Brewery earns Beer Cup awards

THUNDER BAY, ONT. — Sleeping Giant Brewing Company has put Thunder Bay in the spotlight with two of their beers crowned among the best in Canada.

With five of their beers nominated for the Canada Beer Cup Awards, the brewery took home a gold standing for their Snow Goose Coffee Vanilla Porter in the Porter/Robust Porter category, and a silver standing for their One City Pilsner in the German or Continental Style Pilsner category.

Andrea Mulligan, co-founder of Sleeping Giant Brewery with her husband and head brewer, Kyle, said this is an inaugural year for the Canada Cup awards which recognize and celebrate independently owned and operated breweries across Canada.

“They launched this award opportunity in collaboration with the 2022 Ontario Craft Brewers Conference (held Oct. 25-26 in Niagara Falls), where we had 12 staff members attending,” she said. “We had to submit our beers months ago.”

Different styles of beer were judged in more than 70 categories based on a variety of attributes, which include appearance, aroma, flavour and mouthfeel.

The conference played host to brewery representatives and industry professionals from all over the world, connecting them for an in-person collaboration for the first time in more than two years due to the global pandemic.

The brewery has started a holiday pack of their flagship beers in the LCBO across Ontario, and Mulligan says their gold-winning Snow Goose Coffee Vanilla Porter, which is always a local favourite, is included in the pack.

"We’re just really pleased now to have some hardware behind the delicious beer,” she said, adding that the beer recipes are Kyle’s own creations.

Also included in the holiday pack is their Earl Grey Pale Ale, which was created through a collaboration with Sweet North Bakery and their Earl Grey tea that they source from an Ontario company.

Mulligan described the pale ale as a “wonderful, one-off anomaly that is interesting and delicious.”

Their silver-standing One City Pilsner was introduced at the beginning of 2020 in collaboration with the 50th anniversary of the City of Thunder Bay.

“It was at least something that was still able to continue throughout the pandemic, considering that the pandemic obviously put a hinder on all the festivities,” Mulligan said.

Sleeping Giant brewery competes against breweries from coast to coast. Its beer is sold across Ontario and as far west as Alberta with plans of expansion to eastern Canada. The brewery has been recognized in the past with both Ontario and Canadian brewing awards.

Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal