“Raising the Bar-ley” — Best Spots for Craft Beer Western Canada

While craft beer is slowly creeping onto the tap rotations at several restaurants and bars, several venues have been set up to focus on exclusively serving craft beer. These “craft beer bars” offer both good quantity and variety of craft beer, and often host special events like cask nights or limited edition kegs:

British Columbia
Alibi Room 
157 Alexander St., Vancouver, BC | 604-623-3383 | www.alibi.ca
With 50 taps, casks every night, and a constantly rotating and impeccably curated beer list, this modern tavern is easily the best spot to enjoy a craft beer experience in Vancouver, and is getting a lot of buzz south of the border as a go-to craft beer destination.

St. Augustine’s Craft Brew House and Kitchen
2360 Commercial Dr., Vancouver, BC | 604-569-1911 | staugustinesvancouver.com
Named after one of the four Patron Saints of Brewers (seriously!), this bar features 40 rotating taps and local casks every Monday. This is a casual, friendly spot; if you’re not sure what to order, the staff are eager to make suggestions based on your familiar preferences.

Darby’s
2001 Macdonald St., Vancouver, BC |  604-731-0617 | www.darbyspub.ca
Has a great tap-list and a great craft-beer focused liquor store attached. They don’t host cask nights, but they do a good job rotating local and American seasonals and limited releases.

Steamworks Brewpubextras1306
375 Water St. | 604-689-2739 | www.steamworks.com
Grab a pint of Steamworks’ signature beers brewed on-site while dining on delicious upscale pub fare made with locally-sourced ingredients, all with an amazing view of the harbour and historic Gastown.

Alberta
Sugar Bowl
10922-88 Ave., Edmonton, AB | 780-433-8369 | thesugarbowl.org
Don’t be intimidated by the 100+ varieties of craft beer served here — the menu is clearly divided by type, and the ABV of each beer is labelled. Their rotating selection of beers on tap typically feature rare and seasonal local brews.

Underground Tap and Grill
10004 Jasper Ave., Edmonton, AB | 780-425-1880 | www.undergroundtapandgrill.com
With 72 taps including 24 rotational selections, you’re certain to find a beer that suits your taste preferences here. They frequently host exciting beer events including tap takeovers from out-of-town breweries and cask nights for local brews.

Beer Revolution
11736-104 Ave., Edmonton, AB | 780-430-4677 | edm.beerrevolution.ca
1080-8 St., Calgary, AB | 403-264-2739 | cal.beerrevolution.ca
Have a look at their airport-like arrival and departure boards to see which beers are available on their more than 20 taps — their rotating tap list changes every day, so you’ll always be able to try something new! Their website features a similar live tap list that shows the current beer offerings and a frequently updated estimate of how long each keg will be available for, so you don’t miss out on unique brews.

National Beer Hall
550-17 Ave., Calgary, AB | 403-229-0226 | ntnl.ca
This upscale pub attracts an urban, hip crowd with their extensive craft beer list and laid-back vibe. The variety is exceptional, the food is delicious, and you’ll find plenty of local and regional brews — they’re happy to support independent breweries.

Craft Beer Market
345-10 Ave., Calgary, AB | 403-514-2337 | www.craftbeermarket.ca
Pair one of over 100 beers with their delicious, made-from-scratch food for a supremely satisfying comfort-food fix.

Bottlescrew Bill’s Pub
140-10 Ave., Calgary, AB | 403-263-7900 | bottlescrewbill.com
This place has got the look and feel of a casual, traditional pub but serves up the latest and greatest craft beers from around the world — over 300 varieties in bottles and on tap. Adventurous (and dedicated) types can get a “beer passport” and attempt to try 80 beers in one year.

Saskatchewan
Ingredients Artisan Market
618-2 Ave., Saskatoon, SK | www.ingredientsartisanmarket.com
This retail liquor outlet makes our list because they are fully-licensed so you can enjoy a beer while you shop — and their selection of craft beer is absolutely impeccable. They have a selection of hard-to-find craft beers from North America and Europe, and also offer many handmade, beer-infused products like Brooklyn Brine pickles made with fresh hops and beer.

Beer Brothers Gasropub and Deli
1821 Scarth St., Regina, SK | 306-586-2337 | www.beerbros.ca
24 rotating taps and a frequently changing menu of bottled, with several unique seasonal selections. Much of their food is infused with beer and the menu suggests which beers to pair with your meal, making the decision an easy one!

Manitoba
Luxalune Gastropub
734 Osborne St., Winnipeg, MN | 204-453-0222 | www.luxalune.com

Owned by the same people who operate Farmery Brewing Co., you can always enjoy a pint of Farmery Premium Lager in their trademark mason jar. Local brews are always available here, alongside 150 other varieties of brews.


Growler Bars

What the heck is a growler? Besides being fun to say, it’s also a 64-ounce, large re-usable bottle that can be re-filled with draft beer.

You can get your own custom handmade Growler from Carlburg Pottery in Montana: www.handmadegrowlers.com
You can get your own custom handmade Growler from Carlburg Pottery in Montana: www.handmadegrowlers.com

Most breweries offer growler refills of their beers at their brewery, and some even sell their own growlers. However, it is not legal for a pub, restaurant, or liquor store to fill growlers in most provinces… except in Alberta. Though Alberta liquor laws are less strict, the growler trend is still fairly new and still only a few liquor stores offer this service. Still, growler bars are a great way to try limited-edition or rare imported beers that aren’t available in bottles, or to enjoy the authentic draft beer experience at home:

Andrew Hilton Wine & Spirits
212-3 Ave., Lethbridge, AB | 403-320-9464 | www.andrewhiltonwine.ca

Wine and Beyond
6276 Currents Dr., Edmonton, AB | 780-439-5130 | www.wineandbeyond.ca
7000 Emerald Dr., Sherwood Park, AB | 780-417-2821 | www.wineandbeyond.ca

Keg and Cork
3845-99 St., Edmonton, AB | 780-461-0191 | www.kegncork.com

Liquor Depot Brentwood
3630 Brentwood Rd., Calgary, AB | 403-289-2946

 

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