Planning on visiting your favourite craft beer destinations this summer? Sure, a getaway to Sunny San Diego or NYC’s artisanal district of Dumbo sounds balmy but let’s be real: the exchange rate is less than favourable, airport security is a drag and you just know you’re going to get screwed over on airplane movies.
Why not be a tourist in your own city and explore the craft beer explosion that’s happening right here in your own backyard this month? Ditch the plane ticket, put on your cowboy boots and pony up to these brewery tasting rooms for an authentic local beer drankin’ experience.
Big Rock Brewery
This is the original Calgary craft brewery. Ed McNally started this Calgary institution in 1985 and is honoured as a true pioneer in the craft beer world. Tours are offered every Thursday and Saturday. Book your tour online and learn about a major part of Calgary’s brewing history.
5555 76 Avenue SE, bigrockbeer.com
Go for the personalities and stay for the beer. The tasting room in built right into the brewery so you can watch the brewers hard at work while sampling their creations.
801 30 Avenue NE, toolshed.beer
The Dandy Brewing Company
Here, you’ll find amazing beers being poured at Calgary’s very first nano-brewery. These Dandies have a couple of core beers, four seasonal releases, limited releases and some Dandy editions that can only be found in their tap room.
1826 25 Avenue NE, thedandybrewingcompany.com
Beer, community and art are the guiding tenants of this local brewery that offers tours every Saturday. Book ahead as the tours fill up quickly.
5000 12A Street SE, villagebrewery.com
Banded Peak Brewing
Go hang out in their cool little tasting room and watch the brewers busy at work. Be sure to try their Plainsbreaker; a wheat ale with a huge pile of hops that will satisfy any hop lover.
519 34 Ave. SE, bandedpeakbrewing.com
Wild Rose Brewery
The longtime favourite hangout of many a beer geek in the city, this Currie barracks tasting room features special casks available only in their space.
4580 Quesnay Wood Drive SE, wildrosebrewery.com
You can always count on a consistent line-up of phenomenal core brands with a constantly rotating selection of seasonals to keep Calgary palates challenged and interested. Check their website or stop just stop by to see what brews they are featuring under “Here to Play” and what is under development.
607 11 Ave. SW, lastbestbrewing.com
A brand new welcome addition to 17th Avenue SW, Trolley 5 is just getting rolling. A perfect stop while bar crawling along the Red Mile towards the Stampede grounds.
728 17 Ave. SW, trolley5.com
Brewsters Brewing Company
A second-generation family business, Brewsters has six restaurants across Calgary to satisfy your thirst for locally crafted beer, wherever you are. Check their website for your closest location or visit their original location in the Beltline.
834 11 Ave. SW, brewsters.ca
Half Hitch Brewing
Family owned and operated, this brewery is just a short drive out of Calgary. This barn brewery is worth the drive, from the unique building to the delicious beer and food, this spot’s gives you lots to love.
I-10 Griffin Industrial Point, Cochrane, halfhitchbrewing.ca
Named after the ship that was used to discover Canada, Caravel brings European flavour to the growing local beer market. One of the city’s newest comers, you can watch this company grow as it finds its place in the Calgary beer scene. Keep an eye out for their upcoming brewery tours.
10221 15 St. NE, caravelbrewery.com
Annex Ale Project
Former head brewer at Village Brewery teams up with former head chef of (completely unrelated) Village Ice Cream to create unique and progressive beers. They only officially opened in May with 2 beers, but have a previous claim to fame: Calgary’s only all-natural craft root beer, which they started brewing in 2015 out of Banded Peak’s brewery. Their modern tap room is the perfect place to grab a cold one with friends.
4323 1 St. S.E., annexales.com
High Line Brewing
Located in the heart of Inglewood, three buds work together to bring you an ever-evolving beer list. Previously an auto garage, the industrial tap room holds 23 people and serves up to eight of its own beers at any given time. With no kitchen, you’ll only be able to get snacks here, but don’t worry! You’re more than welcome to grab food at a neighbouring restaurant and bring it with ya.
1318 9 Ave. SE, highlinebrewing.com
Cold Garden Beverage Company
Ranking number one in most eclectic tap room on the list, Cold Garden gives a bit of a That 70’s Show vibe. It’s also one of the few breweries in which the tap room is actually located in the same room as the brewery- all the magic happens just behind one of the bars. You’ll find both traditional and eccentric beers here, a little something for everyone.
1100 11 St. SE, coldgarden.ca
By Jade Clark, with updates by Michelle Pijanowski