A toast to Cornwall's homebrew beer scene

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By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario - After only two years of homebrewing, Andy Morrisson has tasted success on a national level.

Morrisson, a Cornwall Homebrew Club member from Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., won the coveted Belgian IPA category and best in show in the National Capital Homebrew Competition.

The results were announced at the National Capital Craft Beer Festival in Ottawa on Sunday, August 17.

Morrisson's Brugghe Over Troubled Water, an amber coloured beer with a thick white head, boasting a lemon and spicy pepper floral aroma, beat out 270 beers from homebrewers across Canada.

"I was completely caught by surprise and didn’t expect to win best of show, I have only entered my beers in two other competitions," said Morrisson, who works as a  multimedia producer at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit in Cornwall.

The judges hailed his ale, and his homebrewing skills have already landed him two medals, but if it wasn't for his spouse's encouragement, beer lovers wouldn't be toasting his success.

"I didn’t think the beer would medal and was contemplating not entering," he said. "My wife Christine insisted that I do, and I owe her big time for convincing me."

On top of earning massive bragging rights, good fortune continues to pour in for Morrisson. He has two pro/am collaborations on the way.

Cassell Brewery will be releasing a commercial-sized batch of Brugghe Over Troubled Water for winning the Belgian IPA category.

Morrisson is also being rewarded for taking home the best of show prize by Broadhead Brewing Company.

He will help create a new beer that will be released at the October edition of Ottawa’s Brewery Market.

"Brewing is a blend of art and science. To me it’s all about the creativity, I love to make things," said Morrisson.

When he creates a batch of award-winning craft beer, his attention is focused on temperature control, water treatment and yeast management. Morrisson noted that there is also a strong creative side when it comes to recipe development.

"The possibilities are endless for experimentation by simply trying different combinations of ingredients such as hops, grains and any other thing you think would make an interesting flavour," he said.

Morrisson noted that Cornwall's craft beer scene is less popular than it is in cities like Ottawa and Montreal, and especially in comparison to the level of popularity and recognition that the U.S is experiencing. 

But all that is about to change.

AJ Rorabeck, an avid member of the local homebrew club, is in the midst of opening the Rurban Brewery in Cornwall.

"He is an amazing brewer and I think a lot of people in Cornwall will be turned on to craft beer after trying some of his beer," said Morrisson.

He also credited Ryan Chaytor, Cornwall Homebrew Club president, for developing a craft beer scene in the city.

"I think Cornwall craft beer enthusiasts are very lucky to have them in their city as they have big plans and ambitions for enhancing the local craft beer experience," said Morrisson.

For more information, join the Cornwall Homebrew Club on Facebook or visit www.rurbanbrewing.com.

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