The winners of the Alberta Beverage Awards, hosted by Culinaire Magazine, were announced this month and our tasting list just got a whole lot longer! Before we share some of the highlights, a bit about the awards.
October 24, 2023 2 min read
Having just wrapped its 11th year, the Alberta Beverage Awards (aka ABA) “is all about celebrating the rich and diverse selection of beverages we have in the Alberta market,” says Tom Firth, the competition director. (Pssst … he’s wearing a Medium Rare custom embroidered mechanic shirt.)
Using local, experienced judges, this is a double-blind competition, meaning each entry is purely evaluated on the merits of the liquid in the bottle. Since its inception, the ABAs has quickly become a platform for Alberta-made products to compete against other products from across Canada and internationally.
Beverages are classified on four broad categories. The first three as one might expect are beer, wine and spirits. And the fourth, which we were most curious about, is “everything else,” which includes bevies like cider, sake, mead, kombucha and non-alcoholic.
Gone are the days of opting for a coke or soda water when you’re not partaking in an alcoholic beverage! There are now a plethora of non-alcoholic beer, wine and cocktail options on the market. But finding the good ones that don’t taste like a slightly malted water or adult version of grape juice is often the challenge. So, what left its mark on the ABA judges (and got thumbs ups from the Medium Rare crew)?
The ABA awards are open to any beverages in Alberta, locally or internationally made. But, we wanted to know what some of the Alberta-made products that came out on top. Here are some of the spirits ranking “Best in Class”:
And now … it’s about time for a drink. Cheers!
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