Finding the city’s best beer

Beer War competition coming May 6

Photo by Will Huang
Photo by Will Huang

On May 6 the Beer War will take place in Kitchener-Waterloo. Local breweries will compete in order to determine who makes the best American brown ale.

So far, competitors in the beer war are Abe Erb Brewing Company, Block Three Brewing Company and Innocente Brewing Company.

Rob Theodosiou, co-owner of Abe Erb with his brother, Tony, said Grand River Brewing is most likely going to be a confirmed participant in the competition, along with another potential competitor.

“It is a competition between local brewers to see who produces — in the customer’s mind — the best representation of a style of beer,” explained Graham Spence, co-founder of Block Three Brewing Company.

In order to determine the best beer, a blind vote will be conducted amongst the participants. Only two individuals present at the competition will be aware of which beer is made by which brewery.

The creation of the American brown ale beer involves strict guidelines that limit the alcohol content of the competing beers between 4.3 per cent and 6.2 per cent.

The beers will be judged according to the standards set out by the Beer Judgment Certification Program.

These standards measure the beer according to its aroma, appearance, flavour, the feeling within one’s mouth and the overall impression. Bitterness, colour, gravity and the rate of alcohol by volume are also important measurements that are taken into consideration.

“In the particular competition, we have a limited malt build that we can choose from … brown malt, wheat malt, a Munich malt … and some crystal malt,” said Steven Innocente, head brewer and president at the Innocente Brewery.

According to Innocente, there are a total of 160 tickets being sold for the event. These tickets will most likely go on sale within the next two to three weeks.

“There are some bragging rights for each brewery to happen,” said Theodosiou. “There are a lot of great brew masters out there and it is going to be a really fun event.”

While all companies are hoping to win the competition, it will take substantial effort and skill in order to make the best beer.

“It is really just doing a little bit of research on the style, where the style came from and what makes good brown ale,” said Innocente

The competition also serves as great exposure to local consumers.

Both Theodosiou and Innocente indicated the influx of emails they have received expressing interest in participating in the beer war.

“We also want to bring awareness to the community in Waterloo Region itself … that you have three craft breweries,” said Theodosiou.

A portion of the proceeds from the competition will be allocated to a local cause, however the charity to which the money will be going to is not yet confirmed.

“Beer is fun. It is something for customers and people in the area to go out and enjoy themselves,” said Spence.


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