Brewers compete in annual Regina beer taste off

P.E.I. developing taste for more and better wine

More than 500 samples of some of the best homebrewed beer from across Canada have been arriving in Regina to compete for the top spot in the prestigious ALES Open.

ALES is the Ale and Lager Enthusiasts of Saskatchewan, and for 24 years now they've invited brewers to put their best beer where their mouth is and enter the Regina competition.  

"It's a very arduous endeavour to ship but a lot of care goes into it because a lot of care goes into making the beer," said Erin Baerwald, a member of the ALES executive.

But Baerwald said all the work involved is worth it.  

"Winning best of show in ALES. is huge bragging rights for a home brewer. It's basically like I made the best beer in Canada."

Unofficial craft brewers showcase 

The brewers are amateur, but use many different methods, utilizing a variety of equipment to produce tasty varieties of beer. Some of the brewers use a humble store bought beer kit.

"We've had all sorts of winners that brew with kit beer," said Baerwald. "Some really delicious beer can come out of there."

While the official taste testing and judging of the beer happens behind closed doors under strict conditions and guidelines, still the ALES Open offers much for beer consumers with a refined palate, according to Baerwald.  

"ALES week, or the ALES Open week, has kind of become this unofficial craft beer festival in Saskatchewan, so all the bars in Regina really buy in."