What’s better than enjoy a nice cold beer on a patio in the summer? Well, sure there’s a lot to enjoy about summertime but that’s right up there with the best of them. Canadians especially have a taste for good beer and we as a nation take pride in the brews that we brew. Just look at the craft beer boom in this country. You can hardly go anywhere without running into a locally owned and operated microbrewery. And while these places are becoming as popular as Tim Hortons, the quality of the beer is always of paramount importance.
But with so many wonderful breweries to choose from this summer, how could you possibly know which to choose. Let us lend a helping hand on your tour of some of the best Canadian microbreweries you need to visit this summer.
St. John’s, Newfoundland
Best brew: 1892 Traditional Ale
This might be the best looking locations for a brewery you’re likely to find. Quidi Vidi Village, referred to by locals as “The Gut”, is in the heart of St. John’s and the brewery sits right at the edge of the harbour in what was once a fish plant. They brew malt beer with natural ingredients. A great visit to start off a craft beer road trip.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Best brew: Rye IPA
The oldest microbrewery in Halifax, as well as the best selling of Nova Scotia’s many breweries. Award-winning beer and a quaint neighbourhood brewery in Halifax’s North-end (as well as a second location in Dartmouth). A great selection of brews on tap with nearly a dozen regulars.
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Best brew: Best Bitter
Boasting a variety of “traditional ales”, each one of Picaroons is filled with some amazing flavours. There’s something for beer-lovers of all kinds to enjoy– more than one in fact. Do yourself a favour, pop down to their downtown Fredericton location and treat yourself to a variety pack.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Best brew: Beach Chair Lager
Started in 1997, this Island brewery has grown quite a bit over the years to become the province’s craft beer juggernaut. They have even grown to open a chain of craft beer pubs called Gahan House. While they have selections that can be enjoyed all year round, there’s nothing better than enjoying a nice cold beer in the beautiful PEI summers.
Best brew: La Fin du Monde
Quebec has a lot of tasty craft beer to enjoy, but I don’t think any of the other breweries in the province can claim to be so quintessentially Quebecois. From its very beginning, Unibroue has proudly and loudly incorporated Quebec culture into their beer and has not gone back on that all these years later.
Best brew: Instigator
Toronto has a lot of competition in the field of microbreweries, and this is one of the smaller ones. But what they lack in size, they make up for in terms of fresh bold tastes. Stop into their place for a beer and some food and enjoy their proudly independent operations.
Best brew: St. James Pale Ale
Another small, privately-owned brewery with a lot to offer. It’s modest operations have grown and extended outside of Manitoba and is now available in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. But what better way to enjoy it than to visit the establishment in person.
Best brews: Loki Double IPA
Boasted as Saskatchewan’s first microbrewery and there has arguably been none better since. Strong flavours and refreshing tastes, this brewery has something for everyone.
Best brews: Grasshopper Wheat Ale
A great brewery with some fascinating history to its success. In the summer of 1986, only a year after Big Rock opened its doors, both Molson and LaBatt breweries went on strike which meant the little microbrewery was the only place to buy beer in Alberta for an entire summer. Since then it has been a trusted name for the province’s brews.
Victoria, British Columbia
Best brews: Fat Tug IPA
Local and tasty, that’s the way Driftwood Brewery likes to market themselves. Distinct flavours and a variety of beers on tap and in bottles.
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