Winnipeg?

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Peter Collins
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby Peter Collins » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:55 pm

Just got back yesterday and visited the following with comments:

PEG: Great little place! I was working this past week with the symphony and this place is a VERY short walk from the stage door so that was a bonus. All the beers were solid and well done. I gravitated toward the ISA and the IPA when I was there but had a flight on my first visit. Food is good. It gets a bit busy later at night and the service was just a tiny bit slow at times but I was with friends so it was okay.

Torque: Good beers, for sure! They had a molé stout on when I was there that was excellent but went back the next day to get a growler and it had sold out. Drag. They have their four packaged brands on tap and four pilots on as well. Their Redline IPA is fairly available at pubs and is a solid choice. No food at the brewery.

Barnhammer: Great beer, good vibe, no food. Servers were slightly less knowledgeable about the beer than I would expect from a place like that. They are only serving THEIR beers, how hard is it to know a line up of 6-8 beers? It ticked me off a bit but the beer was very good so after a pint or two most everything was forgiven. :)

Little Brown Jug: Interesting place. Only one beer: Belgian Pale Ale. Very good example of the style. Very easy drinking with a bit of the Belgian esters on the nose. Met with the brewer, Bernie, who was super helpful with my questions. They have grand plans for growth but didn't hear anything about any other beers forthcoming. I would probably not go back, not because of the quality of the beer but because it's not a style that is hugely appealing to me and that is all they have. Knowledgable staff, decent vibe. I think there was food available... Cheese plates. Can't remember. LOL

Overall, be prepared for weird hours: Opening at 3pm, closed Sundays, etc. No one in Winnipeg seems to have been influenced by the East Coast IPA thing, everything is pretty solid West Coast, up front bitterness, no haze/murk. Most everything I had in my time there was very good. Anything that was deemed "undesirable" was only because of my taste buds, nothing to do with brewing capability. I'm just not a fan of most rye beers and Berliner Weiss but that's just me.
rejtable
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby rejtable » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:17 am

Peter Collins wrote:Just got back yesterday and visited the following with comments:

PEG: ....the service was just a tiny bit slow at times but I was with friends so it was okay.

Barnhammer: .... Servers were slightly less knowledgeable about the beer than I would expect from a place like that. They are only serving THEIR beers, how hard is it to know a line up of 6-8 beers? ....

No one in Winnipeg seems to have been influenced by the East Coast IPA thing, everything is pretty solid West Coast,


Each visit is it's own experiences and what is ok with me may not be with you, but I edited your comment down to a few things...

On the PEG, I had no issue with service both nights I was there. Once at the bar, second time at a table with a friend. Quick, knowledgeable. YMMV

Barn Hammer... again, same thing. Was only there one night, but the woman serving was on the ball, and there was a guy helping out who almost certainly also had a brewery role in addition to the tap room duties. He spent 30 minutes patiently answering my beer newbie friends million questions. And the main server was in on the whole thing when not otherwise engaged.

And also, the night I was at Barn Hammer they had an "experimental" NE IPA on tap. It certainly wasn't as hazy/juicy as the wackiest stuff coming out of Boston/Vermont, but it was close enough for government work. So, I think that there is a hint that at least one brewery has an eye on the east coast.
atomeyes
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby atomeyes » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:10 pm

glad to hear things are moving in the right direction. the styles were boring back in October and the taste was less than average.
hopdevil
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby hopdevil » Thu May 18, 2017 9:43 am

Just returned from a week in Winnipeg.

Most bars have a similar selection of craft on tap, including Half Pints, Little Brown Jug, Torque, etc.
I stayed downtown; there are several good spots- The King's Head ( on King ) and the Yellow Dog Tavern, just behind the Burton Cummings Theatre.
Even The Elephant and Castle had a few good crafts.
Yellow Dog had an ISA from PEG, called Life Coach; outstanding. Very good food there, too
We also visited PEG Brewing; in the Exchange District

Their LCBO equivalent has a nice selection of craft, with a number of BC beers that I had never seen before
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cratez
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby cratez » Thu May 10, 2018 4:02 pm

So to recap, Grove, King's Head, Common, Smith, and Yellow Dog are worthy bars/restos for a thirsty beer nerd?

Staying at the Fairmont Winnipeg until Sunday and seeking any advice/recos that might be helpful.

Will probably hit the bars mentioned above unless advised otherwise, and I'm also eyeing Little Brown Jug (at some point) and Half Pints when heading back to the airport. PEG Beer Co. closed in February, unfortunately.

Any other developments I should be aware of?
"Bar people do not live as long as vegan joggers. However, they have more fun." - Bruce Elliott
atomeyes
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby atomeyes » Thu May 10, 2018 5:59 pm

cratez wrote:So to recap, Grove, King's Head, Common, Smith, and Yellow Dog are worthy bars/restos for a thirsty beer nerd?

Staying at the Fairmont Winnipeg until Sunday and seeking any advice/recos that might be helpful.

Will probably hit the bars mentioned above unless advised otherwise, and I'm also eyeing Little Brown Jug (at some point) and Half Pints when heading back to the airport. PEG Beer Co. closed in February, unfortunately.

Any other developments I should be aware of?


yeah, lots.
Stone Angel and Brazen Hall aren't too far from each other and look nice.
Nonsuch and One Great City also opened. Hearing good things about both. TransCanada's also there, as is Torque.
You can find most local offerings at the LC.

not sure what happened with PEG. no one really knows.

Nothing's really close to you except for La Carnita and, a bit further, the Common at the Forks.

Grove is popular. They used to have a cask tapped nightly. To be honest, the bar scene is pretty lame. don't go expecting much. King's Head will be busy but taps may be a bit uninspiring.
There's a bar near the Bell MTS Centre that had a LOT of local beer on tap. Sports bar. you can google it to find out. that's also within walking distance.
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cratez
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Re: Winnipeg?

Postby cratez » Wed May 16, 2018 2:49 pm

Thanks to all for the helpful tips and advice. Being downtown without a car, and in lieu of affordable ride sharing apps (no Uber or Lyft in Winnipeg, and Cowboy charges the same prices as cabs), I had to stick to nearby bars. But I kept my eye out for the breweries mentioned in this thread and managed to try a decent amount of local stuff.

atomeyes is right about the city's bar scene - it is well behind Toronto and light years behind most U.S. cities. But there's still some good beer to be had. For example, Surly started distributing kegs to Winnipeg this past winter, so I was able to find Todd The Axe Man (King's Head, Cornerstone) and Xtra-Citra on tap (The Common). Both beers were drinking beautifully.

I also ate quite well on this trip with visits to Peasant Cookery (dinner), SMITH Restaurant (brunch), Super Deluxe Pizza (dinner), and Clementine (breakfast). The latter two came at the recommendation of the bartender at Common and they did not disappoint.

Besides the Surly pints, beer highlights were the Barn Hammer Lousy Beatnik (kellerbier) and Grandpa's Sweater (oatmeal stout), Half Pints Encyclopedia Brown, Oxus Transoxania IPA, and Torque Red Line (hoppy amber). Barn Hammer struck me as one of the better breweries as their DIPA was also pretty good.

The selection at most places left a lot to be desired. Apart from Common, the typical bar had 4 to 8 taps of local craft, of which maybe 2 would be interesting. Tap lineups leaned toward malty red ales, wheat ales, fruit beers, and light/low IBU pales. The only sours I saw were a couple of berliners at Common that didn't interest me. That said, I still managed to find some tasty options and was happy with what I had.

In terms of service, atmosphere, and selection, my favourite spots were Common, Cornerstone, and SMITH. King's Head was fine during the day, but I wouldn’t suggest going there on a Friday night, when it seemingly turns into a loud, divey club. Likewise, Yellow Dog was full of drunks slamming shots when I visited. On the bright side, almost everyone I encountered was in a jovial mood thanks to the Jets' wins over Nashville and Vegas, and there seemed to be a lot of pride for the team throughout the city, so that was cool.

For touristy stuff I walked around the Forks, spent a few hours at the Human Rights Museum, and went to Saint Boniface Cathedral, where Louis Riel is buried. Also went and checked out the Defying Convention exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and took a quick walk around the legislature after that. The Museum and Art Gallery are definitely worth visiting. Wanted to hit Half Pints and Little Jug, but time didn’t permit, and again I didn’t have a car.

Hopefully on my next visit I’ll have some time to check out the breweries. Just looking at the number of places that have opened lately, and considering that provincial laws only recently allowed for tap rooms, it’s impressive how quickly Winnipeg’s beer scene is growing. For this brief work trip, though, I had fun exploring the bars and a handful of tourist attractions.
"Bar people do not live as long as vegan joggers. However, they have more fun." - Bruce Elliott

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