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Edmonton Beer Fest Contest Winners!

edmontoncraftfestAs promised, I have selected the winners for the Edmonton Craft Beer Festival contest (see rules and prizes here). I have to say, you didn’t make it easy on me. I had lots of entries, most carefully considered and persuasive. It took me quite a while to winnow the list down to the winners. I want to acknowledge everyone who entered – there wasn’t a single entry I could reject without carefully considering it. You all offered great reasons why you should be given the prizes. It was a tough decision. I apologize that I couldn’t respond to every entry (there were too many), but please know that I appreciate your effort and took your entry very seriously.

As it worked out, I failed to actually cut the list to the top 3, for reasons I will explain. So, the organizers of the Festival very kindly agreed to allow me to award 4 awards – the honourable mention also gets two free passes to the festival. Clearly my reputation as a contest organizer will quickly become that of a big softie that gives out extra prizes.

So, I gave out four because I couldn’t bring myself to drop the fourth person from the list. I appreciated their entry and their emotional appeal caught me. It just seemed only fair. And since I am not paying for the tickets, it is pretty bloody easy for me to be Mr. Generous.

Without further ado, I will get to announcing the winners, starting with 4th and working to the grand prize. I will be emailing the winners privately, so here in the blog I will only offer their first name in the interests of privacy.

In 4th place is Jay, whose closing statement is what made me unable to cut him from the list. I am a sucker for new parents. Any night out is a good night, but a night out with beer seems too much to deny them. Here is his entry:

The Beer List I would like to try starts local. I have not heard anything on Wood Buffalo Brewing but I always like supporting local businesses. Another local Brewery I would like to try is Hog’s Head Brewing. I have really wanted to try the Hop Slayer IPA since your review of the beer back in March. Your description of the beer has intrigued me and I would like the chance to try a unique Alberta Beer. Another Alberta brewery I would like to give a second change is Big Rock with their two new beers, the Rosmarinus Aromatic Ale and the Erratic Stone-Fire Ale. I really like the idea of unique ingredients like rosemary and as a homebrewer the idea of boiling with hot rocks really elicits my imagination. The reason I would like to be considered in the draw is that my wife and I recently had a little baby boy and well my beer budget has magically shrunk overnight and has been replaced by diapers and formula.

Good beer sense, a commitment to local, and then the baby angle. Who am I to say no?

3rd Place goes to Kiana with this entry:

Now. You may ask- why does a 19- going on 20 city girl want to win tickets for (saturday)’s beer festivities at the expo? Beer brings people together. I think this festival would be a great father’s day gift/bonding experience for me and my father. I don’t think I’ll be able to afford to go if I don’t win tickets. But I realize I haven’t really answered the question. I would say the beer I would want to taste the most- is Ol’ Willy Wit – the Belgian White Ale from The Fernie Brewery. My father went to Fernie for his 50th birthday in January and I couldn’t afford to go with him. He raved about this beer when he came back, and I think it would be great to have it together and such. (insert mushy family feelings here)

I loved the combination of her youthful interest and her desire to connect with her beer-loving dad. He will lead her in the tasting, which means another beer fan might be born this weekend.

2nd Place goes to Ernie, who wins simply because of his biting sense of humour. It has an edge of seriousness to it, but you can totally tell he is having fun with the idea. I couldn’t resist his entry:

I want to taste the beers from Minhas Brewery.  I pride myself on tasting lots of different kinds of beer.  But to appreciate good beer, you must also understand what bad beer tastes like.  I just don’t want to pay for a whole bottle or six-pack of it.  And I want to be able to wash away the taste of it with all the other breweries there.

And finally, the big prize, 1st Place goes to Andres, who wins both VIP passes to the festival, but also the whitewater rafting trip. Actually, Andres asked me not to share his entry, for personal reasons, but it was a detailed, touching story about his father in Costa Rica with links to Calgary’s Wild Rose and dreams of opening a brewery. I apologize for not being able to relay the story to you, but it was a very personal, private story. I am honoured that he was willing to share it with me. You will have to trust me on this (well, you don’t, actually, as it is my site and theoretically I get to do what I want. However, fairness and transparency are important to me, which is why I apologize for not publishing the winning entry).

So there you go. Have fun everyone! I plan on going on Friday, and so if anybody (including those who entered but didn’t win) see me, don’t hesitate to say hi. I would love to have a beer chat.


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