Getting back in the competition game after COVID is great news for Riot Brewing. From left: Jesse Grass, Aly Tomlin and Ralf Rosenke celebrate a bronze medal in the first Canada Beer Cup. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Getting back in the competition game after COVID is great news for Riot Brewing. From left: Jesse Grass, Aly Tomlin and Ralf Rosenke celebrate a bronze medal in the first Canada Beer Cup. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Canada Beer Cup bronze as good as gold for Riot Brewing

No others in its category rank ahead of Working Class Hero ale

A bronze in the first-ever Canada Beer Cup is just as good as gold for Chemainus’ Riot Brewing.

Riot’s Working Class Hero dark mild received bronze in the Mild Ale category. A certain standard had to be reached for gold or silver awards and no one else placed higher so it was like a win.

Riot’s dynamic duo of Aly Tomlin and Ralf Rosenke plus brewer Jesse Grass and the staff were all obviously ecstatic with the honour.

“In that category, there was no silver or gold,” explained Tomlin. “It’s a point system. We call it our first place bronze. We’re technically still making the best in Canada.”

Riot just celebrated its sixth anniversary in Chemainus and has won numerous other awards over the years. COVID, however, put a halt to all those celebrations for the craft beer industry the last two years.

There was still no in-person awards ceremony for this year’s inaugural Canada Beer Cup.

“It was just streaming online,” said Rosenke.

It was still a big deal for the Riot crew to get back into the award spotlight one way or another.

“We hadn’t entered an awards since COVID,” noted Tomlin.

They still pondered whether to bother entering the first-time national competition celebrating independently owned and operated breweries across Canada, but are glad they did.

There seems to be a winning formula attached to the Working Class Hero variety of ale.

“It’s the one that literally wins every award,” said Tomlin.

Related story: Chemainus brewery sips from the World Beer Cup with two awards

Stephen Beaumont, one of the world’s foremost authorities on beer and the author or co-author of 15 books, was the head judge. Judges from the United Kingdom, United States and Europe joined Beaumont.

The competition featured 70 different modernized beer style groups in 10 categories, influenced by worldwide trends that reflect brewing innovations and consumer tastes.

An elaborate awards ceremony is being planned for the future to be held in conjunction with a provincial/territorial craft brewers conference.

The Canada Beer Cup is earmarked as a competition for the industry by the industry, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Craft Brewers Association – based in Ottawa – in support of the important work it does on behalf of craft breweries across the country.


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Canada Beer Cup trophy is a nice reward for Riot Brewing’s crew, from left, of Aly Tomlin, Jesse Grass and Ralf Rosenke. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Canada Beer Cup trophy is a nice reward for Riot Brewing’s crew, from left, of Aly Tomlin, Jesse Grass and Ralf Rosenke. (Photo by Don Bodger)

A Canada Beer Cup bronze is a good reason for the Riot Brewing gang to celebrate. From left: Ralf Rosenke, Aly Tomlin and Jesse Grass. (Photo by Don Bodger)

A Canada Beer Cup bronze is a good reason for the Riot Brewing gang to celebrate. From left: Ralf Rosenke, Aly Tomlin and Jesse Grass. (Photo by Don Bodger)