12 Canadian Microbreweries for Your Beer Tasting Bucket List

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Bucket List Worthy   Flight Network Foodie  

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Canadians love beer. And the sudsy beverage contributes roughly $14 million to the country’s economy each year. So when it comes to exploring Canada, visiting a number of microbreweries is a must for hop-loving travelers. From down-home brewpubs to well-established craft breweries that have been on the scene for decades, these are 12 Canadian microbreweries that must be added to your beer tasting bucket list.

#1. Driftwood Brewery – Victoria, B.C.

Photo credit: Dave Shea
Photo credit: Dave Shea

Driftwood Brewery has come a long way since the Fat Tug IPA won the Beer of the Year Award at the 2011 Canadian Brewing Awards. With just a handful of beer varieties currently available on-site (although taps are popping up in pubs throughout British Columbia) the Driftwood Brewery is able to focus solely on producing top-quality brews. Cruise by the brewery on Hillside Avenue in Victoria and get your growler filled six days a week.

#2. Yellow Belly Brewery – St. John’s, N.L.

Photo credit: Jonopoly
Photo credit: Jonopoly

A stop at the Yellow Belly Brewery is a must if you’ll be passing through St. John’s. Sip some suds in one of the oldest structures in North America while tasting fresh seafood and dishes straight out of the wood-fire oven. Be sure to taste the famous Fighting Irish Red, but any beer brewed by their award-winning brewmaster Liam McKenna will blow you away.

#3. Half Pints Brewing Company – Winnipeg, Manitoba

Photo credit: Half Pints
Photo credit: Half Pints

The Half Pints Brewing Company, located on Roseberry Street in Winnipeg, is one of the best places in the city to saddle up and enjoy some carefully hand-crafted and ultra-tasty brews. Brewery tours happen every Saturday, but the brewery’s fun open-door policy means you can get a quick tour just about any time you pop in. And even better, you can bring a craft brew from your hometown and trade it for one of theirs. That’s how you know the people at Half Pints are true beer lovers.

#4. Central City Brewers and Distillers – Surrey, B.C.

Photo credit: radiobread
Photo credit: radiobread

Central City Brewing Company has become famous in the beer industry for their award-winning Red Betty beer. Central City’s goal to become one of the highest-quality craft breweries in British Columbia, with a focus on quality over quantity, proved successful when they won the Brewery of the Year award at the 2012 Canadian Brewing Awards. Tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays at the brewery on Bridgeview Drive in Surrey.

#5. Alley Kat Brewing Company — Edmonton, Alberta

Photo credit: Alley Kat
Photo credit: Mack Male

Edmonton’s longest-running microbrewery, Alley Kat Brewing Company, is a small brewery packing a big punch. Alley Kat Brewing Company produces their world-class brews in small batches, so they can pay close attention to quality standards. And that means all of the beer that comes out of this pint-sized brewery is top-notch. Take a tour on Thursday or Friday or swing by for a taste during regular business hours on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

#6. Propeller Brewery — Halifax, Nova Scotia

Photo credit: gLangille
Photo credit: gLangille

Nova Scotia isn’t new to Canada’s microbrewery scene, and Propeller Brewery is the best selling microbrewery in the province. And although you can find their mouth-watering brews in a variety of stores and pubs throughout Nova Scotia, it’s best you stop by the brewery in Halifax to taste them where they’re made. Take one of their popular brewery tours or swing by the brewery store on Gottingen Street to get your growler filled.

#7. Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery — Barrie, Ontario

Photo credit: alljengi
Photo credit: alljengi

With a slogan like “Normal Is Weird” it’s hard not to fall in love with the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery at first sight. Stop by Pete’s Beer Emporium where you can sample Flying Monkeys’ top-quality beers while shopping their cool clothing and unique bar merchandise. The brewers at Flying Monkeys believe that their selectivity when choosing only the highest-quality ingredients is what makes their beer so astounding.

#8. Garrison Brewing Company — Halifax, Nova Scotia

Photo credit: Steve Dinn
Photo credit: Steve Dinn

Looking for a brewery to pull up a bar stool and stay a while? The Garrison Brewing Company on Marginal Road in Halifax is open to the public seven days a week. When the fall weather hits, warm up with the award-winning Nut Brown Ale or their famous Irish Red Ale. This historic brewery offers a fun hospitality room, and with samples for just $2 a piece, you can get a good idea of their diverse selection.

#9. Paddock Wood Brewing Company — Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Photo credit: Trevor Pritchard
Photo credit: Trevor Pritchard

Paddock Wood Brewing Company is widely known as Saskatchewan’s first microbrewery, but it’s their high-quality beers that make them so special. The company recently opened The Woods Ale House in downtown Saskatoon, so you can taste their beers on tap, but you can still get your growler filled from a selection of six regular and specialty beers at the brewery itself.

#10. Dieu Du Ciel — Saint-Jerome and Montreal, Quebec

Photo credit: Paul Joseph
Photo credit: Paul Joseph

Although the Dieu Du Ceil microbrewery is located in Saint-Jerome, you can taste these world-renowned beers at their happening brewpub in Montreal. The hibiscus beer is known for being a favourite among locals, but with over 15 Dieu Du Ciel beers on tap, you can choose one (or a few) that’s perfect for you. The food and atmosphere are big pluses of the brewpub too, so there’s no doubt any true beer-lover should stop by when visiting the city.

#11. Picaroons Traditional Ales — Fredericton, New Brunswick

Photo credit: Jeannine St. Amand
Photo credit: Jeannine St. Amand

Picaroons has been a staple at the Canadian Brewing Awards, and they attribute much of their success to the high-quality ingredients they use in every batch. And by crafting their fine brews in just 15 hectalitre batches, they’re able to focus on producing only world-class, quality ales. When passing through Fredericton, get your growler filled at The Picaroons Brewtique on 422 Queen Street.

#12. Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company — Vankleek Hill, Ontario

Photo credit: Scott Oakley
Photo credit: Scott Oakley

Between their organic beers and environmental stewardship, it’s hard not to like Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company. Even better, the brewery is open seven days a week offering free tours and samples. And don’t forget to head out to Beau’s Brewery Patio in the summertime to enjoy Beau’s All-Natural Brewing Company’s beer at its freshest.

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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