Published Date

TORONTO, June 23, 2017 /CNW/ - Corby Spirit and Wine Ltd. took home two remarkable awards last week at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario's (LCBO) 2017 Elsie Awards, an annual event that recognizes the industry's best and brightest. In addition to the coveted recognition as Supplier of the Year, which Corby has won twice in the past three years, the company also received the award for Best New Product Launch.


For the past 23 years, the LCBO has hosted the Elsie Awards to recognize suppliers, agents and trade partners that excel in their commitment to innovation, creativity, customer service and social responsibility. The Supplier of the Year award is given to companies for going above and beyond in delivering excellence to customers and in the industry.

"Being recognized as Supplier of the Year once again is a huge achievement for Corby," says Patrick O'Driscoll, President and CEO, Corby Spirit and Wine. "This award is a testament to our fantastic employees, whose passion and collaboration allows us to continually create win-win memorable experiences with our customers."

Corby was awarded Best New Product Launch for its Big House wine-in-a-can innovation, offering consumers a convenient format for enjoying wine at the cottage, camping or music festivals. The Big House wine cans family includes The Birdman Pinot Grigio, Cardinal Zin Zinfandel and this year's most recent release: The Siren Vin Rosé.

"It's exciting to have Big House cans recognized as the Best New Product Launch in Wines," says Ryan Smith, Director of Sales Ontario, Corby Spirit and Wine. "It acknowledges our continuous commitment in bringing innovative products and experiences to consumers across the country."

In addition to the Elsie Awards wins, Corby Spirit and Wine has received a series of industry recognitions over the last year:

  • In April 2017, Corby was recognized as one of the "50 Best Workplaces in Canada" for the sixth consecutive year by the Great Places to Work Institute.
  • In December 2016, Corby was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top 100 Employers for 2017, in recognition of Corby's exceptional workplace for employees.
  • In January 2017, Corby received prestigious honours at the 2017 Canadian Whisky Awards for Gooderham & Worts, Lot No.40 and J.P. Wiser's, including the Award of Excellence: Innovation for the Northern Border Collection. 
  • In April 2017, Corby achieved international recognition at the World Whiskies Awards:
    • J.P. Wiser's Double Still Rye – Best Canadian Rye
    • J.P. Wiser's Hopped – World's Best Flavoured Whisky & Best Canadian Flavoured Whisky
    • J.P. Wiser's Dissertation - World's Best Blended Limited Release & Best Canadian Blended Limited Release
    • Gooderham & Worts – World's Best Canadian Blended Whisky
Published Date

TORONTO, June 21, 2017 /CNW/ - No doubt, there will be a symphony of cheers on Canada 150. Perhaps, the patriotic toasting will occur under fireworks or beneath the Canadian flag or the boughs of a Canadian maple.  As everyone decides where they will be for Canada 150, they also must decide how they will celebrate and what will be in their glasses as they raise them to Canada. Canadian spirits are the optimal choice to celebrate the Canadian spirit, because they are the essence of Canadian ingredients and artisans. #SpiritsCanada


But before you raise a glass of Canadian whisky, we want to share a few facts on the origins of the toast and its tradition. Let's drink to that.

A timeline of the toast

  • The term "toast" originated in the 16th century, but as early as the 6th Century B.C the Greeks were toasting to good health.
  • Shakespeare referenced a toast in The Merry Wives of Windsor, "Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in it." Fun fact: Adding toast to a drink was quite common at the time.
  • Historian Paul Dickson, author of Toasts: Over 1, 500 of the Best Toasts, Sentiments, Blessings and Graces writes, "A legend contends that by adding the clink, toasters could get the greatest pleasure from a drink. Before the clink, toasts only satisfied four of the five senses."
  • The term "toasting" evolved into honouring people and celebrations.

Today, it offers a celebratory sentiment, or in the case of Canada's 150th anniversary, we raise a glass of spirits to Canada's 150! #SpiritsCanada

Published Date

TORONTO, June 20, 2017 /CNW/ - Indie Alehouse is pleased to announce that their Spadina Monkey Sour Cherry beer has won Beer of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards.

Since opening its doors in 2012, Indie Alehouse has become something of a fixture in The Junction – a neighbourhood that cuts along stretches of Dundas Street in Toronto's west end. "We're not typically driven by anything more than doing what we want to do and, sure, the appreciation of our customers," said Indie Alehouse's owner and chief visionary Jason Fisher. "But, in a competition pitting us against some extraordinarily talented brewers and exceptional product, we're pleased by how well we did and, frankly, it's not even our best beer."

The Spadina Monkey Sour Cherry is a part of Indie's Fates and Furies portfolio, and the result of the tireless efforts of Head Brewer Jeff Broeders and Barrel Aged and Funkworks Beer Program Director Nick Bobas. In addition to taking home Beer of the Year honours, The Spadina Monkey Sour Cherry also snagged a gold medal in the wood and barrel aged sour beer category.

For those who have watched as Indie Alehouse grew from a fledgling start-up to a first-class craft brewery, these honours come as no surprise. "We've been singularly focussed on quality experiences and beers since we opened in 2012" muses Katie Ross, Indie Alehouse's Director of Marketing. "Being recognized for the great work of everyone who madly rushes around Indie Alehouse seven days a week, delivering against this promise, is something that we take seriously."

Home to a veritable revolving door of eclectic and adventurous blends, the now five-year-old brewery has developed a reputation for going against the grain. In an industry long dominated by conventional Lagers and Pilsners, smaller craft breweries like Indie have begun to close the gap by offering a range of compelling alternatives. "We make and serve hard to find Ales like a Belgian Sour, a Double IPA, or an English Porter," explains Fisher. "We make some beers regularly, some once a year, and some are made one time only. We apologize, but when you're dealing with mad scientists, you're a slave to our schedule."

While craft brewers have become increasingly popular over the past number of years, their ongoing struggle with provincial regulations, especially in Ontario, have made access to broader markets difficult. "Things are improving slightly," says Fisher, "and winning a national award is not going to hurt. However, we really need to continue the conversation about fair access to Ontario's beer market."

For Fisher, this conversation is all about choice. "Small brewers like Indie Alehouse bring new ideas, new recipes and, in our case, very, very different flavour profiles to the market. Ultimately, this means more alternatives and better choices for consumers."

And, while regulators have begun to relax some of the conditions imposed on craft brewers, Fisher reminds us that provincial policy remains firmly aligned with the interests of a few major labels. "Spadina Monkey Sour Cherry could never have even existed in Ontario five years ago," admitted Fisher, "but our province's current policies still protect the interests of a core group of corporate monopolies. The industry needs to be restructured to ensure that everyone has fair and equal access to the market."

While the struggle for fair and equitable access continues, Fisher and the rest of the team at Indie Alehouse are pleased to celebrate their award-winning efforts in the true spirit of the craft brewing community. "We're proud and have a lot of people to thank over a few beers of course."

For more information about Indie Alehouse:

More about the CBAC:

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CINCINNATI – [June 20, 2017] – Now that temperatures are on the rise, restaurants have opened their patio and rooftop areas, attracting customers eager for a fun dining experience. To help restaurants get READY for increased summer traffic, Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) shares eight tips that will help restaurants gain a raving patio and rooftop review.

“After being cooped up all winter, people want to sit back, relax and enjoy the summer sun with fresh food, whether it’s at their favorite restaurant’s patio or at a buzzing new rooftop bar,” said John Engel, Director of Marketing, Cintas. “Just as restaurants prepare their menu for the summer, they must also prepare their outdoor dining area to provide guests with a memorable experience.”

Restaurants can improve their customers’ outdoor dining experience and keep patrons returning by following these simple steps:

  1. Spruce up entryways and awnings. When approaching a restaurant, the first things customers often see are the entryway and awnings, but these areas can easily get dirty after a long winter or a stormy summer night. Dirt, debris, leaves and even cigarette butts littering the walkup area of a restaurant can send the wrong message to customers, so make sure to tidy up these areas before and after every shift.
  1. Keep glass shiny. Windows, doors, display cases and counters should always be kept clean and fingerprint-free. If glass surfaces have any dings or cracks, address the issue quickly so it doesn’t spread or shatter. Remind workers to check on these areas throughout the day and test for stress on any glass surfaces.
  1. Keep outdoor dining areas clean. When people dine outside, they expect the patio or rooftop area to be spotless. Check for spider webs, bugs, leaves and other critters or litter hanging around outdoor tables, umbrellas and doorways.
  1. Deep clean carpets. While most outdoor dining areas don’t have carpet, indoor carpet often sees the worst of winter – from snow to dirt to salt – and dirty floors can project a poor image and create bad odors. While the patio fills up, make sure customers who dine inside receive a great experience as well.
  1. Implement a matting program. Keep the outside, outside. Matting traps dirt and debris at the door, stopping it from entering a facility. Matting also stops puddles from accumulating after summer storms and absorbs any water to reduce mildew odors. Certain matting providers offer custom options, allowing restaurants new ways to brand themselves in the summer and throughout the year.
  1. Light up the night. Make sure all outdoor lighting is working properly and that it’s free of dust. Additionally, check rafters and shelves for dust that could potentially land in a customer’s dish. 
  1. Prepare for summer storms. While summer can bring some of the best weather, it can also serve up some disastrous storms. Prepare for emergencies like power outages or flooding by updating the emergency preparedness plan. Keep these plans in easy-to-access areas and prepare staff accordingly.
  1. Prepare the plumbing. After a long winter, residue can easily build up inside of plumbing drains, resulting in expensive clogs. Check plumbing regularly to help prevent drain backups in the kitchen and restroom. One way to prevent a backup from happening – particularly in older buildings or high traffic facilities – is to have them jetted to eliminate accumulated residue and potential clogs.

From the kitchen to the host stand, indoor booths to outdoor bars, Cintas delivers a wide range of solutions to enable restaurants to provide a clean, safe and secure environment every season. For more information about Cintas’ solutions for foodservice facilities, visit


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