St. Catharines brewery collects silver at Ontario Brewing Awards
Published December 13, 2021 at 2:27 pm
The Niagara Region has no shortage of top-notch craft breweries. In fact, Bench Brewing in Beamsville, Silversmith Brewing in Virgil, Niagara Oast House Brewing and The Exchange Brewery, both in Niagara-on-the Lake, Counterpart Brewing in Niagara Falls – all of them are award winners.
And yet while all were shut out at the 2021 Ontario Brewing Awards this past weekend, the newest kid on the block, Dragan Brewing and Wine Company in St. Catharines walked away with a silver – the only trophy in all of Niagara Region.
Their Garnet Azacca Citra Pale Ale was second place in the Pale American Ale category, finishing just behind Nickel Brook Brewing’s (Burlington) Naughty Neighbour American Pale Ale and ahead of Couchiching Craft Brewing’s Sunshine City Blonde Ale.
“It feels pretty good,” admitted owner Michael Nazareth, who just opened the brewery this past summer. “But to be honest, I haven’t really had time to process it.”
Did he believe the beer, which is the brewery’s only product available in the LCBO (so far), had a shot when he entered it?
“Oh, man, I don’t know,” he chuckled. “I’m a humble guy. I just want to put out a good quality product and hope that people enjoy it.”
He noted that nothing was put on hold to celebrate the brewery’s first ever win. “It’s business as usual for myself and (head brewer) BJ (Byeong-ju Jeong).”
Here’s how the brewery describes its award-winning Pale Ale: “The beer showcases Azacca and Citra without assaulting your palette with bitterness. Vermont Ale Yeast is used to ferment for complimenting fruit forward esters. Perfectly balanced to be refreshing as well as intriguing, Garnet is truly the perfect beer for any occasion.”
Dragan Brewing believes in giving back to the community and donates three per cent of sales to Food for Kids Niagara. When you buy a can of The Hunt Pale Ale, the brewery’s collaboration with local CEBL basketball team Niagara River Lions, the team matches the donation for a total of six per cent.
However, Nazareth wanted local beer lovers to know that they’re holding an Open House for the St. Catharines community this Wednesday and Thursday (December 15-16) from 5 to 9 pm and he “hopes to see a lot of people come in to check us out.”
The brewery’s hours are: Sunday 11 am to 6 pm, closed Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday 11 am. to 6 pm and Thursday to Saturday 11 am to 8 pm. The Brewery is located at 100 Grantham Avenue Unit 1, St. Catharines, phone
(Below: the award-winning Garnet Azacca Citra Pale Ale and Dragan Brewing and Wine Company owner Michael Nazareth)
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