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Banded Peak Brewing

Calgary’s Craft Beer Scene: Exploring the Thriving Breweries in Canada’s Craft Beer Hub (2024)

Calgary is nestled in the Canadian province of Alberta and is known for its thriving craft beer scene. This hub for craft beer boasts over 100 craft breweries that offer everything from hoppy I.P.A.s, fruity sours, and a range of delicious and innovative brews. The craft beer scenes in Calgary have exploded in the past few years, and presently, there is no shortage of options to explore. It’s not been long since when the quality of Calgary’s breweries has improved significantly. Beer lovers can now find unique flavors like peanut-butter stouts and blackberry sours that have excited enthusiasts the most.

For beer aficionados, Calgary boasts more than 40 breweries. The city is among the most innovative craft beer industry spaces. Whether you are a local or a tourist, you can always choose to explore a range of gastropubs and beer halls in Calgary and pour your Canadian microbrews.

Calgary’s Craft Beer Scene: Exploring the Thriving Breweries in Canada’s Craft Beer Hub

Join us as we make efforts to introduce you to Calgary’s craft beer scene. Here we have some of the finest recommendations for the Best Breweries to visit when in Calgary. Enjoy unique and delicious beer brews as the patio season’s twilight approaches. Let’s get started.

1. Banded Peak Brewing

Banded Peak Brewing is one of the most loved facilities in the Calgary craft beer scene. Banded Peak’s reputation for quality has made it stand out and shine in the large beer market of Calgary and Alberta. Prestnyl, the brewing company, is acquired by Labatt. However, the new owner manages to remain true to the craft roots while continuing to create innovative and delicious brews. Beer lovers at Banded Peak can find their best brew at many local bars and restaurants. One of the best places to try their brew is at the Saddledome, while the Calgary Flames games are on. However, if you are around the brewing company, stop by their tasting room and try their signature brews. Some of the famous and must-try drinks here include the Plainsbreaker Hopped Wheat Ale and Mount Crushmore Pilsner.

Banded Peak has recently expanded its hours to be open every day of the week. If you are looking forward to trying their exceptional brews, you have more opportunities throughout the week.

2. Last Best Brewing & Distilling

Last Best Brewing in Calgary isn’t the last but one of the very firsts you should try. It is more than an average microbrewery; the experience goes beyond just beer. The brewing company got the same after the phrase “saving the best for last. It features a 360-degree bar, a semi-covered patio, and a cozy basement nook. Its exciting setting makes it an ideal spot for a romantic date or a gathering with friends. They also operate a beautiful brewpub in the Beltline area. Upon visiting here, one can try Caramel Latte nitro brew, a one-of-a-kind brew. The facility also features a barbershop in the basement and a hidden speakeasy lounge. It even features its sister brewpubs in towns like Jasper, Banff, or Fort McMurray.

What sets Last Best Brewing apart isn’t just its beer but also its food offering. It is reportedly one of the top 100 restaurants in Canada, which is no less than a remarkable achievement for a brewery. Their menu boasts a range of mouth-watering dishes, be it the Sweet and Spicy Pork Dry Ribs, their Roasted Chicken, or Squash Pot Pie. With its exceptional food, unique drinks, and cozy atmosphere, Last Best Brewing is a must-visit destination for any beer lover in Calgary.

3. Village Brewery

Village Brewery is the best craft brewery in Calgary. It was founded back in 2012 and is well-known for its involvement in community initiatives. It, in fact, was one of the first craft breweries to establish itself in the city. A visit to Village Brewery allows beet enthusiasts to try a range of beers, including the popular Village Blonde, Village Wit, and the refreshing Village Squeeze. The hints of lemon, raspberries, hops, and other flavors make their drinks exciting. The eclectic artwork in the upstairs tasting room and those vibrant tabletops made up of bottle caps set the facility apart. While sipping on different beers, visitors can climb the interior rooftop bar and enjoy stunning views of the Alberta foothills. Village Brewery also invites artists and showcases their work on its cans. Whether you are a beer lover or an art enthusiast, this is a must-visit place in Calgary.

Village Brewery commits and reflects its in-house slogan, “It takes a village to raise a beer.” The company sources its ingredients from local farmers. In addition, their contribution to society includes donating a portion of their sales to various charitable causes. Their delicious beer offerings, vibrant atmosphere, and community involvement are ideal combinations to check out.

4. Wild Rose Brewery

Wild Rose Brewery is an old and popular local brewery in Calgary, serving some delicious craft beers for over two decades. It was founded in 1996 and since then has never looked back. It is not just a place to grab a jug of cold beer, but it is much more than that. One of their standout offerings is the Raspberry Ale. This refreshing and fruity raspberry ale is perfect for summertime sipping. Wild Rose Brewery also offers a locally-inspired menu to pair with the drinks. They serve in a rustic air force hangar, thus being one fine spot for events. Whenever in Calgary, make sure to check out Wild Rose and consider trying Wraspberry Ale, Velvet Fog, or Cowbell Kettle Sour, a new and twisted drink.

The original brewery and brewpub are housed inside a small warehouse that exudes rustic charm. Their underrated patio is ideal for enjoying some microbrews. Wild Rose Brewery is committed to giving back to the community as well. They donate a portion of their profits to a selected charity monthly.

5. Big Rock Brewery

Big Rock Brewery is one of the very first craft breweries in Canada. It has been operating since 1985 in Calgary and has experienced immense growth all throughout. However, despite its growth over the years, the brewery still remains true to its roots. Even though it has expanded to cities like Vancouver and Toronto, it manages to serve up quality brews at its original location. This German-style pub sits in the southeast industry area of Calgary. It not only serves delicious beer but also offers schnitzel and bratwursts to patrons.

The founder of Big Rock Brewery, Ed McNally, was a pioneer of the craft beer movement in Canada. This facility is nonetheless at the forefront of this revolution. Presently, it is a household name and a national brand. After years of successful operation and having many competitors come, go, and shine, it remains a top destination for beer lovers visiting Calgary. Some of the must-try brews here include Grasshopper, Rhine Stone Cowboy, and their Czech Style Pilsner.

6. Toolshed Brewing

Tool Shed Brewing, named after its origins in a backyard tool shed, has become a popular destination for beer lovers in Calgary. Their commitment to quality and creativity is evident in their award-winning brews like People Skills and Red Rage Ale. While their taproom is open seven days a week, the brewing company also hosts a tour and tasting session for only $15. Additionally, they operate the Notorious P.I.G., a restaurant that has won awards at the Jack Daniels B.B.Q. Competition in Memphis. Their microbrews have a unique backstory, and you can learn about them only while at a personal tasting at the brewery. This spectacular brewing area/indoor beer garden with a large graffiti mural, ample seating, and a cozy atmosphere is a treat to enjoy.

Tool Shed Brewing’s distinct packaging stands out on the shelves of local liquor stores. Not only at the original facility, but their microbrews are also at select bars in Calgary. However, for a more personal experience, a visit to the original location is a must.

7. Trolley 5 Brewpub

Trolley 5 Brewpub is another popular brewery in Calgary, nestled on the bustling 17th Ave S.W. For beer and food enthusiasts, it is a must-visit destination in Calgary. The brewpub features three floors of seating, an open-concept brewery, and a taproom. It is known for offering offers a unique experience allowing beer lovers to enjoy the brewing process while sipping on the signature beers. The brewpub got its name after the No.5 Trolley Line that once ran through Calgary’s Beltline. It is also a popular place to gather during the Calgary Flames games, only half an hour’s walk from the arena. When at Trolley 5 Brewpub, do try flavors like the Yachtrock Grapefruit Radler, First Crush White I.P.A., and Conductor Amber Lager. Also, give a chance to their food menu, which is equally impressive. The options include slow-cooked brisket and spicy buttermilk-fried chicken sandwiches, the must-try.

Trolley 5’s has a unique ambiance, great beer, and delicious food. It is an ideal place together for lunch or dinner.

8. Ol’ Beautiful Brewing Co.

Ol’ Beautiful Brewing Co. is a must-visit brewery located in Calgary. The facility is nestled in the trendy neighborhood of Inglewood and is quite famous amongst locals. Their taproom boasts a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, catering to beer lovers of different interests. What impresses here the most is the Okami Kasu, a highlight of their beer selection. This unique Japanese-style beer is brewed with rice and has a silky and smooth texture to it. It, when paired with Saké Kasu, gets that subtle boozy, creamy finish. Other popular drinks here include Brass Monkey, a blood orange blonde, and the Abrazo Mexican lager. The brewery also collaborates with the Calgary-based Shokunin restaurant to combinedly produce the delicious Okami Kasu.

A1 Burrito is also known for serving some of the best burritos in town. Overall, Ol’ Beautiful Brewery is a must-visit for anyone looking to try unique and delicious beer in a warm and inviting atmosphere.

9. Cabin Brewing Company

Last but not least on our list is Cabin Brewing. This brewing company is nestled in the Manchester brewing area of Calgary. It is known for offering a unique experience combining the best of both worlds. The brewery is as Canadian as it can get with those modern, minimalist vibes and a canoe chandelier hanging from the ceiling. The beet selection here ranges from I.P.A.s to Stouts, and the options are sure enough to satisfy any palate. Cabin Brewing is famous for its Kiwi-style pie, which is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. They also offer a rotating selection of food trucks outside the brewery. However, what might disappoint a few is that the food menu here is very limited.

Cabin Brewing is committed to quality and innovation. No matter if you are a local or a visitor to Calgary, a visit here will introduce you to an unforgettable experience. The perfect blend of great beer, delicious food, and a cozy cabin-like atmosphere is a must-try.

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