Story Ideas

Raise a glass to Canada’s craft beer.

Canada is overflowing with top quality microbreweries producing ales, pilsners, stouts and more—perfect to quench a traveller’s thirst.

04 June 2014

Suggested tweet: Canada’s mugs runneth over: raise a glass to craft beer from east to west coast #explorecanada

Travellers are taking notice of Canada’s award-winning craft beer. Microbreweries are foaming over with popularity, each with a unique story to tell.

In the west, hip newcomer Brassneck Brewery has Vancouverites lined up to sip four-glass “bats”—similar to a flight of wine—selected from a rotating variety of small-batch brews.On the other side of the Rockies, twice-weekly scheduled tours allow Edmonton’s Alley Kat Brewing Company to show-off a 2.4-million-bottle annual production capacity plus its limited-run Big Bottle and Dragon Series beers.

Saskatchewan’s first microbrewery, Paddock Wood Brewing Company, started as a mail-order malt-and-hops-supply business before gathering acclaim for its stouts, ales, pilsners, porters and Schwarzbier. Another innovator, Farmery—Canada’s first estate brewery—grows all ingredients for its beer at the owners’ family farm near Neepewa, MB. Founders Chris and Lawrence Warwaruk boast that their craft lager is made with “good ol’ farmer common sense.”

Ontario is awash with quality beer, with Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB) members winning 20 gold medals at the province’s 2014 Brewing Awards. Muskoka Brewery took home “Beer of the Year” for its English-pub style Cream Ale, but all 35 OCB members are regarded for producing first-rate lagers and ales.

Quebec is another province overflowing with microbreweries. Gatineau’s Les Brasseurs du Temps lures with libations like La Pommee (apple ale) and Ma Gaterie (smoke salt black ale) as well as an on-site museum that guides guests through the Outaouais region’s 160 years of brewing heritage. From Québec City, ride the Train Touristique de Charlevoix to the shores of the St. Lawrence and sample MicroBrasserie Charlevoix’s Canadian Brewing Award-winning, sweet-and-spicy Hibernus ale.

Brewing roots run deep on the Atlantic Coast. Nova Scotia’s Authentic Seacoast Brewing Company serves Pale Ale, Steam Stout and Pumpkin Ale with Maritime cheer at its waterfront pub in Guysborough. Brewers at Fredericton’s Picaroons Traditional Ales have strong opinions about what real beer is—strictly adhering to Old English traditions to produce their 12 full-bodied ales—so don’t even think about ordering a lager at the onsite Brewtique. (In celebration of New Brunswick’s sudsy success—which also includes former “Brewery of the Year” Pump House Brewery—the Canadian Brewing Awards chose Fredericton as this year’s host city.)

A Charlottetown success story, Prince Edward Island Brewing Company has only 17 years of history, but its Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale and Island Red Premium Red Ale are now sold by the case in six provinces—and poured fresh at the hometown Gahan House Pub. On Canada’s eastern edge, where Newfoundlanders have long been doing things a little differently, Quidi Vidi Brewing Company uses meltwater harvested from passing icebergs to concoct arefreshing lager aptly dubbed “Iceberg Beer.”

This is just the foam atop a massive mug—Canada has hundreds of craft breweries producing thousands of premium beers. Cheers!

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