Not long ago, if you were drinking Canadian beer, it was likely produced at one of a handful of massive production breweries. Fortunately, that has changed, and Canadians have no shortage of options when it comes to locally-made brews. Nanobreweries are popping up all over Canada, creating some really exciting, locally-available craft beer. Here, five small-batch breweries to look out for.
Dandy Brewing in Calgary, Alberta
Founded and operated by Ben Leon, Dylan Nosal, Matt Gaetz, and Derek Waghray, Dandy Brewing began brewing in Calgary in August, 2014. With a strong focus on old-world style beers, they currently produce a three-beer lineup consisting of an oyster stout, an English pale ale, and an English India pale ale. Their beer is available in 650ml bottles and on tap around Alberta.
Boxing Rock Brewing Co. in Shelburne, Nova Scotia
Legend has it that sailors at odds with one another would be left on Nova Scotia’s Boxing Rock to settle their differences with their fists until only one returned to the ship. The only other option for squabbling sailors? To shake hands and share a beer. This brewery’s well-rounded main lineup consists of an English brown ale, a double IPA, a pale ale, and a red ale—enough options to make everyone happy.
Green Leaf Brewing in North Vancouver, British Columbia
Located in the Lonsdale Quay Market in North Vancouver, Green Leaf employs a small, yet state-of-the-art brewing system that places brewhouse efficiency above all else. This system is capable of recovering, treating, and reusing water used during the brewing process and they strive to make great beer with minimal impact. Since 2013, they have been keeping locals’ thirst quenched with an expansive lineup of year-round beers, while still innovating and bringing new experimental ales to the taps (cantaloupe sour, anyone?). If you pop in for a pint, make it the Modern Gentleman IPA; fermented in merlot barrels with brettanomyces yeast.
Western Newfoundland Brewing Co. in Pasadena, Newfoundland
This small-batch brewer starts with clean and clear water from Western Newfoundland. Founders Jennifer Galliott, Jim MacDonald, and Norman MacDonald are just getting the ball rolling, but it will be exciting to see what beers they develop in the coming months. They currently offer a pale ale and a cream ale that will be able on tap at Gros Morne National Park.
9 Mile Legacy Brewing Company in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
The name “9 Mile” refers to the distance between the properties of two prominent farming families in Saskatchewan: the Moens and the Pedersons. Today, CEO/GM Shawn Moen and COO/Head Brewer Garrett Pederson honour this distance, and the historic collaboration between their two families, in their new brewery. They create a seemingly endless variety of experimental beers and can be found all over Saskatoon at pubs and restaurants. They also happily offer samples and fill growlers at the brewery.