Where Are the Best Calgary Breweries?
The famous beverage made from a combination of water, barley, hops, and yeast is one Canadians have come to crave and love!
There are infinite types and flavours available from around the globe, yet it is the experience of the drink that truly makes "beer good." In order to get "good beer," you do not need to travel to Germany or the beer capital of the world, Milwaukee. Instead, there are amazing local beers right here in Calgary! Finding unique and local brews is easy, as the city is fortunate to have had a surge of award-winning Calgary breweries popping up. Looking for a new brew? Take a look at these favoured Calgary breweries and see what they are doing to make your beer-drinking experience better!
Annex Ale Project
Home to a 10-barrel brew house and a 50-person tap room in the Southeast of Calgary, Annex Ale Project is a local Calgary brewery who is out to "appeal to beer drinkers and big thinkers." The brewery is all about starting conversations — one of the reasons why they do not have televisions in their tap room! They want you to experience community while enjoying their core beers: Extra Pale Ale, Pale Ale, and New England IPA. In addition to these beers there are four small batch beers that rotate on tap.
Each beer is crafted as a result of "serious experimentation" and Annex Ale Project is proud to offer their products through select vendors or at their own brew house. The brewery also serves non-alcoholic root beer and ginger beer, both awa-winning from the 2019 Alberta Beer Awards. In addition to the soda awards, this brewery has received one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals for their beers/ales in select categories.
"It takes a village to raise a beer." Village Brewery is a brewery with a team of seven that have over 180 years of combined experience in making beer. With all that experience, it is no wonder why people love their beers so much. The brewery's regular brews are named Village Blonde, Village Blacksmith, Village Neighbour, Village Wit, and Village Squeeze, which range from a light brew to a dark black malt infused beer.
Village Brewery was awarded gold for their Village Blacksmith brew and Bronze for their Village Barrel Aged Friend in the Alberta Beer Awards. It is their unique beers that make these local brews distinguished among others. Find their products in participating vendors or visit the Village tap room to taste these blends, including the newest Village Local, a non-alcoholic pale ale.
Good Mood Brewery
With a name like "Good Mood" Brewery, you know that you can expect unparalleled quality and excellent customer service that will boost your serotonin! This local brewery found in the heart of the Calgary foothills is offering finely hand-crafted beer made from fresh and natural ingredients. The brewery has three signature brews — Cream Ale, India Pale Ale, and Porter — as well as featured seasonal brews throughout the year. Of their summer seasonal selections, the Hefeweizen summer was the award-winning choice across Alberta.
Good Mood Brewery's beers can be purchased at vendors across the city, as well as at their taproom. The brewery currently welcomes locals to take part in their Founders Club, which is a two-year membership that includes weekly growler fills, glasses, taproom purchase discounts, a private tour, and more!
Big Rock Brewery
One of the more popular award-winning Calgary breweries is Big Rock Brewery. Since 1985 when the brewery was first founded, this local brewery built a name for themselves. Over the years they have been active in community events, participating in city happenings, as well as hosting tours and events on their own, such as brewing workshops throughout the year.
The brewery began with three original brews — Traditional Ale, Grasshopper Wheat Ale, and the Pilsner (2019 gold Alberta Beer Award Winner). But these were just the beginning. They have since expanded their selection to include a Craft Lager, Honey Brown Amber Lager (2019 Silver Alberta Beer Award Winner), Session IPA, and more! The brewery also offers seasonal brews and ciders sold across the city and at their breweries which are found not only in Calgary but in Vancouver and Toronto as well.
Minhas Micro Brewery
Owned by native Albertans, the Minhas Micro Brewery in Calgary is a "true representation of Canada" with "some of the best Canadian beers." The Minhas Micro Brewery is a division of the larger scale Minhas Breweries located in Wisconsin, but it is the Calgary location that stays true to Alberta. The brewery uses local ingredients such as Alberta barley and Wheat as well as local Calgary water.
Of the many beers you can purchase at Minhas Micro Brewery, including gluten free selections, the Lazy Mutt premium brews are some of their most popular. These include Alberta Wheat Ale, IPA, Alberta Brown Ale, and Alberta Red Ale. Other selections available include lagers, and Canadian malt liquors of extra strong beers. For a behind the scenes look at this microbrewery, you can book a tour, or you can try their beers at their award-winning restaurant, Pizza Brew.
Wild Rose Brewery
When thinking about local Calgary breweries, Wild Rose Brewery is one of the first to come to mind. This brewery began back in 1996 and has steadily grown since then. Their core beers include a Canadian Wheat Ale, Wraspberry Ale, IPA, Alberta Blonde, Brown Ale, and a Hemp Strong Pale Ale. The brewery also features innovative seasonal brews that are often fruity and unparalleled in the summer. But what makes this brewery stand out among others is their unique taproom — an old airplane hangar that has been refurnished to host beer-lovers.
As far as IPA brews are concerned, Wild Rose Brewery has one of the best in Alberta as it was awarded the Gold award for their High Harvest IPA in the 2019 Alberta Beer Awards. In addition to this most recent award, the Wild Rose Brewery has also been the Consumer Choice Award in Southern Alberta for 7 years running, and won numerous Alberta Beverage Awards over the years.
Paddy's Barbecue and Brewery
At Paddy's Barbecue and Brewery, Southern barbecue is taken very seriously – and so are their beers! With onsite brewing, Paddy's Barbecue and Brewery provides Calgarians with hand crafted beer that comes in eight different varieties of tastes and flavours. Their eight craft brews include Alberta Lager Lager, Cherry Kolsch, Belgian Blonde, Gose Sour, Multigrain Pale Pale, Black Lager Schwarzbier, IPA, and American Brown Brown Ale.
Paddy's Barbecue and Brewery was awarded the gold medal under the category of "New Brewery of the Year" in 2019. The brewery has also won silver in the category of "Best Patio Beers" for their Pilsner brew. If you are looking for good food and good beer, Paddy's Barbecue and Brewery promises great taste with Southern-style hospitality at their location in Southeast Calgary.
Whether you prefer an IPA or a fruit-infused beer, there is plenty to choose from in Calgary! Get your "brew" on with these local award-winning Calgary breweries that will satisfy your taste buds and quench your thirst!