From Edmonton to Medicine Hat, there is a running list of interesting and exceptional brewers crafting unique libations with locally-grown grains and refreshing flavour profiles. For those looking to experience a tour from a thriving craft brewery that is pushing the boundaries, here are a few of the many destinations offering a unique and frothy tasting menu a little closer to home.
Edmonton: Yellowhead Brewery
Located in the historic H.V. Shaw Building, the Yellowhead Brewery, named after the first commercially brewed beer in Edmonton, is one of the city’s finest and most established breweries. They offer a great but refined selection of lager, ale, sour, port, and gluten-free cider, which showcase the best ingredients from Alberta. Engage all five senses and book a tour to experience the brewing process firsthand. Special food features and non-alcoholic beverages are also available. Bookings are $10 per person, available four days a week, and include a 30-minute tour and a pint. Details here.
Edmonton: Town Square Brewing
Nestled in the Ellerslie neighbourhood in South Edmonton is a community-based tap house called Town Square Brewing where everyone can share their love for craft beer together. Enjoy a cold flight of beer brewed in-house using supplies sourced from local farmers, and artisan pizza and calzones for a good cause. Ten per cent of proceeds are donated to a selected charity every month. The extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff also offer tours to share more about what they do. Groups of 4-6 people are welcome on Saturdays. The cost is $15 each and includes a guide tasting with four, 4oz samples of the delicious brews.
Calgary: Bridgeland Distillery
There’s a lot to choose from at Bridgeland Distillery, located inside the Eisenbergs’ Fine Furniture former space. Two friends and engineers who shared a love for spirts opened the brewery in August of last year to serve up a specialized menu of brandies, whiskies, grappas, limoncello, and amaro. Whatever a person’s preference, they’ll find it here with over a dozen hot and cold cocktails, all featuring the distillery’s spirits, to choose among. Hungry? Bridgeland also offers a sampling of food from local neighbouring restaurants including pizza, charcuterie, bruschetta, and rich tiramisu. Tours are available at bridgelanddistillery.com.
Calgary: Romero Distilling
Last November, father and son duo Tomas Romero and Diego Romero opened Romero Distilling to offer their own spiced, amber, and dark sugarcane rum through a sustainable process. They use the latest technological advancements in brewing to reduce water use and limit emissions. To share more about the history of rum running in Alberta and the process behind Romero Rum, they offer a variety of touring and tasting packages. Learn more here.
For more brewery and distillery tours in Alberta, go to Canadian Craft Tours and Alberta Craft Tours.