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Canada’s Best Breweries (According to Data)- 2019 Edition

Every year, we look at the total awards count of the Canadian Beer Awards and list out the top 10 breweries in the country. This year, we have some interesting developments based on the latest 2019 awards, of which you can find a recap here.

2019 List:

10. TIE- Steamworks/Howe Sound/Moosehead (12 Awards Total)

Here’s the funny thing about judging based solely on these awards, sometimes you get weird results. Like having Moosehead win three awards this year and end up on the top 10 list. Howe Sound also sneaks onto the list for the first time, while Steamworks has seen a significant drop from #6 in 2017 to barely hanging on in the top 10.

9. PEI Brewing (13 Awards Total)


PEI brewing has one at least one award, if not more, every single year. That consistency is what helps keep them on the list, and will likely continue to do so for years to come. This year they can thank the raspberry sour for their award win.

8-7-6. TIE- Central City/Parallel 49/ Great Lakes Brewing (14 Awards Total)

There was a time when Great Lakes Brewing had been in the top three; that was back in 2017, which coincidently was the last time they won an award. They’ve been steadily falling off this list since.

Meanwhile, both Parallel 49 and Central City have been steadily moving up. They win enough to earn incremental movement up the list, and are likely to sit comfortably in the middle unless something dramatically changes.

5. A La Fut (15 Awards Total)

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This was a GOOD year for A La Fut. Winning four awards not only meant they were one of the single biggest medal earners at this year’s show, but it also catapults them from a tie at number 10 to a solid middle ground at five. Another showing like this next year and A La Fut will move easily into the top three.

4. Great Western Brewing (16 Awards Total)

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No award wins for Great Western this year, but they’ve had so much time over the course of the last several years that they’ve earned a high enough medal count to really see no impact on their movement in this list. But, if they continue to not win much/any awards, there are others ready to take their place.

3. Nickel Brook Brewing (17 Awards Total)

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Nickel Brook Brewing makes an upward move this year, earning at least one more award to allow them to break their previous tie with Great Western. Again we’re talking about a brewery that has a long medal count history that works in their favour despite only winning one this year.

2. Four Winds Brewing (19 Awards Total)

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Despite earning themselves two awards this year, Four Winds just couldn’t keep up with the resurgence of Amsterdam brewing.  Nevertheless, Four Winds continues to earn some very respectable awards, including having won five years in a row for their signature beer Nectarous.

1. Amsterdam Brewing (20 Awards Total)

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After a relatively poor year last year, Amsterdam Brewing came back strong with three awards this year, their best showing since 2016. It was enough to put them back on top, proving there’s still life in these old bones.

Assorted musings for 2019:

  • Someone needs to start making competitive gluten free beer. I mentioned this year’s ago but still Glutenberg just does not have any competition year-over-year.
  • Breweries like Tooth and Nail, Off the Rail, Townsite, Moon Under Water, Powell Street and Beau’s have a real shot at coming in next year’s list and bumping off some of the historical place holders.
  • Something must have changed inside Big Rig Brewery. Between 2013-2018 they earned a total of one medal; this year they won three. Good for them!
  • That goes for Clifford Brewing as well, taking home four awards, double their previous total medal count. They also won Brewery of the Year.
  • I still can’t get over Moosehead winning three medals. Seriously, that’s a strange outcome with a competition this fierce. Do I need to reconsider Moosehead now??




  1. Amsterdam LOLx2…. I’ll take HHOE, Bellwoods, Barncat, Unfiltered; Trailways; DuBas; DDC; Auval;Snake River, Outcast; Superflux; Boombox any day of the week over almost any brewery mentioned on the list.


    1. We’ve all got our favorites, many which don’t make this list. Breaking it down by awards isn’t a perfect system, but it is one that gives an interesting picture of Canadian craft beer through the judges tastes.


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