Buy local: Edmonton’s hand crafted, small batch booze makers

All these things call for a nice, cold drink: hot summer days, sitting round with friends, the end of a long work week, showers. If you know all about shower beers, read on for a generous list of Edmonton’s small batch distillers, brewers and wine-makers – tour the factories and perhaps taste a small sample or bring some home for tonight’s barbecue. [Image credit: Bajic]

Big Rig Craft Distillery Ltd

B-2104 8 St, Nisku, AB T9E 7Y9

If it’s liquor, then beer, we should start here – at Edmonton’s only craft distillery. The Nisku distillery creates premium vodka (in garlic for Caesars, Saskatoon for girlie drinks and espresso for brunch), a juniper and wild rosehip gin, double-double coffee cream and rum-inspired sugar beet brum (how sweet it is). And, they’re all packaged in distinctive Leduc #1 drilling rig bottles – which you can return to the distillery for $2 back. Come on down for a tour and ask them about their bourbon-style and rye distillates, too.

Alley Kat Brewing Co

9929 60 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 0C7

Though Alley Kat produce a whopping 3.9 million bottles a year, it’s still brewed in small batches using as many local ingredients as possible and no preservatives – and, their Scona Gold Kolsch won beer of the year at 2015 Canadian Brewing awards. We suggest grabbing six of that one. And then, choose from their Aprikat wheat, hearty amber, grapefruit wheat and zen-like well-balanced Full Moon pale. You’ll have a well stocked fridge and be doing some good, too: the considerate folks at the brewery use recycled glass bottles and reuse spent grains as cattle feed.

Situation Brewing

10308 81 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 1X2

Situation is a spanking new brew-pub in Old Strathcona, just off Whyte Avenue. Besides their pub bites – burgers, sandwiches, charcuterie – the pub brews seven of their own beers right onsite. Savour their flagship citrus IPA, an earthy Irish stout, extroverted Red, bright chuggable wheat, kettle soured ale with fruit and classic pale and bubbly Afternooner Tea Saison – a tea-infused farm-style summer ale. Sign up for a tour and or workshop at the brewery and learn oh so much more.

Yellowhead Brewing Co

100-10229 105 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 1E3

Yellowhead, Edmonton’s “pioneers of prairie beers,” brews out of the historic Shaw Building downtown that was redesigned by local architect Gene Dub, a trailblazer in adaptive reuse of many of the city’s heritage buildings. Stop by and kick back among all the exposed brick and sip happily on their well-established premium lager – also available in bars and liquor stores around town. Or, visit their website to book a tour or reserve a keg.

Barr Estate Winery

Sherwood Park, AB T8B 1K9

Rick and Amy Barr live on the farm, where they keep bouncy flocks of fluffy sheep, tend fields of heritage raspberry bushes and magic up two fine fruit wines. Call ahead to arrange a tour of the farm and a tasting (adults $10) to discover their raspberry red and rhubarb white. Ripe handpicked raspberries are at the centre of The Other Red, a refreshing off-dry summer fruit wine and The Barb features red rhubarb in a coral blend of citrus, honey and flowers. Pick up several bottles direct from the farm or find it in select liquor stores.

Kids, before there was streaming, even before those silver plastic discs that played music, there were vinyl records. We old folks liked the big album art, lyric sheets and popping crackle sounds – and you can spend hours flipping through the racks in a record store; you never know what you might find. Here’s where find out what gatefolds and RPMs are – at a used record shop in Edmonton.
If you love to cook, but need a little new inspiration – try taking a trip to one of these neighbourhood groceries for tastes from around the world. This week, treat yourself to a Middle Eastern picnic, Sunday morning dim sum and authentic British teatime. Bon voyage!
Take a deep cleansing breath and focus your intention on getting these aching old bones back to your practice. Transform your life and body at one of these west end yoga studios.
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