In 1982, Alexander John Mitchell started an economic and cultural revolution when he pioneered Canada’s first craft brewery in Horseshoe Bay, BC. 

John Mitchell (right) with son Edward in 1982

Two years later, John Mitchell changed the brewing industry forever when he opened Spinnakers, the first brew pub in the nation. 

Today, we are honoring John Mitchell’s historic legacy while recognizing the next generation of professional craft brewers.

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 2023 recipient of the inaugural John Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award for Brewing Excellence has been awarded to brew master Tony Dewald. 

Tony DeWald has been at the forefront of the craft beer industry for nearly thirty years. As one of the best technical brewers in Canada, Tony’s expertise and leadership has earned him respect from his peers and craft beer enthusiasts alike. On behalf of John Mitchell, we are proud to have Tony DeWald as the first ever recipient of the John Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award for Brewing Excellence.

Click here to download the Press Release.

Corporate Sponsors

Friends of John Mitchell 

Leslie Fenn | Tony Cox