Nine years since starting in downtown Sarnia, Refined Fool Brewing Co. has its first Elsie.
“Just a nice recognition of all the work that everyone at Refined Fool is doing,” said Tony Alexander, one of four directors with the company, about the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) award Refined Fool received recently for Partner of the Year — Small Supplier/Agent.
Alexander named sales, marketing, logistics and front of house staff among those recognized via the award he said is about meeting LCBO sales objectives and having a strong working relationship with the government-owned corporation.
“We’re just excited to be a small brewer from Sarnia and be recognized by an organization like that,” Alexander said, noting the award also reflects work Refined Fool does partnering with local charities.
The recognition came as a surprise for the 40-employee company with a range of more than 100 beers and with three locations in the city, Alexander said.
Refined Fool has applied for and received awards from other agencies for some of its beers, but this nomination came without asking, he said, noting Refined Fool was also nominated for the same LCBO award in 2022.
It’s not clear where the nomination came from, but likely from someone at the LCBO, he said.
“We were actually invited this time and I kind of pieced together that we might win it,” he said, adding “it wasn’t on our radar as something we wanted to get (and) it’s just nice to be recognized.”
Refined Fool produces more than 600,000 liters of beer per year and has the top-selling craft beer mix variety pack in the LCBO, he said.
Small suppliers likely make up 99 per cent of all craft breweries in the province, as well as a lot of wineries, distilleries and cideries, he said.
“Just to be kind of recognized in this way is really just a nice pat on the back, and I think just is a reflection on all the staff at Refined Fool,” he said.
LCBO president and CEO George Soleas, in a written statement, congratulated all 23 award recipients after the awards ceremony was held earlier this month in Toronto.
“This year’s nominees and winners embody the talent, innovation and excellence Ontarians have come to expect when they shop at the LCBO,” Soleas said.
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