-aged Sour with Raspberries, and Born To Run Barrel-aged Brett Saison.

“Something interesting here is that all of the beers that we entered are kind of the barrel-aged to what we call mixed fermentation beers,” he said.

“So we use brewing yeast, but we also use some wild yeast and bacteria to create these beers. And all of these beers have spent some time in used red wine barrels to create the final product.”

Ronneberg said there is some strategy involved.

“We come from a background of brewing beer at home and entering our beer into competitions, so we put a lot of thought into which beers we’re going to place in which categories, and we enter beers that we think are going to stand out against other beers,” he said.

Ronneberg said he’s proud of how strong the Alberta brewing industry has become.

“Two years in a row, Canadian Brewery of the Year is based in Alberta and in Calgary, Ronneberg said. “And I think that everyone is noticing that there’s some interesting things going on in Alberta and all eyes are pointed toward us.”

While the full list of winners has not yet been posted online as of Monday, the Beer of the Year nod was given to Cherry Lambic from Regina’s Rebellion Brewing.


With files from The Homestretch.

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