Sometimes great ideas arrive as you're falling asleep brushing your teeth. Other times they arise as a collaboration in the form of a conversation. This idea arose from the latter.
In a regular management team meeting one day we were discussing all of the different sorts of awards that breweries can attain, the reasons why breweries pay to enter these competitions (yes, breweries pay to enter. The people awarding the Bronze, Silver and Gold aren't seeking out the best Fruit Beer on their own, it's being sent to them along with an entry fee) and the value people place on awards.
At some point in that conversation someone, I think it was Bonnie, said "We should give ourselves an award". She was joking but from there it became "We should give breweries we love awards from us" which became "We should give awards for things that don't necessarily have anything to do with beer". It snowballed from there and that is how the
"Descendants Fun, Fun Awards" were born. Out of the idea that you can give an award to people you love for doing things you like.
The plan came together pretty quickly. Initially it was Bonnie, Robin and Lee who developed the idea but then Adam and Katy were brought into the fold.
We knew from the start that we loved this idea and if it worked (by worked we mean, we had fun and the locations we visited were happy to see us) we would do it again. We knew the actual awards had to be kitschy and fun! Awards don't have to be new to be valuable! It truly is the thought that counts.
We decided to dole out our first awards to the breweries, and one distillery, in Guelph. There are so many great breweries in Guelph and we only had an afternoon for our Inaugural Descendants Fun, Fun Awards.
Our first stop was Wellington Brewery.
They were very excited to see us but it was lunch and they didn't have anyone "official" around to greet us. We didn't ask for anyone official but they wanted the award to be accepted by someone involved with the brewing of the beer. Their award was "Three Thumbs Up for Welly Cask Fest". When they received it they put it on their mantle beside all of their other awards. We were honoured.
Next stop was Dixon's Distillery. Not a brewery but a great company that we love working with. We gave them the "Best Beer Alternative" award. They gave us a fantastic tour where we
learned a lot. We could have stayed there all afternoon learning about distilling but we had to go, we had other awards to hand out!
After that we stopped at Fixed Gear. It was a beautiful day and they had their doors up. We walked in and were greeted with "You brought me an award!". We hadn't even had time to explain
or introduce ourselves. We gave them the "A Real Good Place to Pet Dogs and Drink Beer Simultaneously" award, well deserved. They treated us to some beer samples and we were on our way.
From Fixed Gear we headed to Brothers Brewing Company (but first we made a Burrito pit stop cuz we were famished). Brothers wasn't open when we arrived. We had 20 mins to kill so we ate our burritos on the sidewalk, as you do.
When they opened we walked to the back and presented one of the brothers, Colton, with the "Best Use of Simpson's Memes" Award. He definitely seemed surprised. We visited for a bit played some Jenga and then headed out to our last stop.
Our last stop was Royal City Brewing. We arrived to a bustling tap room and a lovely woman, Andrea, who accepted the award of "Fanciest Lamps" for their hop shaped lamps (which I foolishly forgot to take a photo of).
We had some delicious beers, Bonnie ate a cookie and then Cam offered us a tour. He took us to the back and showed us around. We asked lots of questions and had a nice private sneak peek what they do there. We finished our beers and we headed back home.
We often say that Ontario Craft Breweries are like snowflakes; no two are the same. They all have their own vibe, features, and challenges. Yes, beer making is pretty straightforward but everywhere you go the beer is different, unique and a great representation of the environment, the people and the community.
We had an amazing day! The weather was beautiful, everyone we met was kind and happy to see us and we were able to spend some time together working but not "working". Later in the day when we were discussing doing this again it was brought up as an annual or bi-annual event and the response was "why not monthly?".
We shall see when we do it again and how often we do it, those questions are yet to be answered but get ready because Descendants Fun, Fun Awards are happening and they may be coming to a location near you soon! No entry fee necessary!
*Special thank you to Katy for being our Designated Driver. Safety is always important and we would never tour breweries like this without a safe, sober driver.