Ralf Rosenke and Aly Tomlin of Riot Brewing received the Speaker’s Choice award from Alan Mullen, right, special advisor to the speaker of the legislature. (Photo by Warren Goulding)

Chemainus’ Working Class Hero rocks the B.C. Legislature

Riot Brewing’s dark mild beer being shared with visiting dignitaries

Just in time for their second anniversary celebration, the folks at Riot Brewing are toasting another win.

It seems members of the legislative assembly, press corps folks and staff at the Legislature have a taste for the beer being brewed at Riot’s Chemainus brewery.

Competing against a dozen other brewers from across B.C. at a gathering held in the Hall of Honour at the Legislature in Victoria, Riot took top honours in the Best Dark Mild Beer category. Invitees to the October event, billed as the first annual Speaker’s Choice Craft Beer competition, sampled beers from all the breweries and then voted for their favourites.

“It was definitely the coolest venue we’ve ever poured at,” commented Ralf Rosenke, one of Riot’s partners.

As well as mingling with the dignitaries, Ralf and his partner Aly Tomlin had a tour of the legislature, including some areas not usually accessible to the public.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Tomlin. “After all, what brings the opposing parties closer together than beer?

“We were honoured to be invited.”

Rosenke and Tomlin’s sense of humour shone through as they took the opportunity to poke some fun at the governing NDP.

“We figured it was needless to say the NDP would like the Working Class Hero Dark Mild,” they theorized.

Apparently they did, as that popular brew carried the day.

As well as being a lot of fun, winning the competition in the Best Dark Mild Beer category has some tangible benefits.

Allen Mullen, special advisor to the speaker of the legislature, says visitors to the legislature from foreign countries, as well as dignitaries from closer to home, will be presented with gifts of Working Class Hero Dark Mild.

“They’ll have some of Riot’s beer to take back to their home, wherever in the world that may be,” Mullen said.

The event was an initiative coordinated by the B.C. Craft Brewers Guild through Destination BC. October was Craft Beer Month in B.C.

“B.C. craft beer makers are knocking it out of the park,” Mullen added. “The quality on the world stage is near the top.”

Mullen, North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring, MLA Doug Routley and other guests were on hand Saturday as Riot celebrated its second anniversary.

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