After three years in business, the Rossland Beer Company is taking home gold medals for their suds.
At this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards, the local brewers won the top spot in the stout category for the Seven Summits Milk Stout.
Co-owner and founder of the Rossland-based business, Petri Raito, says the award is humbling, and he trusts the brew judges’ opinions.
“Just to be mentioned in the category, and for us to win, it is just a real honour. We know how privileged we are.” he said. “It comes from certified beer judges, so they know what they are doing. They are all blindfolded so there is no favouritism. They are using only their palettes.”
Raito described the brewery’s winning stout as smooth and balanced.
“It is a milk stout, so it is sweet, but it is roasted barley, chocolate malt and it has those traditional stout flavours,” he said. “There is a little bit of lactose in there, and that is what can make it balanced. It gives you that mouth feel that is ever so subtle. Some people would be able to notice it, and others can’t. It is a 5.9 per cent, so it is up there, but it is a very smooth stout.”
The Seven Summits Milk Stout isn’t the first winning beer produced at the Columbia Avenue brewery in Rossland. Last year, its Paydirt Pale Ale took home accolades from the B.C. Beer Awards.
However, winning gold medals and recognition aren’t the only things Raito and his business and brewing partner, Ryan Arnaud, are thinking about. This weekend, the Rossland Beer Company is celebrating its third year in business, end of its first year in Rossland and the opening of a new lounge and outdoor tasting patio.
“The lounge is ready and fully licensed,” said Raito. “This Saturday, we are going to be doing a ribbon cutting ceremony and the mayor is going to be there. It is all coming together and we have been super happy. For us to be where we are now, we are just ecstatic.”
Raito says that none of the Rossland Beer Company’s accomplishments would have been possible without the support of locals and the surrounding communities.
“It has been overwhelming to hear the buzz,” he said. “Everyone has been so awesome. And of course, our family and friends. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without them. They are the backbone. The people behind the scene are what makes this stuff happen.”
The company got its start just down the Rossland hill, in Trail, three years ago, and is continuing to grow.
“We will never forget where we started,” said Raito. “We started off in Trail, very small with our bootstrapping mentality. We were brewing everyday, bottling everyday and fine tuning our business practices. We love Trail and we definitely appreciate the community.”
The grand opening for the Rossland Beer Company’s new lounge, at 1990-A Columbia Ave., is at 3 p.m. on Saturday and runs until 7 p.m. on Sunday. The brewery is also having a raffle and first prize is a golden growler – a jug that allows the owner one free refill per week for a year.