Opened last March by 3 former home brewers, this Calgary outfit has an impressive lineup of 3 year-round brews. The 5% ABV hopped-wheat ale is one of Canada’s best takes on this wheat beer spinoff. The nose swirls with apricot, melon and light citrus giving way to a bubbly, prickly hop sip on a light but creamy, mouth-filling body with a firmly bitter finale.
An explosion of mango and spicy florals erupts on the nose, priming the palate for a judiciously hoppy sip of pineapple and spicy bitterness with a nearly imperceptible malt backbone. This session ale is laser-focused on its bright, Galaxy and El Dorado hop profile with a dry, lightly bitter finish and a soft, delicately bubbly body.
This 3-year-old Calgary nano-brewery turned out 40 beers last year and is one of the most creative breweries in the province. Its Grisette, originally designed as a one-off, has won coveted year-round status (they only produce staple products). This quaffable, light-bodied straw-hued ale is made with rye and a French Saison yeast. The nose has delicate aromas of apple and pear leading to a lightly sweet grainy sip with a quick, crisp finish.
Nine Locks in Dartmouth was dreamt up by 2 cousins around a late-night campfire, and a desire to bring more locally made craft beer to the provincial market. Their cream ale is well balanced between spicy hops and sweet grain, with a light, refreshing body. Aromas of grassy hops and light apple, followed herbal hops, light honey and crispex cracker on the tongue. An all-around well-made cream ale.
Crafted in a church converted to a brewery in the picturesque Niagara region, this black lager is one of my favourites. On the nose there’s baguette crust, a medium-roast coffee and a whisper of lemony florals. On the sip there’s a hint of lemon-hop bitterness, with roast coffee; finishes with a crisp and clean finish signature of the lager style.
Session-style IPAs clock in at between 4-5% ABVs, and are hugely popular because they pack in big, juicy hop flavour without the soaring ABVs. Welter Weight has beautiful aromas of peach, pineapple juice and some floral notes. It’s light golden, with a bright white foamy head and lots of delicate bubbles dancing in the glass. It drinks like a tropical fruit cup, with pineapple, pear and some juicy sweetness on the finish, and no residual bitterness.
New to Canada, this brewery is based in Stratford and is known for its assortment of award-winning beers crafted by Master Brewer Phil Markowski and his team. A mix of 4 American-grown hops pack a huge pine-and-lemon-punch and are complemented on a caramel malt backbone. It pours a deep amber, with a building bitter finale.