Celebrate Canadian Beer Day October 9
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 9 as Canada is about to celebrate the first Canadian Beer Day. This occasion has been organized by Beer Canada, a trade association that represents Canadian breweries with the mandate to advocate at the federal level on behalf of brewers across the country. Beer Canada is made up of a small but hard-working team based in Ottawa, and The Racket spoke with Brittany Burden, the Director of Communications and Engagement at Beer Canada , about Canadian Beer Day and why it is important to celebrate.
This is the first year for Canadian Beer Day and Beer Canada has been looking to do this for a number of years. The idea is for beer drinkers across the country to come together in order to celebrate Canada’s world-class beer scene, and 350 years of brewing heritage as well as the beer industry’s contributions to communities across Canada.
“Beer has been a part of our culture since before Canada became a country,” said Burden via email. “It brings us together – we share it at gatherings with friends and family, at hockey games and on camping trips.” She also pointed out that it is very common for many communities to have a brewery that serves as its hub, while contributing to the local economy, much like we see here in Newfoundland.
You might have seen social media posts or mentions about other “Beer Days” and a quick Google search will tell you that the United States celebrates National Beer Day on April 7 while International Beer Day occurs yearly on the first Friday in August. “Any day is a good day for beer, but we’ve chosen the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to be Canadian Beer Day!” said Burden, who is also a Prud’homme Beer Sommelier. “Marking this day in the fall is a way to acknowledge the thousands of Canadian farmers that are bringing in this year’s malting barley harvest for next year’s beer.”
She also noted that celebrating beer halfway through the work week with the Thanksgiving weekend shortly after is a great day to celebrate Canadian brews every year.
“Canadian beer stands out in a lot of ways,” said Burden. “Brewing is one of our oldest industries and the rise of craft beer has revitalized it. High-quality, home grown malting barley gives Canadian brewers a competitive edge and continues to be a big strategic advantage. Our brewers are also pioneer advocates for the environment and responsible drinking.”
According to Burden, Canadian brewers are very innovative, and we have certainly seen that creative spark at our own local breweries as well. “We are lucky to have a lot of brands to choose from - about 7000 - are available today,” she said. “I think we should be proud of the classics we’ve perfected like the perfect lager alongside newer styles like an approachable sour or the fun rotating beers that brewers concoct, using seasonal fruits and flavours.”
So how does one celebrate Canadian Beer Day? “I think the best way to celebrate is by visiting a brewery or restaurant known for their impressive beer menu and beer appreciation, with friends,” advised Burden. “Indulge in a nice meal, let your server make recommendations and sample from a diverse flight – choose some classics, favourites and some styles you haven’t tried before! Don’t forget to plan a safe journey home.”
Burden told us she will be celebrating by attending the Canadian Beer Day launch party at Great Western Brewing in Saskatoon. “A delegation of brewing company reps from across the country, barley farmers and members of the beer supply chain are all coming together to celebrate at Great Western,” she said. The event is boasting that it is a “sample a true Canadian two-four, featuring 24 brands of delicious beers from across Canada.”
In the past decade, the number of Canadian breweries has grown immensely. In 2009, there were less than 300, and now there are nearly 1,000 breweries operating across the country.
Sadly, Burden has missed out on Newfoundland’s craft brewery boom. “I love Newfoundland; I’ve been twice, the last time in June 2017.,” she said. “I made a point to go to Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. both visits and sit in on their tour and tasting. We also enjoyed mussels and a pint at YellowBelly.”
Burden said she was envious of her partner who was in Newfoundland this past summer for work as he visited many of the breweries that have popped up since her last visit. ”We have a wide array of Newfoundland beer glassware now including Split Rock, Port Rexton, YellowBelly, Quidi Vidi, Bannerman and Dildo.”