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Hoppy Holidays

Photo courtesy Torque Brewing Co

Photo courtesy Torque Brewing Co

By Joelle Kidd

Craft pints are trending, and a new wave of creative brewers have Winnipeg beer lovers rejoicing. For those with visions of ales and hefeweizen dancing in their heads, these four breweries give local flavour to Christmas festivities.

Photo courtesy Torque Brewing Co

Photo courtesy Torque Brewing Co

Barnhammer Brewing Co

595 Wall St, barnhammerbrewing.ca

Sip on site: Wed-Thu 3 pm-9 pm, Fri-Sat 12 pm-9 pm, Sun 1 pm-6 pm

BYOB: Barnhammer beers are available on tap at several local restaurants and pubs including Barley Brothers, Blind Tiger, The Common at The Forks, Cornerstone, Yellow Dog Tavern, and Peg Beer Co. Growler filling stations are listed on barnhammerbrewing.ca.

Despite being one of the city’s newest brews, Barnhammer’s geometric logo has already popped up on taps across the city. The brewery itself, housed in a stylish industrial space in the West End of the city, opened Winnipeg’s first taproom in July of this year.

A welcoming room with beer hall-style communal tables, the taproom offers the brewery’s 6 signature beers and 2 experimental flavours, including winter favourites like “Grandpa’s Sweater”—a rich, velvety oatmeal stout—and “Coffee Black”, a strong and malty rye pale ale cut with cold brew coffee from local roaster Dogwood Coffee Co.

Half Pints Brewing Company

550 Roseberry St, 204-832-PINT (7468), halfpintsbrewing.com

Sip on Site: Brewery tours offered most Saturdays. Call for details.

BYOB: Half Pints beer is available at all Winnipeg Liquor Mart locations and on tap at numerous local restaurants and pubs.

A decade ago, Half Pints ushered in the craft beer movement in Winnipeg. The independently-owned brewery has gained national recognition and won multiple awards.

Four flagship beers are offered year round: the biting Little Scrapper IPA, malty and floral St James Pale Ale, nutty Bulldog Amber Ale, and a coffee-infused Stir Stick Stout. The brewery also makes regular forays into seasonal specialties, so look out for offerings like Encyclopedia Brown, a hoppy and malty brown ale set to be on tap at restaurants and Liquor Mart growler bars in November.

Photo courtesy of Peg Beer Co

Photo courtesy of Peg Beer Co

Torque Brewing

830 King Edward St, 204-941-1723, torquebrewing.beer

Sip on Site: At time of print, Torque plans to have a taproom open in early November. Call for details.

BYOB: Find Torque products at all Winnipeg Liquor Mart locations and on tap at Yellow Dog Tavern, The King’s Head PubBarley Brothers, The Grove, and Peg Beer Co.

Torque has been sending out beer since late August of this year, to a warm welcome: the brewery is on track to exceed a goal of putting out 1 million L of beer in its first year, recently purchasing 5 additional brewing tanks to keep up with demand.

A range of four tried-and-true brews please beer drinkers of all stripes: a dark stout with hints of roasted coffee, chocolate, and malts, an aromatic and hoppy IPA, a coriander- and citrus-scented Belgian wheat beer, and a Munich style lager. Construction of a taproom is underway at the brewery, with plans to be open early November for hop heads to try before they buy and sample special seasonal brews. Select styles of beer like Barleywine, Russian Imperial Stouts, and sour beers will be available only at the brewery.

Peg Beer Co

125 Pacific Ave, 204-416-2337, pegbeer.com

Sip on Site: Sun-Thu 11 am-11 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-12 am

BYOB: Peg Beer Co’s brews can be found on tap at Liquor Mart growler bars (call for availability).

Winnipeg’s first brewpub matches craft beer with a rustic menu focused on regional ingredients. Housed inside a former warehouse/skatepark in the east Exchange District, the rustic-industrial space boasts a brewery in the back and tables in the front, where beer connoisseurs can snack on anything from tart house made pickles to full Sunday-dinner style roast chicken or ham.

Four signature beers are now on tap, including a drinkable session ale, a hearty stout, a red ale brewed with rye, and an IPA. Rotating specialty beers branch out from the basics with more complex flavour. Berliner Weisse, a sour white beer, and Saison, a fruity, bottle conditioned variety, are in the works, both having gained growing popularity with beer enthusiasts. For those wanting a peek behind the scenes, the brewery is open for free tours every Monday at 7 pm and 8 pm.

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