Posted : July 15, 2019
Canada has always been a brewing nation, who’s first recorded brewer was Jesuit Brother Ambroise, who began making beer in 1646.
Today the rise of "craft" brewing has re-invigorated the Canadian market, where Canadian beer drinkers have access to almost 1000 breweries, 7000 domestically made brands, and one of the largest selections of brands and styles available anywhere in the world.
As many of us choose to explore our great nation this summer, we’ve created a quick guide of the best local craft beers by province.
But first: Wondering what to serve with beer?
- Light Lagers: Spicy food, burgers, salads
- Wheat Beers: Spicy food and fruity desserts
- India Pale Ales: (IPAs): Steak, barbecue, and Mexican food
- Amber Ales: Pizza, fried food, smoked pork
- Dark Lagers: Pizza, burgers, hearty stews
- Brown Ales: Sausage, sushi, fish
- Porters: Seafood, coffee-flavored desserts, game meats
- Stouts: Chocolate desserts, shellfish, Mexican food
British Columbia is a hotbed for exceptional craft beer production, but if you’re wondering which one to try first you’ll want to reach for a bottle of Driftwood Fat Tug IPA – a Northwest-style India Pale Ale with an intense hop profile featuring notes of grapefruit, mango, melon and passion fruit.
Not only did this beer win the 2018 BC Best Craft Beer award, but it also won most consumed craft beer.
If you prefer a dark beer, and a malt flavour over hops, you’ll enjoy Hoyne Dark Matter
With so many established and up and coming breweries in Alberta, we couldn’t possibly list just one beer. But we could recommend a great patio beer! Patio beers are considered lagers or ales that are light-bodied, refreshing and not overly hopped. And the 2019 winners of the Alberta Best Patio Beer are…
Gold: Hazy Blonde Ale - Sawback Brewing Co. (Red Deer)
Silver: Pilsner - Paddy’s Barbecue & Brewery (Calgary)
Bronze: Fabhelles - Blind Enthusiasm Brewing Company (Edmonton)
Craft Beer brewing is a booming industry in Saskatchewan – where just 7 breweries in the Regina area generated over $11 million last year creating new jobs and bolstering the economy as local brewers use only local crops, local fruit and sell exclusively in Saskatchewan.
Who to try first?
Rebellion Brewing Company! They recently won a bronze medal at the World Beer Cup, which is one of the biggest beer competitions in the world. And if you’d like a peek behind the curtain, they offer tours that lead you through the brewery, explain the brewing process and guide you through a tasting of multiple Rebellion beers.
When: Saturdays at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: Admission is free.
Recently, Manitoba announced an overhaul of its liquor laws that should make it easier for new breweries and especially brewpubs to open, so it is likely that there will be more local craft choices soon. But if you’re in town and craving a local quaff look no further than a craft beer tap house called Barley Brothers with about 70 taps opened in the Polo Park area.
For hot days and steamy nights, these craft beers were chosen by Marilou Caty, director of the MBière School of Beerology.
Floréal - Brasserie Générale (Quebec)
Lemon and camomile Witbier. A white beer with a smooth taste of fruit, herbs and oatmeal cookies. Lemony and peppery finish.
Acidula Framboise - MonsRegius bières artisanales (Montérégie)
A wheat beer, slightly acidulated with raspberries.
Irish Red Ale - Microbrasserie Coaticook (Eastern Townships)
Light and soft Irish red ale, very easy to drink. It is distinguished by its notes of grilled biscotti and subtle grassy hops.
Bave de troll I.P.A. - Domaine Berthiaume (Montérégie)
Holds a variety of citrus, watermelon and tropical fruit aromas.
There is no question that the craft beer market is on fire in Ontario with award winning beers and a range of interactive brewery experiences popping up every month – so we’ll just list a few that are a perfect compliment summer.
Grass Roots Lager - Sleeping Giant Brewing (Thunder Bay)
This light little guy is ideal for the golf course, a lawn party, or a summer picnic.
Helles Lager - Wellington Brewery (Guelph)
This lager is a go-to for its ridiculously refreshing taste. According to them, it’s all in the 100% Canadian barley.
Hazed and Confused – Muskoka Brewery (Bracebridge)
This one’s described as a “juicy” IPA. It’s packed to the brim with fruity hops and citrus. Summer, is that you?
Cool Beer Lager - Cool Beer Brewing Co. (Etobicoke)
Whether it counts as craft is iffy, but it’s too much of a favourite not to mention. This award-winning lager is crisp, golden, and often-times referred to as perfect.
Silversmith Dark Lager - Silversmith Brewing Company (Niagara-on-the-lake)
A multi award-winning beer, since inception 2012. Hints of chocolate and coffee juxtapose a crisp, clean finish - deemed to change the way you think about dark beer...and maybe how you enjoy that grilled rib eye.
It is an exciting time for Nova Scotia’s craft beer industry. Breweries in Nova Scotia are making world class beer with unique local ingredients and hosting exciting events in every region of the province. Here are just four of them, that just so happen to pair perfectly with summer.
Bad Apple Boxcutter – Bad Apple Brewhouse (Somerset)
This beer is no stranger to the “best of” list – and this flagship IPA, has huge hits of citrus and hop aroma on the nose and a lingering flavour demanding another sip.
Liesse Table Beer – 2 Crows Brewing Co (Halifax)
Citrusy. Refreshing. Bright. Smooth.
Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout - Big Spruce Brewing (Baddeck)
A great stout for people who are perhaps leery of stouts. Not too bitter or high in alcohol and it’s also certified organic!
Dive Bar Classic Cocktail Series: Mojito Sour - Roof Hound Brewing Co. (Digby)
Based on the classic cocktail this beer is refreshing and dry hopped to give it a tropical and citrusy aroma, then hits you with lime zestiness, prickly carbonation and finishes with some mint.
On behalf of all of us at Premiere Suites, we remind you to drink responsibly. Cheers!