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Sylvan Lake breweries win gold at Alberta Beer Awards

Snake Lake Brewing placed in the top three in three different categories at the annual awards
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Sylvan Lake’s craft brewery Snake Lake Brewing placed in the top three in multiple categories at the annual Alberta Beer Awards.

The local brewery submitted six of their beers to the contest to be judged and came out with a gold, a silver and a bronze medal.

Snake Lake Brewing received a gold medal for its German-style Pilsner, the Kinabik Pilsner.

The Ice Cutter Vanilla Latte Stout won the silver medal in the Spiced Beer category.

The brewery’s fan-favourite Sidewinder IPA won the bronze in the New England-style Ale category.

Adam Nachbaur, sales manager at Snake Lake Brewing, says all the praise should go towards the brewery’s head brewer, Octavio Pauley.

“We are so proud of [Pauley] he is just great at what he does,” Nachbaur said. “He has been with us right from the beginning and we wouldn’t have what we have without him.”

This is the second year Snake Lake Brewing’s Sidewinder IPA has placed in the top three in the New England-style Ale category.

Last year the beer received accolades in the tough New England-style category.

Nachbaur says every craft brewery in the province has their own IPA, and they are all well received which makes for stiff competition.

“To have our IPA, our core products, consistently recognized is great and really speaks to the talents of our brewers,” Nachbaur said.

During the 2019 awards, Snake Lake Brewing was also recognized as the best new brewery in Alberta.

Nachbaur says the recognition from the awards helps bring in customers, and also lets them know they are getting some of the best beer in the province.

“There are so many breweries in Alberta that you can really get a good beer pretty much anywhere. The awards just give you the recognition in the eyes of customers,” he said.

Though there is a competitive atmosphere surrounding craft breweries, Nachbaur says there is a sense of camaraderie between those in the industry.

Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the awards ceremony was streamed online. Staff at Snake Lake Brewery watched while on a Zoom call together.

Nachbaur said there were also texts and calls exchanged between many of the breweries during the night.

“We are friends with so many of our colleagues in the industry, such as Bryan [McHale] at Undercurrent here in town and the guys over a Troubled Monk.

“We had a bit of banter going on between the other breweries that night,” Nachbaur said.

Sylvan Lake’s second craft beer brewery, Undercurrent Brewing, also recieved accolades for two beers. Undercurrent won two gold medals.

In the Fruit Beer category, Undercurrent’s Finn’s Fasberry Porter took the gold and its Ryes Beyond Kveik IPA won the Trendy Beer of the Year award.

Despite the tap room being closed, Snake Lake Brewing staff are had at work creating small batch and seasonal beers.

Nachbaur says new items are expected to come out in the next couple of weeks.

Undercurrent is selling growler refills during the pandemic, according to it’s Facebook page.