Cowbell wins prestigious LCBO Supplier of the Year Award
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Blyth Cowbell Brewing Company has won the 2020 Elsie Award as the LCBO’s Magnum Supplier of the Year.
The Elsie Awards, which are handed out annually by the LCBO by way of a large gala celebration, are deemed rather prestigious in the beer and spirit world. For a new retailer like Cowbell to win the award, said Director of Sales Tyeler Walker, is quite an accomplishment.
Walker said the LCBO considers many factors when handing out its awards, which were distributed virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the organization looks at the quality of the product, as well as marketing and community impact, among other factors. The community impact element of the award, Walker said, is likely what impressed the LCBO.
In addition to the company’s Greener Pastures Fund, which recently surpassed $500,000 contributed to the province’s four children’s hospitals, Walker said the company’s commitment to environmentalism and making the craft beer-making process greener likely had a role to play in the win.
The LCBO gives out many awards every year, he said, and being named supplier of the year is the most coveted award.
There are three tiers of the Supplier of the Year Award. Cowbell was named the Magnum winner as the smallest, joined by Georgian Bay Spirit Company as the Double Magnum winner and Labatt Breweries of Canada as the Imperial winner.
Walker said he was proud when he heard of the win and there was plenty of celebration at Cowbell. Really, he said, it has been a team effort by everyone who works on the team, from those in the high-level positions to those working out on the road, distributing Cowbell beer throughout the province.
“Though we are not able to celebrate together this year, it remains important that we recognize our remarkable partners,” said George Soleas, LCBO President and CEO in a letter to those nominated. “An Elsie Award is a testament to your hard work and success, and more than ever, an opportunity to express a heartfelt thank you and appreciation for your partnership. We are very fortunate to work side by side with such passionate teams.”
In a press release issued by Cowbell, the company’s founder and CEO Steven Sparling said the win is an important one for Cowbell.
“It is the ultimate accolade to win supplier of the year – it reflects positively on all aspects of our relationship with LCBO,” he said in the release. “This includes our professionalism, service levels, sales support, innovation, marketing, impact on the community and so much more. This is absolutely a 100 per cent team win.”