Winnipeg?

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rejtable
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Winnipeg?

Postby rejtable » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:14 pm

Hey all, so heading to Winnipeg in a few weeks. I see lots of references to Winnipeg when I search, but not specific thread about Winnipeg for beer tourism. Recommendations anyone? I'll check out the usual suspects for references, BA, RB, but any first hand experience would be great!

Thanks!
nickw
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby nickw » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:46 am

Winnipeg as a destination for beer drinkers currently leaves a lot to be desired. I think your best bet will be PEG Beer Co in the Exchange District, if it's open when you're there (they're aiming for an end of Feb soft opening, from what I last heard). They might not have any/many of their own beers on tap yet, but they "will be bringing in some of our favourite beers from fellow craft breweries for you to sip on and you can watch the first batches of PEG Beer being brewed". What those will be, I'm not sure, but the owner, ex-CEO of Half Pints, certainly has made her way around some of North America's (and Belgium's) best breweries in the past few years.

You'll find Half Pints beer on tap at many/most of the places in and around the central parts of the city (downtown, the Exchange, Osborne Village, Sherbrook, etc) and beyond (likely one of/combo of their Pale Ale/Lil Scrapper IPA/Stir Stick Stout/Bulldog Amber -- all good if unspectacular). Sometimes you'll come across one of their seasonal/one-offs. (Available also at the MLCC and direct at the Brewery near the airport -- check their website to see if any releases coincide with your time there.) They often send a cask to The Grove, which has a good vibe on a busy Friday or Saturday night.

I've never been to Smith Restaurant at the Inn at the Forks, but their tap list looks about as good as it gets for somewhere central (sigh) but it's definitely a restaurant vibe http://smithrestaurant.ca/ Peasant Cookery in the Exchange is yummy and has an okay (for Winnipeg) selection of bottles.

Further out in big box land (but still relatively easy to get to) are the Barley Brothers locations. One with 70+ taps, the other with 150+ which, for a city that isn't particularly focused on quality beer, may mean there's some not-fast turnover on some of them... you probably won't be blown away with the quality of the list, but there might be some good choices on offer when you're there.

Good luck!
atomeyes
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby atomeyes » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:12 am

nickw wrote:Winnipeg as a destination for beer drinkers currently leaves a lot to be desired. I think your best bet will be PEG Beer Co in the Exchange District, if it's open when you're there (they're aiming for an end of Feb soft opening, from what I last heard). They might not have any/many of their own beers on tap yet, but they "will be bringing in some of our favourite beers from fellow craft breweries for you to sip on and you can watch the first batches of PEG Beer being brewed". What those will be, I'm not sure, but the owner, ex-CEO of Half Pints, certainly has made her way around some of North America's (and Belgium's) best breweries in the past few years.

You'll find Half Pints beer on tap at many/most of the places in and around the central parts of the city (downtown, the Exchange, Osborne Village, Sherbrook, etc) and beyond (likely one of/combo of their Pale Ale/Lil Scrapper IPA/Stir Stick Stout/Bulldog Amber -- all good if unspectacular). Sometimes you'll come across one of their seasonal/one-offs. (Available also at the MLCC and direct at the Brewery near the airport -- check their website to see if any releases coincide with your time there.) They often send a cask to The Grove, which has a good vibe on a busy Friday or Saturday night.

I've never been to Smith Restaurant at the Inn at the Forks, but their tap list looks about as good as it gets for somewhere central (sigh) but it's definitely a restaurant vibe http://smithrestaurant.ca/ Peasant Cookery in the Exchange is yummy and has an okay (for Winnipeg) selection of bottles.

Further out in big box land (but still relatively easy to get to) are the Barley Brothers locations. One with 70+ taps, the other with 150+ which, for a city that isn't particularly focused on quality beer, may mean there's some not-fast turnover on some of them... you probably won't be blown away with the quality of the list, but there might be some good choices on offer when you're there.

Good luck!


pretty much what Nick said.
you're hitting Winnipeg 6 months too soon. over the past 18 years, the beer options have gone from "pathetic" to "less pathetic" then back to "pathetic" and now "sufferable."
you have 2 locals: Half Pints and Fort Garry.
Fort Garry's a stout. they're like the Steam Whistle of Winnipeg. they, more or less, make one product and it's decent.
Half Pints is the biggest micro. their taplist varies. some of their beer, like their barley wine and IIPA, when available, are great. I had their APA on cask and it was amazing. but otherwise, i haven't fallen in love with many of their beer. their brewery's near the airport and not really worth the visit. pretty St Jamesy (something you'd understand if from Winnipeg) on the inside and out.
PEG is opening up soon. even if they open by the time you go, i wouldn't expect the world. not a knock on Nicole or her team, but it will take any brewery a good 6 months to get their footing.
There's another micro opening up soon. i forget the name. but PEG is the next one.

Drinking: the Grove's a bit of a hotspot. decent tap list. they do have HP's beer on cask.
there's a sports bar near the MTS centre. very Big Rock focused but some HP stuff there as well.
rejtable
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby rejtable » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:27 pm

Thanks all! I'll be there basically two weeks from today, early March. I'll keep an eye out for PEG, but by the looks of it I may just miss opening?
atomeyes
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby atomeyes » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:30 am

rejtable wrote:Thanks all! I'll be there basically two weeks from today, early March. I'll keep an eye out for PEG, but by the looks of it I may just miss opening?

looks like it. think they're painting the offices and stuff now. haven't seen anything that indicates they're brewing. and i doubt they'll be bottling in month #1.

for nostalgia sake, drink some Winnipeg macro classics.
Standard Lager.
Club.

you're also in a great burger city. Greek-style burgers (chili sauce on all of them). Daly's, VJ's, and my fave, Superboys (in the middle of nowhere but worth the drive). some great Wpg restaurants have opened recently.
you're in a city that was booming 100 years ago and had been dying a slow death ever since.
it turned a corner about 5 years ago and is in a neat growth phase. keep that in mind while you're there. i think craft beer will boom there in 2 years. lots of breweries will open. it's a mix of pioneering spirit and cheap-ass rent that will make it thrive.
if i had to choose a city to open up a barrel-aged or sour beer program, it would be Winnipeg. mainly exports, but yeah
rejtable
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby rejtable » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:43 am

So back from a quick trip, couple of nights. City has it's charms, you can certainly tell it was a booming place in 1915 or whatever.

From a beer perspective, not much of an exciting trip. I was sick while there, so didn't go far out of my way. I had dinner one night at a chain-y place with a buddy, just in-bev taps, so had a Goose IPA then switched to wine. Was staying at Inn at the Forks, and was into the bar both nights. Maybe 10 taps, nothing crazy exciting, but the Lil Scrapper was sure tasting good! Food was great.
atomeyes
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby atomeyes » Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:47 am

rejtable wrote:So back from a quick trip, couple of nights. City has it's charms, you can certainly tell it was a booming place in 1915 or whatever.

From a beer perspective, not much of an exciting trip. I was sick while there, so didn't go far out of my way. I had dinner one night at a chain-y place with a buddy, just in-bev taps, so had a Goose IPA then switched to wine. Was staying at Inn at the Forks, and was into the bar both nights. Maybe 10 taps, nothing crazy exciting, but the Lil Scrapper was sure tasting good! Food was great.


you were right near VJs, dude. classic Wpg burger joint.
Inn at the Forks is kind of an island. a lovely island in the summer, but an island. easy to not migrate outside of that area and explore.
good news is that you were nearish to the soon-to-open PEG brewery
rejtable
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby rejtable » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:16 am

I wandered around for a few hours one day, out past the exchange, back towards the MTS centre, then back down. But like I said, I was sick, and working, so my moving around was reasonably limited. I did eat out towards "confusion corner" one night and walked back from there through the legislature, so it wasn't like I was stuck in the forks the whole time.

Didn't know about VJs, maybe would have checked it out.

For sure the forks is out the way, but it was right next to where I was working so it was easy. And like I say it didn't stop me from moving around that much. The raging fire in my throat hindered me a lot more.
atomeyes
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby atomeyes » Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:25 am

finally, two breweries opening.
PEG's open but not brewing. red tape, apparently.
Barn Hammer's starting to pour this week.

new taproom opened at the Forks called the Common.

things are moving in the right direction.
atomeyes
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby atomeyes » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:56 am

some Wpg updates.

the Common is open at the Forks. craft beer and a nice looking space. they had Neopolitan on tap last month? buh?

PEG Brewing Co just started their initial batches. they'll be selling beer by the end of September.
Torque Brewing is up and running.
Half Pints is doing major expansions.
rejtable
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby rejtable » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:21 am

Looks like a decent chance I'll be in town next month. Any updates since September?
Peter Collins
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby Peter Collins » Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:06 pm

I'll be there in March for a week so have been doing a bit of research. In addition to the above mentioned places I did see this one:

http://littlebrownjug.ca/

I'll see about checking them out.
atomeyes
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby atomeyes » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:27 pm

Half Pints finally re-did their tasting room, which used to be, frankly, really gross.
It looks better now. it's near the airport, so you can go to/from your flight. otherwise, you're likely not going to be near the brewery unless you're shopping at Polo Park.
Little Brown Jug and PEG are right near each other and, man, do they look pretty. the Exchange District's going to be really neat in 1-2 years. good coffee shop there as well.
LBJ just opened, so caveat emptor. i'd still say the same about PEG. they have some (winnipeg) experienced brewers there, but i think they're still 6 months away from hitting some sort of decent stride. beer aren't overly creative as of yet. at least LBJ's doing something neat
rejtable
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby rejtable » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:04 pm

Good few days in Winnipeg. Hit up a few new spots (to me):

PEG Beer: really nice spot, great pizza. Beer was solid.
The Common: awesome idea, 20 taps and 20 wine in the Forks, grab a drink and walk around looking at the trinkets. Food from the stalls. Beer offerings were mostly local with some Beau's at that Saugatuk Neopolitan thrown in.
Barn Hammer: this was nice surprise. No food, but atmosphere was great. Beers were solid.

Things are still pretty far behind the rest of the modern world in terms of beer infrastructure, but definitely looking up. Miles better options than when I was there a year ago.

And yeah, went to VJ's.
atomeyes
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby atomeyes » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:55 am

rejtable wrote:Good few days in Winnipeg. Hit up a few new spots (to me):

PEG Beer: really nice spot, great pizza. Beer was solid.
The Common: awesome idea, 20 taps and 20 wine in the Forks, grab a drink and walk around looking at the trinkets. Food from the stalls. Beer offerings were mostly local with some Beau's at that Saugatuk Neopolitan thrown in.
Barn Hammer: this was nice surprise. No food, but atmosphere was great. Beers were solid.

Things are still pretty far behind the rest of the modern world in terms of beer infrastructure, but definitely looking up. Miles better options than when I was there a year ago.

And yeah, went to VJ's.

never a VJ's boy. i'll do the drive to North Main and eat at Superboys. it's my kryptonite. also, Daly Burger on corydon's underrated.

Brazen Hall Brewery just opened on Pembina in an old hangout of mine. looks to be really pretty.
https://www.google.ca/maps/uv?hl=en&pb= ... IQoioIazAK

winnipeg's where toronto was 10 years ago. the curve will close quickly. i give it 2 years before we have stuff on par with our top half breweries. i don't expect Bellwoods or GLB quality beer, but a tier below that

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