By Ashley Materi
The Banff Craft Beer Festival is touted as “the world’s most beautiful beer festival,” and if you’ve been to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, you know why! The inaugural festival takes place at the birthplace of Canada’s National Park system (est. 1885) on November 27 and 28; sample your way through offerings from 20 Alberta breweries and distilleries, as well as some of Banff’s finest eateries.
Whether you’re in the heated tents outdoors (look for the ice sculptures placed around the venue), inside taking a historical tour of the majestic caves, or enjoying live music by Brad Brewer Band on the stage, your cup and stomach will always be full.
By Ashley Materi
With the Winterstart Festival quickly approaching, it’s the most wonderful time of the year here in the Bow Valley. From November 12 to December 12, events around Banff National Park will have you looking forward to the falling snow and magical atmosphere.
By Where Staff
Photo: Elk & Oarsman
Spirit of Banff
Park Distillery is arguably the most original new Banff restaurant to open, ever! Joining the exclusive ranks of few such establishments in Canada, vodka and gin (and soon whiskey) are produced in-house. After a free tour of the distillery, sample their spirits straight, in an exotic cocktail or incorporated into the wood-fired cuisine of chef Liz Gagnon’s food menu. While at it, drink in the backcountry alpine hut décor.
The Stewart Creek Golf Club was bustling with beer lovers at the Canmore Uncorked Ravenrock Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, April 11. With over 15 vendors and double the beer selection (as well as ciders, meads and more), the variety in product was impressive, not to mention delicious.
Photo: Courtesy of The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company
By Where Staff
Canmore has a great dining scene. Check out three of our favourites below and keep an eye on our dining blog through April for extensive coverage of the Canmore Uncorked food festival!
Brewery Tour with Benefits
Grizzly Paw Brewing Company beers have a solid local following. See why during Friday to Sunday tours of their 20,000-square foot Canmore microbrewery. Learn how hops, malt, mash, wort and tun become your favourite beer, and sample their tasty regular and seasonal brews.
By ADELE BRUNNHOFER
“Calgary wants more craft beer,” says Graham Sherman, co-owner of Tool Shed Brewing Company, the city’s newest craft beer producer. Though the city is home to few brewers, the proliferation of its beer halls and the diverse, international flavour of their menus supports his claim. The city’s thirst for beer is a natural match for its well-known entrepreneurial streak. Sherman and business partner Jeff Orr have suitably transformed their onetime backyard project into a refreshing new beer business. (more…)
Braised pork belly with roasted shallots and crispy baby potatoes. Photo by KK Law
In a twist from more BC-inclined locales, Portland Craft unabashedly celebrates Oregon’s brewing scene, which kick-started the craft beer revival. Drop by this friendly Mount Pleasant room for stalwarts such as Deschutes, Pyramid, Rogue, Hopworks and more, all properly poured and easily paired with a daily pizza, house-built burger or perfectly crunchy pork belly slices with fingerling potatoes. Also not to be missed: the stout chocolate lava cake.—Tim Pawsey
Cornucopia photo by Mike Crane courtesy Tourism Whistler
November 7 to 11
More than 6,500 foodies and oenophiles follow their taste buds to Whistler for Cornucopia, the annual food and wine extravaganza in the town best known for skiing and snowboarding. In addition to palate-pleasing tastings, luncheons and winemakers’ dinners, the deliciously long weekend offers hands-on seminars, extravagant galas and over-the-top parties. New this year is a cocktail competition, in which bartenders have just 15 minutes to create a unique concoction. Also new is a night market that focuses on pairing Asian cuisine with wines, beers and spirits. If you intend to fully indulge (and really, why wouldn’t you?), then loose, comfortable clothing is a good idea. Bon appétit!—Sheri Radford
Wine kegs and beer taps at Tap & Barrel. Photo by KK Law
The games may be long gone but False Creek’s Olympic Village has been re-energized by the arrival of Tap & Barrel, a pub-style, two-tier emporium that dispenses 24 BC beers and 14 wines on tap. Owner Daniel Frankel says the wines are as fresh as when they leave the winery and more environmentally friendly than bottled ones—and we agree! Go for AAA Alberta beef burgers, baked pretzels, made-to-order wood-stone-fired pizzas (including a version with roasted pork belly and soft-poached eggs), “drunken” mussels, or even “sticky” yam fries with Marshmallow Fluff.—Tim Pawsey
Rickard’s Cardigan Autumn Spiced Lager
Winter’s just around the corner, and we’ve got something that will warm you up better than your favourite sweater. Even though it’s served in a cold pint glass, the new Cardigan Autumn Spiced Lager from Rickard’s is the season’s hottest brew. Its cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and brown sugar notes echo a tasty pumpkin pie and will have you pining for a fireplace. Too chilly for a cold drink? Warm some of this preservative-free beer on the stove for a fun twist on the hot toddy. Rickard’s first seasonal beer is wrapped in too-cute sweater label, so look for the distinctive bottle the next time you’re at BC Liquor Stores.—Kristina Urquhart
By ALINA SEAGAL
Garrison Brewing Company in Halifax (Photo: Nicole Bratt)
Canada’s east coasters love their beer and it shows. The Martimes region is famous for its historic breweries and has been producing the delicious amber drink since the early 19th century. It has given the rest of Canada notable brands Alexander Keith’s and Moosehead. Jason Foster, a CBC beer columnist, insists that Atlantic Canada has developed a unique beer personality that is essentially British in balance and fruitiness, to reflect local history and culture. (more…)
By RED HUNT
Fourquette Forchette (Photo: Red Hunt)
Montreal has a burgeoning beer scene and is home to more than its fair share of Canadian brewpubs and microbreweries offering everything from Belgian-style ales to thirst-quenching wheat beers and savoury stouts. There are literally hundreds of flavourful local beers to choose from, making a quest for great beers a somewhat daunting task in this city. (more…)