Brewmaster Tony Dewald, currently on medical leave from Trading Post Brewing in Langley as he is in treatment for cancer, has been awarded the inaugural John Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award for Brewing Excellence.
Dewald is a highly respected brewer who got his start at the Amsterdam Brewery in Toronto in the 1990s after his first career as drummer for the Canadian indie band, Deja Voodoo, in the 1980s. After brewing in Toronto he moved back to his hometown of Montreal, where he brewed at Les Brasseurs GMT and Les Brasseurs RJ.
He moved to BC in 2001, and in 2002 became the brewer at Dix BBQ & Brewery, an influential brewpub that became the nexus where many fellow brewers and craft beer fans converged during the 2000s. There, he started a regular series of Cask Nights and experimented with hoppy West Coast-style IPAs, earning a strong reputation and developing a big fan following.
After stints brewing at all the Mark James Group brewpubs, Dewald took a job at Dead Frog Brewery, which was only 15 minutes away from his home in Aldergrove. Soon, however, Dewald decided to shift into winemaking and spent three years making wine at Lotusand Vineyards. When that business went under, he returned to Dead Frog for a time before helping to launch a brand new brewery, Old Abbey Ales, in Abbotsford. Not long after, he joined the team at Trading Post Brewing in Langley, where he has worked ever since.
Dewald is highly regarded both for his stint in Vancouver and also as a mentor to many of the younger brewers in the Fraser Valley. For more of Tony’s story, read Noëlle Phillips’ recent BC Ale Trail blog.
According to the award’s website, the John Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award for Brewing Excellence “was established to recognize brewers who have made a major impact on Canada’s craft beer industry. The award will be presented annually to an individual whose brewing expertise, inspiration, enthusiasm, and support have contributed to the success, and growth, of the craft brewing movement. Honorees will receive a $1000 cash award and a special commemorative plaque. A $1000 donation will also be made in the winner’s name to the John Mitchell Legacy Endowed Scholarship at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Brewing School in Langley, BC.”
The award will be presented during an event to be held on Thursday, October 5th at The Barley Merchant Taproom & Kitchen in Langley. The event will kick off at 3:00pm with the tapping of four student-brewed beers from the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Brewing Program.