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The top 10 craft breweries in Alberta
Time:08 Dec 2015
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By: Shelley Boettcher Special to The Star, Published on Mon Dec 07 2015

1. Alley Kat Brewing Company has been making beer fans happy in Edmonton since 1995. The brewery?ˉs most popular beer is the Scona Gold Kölsch, which won Beer of the Year 2015 at the Canadian Brewing Awards in Niagara, Ont.

2. Located in Lacombe, just north of Red Deer, Blindman Brewing brewed its first beer in September 2015 and opened its taproom to the public on Nov. 20. The beer is for sale across the province, including Edmonton and Calgary.

3. The brewery that started Alberta?ˉs craft beer movement, Big Rock is legendary and so are its tours. Tickets are $25 apiece, but you?ˉll learn a ton and, of course, try beer. Sign up online at

4. Located in Turner Valley, southwest of Calgary, Eau Claire Distillery makes spirits from locally grown grains, including a gin, vodka and seasonal releases. (The Christmas gin hit stores in November.) For sale at wine shops around the province, or visit the distillery?ˉs tasting room.

5. Made from honey, mead is one of the world?ˉs oldest alcoholic beverages. Stop in year-round at Fallentimber Meadery, located north of Calgary, for a tour and tasting. Or look for the meads in select Calgary liquor stores.

6. Based in Canmore, Grizzley Paw Brewing has a gorgeous view of the Rocky Mountains Company and is popular among locals and tourists alike for its hearty meals and array of beers. Rutting Elk Red, Powder Hound and Grumpy Bear Honey Wheat are perennial favourites.

7. Alberta brewmaster Phil Brian is in charge of Banff Ave. Brewing Co., Jasper Brewing in the town of Jasper, Wood Buffalo Brewing Co. in Fort McMurray and Last Best Brewing and Distilling in Calgary. Last Best has a popular restaurant next to the brewery, so you can eat while you watch Brian and his team at work. There are distilleries in both Calgary and Fort McMurray.

8. Located in Calgary, Tool Shed Brewing offers beers with names like People Skills and Red Rage. Sign up on the website to take a tour; it?ˉll set you back $15 per person but it includes beer. Of course.

9. A new brewery in Red Deer, Alta., Troubled Monk offers free tours by request every day. There?ˉs no on-site restaurant but you can buy cheese, sausage and other snacks in addition to (of course) beer. For now, the beer is only for sale in Red Deer.

10. Village Brewery is a small, irreverent and community-minded brewery in Calgary that offers several beers, including some seasonals. The Village Gardener is made with hops grown by beer fans across the city; the Village Monk is a spicy dark stout-style winter offering.

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