Downtown Calgary (well all of Alberta, actually) has some ridiculously draconic laws regarding the creation of any new liquor-based business. It’s a little nuts, for a new Brewery to start up it has to produce 250, 000 Litres of beer. That’s 500, 000 pints. Keep in mind that this is BEFORE you can get your license to sell the stuff.
It’s a bit of an investment.
However, a loop hole in the law makes it possible for smaller micro-breweries to start up when they are attached to a restaurant. Thus, the Gastro-Pub is born. Downtown Calgary is unique in Alberta, in that it is home to several of these hybrid businesses. Now follow me as I don the mantle of Brew-stronaut, and guide you on this list of the best Micro Brews in downtown Calgary.
Currently located on the Currie Barracks, this brewery has been around for a while, and has an excellent setup going for them just south of the downtown core. They are definitely my top choice for best local brew, and you can find their products in many of the pubs, clubs, and taphouses in the city.
Best Brew: The Velvet Fog
Not only is this an awesome name for a 70s R&B band, but it’s surprisingly light taste goes really well with some added citrus. Especially good in the summer, but acceptable all year-round, you can’t really go wrong with a pint of the Fog.
Located in the heart of downtown Calgary in the District Brew-Pub, this inventive brew house sells its pints of Micro Brewed beer by the mason jar. Even if the beer wasn’t delicious, it’s worth dropping by for a bucket of bacon.
Best Brew: Black Pilsner
BP’s in general are an underrated beer. But if you have the spirit of a Brew-stronaut dwelling within your heart, you’ll find this medium-heavy beer to be delicious.
This is one is more of a chain of brew-pubs. The downtown Calgary franchise is the one we’re concerned with, though. Conveniently located right across from Safeway from us in downtown Calgary, I can highly recommend their burgers as an excellent pairing to the following beer suggestion.
Best Brew: Curly Horse IPA
Borderline smooth with some nice notes of citrus and pine-resin. This is an excellent example of a well-made India Pale Ale.
Jonathan Meier is the Online Marketing and Social Media Coordinator for Nuvo Hotel Suites, a small boutique hotel in downtown Calgary, Alberta (to learn more about the Nuvo peruse the rest of the site, or check out our Facebook Page). When he’s not at his desk, he’s usually out in the mountains near his hometown of Canmore where he can be seen climbing, skiing, or doing anything at all that doesn’t involve computers.
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