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.
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?
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.
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.
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