Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cheers to Ontario Craft Beer Week!

Toronto, ON

100+ Beer-Inspired Events in 40 Ontario Communities

Members of Ontario’s craft brewing community joined the LCBO and fans of Ontario craft beer for the official launch of Ontario Craft Beer Week 2012. The third annual festival celebrates Ontario’s independent craft brewing industry with tasting events and opportunities in communities across the province.

Event MC Anetta Jewell of Great Lakes Brewery and co-chair of Ontario Craft Beer Week 2012 led the proceedings; Cameron Heaps of Steam Whistle Brewing spoke about the industry and Bob Downey, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, LCBO spoke about Ontario craft beer’s impact on sales. Representatives from several Ontario craft breweries, the brewing industry and pubs and restaurants all gathered to mark the occasion and celebrate the shared success of their industry.

“We’re proud of our craft brewers and the high-quality products Ontarians can enjoy all year round,” said Hon. Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development & Innovation in a statement read out to the guests. “Our government is proud to partner with you through the Ontario Microbrewery Strategy that has provided support to help grow the industry. Craft beer is a win-win proposition — it supports local economies and consumers love its great taste … Happy Fathers’ Day! And have a great Craft Beer Week, Ontario!”
“The partnership between LCBO and the Ontario Craft Brewers has been very successful in promoting the quality and value of locally produced beers,” said Bob Downey, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, LCBO.  “Our collective efforts are paying dividends. OCB beers are the fastest growing product segment at the LCBO.”

Last year, LCBO sales of Ontario Craft Brewer products were 45 per cent higher than the previous year. This marks seven consecutive years of double-digit OCB growth at LCBO stores in an otherwise flat beer market.  “Seven years ago we were selling $2 million worth of Ontario craft beers. This has grown to almost $22 million and this trend is continuing as more and more beer drinkers are pouring local,” notes Downey.
Guests were treated to a gastronomic preview of Ontario Craft Beer Week events, tasting fabulous beer, enjoying food pairings, cheeses and live music. Chef Aaron Joseph Bear Robe of Toronto’s Keriwa Café served a special Great Lakes Marinated Bison Clod Tenderloin served with asparagus, red fife and chipotle. Dessert was Pavlova, Seabuckthorn, Elderberry and Chervil. Artisan cheeses were provided by Pine River Cheese Co. and musical entertainment by Jed and Curt of Griffin Gastropub in Bracebridge.

“We are very excited about this year’s Ontario Craft Beer Week,” says Anetta Jewell. “From intimate brewmaster’s dinners, to large scale beer festivals like Session, to an epic Battle of the Brewery Bands, there’s sure to be something for every taste.”

For Ontario Craft Beer Week 2012 news and event details, check listings at http://www.ocbweek.ca.


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