The Results of the 2022
Alberta Beverage Awards
By Tom Firth, Competition Director
In some ways, we often think of the Alberta Beverage Awards as a microcosm of the beverage world as seen by Albertans. We are often spoiled for choice, but since we launched this program 10 years ago, we’ve seen the rapid rise of local breweries and distilleries, and a small flattening out of their numbers more recently. We’ve seen the ascent of low and no-alcohol products (finally) resonate with consumers looking for choice, and we’ve seen wine becoming a smaller overall portion in the pantheon of our beverage alcohol options.
Over these ten years, we’ve seen locally-made products synonymous with craft products, eventually becoming disparate things. Do we want smaller-batch, quality-driven, almost-unique products, or do we want to support local producers and businesses as best we can? Likely, the best answer is to buy things you like, from as close to home as you can. In my nearly 30 years in the beverage trade, the last thing I want to tell friends or family is that they should be embarrassed by their beverage selections – but I’m always happy to help them find something else – if that is what they want – that they might like.
In each category is a “Best in Class”, which is the top performer in its category, followed by “Judges’ Selection” which are the other high performing wines in the category. As every Alberta liquor retailer is different, in many cases we’ve included a range for the retail price. Many Alberta-based products on these pages might only be available at the cellar door, so I’d suggest trying to find them on the shelf, or contacting them directly – spending your dollars locally makes a tremendous impact in our communities.
Each product also has a “CSPC” number, which can be used to help you find it at your local retailer or at liquorconnect.com. Some products also have a symbol to identify products that not only did well this year, but also in previous years, indicating that this product is consistently good. New this year, we have added a (***) designation indicating winners that have earned awards in five or more years of the competition.
Thanks to our diligent and hardworking stewards and back room staff - Len Steinberg, Mairi, Danielle, Chelsea, Grant, Patrick, Lana, Jade, Clint, Paul, and Colleen, our sponsors - Medium Rare Chef Apparel – helping our back room team look sharp, The Import Vintners & Spirits Association, The Alberta Liquor Store Association, Rök Water – for cleansing those tired palates, and to Spirit Wares helping us with some greener, plastic free options for our judging , our venue, Calgary’s Carriage House Inn, including Lino Savino and Roxane Carlson, and our photographer Jason Dziver, and to the judges who are featured here.