Calgary’s Best Winter Beers

There are only a few things that can make Calgary winters bearable: The warm embrace of a beautiful woman; a modest beachfront property in Mexico; and a hearty, robust bottle of winter beer. While you work on the first two, we’ll offer some direction on the third. Here, Calgary’s best local winter brews.

Wild Rose Brewery
There’s no finer way to end a hearty winter feast than with a bottle of Wild Rose’s Cherry Porter beer, which has notes of sweet BC cherries and chocolate.
Find it: Building AF23, #2 – 4580 Quesnay Wood Drive SW, 403-720-2733

Alley Kat Brewing Company
This Edmonton-based brewer earns a spot on our list for its mouth-watering Pumpkin Spiced Ale, which somewhat resembles liquid pumpkin pie. Or try Alley Kat’s Apple Wit, a crisp, Granny Smith apple-infused wheat beer.
Find it: Here.

Big Rock Brewery
From the biggest of the small brewers comes a strong, amber Winter Spice Ale. Spicy notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, get kicked up a notch with a hit of ginger.
Find it: Here.

This brewery offers a new pick each month: November brings the Big Bulge Saison, a fruity traditional Belgian beer with hints of lemon and pepper. Next month is Winter Spice Ale; January is India Pale Ale.
Find it: 834 11 Ave. SW, 403-265-BREW.

The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company
Beer meets coffee in this Canmore-based brewer’s Moose Knuckle Stout, which is brewed with coffee beans.
Find it: Here.

Image courtesy of Eole.


Calgary’s Best Winter Beers

February has finally passed, and if we lived elsewhere, our thoughts would now turn to spring. Regrettably, we live in Calgary, which means that our thoughts can only turn to more winter, at least for a little while. The bright side: There’s still time to consume these flavourful winter beers.

Big Rock Brewery: Winter Spice Strong Ale
This is a bold yet balanced amber ale, weighing in with an invigorating six percent alcohol content. Brewed with pale and caramel malts, it also contains notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and a hint of ginger.
Drink it at: Bottlescrew Bill’s, 140 10th Ave. SW, 403-263-7900.

Grizzly Paw Brewery: Belgian Winter Ale
You can taste the mountainy freshness in this dark farmhouse ale, which is brewed in Canmore with Belgian yeast. Look for mild fruity tones beneath cinnamon and Chinese licorice spices.
Drink it at: Grizzly Paw Restaurant, 622 8th St., Canmore, 403-678-0960.

Wild Rose Brewery: Wild Rose Imperial I.P.A.
Wild Rose’s India Pale Ale offers a beautiful bitter escape from winter. It’s robust and malty with high alcohol content and has an intense hoppy flavour.
Drink it at: Wild Rose Brewery, (Building AF23) #2, 4580 Quesnay Wood Dr. SW, 403-720-2733.

Wild Rose Barley Wine
Don’t be fooled: Barley wine is beer, and this dark and sophisticated ale boasts a whopping 8.7 percent booze content, which means it’ll put some hair on your chest before you pass out in a snow bank somewhere.
Drink it at: The Ship & Anchor, 534 17th Ave. SW, 403-245-3333.

Image courtesy of Éole on flickr

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