Our 2023 Judges
Beer entered into the Canada Beer Cup were judged by top international judges, helping bring global attention to Canadian craft brewing excellence.
Stephen Beaumont is one of the world’s most authoritative voices on beer and the author or co-author of 15 books, including the brand new third edition of the international best-seller, The World Atlas of Beer. As well as writing for a wide and diverse array of publications, from The Globe and Mail to Whisky Advocate to Brewing Business, Stephen has presented lectures and tastings all around the globe and judged in many of the beer world’s most prestigious competitions, including the World Beer Awards, Copa Cervezas de América, and the Brussels Beer Challenge.
Tim Webb began writing about better types of beer when most of what could be said had to be reported in the past tense. During six years on the board of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), he ran Britain’s national beer festival and co-founded CAMRA’s publishing company. He has written Good Beer Guide Belgium continuously since 1992, co-authored The World Atlas of Beer since 2012, and has won awards for beer writing in four countries. In a career spanning over 40 years he has witnessed and chronicled the return of the craft of beer brewing, perhaps the most extraordinary consumer-led revolution of modern times.
Luc de Raedemaeker
Luc de Raedemaeker learned early on that if you have to eat and drink anyway, you might as well enjoy it. Born and raised in Brussels, he was quick to appreciate the offerings from the Zenne valley: Geuze and Lambiek. He acquired his taste for beer as a student bartender.
Luc is now a lecturer in zythology, chief editor of Bier Grand Cru, and the author of The Belgian Beer Book, which has been hailed as the perfect guide to Belgian beer and beer culture. He is also the co-founder and director of the Brussels Beer Challenge, a prestigious international beer competition.
Jaime Ojeda, with 20 years of brewing industry experience, founded
ConEspuma.com in 2008, a virtual platform in Spanish exclusively focused on the beer industry. This platform serves as a hub for beer enthusiasts, promoting knowledge sharing and fostering our beer culture.
He has been a pioneer in the Chilean beer industry and has been involved in various beer projects and served as a judge in major beer competitions, showcasing his expertise and commitment to quality in the industry.
Andreas Fält has been working in the beer industry for over 20 years, starting by importing beers to Sweden in 2000. Since 2006 he has been promoting beer across the globe from Leeds in northern England and was for years he was the Brewers Association’s American Craft Beer Ambassador in Europe. In this role, he promoted American craft beers and grew the European market for numerous Brewers Association members.
Today he is an export consultant/agent, helping setting the stage for breweries around the world on the international stage. He has also spoken at the Craft Brewers Conference in the USA, the Great American Beer Festival, Brussels Beer Challenge 2012 and Russian Brew World 2017, and judged at competitions like the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, Great British Beer Festival, Mondial de la Bière, European Beer Star, and many others.
Lisa Morrison is a longtime journalist who cut her teeth early in the craft beer scene, reporting for any publication that would let her write about the subject. She has taught beer classes for women and mixed audiences and hosted a beer radio show/podcast called Beer O’Clock. In
addition to writing Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest, she has contributed to several other beer books and guides. A experienced as a beer judge both locally and internationally, Lisa was the first woman to be inducted into the Oregon Beer Hall of Fame. She owns Belmont Station beer store and bar in Portland, Oregon.
Jay R. Brooks
Jay R. Brooks has been writing about beer for 30 years, and is currently a syndicated newspaper columnist for the Bay Area News Group with his bi-weekly column, “Brooks On Beer.” He contributes to many major beer periodicals and general circulation magazines, and has given numerous presentations for the California Craft Brewers Association and the Brewers Association, among other organizations. He has judged in beer competitions on five continents, including the Great American Beer Festival, the Great British Beer Festival, the World Beer Cup, The Brussels Beer Challenge and many others.
Marty Nachel is the author of “Beer for Dummies” and “Homebrewing for Dummies,” a beer educator at the College of DuPage Business of Craft Beer Program, and a BJCP Certified International Beer Judge.
Ethan Cox, co-founder/co-owner of Community Beer Works, is Buffalo’s expert on craft beer and brewing. He is a qualified beer judge (BJCP Certified) with extensive judging experience including the GABF; a beer and food pairing expert (Certified Cicerone); and an area beer historian, author of Buffalo Beer: A History of Brewing In The Nickel City (2015), who has conducted dozens of beer pairing dinners, beer vs. wine pairing dinners, and beer education events and talks. Ethan currently working in consulting (Twin Petrels Seltzer & Social) and as a teacher at Villa Maria College. He lives in Buffalo with his wife and two children.
Craig Pinhey had his booze epiphany circa 1985 with his first pint of Ginger’s Best cask conditioned real ale at the original Ginger’s Tavern in Halifax and has been a beer lover ever since. After graduating with a Masters in Engineering, Craig moved to Hamilton, Ontario in 1987 to work, and immediately got heavily involved in local beer and homebrewing. He became a BJCP Judge, won some brewing awards, and started freelancing at Great Lakes Brewing News. He ran national homebrewing competitions for CABA (Canadian Amateur Brewers Association), edited their magazine, and became President.
On moving to New Brunswick in 1999 to work full time as a writer, Craig became a Sommelier in 2000, and started his Good Drink column for Brunswick News. He is still their drinks writer, 22 years later. Published in regional (Atlantic Business, East Coast Living, Progress, The Coast) and national magazines (Maclean’s, Wine Access, Mash, TAPS, Quench, RE:Porter), Craig makes his living writing, judging, consulting, and conducting wine, beer, spirits and food pairing events. He lives in Rothesay, New Brunswick with his wife and travels regularly in the region, and around the world, hunting for great food & drink, and stories. Craig is a Riesling fanatic and a lover of English Real Ale.
Willard Brooks is a fifth generation Buffalonian from a family with German roots, which for him means that good old fashioned beer is part of life and culture. After living twenty years in San Francisco, a year in Germany, and making numerous trips to the Netherlands, he has been
exposed to some of the best food, wine, and beer scenes in the world. As a fermenter of beer, a writer, and an organizer of craft beer events, he has also been steeped in the culture of beer in western New York and southern Ontario, although he maintains an abiding and ever-deepening affection for classic European beer styles. He speaks English, German, and Dutch.
Joe Wiebe is the “Thirsty Writer,” the author of Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider’s Guide to B.C. Breweries, the definitive guidebook to British Columbia’s burgeoning craft beer industry. Joe writes regular columns for the Growler, Northwest Brewing News, Vancouver View, UrbanDiner.ca, and the BC Craft Beer News, as well as beer-soaked stories in British Columbia magazine, BCBusiness, WestWorld, Beer West, Taps, Publican, NUVO, Taste, Alive and Boulevard. Joe is a co-founder and co-producer of Victoria Beer Week and the BC Ale Trail project. He produced the Victoria Beer Map, and is the beer columnist for CBC Radio’s All Points West and BC Almanac programs. He acts as a beer judge for the Okanagan Fest of Ale and the BC Beer Awards.
Bob Paolino began learning about craft beer four decades ago while growing up in New York’s Capital District, the birthplace of “microbrewing” in the Northeastern U.S. For 23 years, he was a columnist for Great Lakes Brewing News and received awards for his writing from the North American Guild of Beer Writers. He has been a BJCP judge since 1993, earning the rank of National Judge in 2001, and has been on the staff of the Great Taste of the Midwest, North America’s second-oldest beer festival, for 31 of the festival’s 36 years.
Sandy Cockerham started homebrewing in the late ’80s, after hearing her Dad talk about brewing beer with his brother many years before. Later, she decided to explore beer judging, sitting for the BJCP exam in 2007, and currently holds the rank of Grand Master 9.
She has judged at well over 250 competitions in the last 16 years and enjoys traveling and judging homebrew and commercial competitions all over the world. She currently serves on the AHA Governing Committee and is co-chair of Competition Sub-Committee. Sandy is the BJCP MidWest Representative and BJCP Vice-President.
Mike Buhler is the founder of the Newfoundland Special Order Beer Club, which has grown to over 4000 members and completely changed the face of beer in Newfoundland. He was also the 14th Certified Cicerone in Canada and the first east of Montreal, and has judged the Atlantic Canada Beer Awards as well as numerous different Newfoundland home-brew competitions. He is also an avid collector of beer with over 1000 bottles in my cellar and a sometimes homebrewer.
Dave Cole has been a BJCP beer judge since 2016 and is currently the BJCP North Region Assistant Rep, running the Prairie Beer Awards. He has judged at many competitions through the years, including the Great American beer Festival and American Homebrewers Association. His favourite categories to judge are Historical and Experimental, and he is currently trying to get Canadian Spruce Beer recognized as an official beer style in the guidelines. When not judging, he is an accountant specializing in non-compliant personal and corporate taxes, and road trips with his wife Bobbie to various music festivals.
Yuyu Kim is a Korean brewer who settled in Canada in 2016. He likes both beer and wine so graduated from both the Brewmaster and Brewery Operation Management and Winery & Viticulture programs at Niagara College. He’s a professional brewer at Prairie Dog Brewing Co. in Calgary, Alberta, and both a Certified Cicerone and Certified BJCP beer judge. He has recently passed his Advanced Cicerone in one attempt and is awaiting the written exam result.
Josh Rubin is a journalist at the Toronto Star. He spent twelve years as the Star’s beer columnist, and has been a judge at the World Beer Awards since 2016.
Sergio Pazos Costa began homebrewing in 2015, after which he progressed through the positions of head brewer at Cerveceria Nuevo Mundo in Peru and owner and head brewer at Korak Brewing, also in Peru. He is both a certified BJCP judge and a Cicerone Certified Beer Server, and has provided support to the BJCP in the translation of exams from English to Spanish. He currently works as a Beer Line Cleaning and Maintenance Technician in Toronto.
Marcelo Tarifa Coelho
Marcelo Tarifa Coelho was born and raised in Brazil, moving to Canada in 2022 to enroll at Niagara College in the Beverage Business Management program, where he graduated this past April. He has worked in the beverage industry since 2016 has a particular passion for sensory analysis and beer judging. In his short time in Canada, he has already judged in such competitions as the US Open Beer Championship and its cider equivalent.
Patrick Thomson has over ten years of beer related service experience and is dedicated to serving and presenting beer the right way. He is currently the Operations & Events Manager at Godspeed Brewery.
Richard Preiss is a brewing scientist and fermentation expert. He co-owns Escarpment Laboratories, Canada’s premier yeast supplier and has helped many brewers fix problems and improve their processes. Richard’s focus is on translating research and data into better solutions and yeast strains for brewers.
Philip Kochanke has been brewing professionally since 2010 and serves as Brewmaster at Ottawa’s longest-running production brewery, Kichesippi Beer. Following a brewing apprenticeship at a large regional German brewery, Philip received the title of Braumeister from
Doemens Academy in Munich in 2016. He combines his deep passion for the brewing process with a love of high quality traditional beer.
Jesse Vallins is the executive chef at Barberian’s Steak House in Toronto and has spent over 25 years cooking in some of the city’s best restaurants. Not just a chef, but also a lifetime student of the beverage world, Jesse is an Advanced Cicerone, a BJCP certified beer and mead judge, and a certified sommelier. When he’s not working at the restaurant or dorking out on drinks, Jesse teaches and develops curriculum at Toronto’s George Brown College and contributes content to Food & Drink Magazine.
Kelly Byer manages the research labs at Niagara College’s Food & Beverage Innovation Centre and works with Ontario Craft Brewers in the areas of lab analysis, sensory testing, quality assurance and regulatory compliance. With a Honours Biology degree from the University of
Guelph and background in agricultural research, she also has previous experience in quality assurance and food safety programs, compliance with regulatory programs and standards, and new product development. Kelly has also taught both beer science and sensory courses for the School of Wine, Beer and Spirits.
Brad Barta is the Pilot Plant Manager for Niagara College’s Food and Beverage Innovation Center. He was the lead brewer at Niagara College’s Teaching Brewery for six years prior to assuming his new position, as well being a part time instructor for the Brewmaster program. He
has taught courses on packaging, brewing equipment, the history of brewing, and two levels of sensory evaluation. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Niagara College’s Brewmaster Program and a previous winner of national beer and brewing awards.
Dane Glyn-Williams is an Advanced Cicerone, Certified BJCP Judge and Prud’homme Master Beer Sommelier based out of Toronto, Ontario. Dane has worked in the beer industry for the past six years and is currently part of the ownership team at Rouge River Brewing Company.
Victor North is a National-ranked BJCP judge who has worked in the beer industry for over a decade. Originally employed as a brewer, he has been in a support role for the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management Program at Niagara College since 2014.
Jan-Philippe Barbeau has been a professional brewer in Québec for close to 25 years and is presently the Regional Sales Manager Canada for Fermentis by Lesaffre.
Jordan St. John
Jordan St. John is a Certified Beer Judge and Certified Cicerone who has been the Head of the Beer Certificate program at Toronto’s George Brown College for half a decade. Author of five books on beer including the Heritage Toronto award nominated Lost Breweries of Toronto, and
two editions of The Ontario Craft Beer Guide, he is a frequent presence on radio and television programs nationally covering the subjects of Craft Beer and alcohol excise in Canada. He is the editor of The Growler Ontario and a contributor to LCBO Food and Drink.
Abhijeet Pathak is a Certified Cicerone who currently works as a cellarman and packaging supervisor at Northern Maverick Brewing. He is also an avid homebrewer with a keen interest in Belgian, British and mixed fermentation style ales.
Mark Horsley is the brewer and owner of Barrel Heart Brewing & Blending, a new brewery focused on barrel-aged saison using Ontario ingredients. He is also a professor in the Niagara College Brewmaster program with focus on sensory analysis.
Chelsea Tessier graduated with a BSc in Honours Science from the University of Waterloo, after which she worked for a decade in microbiology ecotoxicology in Edmonton. Chelsea has been a certified BJCP judge since 2018 and was the president of the Edmonton Homebrewers Guild for three years before stepping down to open her own brewery in 2023, Polyrhythm Brewing, which despite having been open for only five months, received a Judges Selection from the Alberta Beverage Awards that same year. Chelsea has judged the Alberta Beer Awards five times, the BC Beer Awards, the Prairie Beer Awards, and numerous homebrew competitions.
Jeffery Kurkowski is a graduate of the Siebel Institute of Technology world brewing academy program and has studied brewing in Canada, Germany and the United States. He has brewed for over a decade in some of Ontario’s most highly regarded breweries and is currently Head Brewer at Toronto’s Godspeed Brewery.
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