New Brunswick’s craft distilleries are on the rise; one way for our local producers to encourage folks to try their spirits is to enter competitions AND win medals. That second part is important.

Medals don’t only look good on a label, they can also be used to garner media attention and catch the eye of a consumer. Thankfully, our spirits have done very well in competitions, both at the national and international levels.

In fact, there have been lots of awards for all NB beverage alcohol over the past decade or so, although our distilling awards might be the most impressive, with quite a few Best In Class medals recently. Some distillers, Fils Du Roy especially, have also done very well in international competitions, which you can find on their website.

The Canadian Artisan Spirits Competition (CASC) launched in 2018 This is Canada's only national spirits competition, and is only for artisanal producers, not for large international conglomerates. They award multiple medals in a category if the judges score the products high enough, but sometimes there may only be 1 Gold. They do give Best In Class to the top scoring in a category, regardless, and give Distinction if a product medals in consecutive years.

Here is a detailed look at the 2021 results, followed by summaries of previous years:

2021 NB Medals

New Brunswick distillers won 17 medals, with two spirits designated Best in Class: in the Absinthe and Bitters categories, both from Fils Du Roy in Petit-Paquetville.

Big Fiddle Still

  • Gold for their Salted Caramel
  • Gold for their After Five
  • Bronze for their Citrus Vodka

Devil's Keep Distillery

  • Silver for their Devil's Keep Vodka
  • Silver for their Devil's Keep Gin

Winegarden Estates

  • Gold for their Johnny Ziegler Brandy
  • Gold for their Johnny Ziegler Original
  • Gold for their Cherry Liqueur
  • Silver for their Johnny Ziegler Obstler

Distillerie Fils du Roy

  • Gold and Best In Class for their Fils du Roy Bitter
  • Silver and Best In Class for their Courailleuse
  • Gold for their Gin Thuya
  • Gold for their Vieille Bagosse
  • Silver for their Gin Thuya Silver
  • Silver for their New Ireland
  • Silver for their Eau D'août
  • Bronze for their Fort Latour

“This is an outstanding result and New Brunswick should be proud of their local distillers,” says competition organizer Alex Hamer, “I was especially pleased to see first-time entries from New Brunswick distillers perform well, with Distillerie Fils du Roy, Big Fiddle Still, and Devil’s Keep earning 13 medals between them.”

Hamer went on to explain that New Brunswick has continued to grow its presence in the competition, earning two Best in Class awards for the first time, as well as 17 of the 35 medals awarded in the Maritimes.

"The quality of Canadian spirits has never been better, nor more varied," says Rothesay Sommelier, writer and beverage judge Craig Pinhey, the only Atlantic Canadian judge at the CASC awards, "There are some innovative, exciting products being distilled here, as well as classics that everyone would be familiar with, like gin, vodka, rum and whisky. If you don't drink local spirits, maybe it is time you started."

For complete competition results, go to:

2020 NB Medals

Gagetown Distilling

  • Gold and Best in Class and Excellence in Terroir for their Strawberry Liqueur
  • Gold for their Cherry Liqueur
  • Silver and Merit for Terroir for their Apple Brandy
  • Silver for their Straight Rye Wood Aged
  • Silver for their Aquavit
  • Silver for their Straight Rye Wood Aged
  • Bronze for their Unfiltered Gin 7
  • Bronze for their Vodka
  • Bronze for their Straight Rye (white spirit)
  • Bronze for their Moonshine
  • Bronze for their We-Can't-Call-This-Whiskey
  • Gold for their Framboise Eau De Vie
  • Silver for their Aquavite
  • Silver for their Kirsch Eau De Vie

Sussex Craft Distillery

  • Silver for their Northern Comfort Barrel Aged Liqueur
  • Silver for their Resurrection Rum
  • Bronze for their Cranberry Liqueur

2019 NB Medals

Winegarden Estate

  • Gold and Best in Class for their Johnny Ziegler Senior Brandy
  • Silver for their Johnny Ziegler Birne
  • Silver for Blue Hill Liqueur
  • Bronze for Maple Liqueur

Gagetown Distilling

  • Silver for their Unfiltered Gin 7

Blue Roof

  • Silver Medal with Distinction for their Premium Vodka
  • Bronze for their Blue Roof Handcrafted Gin

Sussex Craft Distillery

  • Silver for their Dutch Valley Liqueur
  • Silver for their Wards Creek Platinum
  • Bronze for their Northern Comfort

2018 NB Medals

Winegarden Estate

  • Gold for their Anis
  • Silver for their Johnny Ziegler Brandy
  • Silver for their Brother Herbal Liqueur

Blue Roof

  • Silver for their Premium Vodka
  • Silver for their 100 Vodka