10 Canadian craft breweries that are doing beer right

by M.C. Warford

Canada may not have invented beer, but it has certainly taken it to heart. Craft breweries can be found everywhere in Canada, from the biggest cities to tiny rural towns. Wherever you are in this country, chances are there is a craft brewery somewhere nearby that knows how to make an excellent beer. While there are hundreds to choose from, below is a look at what may very well be the 10 best craft breweries in the country. [Image credit: iStock.com/KM4]

10 Canadian craft breweries that are doing beer right

10. Gladstone Brewing Company, Courtenay, B.C.

The Gladstone Brewing Company won a gold in the European Style Amber to Dark Lager categoary a bronze in the Belgian Style Abbey Ale/Pale Ale category during the 2016 Canadian Brewing Awards. While a single award is considered a high honour, two is a sign that a brewery is doing things very well indeed.

9. Quidi Vidi Brewing Company, St. John's, Newfoundland

Newfoundland is famous for its icebergs, which is why it’s no surprise that the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company’s claim to fame is that it uses iceberg water in its beers. Housed in a former fish plant in a historic fishing village within St. John’s, this brewery is about as Newfoundland as you can get.

8. Amsterdam Brewing Company, Toronto, Ontario

The Amsterdam Brewing Company won three medals at the most recent Canadian Brewing Awards – gold, silver, and bronze. Located on the Toronto waterfront, this is a brewery that has won rave reviews from critics.

7. Off the Rail Brewing Company, Vancouver, B.C.

British Columbia has really shone in recent years in terms of craft breweries. In fact, a top 10 list of the best in Canada could easily be composed of just B.C.-based breweries. The Off the Rail Brewing Company is another one that stands out, having won two golds and a bronze at the 2016 Canadian Brewing Awards.

6. Garrison Brewery, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, unsurprisingly, is another hotspot for craft breweries, but the Garrison Brewery, which introduced the craft beer concept to the province in 1997, still manages to stand out. This is a beautiful brewery that is famous for its Irish Red Ale.

5. Yukon Brewing, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Brewing, formerly known as Chilkoot Brewing, is one of the only craft breweries serving Canada’s great white north. Located in historic Whitehorse, Yukon Brewing offers daily tours of their unique facility and all proceeds from the tours go towards supporting local charities.

4. Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, Montreal, Quebec

Dieu du Ciel is a landmark on Montreal’s microbrewery circuit and has been operating in the hip Plateau neighbourhood since 1998. With a mission to brew creative and original beers there’s always something unique on tap for craft beer lovers.

3. Half Pints Brewing Company, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Like the best craft breweries, Half Pints Brewing Company maintains deep roots with its local community and with the larger craft beer movement. They produce rainbow-labelled beer to celebrate the Pride Winnipeg Festival, for example. If visiting, bring them a bottle from your local craft brewery, as the brewers here will gladly exchange it for a bottle of one of their own brews.

2. Four Winds Brewing Company, Delta, B.C.

No top 10 list would be complete without the Four Winds Brewing Company. This brewery was named 2015’s Brewery of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards. In 2016, it received the highly-coveted Beer of the Year Award for their Nectarous Dry-hopped Sour Ale.

1. Side Launch Brewing Company, Collingwood, Ontario

Just beating out Four Winds, in 2016 Side Launch Brewing Company was given the award for Brewery of the Year. For a brewery that was only opened in 2014, that’s an amazing achievement. This brewery only does tours by appointment, unfortunately, but their tap room is open every day of the week where you can sample some excellent brews.

Canada serves up an impressive variety of craft breweries from coast to coast. As the above list shows, the craft beer movement is very much alive and well in this country!

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