The great west

Discuss beer travel and regional information, including the best bars and places to check out around in Canada and around the world.

Moderators: GregClow, Cass

Beermat
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 7:00 pm
Location: Toronto

The great west

Postby Beermat » Sat Jul 12, 2008 3:59 pm

Anyone have any beer tips for some Prairie towns? I'm looking at Winnipeg, Regina (Bushwakkers obviously), Calgary, Edmonton. All advice gratefully received.
User avatar
boney
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1209
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 3:49 pm
Location: Hamilton

Postby boney » Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:30 pm

I just finished a trip to Calgary (my home town) a couple of weeks ago. I didn't pub it up much, but you can't really go wrong with any of the brews from either Wild Rose (Calgary) or Alley Kat (Edmonton, but widely available across Alta.). One of the better pubs in the city that I didn't make it out to this time around is the Hop In Brew Pub on 12th Ave SW. They've got about a dozen taps and usually have a good mix of local and import. I did bring back an absolute ton of bottled beer though...both Willow Park Wines and Spirits and the Kensington Wine Market are great stops for beer you can't get in Ontario.
toweringpine
Posts: 327
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: Etobicoke

Postby toweringpine » Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:42 pm

It has been a few years since last I was in Calgary, I hope these places are as good as I remember...

Each Friday at around 4pm Wildwood ( http://wildwoodgrill.ca/pub/ ) used to tap a fresh cask of something new and yummy. It never seemed to last the night so get there early,

Bottlescrew Bill's ( http://www.bottlescrewbill.com/home.html ) was always fun for some different brews,

Brewster's ( http://www.brewsters.ca/locations.html ) was OK too. I was never blown away by anything I tried there but I was rarely disappointed either. Until just now when finding the link I didn't know they had locations in Edmonton and Regina too.

Check out the Kensington Wine Market on Kensington St for some bottles to bring home. There is another great store around 8th St and 11Ave SW but I cannot remember the name ( nor the exact intersection but I know it is within a couple blocks of there ).

Have fun!
User avatar
JesseM
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1307
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:46 am

Postby JesseM » Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:54 pm

I hear good things about Half Pints in Winnipeg.

http://www.ratebeer.com/brewers/half-pints-brewing-co/6506/
Queef
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:11 pm
Location: Ontario

Postby Queef » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:06 pm

Wildwood isn't as good as it should be.

Hop n Brew has a great tap se;ection, but don't look after their lines very well

The Ship and Anchor on 17th ave, is the place to go for the best selection in town. Especially if it's winter, first friday of the month for Wild Rose Industrial Pale Ale cask night. Many a blurry night spent there...

If in Cowtown go to the liqour store in south calgary on macleod (near southcenter mall), for some of the cities best beer selections...I'd say even the bets in western canada...most any Rogue, Flying Dog, etc and more can all be had there

Can't go wrong with most anything from Alleycat either..as well as same store above caries anything available from BC...mt.Begbie is yummy....
it's beer o'clock.
Cagiva650
Posts: 175
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:42 am
Location: Torbay Newfoundland

Postby Cagiva650 » Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:38 am

In Edmonton the Chateau Louis liquor store has a great beer selection. They stock a lot of Belgian beers. I bought a couple of bottles of Westmalle Dubbel there. Great stuff. The liquor store is in the Chateau Louis Hotel across from the Edmonton Municipal Airport.

http://www.chateaulouis.com/
User avatar
markaberrant
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1664
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:28 pm
Location: Regina, SK

Postby markaberrant » Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:04 am

Mostly good advice. Here's my comments:

Calgary
Hop In Brew - I haven't experienced dirty tap lines, great pizza, awesome place.
WildRose Taproom - exclusive beers on tap, cask every Friday, good food, open 7 days a week
Ship & Anchor - great tap selection, but more of a large dirty punk rock bar than a pub (may or may not be your thing, I like it).
Brewsters and Wildwood are the local brewpubs, neither are very impressive.
For liquor stores, Willow Park, Kensington Wine and now Creekside Coop are all getting in exclusives.

Edmonton
Horrible pubs, Brewsters is your best bet, but frankly not worth the time. Alley Kat makes a lot of different beers, I find them hit or miss, but they are mostly interesting and worth trying at least once. For liquor stores, Sherbrooke Liquor has the best selection - Chateau is nearby, but the selection has gone downhill over the years.

Regina
Bushwakker is the best place in town - we have a ton of brewpubs in our province (due to idiotic liquor laws), and all of them are horrible except this one, so don't even waste your time anywhere else. There is a new beer bistro downtown called Beer Bros Bakery and Cuisine - it's pricey, tap selection is weak, and all of the bottles are available in Alberta for much cheaper. Paddock Wood can be purchased at most of the government liquor stores, the best selection is the store on Albert St South. Don't waste your time on our other Sask brewery - Great Western.

Winnipeg is all about the Half Pints. Stop in at the brewery for bottles, Kings Head Tavern supposedly has the best tap selection. Avoid all other local beer (ie; Fort Garry).
toweringpine
Posts: 327
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: Etobicoke

Postby toweringpine » Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:32 pm

Although I haven't had one in quite a few years, I remember being pretty pleased with some of the Fort Gary offerings. I think their Pale Ale is one of the brews that turned me on to that style in particular and micros in general. I guess if we all liked the same thing there would only be one brewer.
Beermat
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 7:00 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby Beermat » Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:52 pm

I thought there was now just one brewer, judging by the business pages today. Thanks for all this information. I leave on Friday morning, so if anyone thinks of anything else of importance on the Prairies, keep it coming.
User avatar
markaberrant
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1664
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:28 pm
Location: Regina, SK

Postby markaberrant » Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:20 pm

toweringpine wrote:Although I haven't had one in quite a few years, I remember being pretty pleased with some of the Fort Gary offerings. I think their Pale Ale is one of the brews that turned me on to that style in particular and micros in general. I guess if we all liked the same thing there would only be one brewer.


I have friends who bring back cases of Fort Garry Dark from Winnipeg. To me it is just a thin, metallic/cola flavoured beer. As you alluded to, Fort Garry is an ok introduction to better beer, but not really something for the experienced drinker to go back to.

Now Half Pints has some tasty beers - the regular offerings include an approachable US-style IPA, a fantastic session-strength coffee stout, and an above average malty Amber. The current seasonal is their Phils Pils; I haven't tried it this year, but last year's was damn fine with tons of hoppy goodness.
Bobbyok
Bar Fly
Posts: 625
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2003 7:00 pm
Location: Halifax

Postby Bobbyok » Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:54 am

markaberrant wrote:Regina
Bushwakker is the best place in town - we have a ton of brewpubs in our province (due to idiotic liquor laws), and all of them are horrible except this one, so don't even waste your time anywhere else. There is a new beer bistro downtown called Beer Bros Bakery and Cuisine - it's pricey, tap selection is weak, and all of the bottles are available in Alberta for much cheaper. Paddock Wood can be purchased at most of the government liquor stores, the best selection is the store on Albert St South. Don't waste your time on our other Sask brewery - Great Western.

Winnipeg is all about the Half Pints. Stop in at the brewery for bottles, Kings Head Tavern supposedly has the best tap selection. Avoid all other local beer (ie; Fort Garry).

I was just out to both Regina and Winnipeg for a quick trip. Since I had very little time in either place, Bushwakker was my only stop there and I can't see a need for stopping anywhere else. Aside from having their own line-up available on tap and for take home, the night I was there their bottled special was Rochefort 10. Looked to be a decent bottle selection in the cooler too. (As an aside, did I see De Ranke XX Bitter at Bushwakker, Mark? I've missed out on that one a couple times and thought I spotted it but wasn't completely sure.)

King's Head Pub had four Half Pints taps - three regulars (Stout, IPA, and Amber) along with a seasonal (Phil's Pils at the time). Be warned though - you have to go to the bar to order food and drinks. I wasn't aware of this style of service and waited 15 minutes before getting up and asking for a beer and a menu. Then another half hour perusing the menu waiting fro a server before leaving. I found out later about their "British" system of ordering.

The brewer at Half Pints called the Lo Pub at Hostelling International their "superstar bottle account" so I imagine they have everything Half Pints puts in bottles. I didn't make it there on my trip but that's probably the first stop for me if I make it back to the 'peg sometime soon.
User avatar
markaberrant
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1664
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:28 pm
Location: Regina, SK

Postby markaberrant » Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:30 pm

Yep, Bushwakker has De Ranke XX Bitter, as well as many other fine selections in bottle. They must have recently found some more bottles of Fish Tale 10 Squared Anniversary Ale because I saw them in the cooler again. http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/684/13416

Plus they always have a rotating guest tap, it's currently Leffe Blonde, after just finishing off 3 different offerings from Wild Rose. I've seen the next guest keg down in the cold room, and I don't think it's available anywhere else in Canada!
Beermat
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 7:00 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby Beermat » Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:49 pm

Just don't drink 'em all, markaberrant. I know nobody likes people from Toronto, but remember that western hospitality.
Beermat
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 7:00 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby Beermat » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:16 pm

Thanks for the feedback, mes amis. I'll report back when I return.

Return to “Local Beer Guides”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron