In an interesting development, the Canadian Brewing Awards & Conference (CBAC) has changed its rules to say that only a “Canadian-owned brewery or cidery whose products are produced and packaged in Canada” is eligible to be considered for an award.
This means that breweries that do not have 100% Canadian ownership are excluded from the awards, including Molson, Sleeman, Okanagan Springs, Granville Island Brewing, Creemore Springs, Unibroue, Mill St. Brewery, Stanley Park Brewery, Upper Canada Brewing Company, and more.
This decision was apparently based on feedback gathered from brewers over the years, but has caused a bit controversy, with major sponsors like The Beer Store and Beer Canada withdrawing their support.
I think it’s worth mentioning that The Beer Store is owned by Sleemans (Sapporo), Labbat (Anheuser-Busch InBev), and Molson (Coors), while Beer Canada is chaired by John Sleeman…
I am fully in support of this move. I think it really levels the playing field so that only true Canadian breweries are represented in the awards, rather that huge US and Japanese corporations with Canadian divisions.
I’m sure that some true Canadian sponsors will step forward to help them out. Here’s to the best Canadian Brewing Awards ever!