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The Beer Diaries

Local Heroes Guide

What about the brewer just down the street, or across town, working hard to keep the thirsty masses happy? A few of the principals of the Beer Diaries reside in Alberta, Canada, and would like to show off some of their locally-made craft beer offerings.


What's Inside

Here are the beers in this guide. Click a link below to read the full beer review.

  • The Grizzly Paw Bourbon Barrel Aged RIS

    Reviewed by on December 13, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Grizzly Paw BBA RIS-landscape

    Canmore’s Grizzly Paw Brewing has released this Bourbon barrel aged (for a year) Russian Imperial Stout, as the 2016 Single Edition. This 650ml, black wax sealed bottle pours a solid black, with the scantest of amber basal edges, and three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat fizzy brown head, which leaves a bit of […]

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  • Town Square Brain Freeze Milkshake IPA

    Reviewed by on November 23, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Town Square Brain Freeze-landscape

    Towns Square is a relatively new brewpub, located in the deep, deep south part of Edmonton.  They have joined the haze craze with this offering – apparently this one was also nitrogenated. This 1L howler pours a hazy, yet bright medium apricot amber colour, with one zaftig finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and rather bubbly […]

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  • Olds College Babrewska

    Reviewed by on November 18, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Olds College Babrewska-landscape

    A bourbon barrel aged (via Rig Hand Distillery in Nisku, AB) Russian Imperial Stout, created by something called the ‘Saaz Club’ at Olds College. This 650ml, soft black wax sealed (never a pleasure) bottle eventually pours a solid black abyss, with the scantest of red cola basal edges, and one skinny-ass finger of weakly puffy, […]

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  • Blindman Kettle Sour #9

    Reviewed by on November 17, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman Kettle Sour #9-landscape

    Good ol’ number 9, comin’ on down the line.  Yup, the ninth in Blindman’s kettle sour series, this time hopped with a couple of Aussie varietals, Enigma and Vic Secret. This 355ml can pours a rather cloudy, pale whitish yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and chunky bone-white head, which leaves a bit […]

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  • Coulee Prairie Prick Double IPA

    Reviewed by on November 15, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Coulee Prairie Prick DIPA-landscape

    Great name here, apropos of nothing – oh, wait, it’s because they’ve added cactus to this offering.  One wonders what would happen if this one ran into Ribstone’s Prairie Pirate DIPA? This 473ml can pours a clear, medium golden amber colour, with one finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and yet somewhat creamy off-white head, which […]

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  • Hell’s Basement The Temptress (de Verieidster)

    Reviewed by on November 10, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Hell's Basement The Temptress-landscape

    The Temptress is a collaboration between Hell’s Basement and the small Dutch craft brewery Puik Bieren, after the latter visited the former, and they forged a bond that led to this: a red rye IPA, with some, er, eye-catching label art. This 355ml can pours a clear, rather dark orange-brick brown colour, with three fingers […]

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  • Bench Creek Justice Smoked Rye Porter

    Reviewed by on November 9, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Bench Creek Justice Smoked Rye Porter-landscape

    Justice Smoked Rye Porter is the first release in this brewery’s Villainous Series.  I presume that the label theme here is from Smokey and the Bandit? This 473ml can pours a clear, very dark brown colour, with four fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy beige head, which leaves some amorphous blob pattern lace […]

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  • Polar Park Nation Beer

    Reviewed by on November 7, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Polar Park Nation Beer-landscape

    Polar Park is itself not quite up and running as of yet, so this one was contract brewed at Two Sergeants, at a time when the Edmonton Oilers are apparently worth watching again.  Also, this is timely because of the name, and a recent brew-ha-ha (I know) going on around the Oiler brand – I […]

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  • Alley Kat Long Johns Salted Caramel Ale

    Reviewed by on October 27, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Long Johns-landscape

    Long Johns is Alley Kat’s new seasonal offering (winter?), and it seems like they’ve made a salted caramel ale before, but at any rate, this is brewed with amber candi sugar, vanilla, and sea salt.  And there’s no apostrophe in the name, because it refers to jammies, as opposed to a pirate or crappy seafood […]

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  • Village Gardener Beet Session Ale

    Reviewed by on October 26, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Village Beet Session Ale-landscape

    Here we have this year’s ‘Gardener’ incarnation, where they source a portion of their ingredients from local backyard gardens (I almost said farms – ok, amateur farms).  No indication as to where the beets came from, but I’m guessing that they looked north for that. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright pale salmon amber […]

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  • Hell’s Basement Heritage Select

    Reviewed by on October 25, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Hell's Basement Heritage Select-landscape

    Hell’s Basement have re-released their base Boxcar Comforts blonde ale, now made with the Alberta Select Heritage malt variety ‘Olli’, which has a rich history in our province, and I will leave it to you to investigate further. This 355ml can pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow colour, with three pudgy fingers of puffy, […]

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  • Caravel Captain’s Log German Style Pilsner

    Reviewed by on October 24, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Caravel Captain's Log-landscape

    It’s great to see this new Calgarian brewery packaging their product so we up north can have a go at it from the comfort of our own homes!  Also, the second nautical themed outfit from Calgary to open in the past year, weird. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow colour, with […]

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  • Olds College GFL (Generic Fizzy Lager)

    Reviewed by on October 23, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Olds College GFL-landscape

    It wasn’t until I got this one home from the liquor store and had a closer look at the label, that the intended meaning of ‘GFL’ became clear (with the aid of a seriously bright overhead light and magnifying glass, that is).  I guess my initial guess was wrong. This 355ml can pours a clear, […]

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  • Ribstone Creek Prairie Pirate

    Reviewed by on October 21, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Ribstone Creek Prairie Pirate-landscape

    It is certainly awesome to see this um, prairie brewery kickin’ out a DIPA to complement its stellar Lone Bison IPA.  I dare you to say this one’s name ten times fast, yeah?  Oh, and by the by, I didn’t realize that Last Best was now a hop distributor. This 650ml bottle pours a rather […]

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  • Folding Mountain Parkway Porter

    Reviewed by on October 20, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Folding Mountain Park Way Porter-landscape

    It is certainly nice to see this mountain park adjacent brewery packaging their wares so soon! This 473ml can pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy beige head, which leaves a bit of chunky splattered lace around the glass as it evenly subsides. It smells […]

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  • Annex Ale Equilux Whirlpool Pale Ale

    Reviewed by on October 13, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Annex Ales Equilux-landscape

    Annex Ale Project is a new-ish craft brewery in south-central Cowtown, who have recently taken to bottling their offerings.  As for the example in front of me, there is no indication on the label as to what a ‘whirlpool’ pale ale is supposed to be, at least for we laymen out there. This 650ml bottle […]

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  • Village Bobby

    Reviewed by on October 7, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Village Bobby-landscape

    So they mean ‘bobby’, as in the quaint English slang term meaning police officer? This 330ml bottle pours a clear, dark orange-brick tinted brown colour, with four fat fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves some decent splatter pattern lace around the glass as it gradually recedes. It smells of toasted […]

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  • Theoretically Brewing CFC Buster Habanero IPA

    Reviewed by on October 4, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Theoretically Habanero IPA-landscape

    CFC Buster is an IPA made with habanero extract, lime juice, and brown sugar.  The CFC in the name refers to those ChloroFluoroCarbons of ozone depletion fame (or perhaps infamy). This 341ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, finely foamy, and mildly bubbly ecru head, which […]

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  • Citizen North West Pale Ale

    Reviewed by on September 28, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Citizen North West Pale Ale-landscape

    North West Pale ale is one of two packaged offerings from Citizen Brewing, the (at the time of this writing) newest Calgary craft operation. This 473ml can pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and sort of chunky beige head, which leaves some tiered streaky and frilly […]

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  • Blindman Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

    Reviewed by on September 27, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman WR BA Imperial Stout-landscape

    What we have here is Blindman’s Ichorous imperial stout, aged (for 147 days) in Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels, though you wouldn’t know that by simply reading the label. This 355ml can pours a solid black abyss, with the scantest of orange cola basal edges, and three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy brown […]

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  • Grain Bin Farewell Imperial Pilsner

    Reviewed by on September 25, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Grain Bin Farewell-landscape

    Grande Prairie’s Grain Bin Brewing has produced this ode (to themselves, really), commemorating their moving brewery locations, and not shutting down, as one might think, going by the name. Bourbon barrel aged. This 650ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with a near-teeming tower of puffy, loosely foamy, and generally bubbly tan […]

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  • Siding 14 Railgrinder Pale Ale

    Reviewed by on September 12, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Siding 14 Railgrinder Pale Ale-landscape

    Another new offering from this nascent central Alberta brewery – again, they have all these fields on their label, but don’t put in any data. This 355ml (I think) can pours a hazy, pale golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and mildly bubbly bone-white head, which leaves some streaky islet group […]

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  • Bent Stick Spring-Heeled Jack

    Reviewed by on September 11, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Bent Stick Spring-Heeled Jack-landscape

    Spring-Heeled Jack is apparently a Red IPA, made with mostly English ingredients, and then ‘a boatload of Galaxy, just because’.  Heh, we’ll see. Named after a folkloric English troublemaker, or something. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark rusted amber colour, with four fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly beige head, which leaves some […]

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  • Rapid Ascent Finnigan’s Irish Pale Ale

    Reviewed by on September 10, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Rapid Ascent Finnigan's Irish Pale Ale-landscape

    Rapid Ascent is a Cowtown contract brewing operation, who recently changed their name, for obvious reasons. Brewed at Half Hitch in Cochrane. This 355ml can (still labeled as being made by the Summit Brewing Company of Calgary) pours a slightly hazy, medium golden yellow colour, with four fingers of puffy, rocky, and chunky off-white head, […]

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  • Zero Issue Multiverse Pale Ale

    Reviewed by on August 27, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Zero Issue Multiverse-landscape

    Multiverse Pale ale is among the first packaged appearances of this nascent Cowtown brewery to arrive in our fair city to the north. I can’t tell whether this one reminds me more of Stargate, or more recently, Rick and Morty. This 473ml can pours a slightly hazy, medium bronzed amber colour, with three fingers of […]

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  • Hell’s Basement The Yard

    Reviewed by on August 23, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Hells Basement The Yard-landscape

    It’s another day, so there must be another new IPA variant.  And since they only imply it on the label, I’ll be the one to ask: ‘does this milkshake IPA bring all the boys to the yard’? This 355ml can pours a murky, dark dishwater brown colour, with three flabby fingers of puffy, finely foamy, […]

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  • Grain Bin Ale Spruced Up

    Reviewed by on August 18, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Grain Bin Ale Spruced Up-landscape

    ‘Ale Spruced Up’ (heh) is the second go-round for this spruce tip flavoured strong pale ale – and nice to see a broader distribution of it this time. This 650ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, yet bright medium copper amber colour, with one zaftig finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves […]

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  • Bent Stick B.S. Grand Cru

    Reviewed by on August 17, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Bent Stick B.S. Grand Cru-landscape

    B.S. Grand Cru is an amped-up version of Bent Stick’s witbier, and a brewery-only exclusive purchase.  Hey, it gave me an excuse to head back on up to the splendour of the Fort Road area of Edmonton, at least! This 650ml bottle pours a murky, dark apricot amber colour, with two hipster skinny fingers of […]

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  • Village Senator Alberta Birthday Ale

    Reviewed by on August 16, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Village Senator-landscape

    The latest release from Calgary’s Village Brewery, where the name pretty much says it all, except for mention of the dude on the label, one Senator Patrick Burns, ‘Alberta’s Greatest Citizen’, apparently.  The most cursory of research seems to bear this out. This 650ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium golden yellow colour, with a […]

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  • Siding 14 Chasing The Red

    Reviewed by on August 12, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Siding 14 Chasing the Red-landscape

    Chasing the Red is the latest release from this Central Alberta newcomer, with no indication as to the style, other than the name.  I’m curious to find out. This 355ml (I’m guessing, as it doesn’t say on the otherwise busy label) can pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with three fingers of puffy, finely […]

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  • Tool Shed #Prairie Pride

    Reviewed by on August 11, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Tool Shed Prairie Pride-landscape

    #Prairie Pride is an all-Albertan brew (take that, Budweiser), where even the wild yeast were harvested here, and the canning machine was made here, too. Wow. This 355ml can pours a hazy, yet bright medium golden straw colour, with three fingers of puffy, chunky, and fizzy dirty white head, which leaves some decent Runic script […]

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  • Outcast Neon Dreams

    Reviewed by on August 9, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Outcast Neon Dreams-landscape

    It sure is fantastic to see the first canned product from this hop-crazy Cowtown brewer, which is apparently a ‘double dry hopped New England Pale Ale’ (exclusively with lupulin powder, at that), with some oats thrown in to satisfy the haze craze. This 473ml can pours a murky, pale golden yellow colour, with four flabby […]

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  • Blindman Kettle Sour #8

    Reviewed by on August 4, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman Kettle Sour #8-landscape

    Blindman Brewing is now on their 8th iteration of their kettle sour series, wherein they mix up the hops each time.  Here, they’re employing the Summer and Centennial varietals. This 355ml can pours a cloudy, pale golden yellow color, with four fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat bubbly chalky white head, which leaves some well […]

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  • Folding Mountain Elevation Imperial Red

    Reviewed by on August 2, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Folding Mountain Elevation Red Ale-landscape

    1L howler from this relatively brand-new brewpub, situated just on the eastern outskirts of Jasper National Park. Also, their biggest and baddest offering, apparently. This beer pours a clear, dark red-brick brown colour, with four fingers of puffy, rocky, and fairly bubbly tan head, which leaves some splendid tiered frilly lace around the glass as […]

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  • Elbeck/Norsemen Texas Bock

    Reviewed by on July 20, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Elbeck Texas Bock-landscape

    Texas Bock is a ‘Lonestar state style amber lager’.  Touted as a collaboration of sorts, and produced by Elbeck at Norsemen Brewing in Camrose, it is an ode to the brewer’s (Brewski!) experiences living in Texas. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat […]

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  • Jasper Brewing Crisp Pils

    Reviewed by on July 19, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Jasper Crisp Pils-landscape

    Jasper Brewing Co. has produced this ode to Canada’s 150th anniversary, and based on volume and packaging requirements (I assume), went to Calgary to brew it at Big Rock – s’all good!  Also, they’ve gone all nostalgic with the label design, employing the simple brown and yellow signage scheme that seems to have been replaced […]

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  • Alley Kat Bat Out Of Helles

    Reviewed by on July 14, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Bat out of Helles-landscape

    ‘Bat out of Helles’ is the latest in Alley Kat’s Back Alley Brews series, where, well, you know the story.  Another punny name, another happy me – however Imma go and skip the suggested pairing here, music or otherwise. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright (helles!) pale golden yellow colour, with two fingers of […]

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  • Hell’s Basement Red Shed Irish Red Ale

    Reviewed by on July 13, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Hell's Basement Red Shed Irish Red Ale-landscape

    What we have here is an apparent tribute to the Irish-Canadian family who run Red Shed Malting, provider of custom malt to many a new and old Albertan craft brewer alike. This 355ml can pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with two fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and mildly bubbly tan head, which leaves […]

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  • Siding 14 Ten-Wheeler IPA

    Reviewed by on July 12, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Siding 14 Ten-Wheeler IPA-landscape

    Siding 14’s IPA is my first contact with the latest new Alberta craft brewery to release their product as such.  Ponoka? Trains? Hmmmm, time for some old-school Ozzy, eh? This 355ml can pours a slightly hazy, medium golden copper colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and chunky eggshell white head, which leaves a bit […]

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  • Troubled Monk Hollerado Born Yesterday

    Reviewed by on July 7, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Troubled Monk Born Yesterday-landscape

    Born Yesterday is a collaboration among the Canadian rock band Hollerado, local radio station 106.7 the Drive, and local pub Bo’s Bar and Grill. Wow, that’s a lot of, er, guest cooks (none with which I am actually familiar)!  Oh, and the result is an apparently boozed-up Kölsch. This 355ml can pours a mostly clear, […]

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  • Trolley No. 5 The Conductor Beltline Lager

    Reviewed by on July 6, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Trolley 5 The Conductor-landscape

    Trolley No.5 is a relatively new brewery from Calgary, and this lager is named after the Beltline region near to the city’s downtown core, where they are located, natch!  I recently came upon this offering, along with its ‘Derailed’ sibling – there’s a train joke in there somewhere, but I ain’t lookin’ too hard for […]

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  • Tool Shed Papa Bam Bam’s Oatmeal Pale

    Reviewed by on June 28, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Tool Shed Papa Bam Bam-landscape

    Papa Bam Bam’s Oatmeal Pale is an ode to long-time Calgary homebrewer and homebrew shop owner Neil Bamford. Now I know who this guy is, as he’s always showing up on my ‘suggested’ Twitter feed. This 355ml can pours a slightly hazy, medium golden amber colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and somewhat […]

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  • Blindman Sour/Saison Barrel Blend: Light

    Reviewed by on June 15, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman Sour-Saison Barrel Blend-Light-landscape

    Lacombe’s Blindman Brewing have produced this blend of their summer Saison, and their Kettle Sour #5, all aged in ‘a single American oak barrel’.  Available only at the brewery, and a few select tastings around the province, I believe. This 500ml, caged and corked bottle (pliers and corkscrew warning) pours a hazy, pale golden yellow […]

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  • Theoretically Fomenko’s Chronology

    Reviewed by on June 8, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Theoretically Fomenko's Chronology-landscape

    The latest release from Lethbridge’s science-forward Theoretically Brewing – so, by Fomenko’s Chronology, it would mean that this raspberry sour ale happened much later than I believe that others just like it did?  Or something. This 650ml bottle pours a hazy, medium salmon amber colour, with four fingers of puffy, chunky, and somewhat creamy off-white […]

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  • Olds College The Lion, The Wit, & The Wardrobe

    Reviewed by on June 2, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Olds College The Lion, The Wit, & the Wardrobe-landscape

    This Narnia-referencing pop-culture brew apparently also has something to do with the Alberta Beer Festivals.  Look it up if you need to know more. This 650ml bottle pours a hazy, very pale golden straw ‘colour’, with four fingers of puffy, rocky, and chunky ecru head, which leaves some random streaky and striated lace around the […]

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  • Bent Stick B.S. Wit

    Reviewed by on May 31, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Bent Stick B.S. Wit-landscape

    The latest release from this scrappy E-town brewing concern – Ok, does the ‘B.S.’ in the name stand for ‘Bent Stick’, or, um, something else? This 650ml bottle pours a hazy, medium golden apricot colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly dirty white head, which leaves a bit of calving iceberg profile […]

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  • Tool Shed Big Boots Brew 2017 Heather Ale

    Reviewed by on May 26, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Tool Shed Big Boots Brew 2017-landscape

    A Scottish heather flavoured ale is the result of the 2017 International Women’s Brew Day, wherein female brewers get together to create a beer, with some of the sales proceeds going to further their brewsters in arms in the craft beer industry – here, it’s the Pink Boots Society, which provides a bursary for women […]

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  • Canmore Georgetown Brown

    Reviewed by on May 25, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Canmore Georgetown Brown-landscape

    Another day, another new Alberta brewery to try out – no complaining here, no sirree!  This one comes from Canmore Brewing, and is an ode to a nearby mining ghost town. This 473ml can pours a clear, very dark brown cola colour, with three chubby fingers of puffy, rocky, and bubbly dark tan (I know) […]

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  • Grain Bin Willie The Wit

    Reviewed by on May 24, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Grain Bin Willie the Wit-landscape

    A Belgian-style Witbier, and named after Willie de Witt, a Canadian Olympic boxing medalist in the 1980s, who spent his formative years in Grande Prairie.  And now he’s a judge on the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta – wait, what?!!! This 650ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, yet bright medium golden yellow colour, with […]

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  • Alley Kat Amethyst Dragon DIPA

    Reviewed by on May 19, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Amethyst Dragon-landscape

    Amethyst is Alley Kat’s latest single-hopped Dragon DIPA, this time with the Azacca varietal (as indicated by a tiny apologetic sticker on the label, which originally specifies Mosaic) – but that’s why pencils have erasers, right? This 650ml bottle pours a clear, medium copper amber colour, with three zaftig fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and […]

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  • The Dandy The Jungle Bird

    Reviewed by on May 18, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Dandy The Jungle Bird-landscape

    The Jungle Bird is denoted as a ‘tropical dark sour’, and it appears to be a beery ode to the Tiki cocktail of the same name (I see a rum barrel-aged version in the future!). This 650ml bottle pours a sort of hazy, very dark brown colour, with four fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and […]

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  • Wild Rose High Harvest Hemp IPA

    Reviewed by on May 17, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Wild Rose High Harvest Hemp IPA-landscape

    The ‘hemp’ in this ‘Hemp IPA’ comes from hemp flour, whatever that is.  ‘Released from the wild |4.20’ – heh. This 650ml bottle pours a hazy, pale golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves some random sudsy tree branch lace around the glass as it […]

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  • Blindman Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

    Reviewed by on May 12, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman BA Imperial Stout-landscape

    The Kentucky (sic) Bourbon barrel-aged version of their Ichorous stout, with toasted coconut, and aged for exactly 198 days, apparently. This 355ml can pours a solid black abyss, with very faint amber basal edges, and two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly brown head, which leaves some waves crashing on shoreline rock lace around […]

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  • Medicine Hat Aberdeen Pale Ale

    Reviewed by on May 11, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Medicine Hat Aberdeen Pale Ale-landscape

    Ok, so this has nothing to do with Scotland, and is rather an ode to the titular street in Medicine Hat, which also has nothing to do with the west coast American hoppiness inferred here. This 355ml can pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with four fingers of puffy, rocky, and bubbly off-white […]

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  • Alley Kat Sunburst Session Ale

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Sunburst Session Ale-landscape

    Sunburst Session Ale is the first new sixer to be released by Alley Kat in a long while.  A self-described ‘Citralicious Hopfenzwickel’, which I’m to take means a hoppy Zwickel? This 341ml bottle pours a hazy, medium golden yellow colour, with a near teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and mildly bubbly off-white head, which leaves […]

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  • Grain Bin Tamarack Stout

    Reviewed by on May 5, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Grain Bin Tamarack Stout-landscape

    Part of a swath of new packaged releases from this Peace Country brewery, with no indication as to what kind of stout this is on the label, so I guess we have to do this the old-fashioned way. This 650ml bottle pours a solid black abyss, with subtle amber basal edges, and three zaftig fingers […]

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  • Half Hitch Farmer’s Daughter

    Reviewed by on May 4, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Half Hitch Farmer's Daughter-landscape

    Half Hitch has expanded distribution to the rest of Alberta – I can’t believe that it’s been three years since I met these folks, and now I finally get to try their brew! This 355ml can pours a mostly clear, medium copper amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and chunky off-white head, which […]

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  • Blindman New England-Style Pale Ale

    Reviewed by on April 28, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman NE-Style Pale Ale-landscape

    This recent offering is Blindman Brewing’s apparent take-away from their Troubled Waters collaboration with Bench Creek and Ribstone Creek, i.e. making a NE-style pale ale instead of an IPA. This 473ml can pours a turbid, almost milky, medium bruised apricot colour, with three fingers of puffy, near-rocky, and filmy ecru head, which leaves a bit […]

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  • Grizzly Paw Pretty Witty

    Reviewed by on April 27, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Grizzly Paw Pretty Witty-landscape

    Pretty Witty is a witbier, made in support of the Big Boots Society and International Women’s Day (so a bit late, then, on the latter count).  I’ll concede, however, that it possesses a good ‘n punny name. This 650ml bottle pours a rather hazy, pale golden yellow colour, with a near-teeming tower of puffy, loosely […]

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  • Bench Creek Apex Predator

    Reviewed by on April 15, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Bench Creek Apex Predator-landscape

    Apparently this is essentially Bench Creek’s previous Troubled Waters keg-only collab, but now with a few hop tweaks, and released in tall-boy four-packs. This 473ml can pours a turbid, medium banana yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly dirty white head, which leaves a few instances of dissolving ice floe lace […]

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  • Elbeck KGB

    Reviewed by on April 7, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Elbeck KGB-landscape

    Produced at Two Sergeants, this is the resurrection of the same (?) offering that was made by Alley Kat, for Sherbrooke Liquor Store, via the auspices of homebrewing competition winner Bruce Sample around five years ago or so – ah, to hell with it, let’s just get to the brew(ski), eh? This 650ml bottle pours […]

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  • Brewsters The Local Brew

    Reviewed by on March 31, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Brewsters Local Laundry-landscape

    Calgary’s Brewsters have created this hoppy red wheat ale, made in collaboration with the Local Laundry, a fellow Cowtown-based clothing company – so, great name, then, I suppose. This beer appears a clear, medium bronzed amber colour, with one skinny finger of wispy and bubbly off-white head, which leaves a few instances of ocean plume […]

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  • Village Friend Banded Belgian Tripel

    Reviewed by on February 24, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Village Friend Banded Belgian Tripel-landscape

    Village Friend Banded Belgian Tripel is a collaboration between Village and the new Cowtown startup Banded Peak Brewing.  Based on the label, this one should be called ‘Bearded Belgian Tripel’, amirite? This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves […]

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  • Olds College Pile Driver

    Reviewed by on February 17, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Olds College Pile Driver-landscape

    This is the most recent offering from this brewing teaching operation in Central Alberta.  Gonna flip on some classic Quiet Riot: “I’m an axe grinder, pile driver, Mama says that I never, never mind her…”. This 650ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly […]

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  • Alberta Unity Brew 2016

    Reviewed by on January 31, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alberta Unity Brew 2016-landscape2

    The 2016 edition of the Alberta Unity Brew, where members of the ASBA come together at a particular brewery to concoct a province-wide collaboration.  This year the fun was had at Big Rock Brewery in Calgary. This 473ml can pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and […]

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  • Hell’s Basement Boxcar Comforts

    Reviewed by on January 27, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide
    Hell's Basement Boxcar Comforts-landscape

    The name of this brew refers to the lucky workers who built the CPR who got to sleep in the relative ‘comfort’ of unused freight cars, as opposed to on the ground. Yeah. This 355ml can pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy off-white […]

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  • Blindman 1 Year

    Reviewed by on November 4, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    blindman-1-year-landscape

    Here we have the first anniversary ale for this very active brewery from Lacombe, in that short time.  A self-described ‘Belgian Golden Strong Ale’.  Congratulations! This 500ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, pale golden yellow colour, with a near-teeming tower of puffy, loosely foamy, and certainly fizzy bone-white head, which leaves a bit of sudsy […]

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  • Blindman/Troubled Monk Peculier Fellows Old Ale

    Reviewed by on October 28, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    blindman-troubled-monk-peculier-fellows-old-ale-landscape

    Also subtitled ‘Burbank Series No. 1’ (a reference to a related geographical confluence), this is a collaboration between the Blindman and Troubled Monk breweries, ostensibly for Alberta Beer Week 2016.  I assume from the spelling that this is also an ode to Theakston Old Peculier? This 473ml can pours a clear, dark red-brick brown colour, […]

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  • The Grizzly Paw Rum Barrel Aged Scotch Ale

    Reviewed by on October 14, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    grizzly-paw-rum-barrel-scotch-ale-landscape

    Canmore’s Grizzly Paw have released this rum barrel aged Scotch Ale, which is the 2016 edition of something called their Cellar Series.  That’s all fine and good, but enough with the stupidly hard to remove wax cap finishes, already! This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely […]

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  • The Grizzly Paw Fest Märzen

    Reviewed by on October 1, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    grizzly-paw-fest-marzen-landscape

    Coming out for general provincial release right at the tail end of its two most important events (Alberta Beer Week, and of course, Oktoberfest), this Märzen from Canmore’s Grizzly Paw Brewing is aptly timed (were that it had a touch of pumpkin or spice in it, eh?). This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium bronzed […]

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  • Bench Creek Black Spruce Porter

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    bench-creek-black-spruce-porter-landscapejpg

    A newly packaged offering, it sure is nice to see this west Yellowhead brewery getting its presence into the better bottleshops around the province. This beer appears a clear (I think), very dark cola highlighted brown colour, with an ethereally thin cap of wispy beige head, which leaves a few isolated specks of remote islet […]

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  • Alley Kat Pour Boy Chili Beer

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    alley-kat-pour-boy-chili-beer-landscape

    Alley Kat has brought back their chili beer, and this time it is one made on the base of their Kolsch, with the addition of red chilies.  Given the name, I imagine that this was produced for the Dadeo diner (Po’ boy becomes Pour boy, get it?). This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright pale […]

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  • Blindman Kettle Sour #6

    Reviewed by on September 30, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    blindman-kettle-sour-6-landscape

    Lacombe, Alberta’s Blindman Brewery keeps churning out the kettle sours (even though it looks like we missed the #5 up here, oh well), as this one is made with Amarillo & Vic Secret hops. This 355ml can pours a hazy, rather pale golden yellow colour, with four fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly bone-white […]

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  • Bent Stick The Crusher

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    bent-stick-the-crusher-landscape

    The Crusher is the latest from this upstart Edmonchuk brewing concern – a ‘lean and mean’ ISA, which is purportedly different from their plain ol’ pale ale, I guess. This 650ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves […]

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  • Theoretically Brewing Ionic Irish Style Ale

    Reviewed by on September 29, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    theoretically-brewing-ionic-irish-ale-landscape

    Theoretically Brewing is one of two recent craft brewing upstarts in L.A. (Lethbridge, Alberta) – I am of the opinion that there should be more well-made Irish ales out there, so good on this fledgling operation for taking up the cause, more or less locally! This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, […]

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  • Wood Buffalo Lemonade Radler

    Reviewed by on September 28, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    wood-buffalo-lemonade-radler-landscape

    Fort McMurray’s location of the Bearhill Brewing concern produces this offering, made in support of KidSport Wood Buffalo (1 dollar from each sale being donated). This 650ml bottle pours a mostly clear, medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, chunky, and somewhat bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some decent coral reef atoll […]

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  • Hell’s Basement Polly’s Pale Ale

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    hells-basement-pollys-pale-ale-landscape

    Hell’s Basement is Medicine Hat, Alberta’s newest (and only?) craft brewery, having been open just a month or so now.  Their pale ale is named after a local stagecoach driver, of all things. This 946ml crowler pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with three fat-ass fingers of puffy, rocky, and chunky off-white head, […]

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  • Coulee Hoodoo Hops IPA

    Reviewed by on September 27, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    coulee-hoodoo-hops-landscape

    Lethbridge, Alberta’s Coulee Brew Co. are up and running in their own operation now, after contract brewing out of B.C. – glad to see them making their own suds now!  Hoodoo Hops IPA references a geologic phenomenon found in southern Alberta. This 355ml can pours a clear, medium bronzed amber colour, with a near-teeming tower […]

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  • Big Rock Bourbon Barrel Dark Amber

    Reviewed by on September 16, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    big-rock-bourbon-dark-amber-landscape

    Big Rock has released this dark amber ale (um, Trad, anyone?), which was aged for 9 months in ‘single trip’ Bourbon barrels, is what I get from the somewhat confusing marketing blurb on the back label. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, very dark red-brick tinted brown colour, with one skinny finger of puffy, finely […]

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  • Alley Kat High Level IPA

    Reviewed by on September 9, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    alley-kat-high-level-ipa-landscape

    The latest in Alley Kat’s ‘Back Alley Brews’ series, and named after Edmonton’s High Level Bridge, I would imagine.  An IPA made via the hop burst brewing method, wherein the hops (El Dorado, Mandarina Bavaria, and Jarrylo) are added near the end of the process, which apparently allows more of the flavours of the hops […]

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  • Bench Creek Sweet Lenore

    Reviewed by on August 15, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Bench Creek Sweet Lenore-landscape

    Yellowhead County’s Bench Creek Brewing has a series of one-off brews that are based on the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, such as this one, which is a Kölsch made with lavender, raspberry & apricot – the latest incarnation of their ‘Nevermore’ series.  I suggest that if you live in either Edson, Edmonton, or Calgary, […]

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  • Alley Kat Cerulean Dragon Double IPA

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Cerulean Dragon-landscape

    Alley Kat’s Cerulean Dragon is the latest in the Dragon Series of single (mostly) hopped double IPAs, this time made with the Calypso varietal.  It sure is nice to see a new beer that isn’t some form of a bloody sour!  And yes, cerulean is indeed a shade of blue. This 650ml bottle pours a […]

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  • Grizzly Paw Chinook Red IPA

    Reviewed by on August 8, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Grizzly Paw Chinook Red IPA-landscape

    I believe that this is a seasonal release from Grizzly Paw, which is a malty red ale, hopped up with, among others, the Chinook varietal. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and well bubbly off-white head, which leaves some layered mitochondrial lace around the […]

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  • Bent Stick Farm Stock

    Reviewed by on August 5, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Bent Stick Farm Stock-landscape

    Farm Stock appears to be the base brew of a new trio of Saisons released by this Edmonton brewery last week. This 650ml bottle pours a glassy, medium golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and shiny off-white head, which leaves some sparse wave splash lace around the glass as it quickly sinks […]

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  • Bent Stick Hearty Farm Stock

    Reviewed by on August 1, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Bent Stick Hearty Farm Stock-landscape

    Hearty Farm Stock is part of a trio of newly-released Belgian Saison-style offerings from this wet behind the ears YEG brewery. This 650ml bottle pours, like its brethren, with a ton of aggressively puffy and foamy off-white head, which fills the everlovin’ glass, eventually sinking away to reveal a hazy medium golden yellow brew, and […]

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  • Grizzly Paw Bohemian Pilsener

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    Grizzly Paw Bohemian Pilsener-landscape

    Their Bohemian-style pilsener is a staple of Grizzly Paw’s #622 Main Street series, which are brewed at their original downtown Canmore location. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright pale golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and mostly just bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some decent broadly cobwebbed lace around […]

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  • King of Springs Kaiser Lager

    Reviewed by on July 31, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    King of Springs Kaiser Lager-landscape

    A choice of growler or howler, procured at the liquor store in Didsbury where this nascent ‘local’ brewery maintains their weekday off-sales operation/distribution agreement. This 946ml bottle pours a clear, medium golden yellow colour, with one skinny finger of weakly puffy, loosely foamy, and above all fizzy off-white head, which wisps away in mere moments, […]

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  • Village Rancher Alberta Birthday Saison

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    Village Rancher Alberta Birthday Saison-landscape

    Village Rancher is an ode to the province of Alberta’s 111th birthday this coming September, and also to the founder of the purported first brewery in these parts, one William Roper Hull – gonna have to look that one up. This 650ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of […]

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  • Blindman Long Shadows IPA

    Reviewed by on July 30, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman Long Shadows IPA-landscape

    Central Alberta’s Blindman Brewing has taken to canning some of their more popular offerings, and yes, I’ve been waiting for this one to be so treated for a while! This 473ml can pours a clear, medium golden amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and chunky off-white head, which leaves some eroding limestone cliff […]

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  • Bent Stick Dark Farm

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    Bent Stick Dark Farm-landscape

    Edmonton’s newest nano (micro – who’s counting?) brewery has just released another round of new Saison-style offerings, including this – a purported ‘darkish table strength Farmhouse ale’. This 650ml bottle pours a hazy (I think) very dark brown colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, finely foamy, and creamy tan head, which leaves a bit […]

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  • King of Springs Golden Ray Cream Ale

    Reviewed by on July 29, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    King of Springs Golden Ray Cream Ale-landscape

    Another pre-filled ‘howler’ from the Cork & Crate liquor store in Didsbury that allows the brewer here to maintain his day job in Cowtown, apparently.  Why am I reminded of Ray Gillette from the Archer TV series? This 946ml bottle pours a clear, medium golden amber colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and […]

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  • The Dandy Une Vieille Maîtresse Grisette

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    The Dandy Une Vieille Maîtresse Grisette-landscape

    Calgary’s (The) Dandy Brewing have released a sub-genre of the Farmhouse ale style, whose name literally means ‘an old mistress’, and may also be a reference to the film ‘The Last Mistress’ – ah, qui sait? At any rate, this 650ml bottle pours a hazy, pale golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, finely […]

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  • Big Rock (Last Best) Collaboration Brew #2

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    Big Rock Collaboration Brew #2 (Last Best)-landscape

    The second collaboration that Big Rock has done with fellow Calgary brewers Last Best, and again sporting just a plain white label, obviously meant for after market commentary, since there is no indication as to the intended style. This 473ml can pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, […]

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  • King Of Springs Fusion Honey Ale

    Reviewed by on July 28, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    King of Springs Fusion Honey Ale-landscape

    A pre-packaged howler from the liquor store in Didsbury that acts as this part-time brewery’s off-sales agent.  I gotta ask beforehand – what’s the deal with the ‘fusion’ here?  Do they just mean adding something (as in providing an adjunct) such as honey to a base ale? This 946ml bottle pours a clear, bright pale […]

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  • Olds College Heiferweizen

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    Olds College Heiferweizen-landscape

    Produced by the commercial arm of the Olds College Teaching Brewery, this is a great name for a beer of this style coming out of a farming community, I gotta say. This 650ml bottle pours a cloudy, murky medium golden yellow colour, with two svelte fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat bubbly dirty white head, […]

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  • King Of Springs King’s Pilsner

    Reviewed by on July 27, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    King of Springs King's Pilsner-landscape

    Yet another souvenir from the liquor store in Didsbury that handles this nascent Alberta brewery’s mid-week off-sales.  They are all about royalty, aren’t they? This 946ml ‘howler’ pours a clear, pale golden straw colour, with one finger of weakly puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy dirty white head, which leaves some layered disintegrating ice shelf […]

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  • Big Rock Co-op Classic India Pale Ale

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    Big Rock Co-op Classic IPA-landscape

    Big Rock makes this, and a few other similar contract offerings for the Co-op chain of liquor stores in Calgary and the surrounding area.  So – what the hell does ‘batch brewed’ even mean?  Are there other ways of doing it? This 355ml can pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with two fingers […]

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  • King of Springs Baadshah Brown Ale

    Reviewed by on July 26, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    King of Springs Baadshah Brown Ale-landscape

    A focused find from the liquor store in Didsbury that acts as this part-time brewery’s off-sales location.  I had no idea what this one’s name meant, but apparently it is the Hindi (or Persian) translation of ‘king’ – wow, what a rural Albertan reference, eh? This 946ml, growler-esque bottle pours a clear (I gather), dark […]

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  • Dandy Ain’t Life Strange

    Reviewed by on July 25, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Dandy Ain't Life Strange Imperial Stout-landscape

    ‘Ain’t Life Strange’ is the latest in this Calgary nano-brewery’s series of limited ‘Dandy Edition’ brews, which is labeled, yes, but the pertinent info is written in by hand (hence ‘I. Stout’). This 650ml bottle (no. 2 of 200 – wow!) pours a solid, inky black, with the barest of red cola basal edges, and […]

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  • King of Springs Mountain View IPA

    Reviewed by on July 24, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    King of Springs Mountain View IPA-landscape

    King of Springs is a new part-time brewery, and this is part of a sextet of products that seems to span the booze distribution quotient of rural Didsbury, Alberta. This 946ml (a quart, I guess) pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with one skinny-ass finger of puffy, weakly foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige […]

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  • Olds College Rale Yard Red Ale

    Reviewed by on July 23, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Olds College Rale Yard Red Ale-landscape

    Rale Yard Red Ale (a so-so pun, IMHO) was produced by the Olds College program for the Alberta Beer Festivals that were held in Calgary and Edmonton earlier in the year (May and June, respectively), and is now one of their current seasonal offerings. This 22oz bottle pours a clear, medium copper amber colour, with […]

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  • Blindman Kettle Sour #4

    Reviewed by on July 15, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman Kettle Sour #4-landscape

    In the fourth iteration of their kettle-soured series, Blindman has now hopped it with the Amarillo (by morning), and Chinook (the southern Albertan late winter breather) varietals.  No experimenting this time boyos! This 355ml can pours a hazy, very pale golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat fizzy dirty white […]

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  • Blindman American Brown Ale

    Reviewed by on July 12, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman American Brown Ale-landscape

    Lacombe’s Blindman Brewing make this brown ale in the American style, which typically means more Yankee hop bitterness, and perhaps some sort of genial adjunct (nuts, chocolate, etc).  They’ve also specified that this is a blend of a dark ale, IPA, and session ale – interesting. This 473ml can pours a clear, dark red-brick brown […]

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  • Bent Stick Brick Is Red

    Reviewed by on July 8, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Bent Stick Brick is Red-landscape

    Here, we have the other half of the initial duo of bomber-packaged offerings from this brand-new Edmonchuk brewing concern.  Interesting use of the English language in the name and descriptor on the front label. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark red-brick (yup) amber colour, with two pudgy fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat […]

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  • Townsite Soulless Cedar

    Reviewed by on July 4, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Townsite Soulless Cedar-landscape

    Soulless Cedar is Townsite’s collaboration with Calgary’s Tool Shed (hence the ‘local’ factor), and Australia’s 4 Pines (and the ‘not local’ one), ostensibly based on the fact that the brewer from each outfit is red-headed – so, a red Belgian ale, then, made with lemon myrtle, pepper berry, and Spanish cedar. This 650ml bottle pours […]

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  • Olds College Beyond Blonde

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    Olds College Beyond Blonde-landscape

    Beyond Blonde appears to have been brewed with some sort of Low Countries yeast, with an attendant uptick in the base ABV – to 6%! Let’s get all wild and crazy now! This 650ml bottle pours a mostly clear, medium golden amber colour, with two skinny-ass fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly ecru head, […]

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  • Bent Stick Swap The Hops

    Reviewed by on July 3, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Bent Stick Swap the Hops-landscape

    Swap the Hops is one of a pair of brand-new releases from this nascent Edmonton brewery – the first since Yellowhead in our fair city – look it up! This offering is just what it says – a pale ale that will utilize whatever hops they have handy – how very practical! This 650ml bottle […]

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  • Alley Kat Spruce Almighty

    Reviewed by on June 28, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Spruce Almighty-landscape

    Spruce Almighty is the first in line of Alley Kat’s new ‘Back Alley Brews’ series, wherein they allow their brewer(s?) to do whatever it is that interests them. Here, that apparently means that they went into Edmonton’s river valley and plucked a near metric shit-ton of local spruce tips, to make this particular spruce beer […]

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  • Blindman Kettle Sour #3

    Reviewed by on June 21, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman Kettle Sour #3-landscape

    It’s gotta be said, we at the Beer Diaries have taken a liking to Blindman Brewing’s kettle sour series, and now, they’ve gone full experimental with this one (I’ll miss you, Mosaic!), employing the hop varieties #06277 and #07270 – oh, how sexy – robot style. This 355ml can pours a hazy, pale yellow straw […]

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  • Banff Ave. Brewing Lower Bankhead Black Pilsner

    Reviewed by on June 17, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Banff Ave Lower Bankhead Black Pilsner-landscape

    Lower Bankhead is this brewery’s take on the schwarzbier, a German style where a lager is made with darker roasted malt, rendering a brew which is more, well, ‘black’ in nature.  We shall see. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark red-brick amber colour, with one flabby finger of puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat rocky […]

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  • Banff Ave. Brewing Head Smashed IPA

    Reviewed by on June 15, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Banff Head Smashed IPA-landscape

    Head Smashed IPA is touted as this brewery’s flagship beer, and is purportedly made in the English style.  The name is an ode to the Unesco World Heritage Site located in deep southern Alberta – Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.  So why not Head-Smashed-In IPA? This 650ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium golden amber hue, with […]

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  • Banff Ave. Brewing Norquay 90 Kolsch

    Reviewed by on June 13, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Banff Ave Norquay 90 Kolsch-landscape

    The Banff Ave. Brewing Co. is part of the Bear Hill chain of brewpubs across Alberta, and is indeed located in the picturesque mountain tourist mecca of Banff.  They have brewed this Kölsch as an ode to celebrate the nearby Mt. Norquay ski resort’s 90th year of being in business. This 650ml bottle pours a hazy, […]

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  • Wild Rose Farmhouse White

    Reviewed by on June 11, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Wild Rose Farmhouse White-landscape

    Wild Rose has taken to producing more of these complicated yeasty, wine barrel aged, and well, really, fussy brews, it would seem – oh, with and our old friend Brett – yeah. This 750ml, big-boy bottle pours (after a retarded amount of immediate cap-popping overflow – and thanks for messing with my otherwise innocent phone, […]

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  • Yukon You’d Be Surprised Raspberry Citrus Ale

    Reviewed by on June 7, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Yukon You'd Be Surprised-landscape

    It’s always a pleasure to recognize our neighbours to the north – they have now brewed this summery ale made with raspberries and citrus, which is all one might infer from the limited info on the label. That, and I have no idea whose version of the titular song they’re referencing – Marylin Monroe, maybe?  […]

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  • Bench Creek White Raven IPA

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    Bench Creek White Raven IPA-landscape

    Bench Creek is a rural brewery situated northwest of Edson, Alberta, and they have recently taken to canning their splendiferous India Pale Ale – thanks again, Andrew! This 473ml can pours a hazy, dark apricot amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, mildly foamy, and mostly just bubbly dirty white head, which leaves a bit […]

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  • Two Sergeants Bear Beer

    Reviewed by on June 6, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Two Sergeants Bear Beer-landscape

    The latest Two Sergeants’ effort is the latest incarnation of a local brewer producing the ‘official’ beer for Edmonton’s The Bear radio station, 100.3 on yer FM dial. This 362ml (?) stubby (yay!) bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium bronzed amber colour, with three fingers (in the air – woooooo!) of puffy, rocky, and sort […]

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  • Olds College Hay City Wheat Beer

    Reviewed by on June 3, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Olds College Hay City Wheat Beer-landscape

    The community of Olds, Alberta was apparently once known as Hay City, for obvious reasons – the name is indeed quite rural Albertan-sounding, eh? This 355ml can pours a crystal clear, pale golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, mildly foamy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves a bit of hanging cloud lace […]

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  • Alley Kat Olde Deuteronomy 2016

    Reviewed by on June 2, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Olde Deuteronomy 2016-landscape

    It’s been a long while since we took a look at Alley Kat’s most venerable offering – their vintage barleywine, Olde Deuteronomy.  After not producing it for a while a few years ago, they revived it in 2015, and now have released the 2016 version, still with the old-school label imagery, and still with the […]

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  • GP Brewing Blow Out Stout

    Reviewed by on May 30, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    GP Brewing Blowout Stout-landscape

    Blow Out Stout is GP Brewing’s most recent arrival on Alberta bottleshop shelves, in its own sixers, and as part of their (thoroughly, I might add, and good on ’em) mixed packs. Some wildcat oil drilling imagery in the branding here, perchance? This 355ml can pours a fairly dark, red-brick brown colour, with a teeming tower […]

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  • Tool Shed Black Currant Gose

    Reviewed by on May 18, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Tool Shed Black Currant Gose-landscape

    Black Currant Gose is the result of the 2016 International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day, where female brewers get together to create a beer, with some of the sales proceeds going to further their brewess’ in arms in the craft beer industry – here, it’s the Pink Boots Society who are the beneficiaries. This 355ml can […]

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  • Olds College Little Sure Shot

    Reviewed by on May 16, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Olds College Little Sure Shot-landscape

    Little Sure Shot is the first bomber that we have seen come out of the commercial arm of this teaching brewery, and appears to be a collaboration with the college’s Office of Sustainability (which sounds just a tad Orwellian, doesn’t it?). This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers […]

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  • Blindman Kettle Sour #2

    Reviewed by on May 10, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman Kettle Sour #2-landscape

    This offering is the second (what was my first clue?) kettle soured ale from this central Alberta start-up, which is made with both the Galaxy and the purportedly tropical ‘06277’ experimental hop varietals. This 355ml can pours a hazy, pale golden straw colour, with two hefty fingers of puffy, rocky, and slightly bubbly off-white head, […]

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  • Brewsters Mad Hops DIPA

    Reviewed by on May 5, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Brewsters Mad Hops Double IPA-landscape

    Mad Hops is Brewsters’ version of a Double IPA, which they are now packaging in bombers.  I didn’t have the best of experiences with this particular offering when it debuted on tap a few years ago, but bygones – meet the bygones! This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with three […]

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  • Olds College Aggie Ale

    Reviewed by on May 2, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Olds College Aggie Ale-landscape

    Anything dubbed ‘Aggie Ale’ possesses such an appropriate moniker for an offering from any sort of rural Alberta brewing concern, eh? This beer appears a clear, dark ruby amber colour, with one fat finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and a tad chunky ecru head, which leaves some solid snow rime lace around the glass as […]

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  • GP Brewing Maddhatters Mercury

    Reviewed by on April 27, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    GP Brewing Maddhatters Mercury-landscape

    GP Brewing is one of the new brewing operations to begin canning in this good province of ours, and this is ostensibly a ‘contract’ brew for their next-door neighbours, the Maddhatters club/pub operation in near-ish downtown Grande Prairie, Alberta. This 355ml can (supertitled, the ‘Roman God of Lager’ – ok) pours a clear, bright pale […]

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  • Big Rock Mosaic Lager

    Reviewed by on April 26, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Big Rock Mosaic Lager-landscape

    The Mosaic Lager is currently part of the latest Big Rock Swinger variety pack, and appears to be destined for regular bottled production. Made with, obviously, solely the Mosaic hop varietal. This 355ml can pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow colour, with three fat fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and mildly bubbly off-white head, […]

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  • Olds College Old Skhool Brown Ale

    Reviewed by on April 25, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Olds College Old Skhool Brown Ale-landscape

    Old Skhool is an appropriately-named brew from this teaching school’s commercial arm in central Alberta. Nice to see these offerings showing up in more and more places around the province now. This 355ml can pours a clear, very dark reddish brown colour, with three chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and mostly bubbly tan head, […]

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  • Yukon Brewing Spirit Dog

    Reviewed by on April 20, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Yukon Spirit Dog-landscape

    Spirit Dog is a little experiment by our Yukon friends to the north, wherein they used the bierschnapps that they originally created by distilling Lead Dog Ale, to augment a fresh batch of said brew – how very full circle, and so beer meta! This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark rusted brick brown colour, […]

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  • Bench Creek Naked Woodsman Pale Ale

    Reviewed by on April 18, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Bench Creek Naked Woodsman-landscape

    Bench Creek Brewing comes all the way, a few hours or so, to we who are East of Edson (for all you Captain Tractor fans)! And why does this offering’s name make me think of that line from the Simpsons: ‘the squid looks like it’s been hacked by a blind woodsman’? This 473ml can pours […]

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  • Big Rock Citradelic IPA

    Reviewed by on April 15, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Big Rock Citradelic-landscape

    Citradelic is a single hopped (with Citra, duh) IPA, first made in Big Rock’s Vancouver operation, but now being produced in six-packs for TOTAL CANADIAN DOMINATION, er, cross-country distribution. This 330ml bottle pours a hazy, dark bruised peach amber colour, with one flabby finger of puffy, weakly foamy, and somewhat bubbly ecru head, which leaves […]

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  • Olds College Prairie Gold IPA

    Reviewed by on April 14, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Olds College Prairie Gold IPA-landscape

    Olds College Brewery is the only such institution in Alberta (or Western Canada, for that matter), open since the fall 2013 initial class intake.  They have begun canning their products, such as this one, which is an ode to the ‘golden fields of barley and grassy hills surrounding the community of Olds’.  At any rate, […]

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  • GP Brewing TK IPA

    Reviewed by on April 12, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    GP Brewing TK IPA-landscape

    GP Brewing is a rather new operation, producing and canning their wares in a location adjacent to the Maddhatters nightclub near downtown Grande Prairie. I wonder what the ‘TK’ stands for – tool kit? Something to do with trucks? This 355ml can pours a mostly clear, medium copper amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, […]

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  • Tool Shed Flat Cap Stout

    Reviewed by on April 11, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Tool Shed Flat Cap Stout-landscape

    Flat Cap Stout is named after Jamie Gordon (who apparently had a predilection for the titular headgear), a local originator in the craft beer canning world, whose products Tool Shed obviously uses. This 355ml can pours a very, very dark brown cola colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat bubbly tan head, […]

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  • Dandy Not Looking For A New England

    Reviewed by on March 31, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Dandy Not Looking for a New England IPA-landscape

    Calgary’s Dandy Brewing has concocted an ode to the original IPAs, i.e. those that came from England, and supported the Empire’s far-flung servants due to to the style’s more travel-worthy merits, at the time.  I think that it also means that this is not following the current American New England IPA trend. This 650ml bottle […]

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  • Blindman Oaked Robust Porter

    Reviewed by on March 29, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman Oaked Robust Porter-landscape

    The bottled and oaked version of their Robust Porter is a new release format for this central Alberta brewery, after kegs and their canning of the session ale and kettle sour. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, very dark brown cola colour, with two fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy tan head, which […]

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  • Big Rock Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter

    Reviewed by on March 24, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Big Rock Bourbon Porter-landscape

    Calgary’s Big Rock Brewery has released this Bourbon barrel-aged offering, which is a different brew (first, it’s a porter) than the Bourbon entry in Big Rock’s mixed gift pack from late 2014. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark cola brown colour, with one chubby finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and eventually bubbly tan head, […]

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  • Blindman Kettle Sour #1

    Reviewed by on March 15, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman Kettle Sour #1-landscape

    Lacombe’s Blindman has created a kettle sour brew (where the beer is actively soured by adding something like lactobacillus early in the brewing cycle), and hopped it with some trendy varietals. This 355ml can pours a slightly hazy, very pale golden straw colour, with three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat creamy bone-white head, […]

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  • Honest Paul IPA – Brewsters Brewing Company

    Reviewed by on March 10, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Brewsters Honest Paul IPA-landscape

    Honest Paul is the latest in Brewsters’ packaged products to hit Alberta beer store shelves – and a bit of self-competition of sorts with their Curly Horse IPA already having landed. This 35ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, somewhat rocky, and creamy off-white head, which leaves […]

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  • Troubled Monk Pesky Pig

    Reviewed by on February 19, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Troubled Monk Pesky Pig-landscape

    Pesky Pig is Troubled Monk’s ode to one Francis the pig, who apparently escaped his typical fate at the slaughterhouse back in ’90, and gave the good folks of Red Deer something to talk about, I would imagine.  Oh, and the beer – it’s an American-style pale ale, so bring on the hops, Frank! This […]

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  • Wild Rose Rare Flemish Stout

    Reviewed by on February 18, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Wild Rose Rare Flemish Stout-landscape

    Calgary’s Wild Rose have embarked on a series of ‘Rare’ small batch offerings, wherein they craft beer for the ‘wild brew enthusiast’ – whether that’s a play on their marketing, or an actual reference to wild yeast/bacteria in the process, it’s hard to tell.  Anyways, this is a MMXV ‘edition’, released in MMXVI, and is […]

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  • Village Friend Dandy Baltic Porter

    Reviewed by on February 17, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Village Friend Dandy Baltic Porter-landscape

    Village Friend is a planned series of collaborations for Calgary craft brewery Village – this is the first, with fellow Cowtown (and friendster) Dandy.  Produced at Village, with the proceeds apparently going to help fund an expansion at Dandy. This 650ml bottle pours a solid black abyss, but for some pervasive basal cola edges, and […]

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  • Troubled Monk Homesteader Belgian Saison

    Reviewed by on February 12, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Troubled Monk Homesteader-landscape

    We end off the week with another offering from Red Deer’s Troubled Monk – their Saison, which they relate to the Alberta homesteaders, i.e. the early settlers who made their way west to create a home from the land. This 355ml can pours a slightly hazy, medium tarnished golden yellow colour, with two chubby fingers […]

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  • Troubled Monk Golden Gaetz

    Reviewed by on February 10, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Troubled Monk Golden Gaetz-landscape

    Golden Gaetz is this nascent Red Deer craft brewery’s ode to their city’s evolving downtown thoroughfare, with a style of brew that one might consider a gateway (no pun intended nor proffered) offering of sorts. This 355ml can pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and well […]

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  • Troubled Monk Open Road American Brown Ale

    Reviewed by on February 8, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Troubled Monk Open Road-landscape

    Troubled Monk are one of the new wave of Alberta craft brewers who have come on line since the provincial government changed the archaic production limit rules a couple of years ago.  Now they are canning a subset of their products, including this ode to cruising on the vast expanses of prairie and mountain highways […]

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  • Yukon I’m Leaving Today

    Reviewed by on February 5, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Yukon I'm Leaving Today APA-landscape

    I’m Leaving Today is Yukon Brewing’s take on a hoppy, American-style IPA. The name appears to be a reference to Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’ – got it, and so let me start spreadin’ the news! This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, […]

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  • Phillips Benefit Brew – Edmonton & Area Land Trust

    Reviewed by on February 4, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Phillips Alberta Benefit Brew 2015-landscape

    Here we have the 2015 iteration of Phillips’ Alberta Benefit Brew, wherein they petition votes for the most worthy charity or cause to funnel the full proceeds of the beer’s sales towards. This year, it’s the Edmonton & Area Land Trust, a non-profit organization that promotes conservation efforts for the natural heritage of Edmonton.  Oh, […]

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  • Brewsters Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

    Reviewed by on February 3, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide
    Brewsters BBA Imperial Stout-landscape

    Calgary’s Brewsters has started releasing some of their bigger offerings in the bomber format, including this, their Imperial Stout, aged in somewhat redundant ‘Kentucky Bourbon barrels’. This 650ml bottle pours a very solid black abyss, with the slightest of dark cola basal highlights, and three healthy fingers of loosely foamy, yet still creamy beige head, […]

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  • Blindman River Session Ale

    Reviewed by on December 31, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Blindman River Session Ale-landscape

    Blindman is part of a handful of new Alberta breweries to hang out their shingles in 2015, operating out of the town of Lacombe, just north of Red Deer in the central part of the province.  Their River Session Ale is the first offering that they have packaged beyond keg format. This 473ml can appears […]

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  • Wild Rose Flanders Ave Red

    Reviewed by on November 30, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Wild Rose Flanders Ave Red-landscape

    Flanders Ave Red is the latest in Wild Rose’s barrel-aged series – a Flanders Red Ale, which spent an unspecified amount of quality time in red wine barrels. So named via a pun on the access road off of Crowchild Trail in Calgary that leads one to the brewery, I presume. This 750ml bottle pours […]

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  • Alberta Unity Brew 2015

    Reviewed by on November 27, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alberta Unity Brew 2015-landscape

    Just in time for the holiday season comes the 2015 version of the Alberta Unity Brew, wherein all (almost, anyways) the craft brewers in the province come together to collaborate on a brew. This year (and actually made at Alley Kat in Edmonton) – ESB! This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber […]

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  • Village Gardener Community Involved Ale

    Reviewed by on October 23, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Village Gardener-landscape

    The Gardener Community Involved Ale is just as it sounds – Calgary’s Village Brewery procured hops, fruit, and honey from local community association growing plots, as well as from friends’ back yards to make this brew.  It does indeed take a village, it would seem. This 650ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium golden yellow […]

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  • Fat Unicorn Last Call Blonde

    Reviewed by on October 22, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Fat Unicorn Last Call Blonde-landscape

    Fat Unicorn Brewery (or La Brasserie la Licorne Gras, as they are situated near the heart of Alberta’s French speaking locus – specifically, the hamlet of Plamondon) is one of the newest craft breweries to open up since the provincial law change last year that got rid of minimum production requirements. The artwork and name […]

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  • Two Sergeants Patrolman’s ESB

    Reviewed by on October 21, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Two Sergeants Patrolman's ESB-landscape

    Two Sergeants Brewing are currently sourcing their product via contract means as they get their Fort Saskatchewan facility up and running, so this one comes from Fat Unicorn way up in Plamondon (Google Maps is your friend).  At any rate, Patrolman’s ESB is a fundraising effort for the family of Edmonton police officer Daniel Woodall, […]

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  • Dandy Bizarre Love Triangle Table Sour

    Reviewed by on October 9, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Dandy Bizarre Love Triangle Table Sour-landscape

    Calgary’s Dandy Brewing produce a ‘Limited Edition Dandy’ series of beers, the style being whatever strikes their fancy at the time.  Here, it’s a Belgian-inspired ‘table sour’, which is a lower-alcohol brew, meant to be consumed with a meal.  And they’ve gone and named it Bizarre Love Triangle, perhaps in keeping with their overall English […]

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  • Alley Kat Alberta Dragon Double IPA

    Reviewed by on October 2, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Alberta Dragon DIPA-landscape

    The latest in Alley Kat’s Dragon Series of variously hopped DIPAs is an all-Alberta affair – an apt and timely release, coming right in the middle of the inaugural Alberta Beer Week, and made with Alberta malt, as usual, and wet hops from the Northern Girls hop farm west of Edmonton (and still east of […]

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  • Big Rock Bitter

    Reviewed by on September 28, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Big Rock Bitter-landscape

    Big Rock Bitter is the second ‘new’ part of the recently released 1985 throwback mixed pack from Big Rock, their promotion tied to the 30th anniversary of their operations. And at less than 9 bucks a sixer, they’re off to a pretty good start! This 330ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow colour, […]

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  • Big Rock Cock O’ The Rock Porter

    Reviewed by on in Local Heroes Guide
    Big Rock Cock o' the Rock Porter-landscape

    This offering, part of a new ‘1985’ mixed-pack from Big Rock, celebrating their 30th anniversary by re-brewing and releasing the first 3 beers that they made back in that year, with, and this is the best part, commensurate pricing. This 330ml bottle (THAT much has changed) pours a clear, dark red cola brown colour, with […]

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  • Wild Rose MMXV Barrel Aged Gose Rider

    Reviewed by on September 9, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Wild Rose BA Gose Rider-landscape

    Calgary’s Wild Rose produced Alberta’s arguably first gose (Gose Rider) a couple of years ago, and they apparently reserved a bit of it to be aged in French red wine oak barrels for 18 of the intervening months.  It should go without saying, but I’m gonna anyways, that this is a limited edition offering. This […]

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  • Village Grandfather West Coast IPA

    Reviewed by on June 15, 2015 in Local Heroes GuideSummer Guide
    Village Grandfather West Coast IPA-landscape

    Calgary’s Village Brewing have released this limited-issue offering (a celebration of their 1000th brew), in advance of Father’s Day 2015. A nice sequel to last year’s ‘Father’ Imperial Red Ale, at least marketing-wise. And cool, retro stitched patch affixed to the label, for whatever reason. This 650ml bottle pours a mostly clear, medium copper amber […]

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  • Tool Shed Unite Red

    Reviewed by on May 20, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Tool Shed Unite Red-landscape

    Unite Red is an offering created as part of International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day. Using a red ale recipe from the Pink Boots Society (feel free to look that up yourself), female brewers around the world simultaneously make the same beer, with the proceeds going to charity. This 355ml can pours a clear, dark bronzed […]

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  • Two Sergeants Bangalore Torpedo IPA

    Reviewed by on May 11, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Two Sergeants Bangalore Torpedo IPA-landscape

    Bangalore Torpedo IPA is the first offering made available from this brand new brewery from the NE suburbs of Edmonton, though it (whose name is a reference to an anti-mine device dating back to before WWI) is currently being brewed at Tool Shed down in Cowtown. This 355ml can pours a rather hazy, medium golden […]

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  • Alley Kat Dragon Series Argyll Dragon

    Reviewed by on April 20, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Argyll Dragon-landscape

    I may be starting to sound like a broken record in extolling the virtues of Alley Kat, the longest-running craft brewer in my local burg, but yet no one is saying stop.  Here, we have the latest in their Dragon Series DIPA line – this one is hopped with Citra, Centennial, and Cascade, with a […]

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  • Dandy In The Underworld Sweet Oyster Stout

    Reviewed by on April 10, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Dandy in the Underworld Oyster Stout-landscape

    Calgary’s year-or-so old craft suds artisans Dandy Brewing produce this oyster stout, which they thankfully explain the origins of, that is, as an accompaniment to seafood, and not because any bivalves were hurt in the making of it. This 650ml bottle pours a very dark brown colour, with prominent cola highlights, and one skinny-ass finger […]

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  • Arrowhead I’m So Freaking Hoppy

    Reviewed by on February 27, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Arrowhead Imma So Freaking Hoppy-landscape

    Invermere, BC, sits in the heart of the Columbia Valley, a predictably popular vacation spot for all those Calgarians tiring of the hubbub of Banff National Park (your dear scribe included).  So, in that spirit, I am bestowing upon Arrowhead Brewing honourary Albertan status, for the purposes of this beer guide, and beer enthusiasts all […]

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  • Alley Kat Red Dragon Double IPA

    Reviewed by on February 24, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Red Dragon-landscape

    Edmonton’s craft brewing stalwart Alley Kat has been producing their Dragon Series of single-hopped double IPAs since 2011, and the Red Dragon (with Simcoe) was the first of a now long line of hop-focused treats.  Now, they’re revisiting parts of their back catalog, as it were, and have re-released the one that started it all. […]

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  • Brewsters Blue Monk 2014

    Reviewed by on February 19, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Brewsters Blue Monk 2014-landscape

    Blue Monk is one of Brewsters’ long-running winter seasonals, and is a barley wine, coming in at near 10% ABV.  It was the first version of the style that I ever tried (and tried, and tried), and now they have taken to bottling it, along with a number of their offerings, for broader retail distribution.  […]

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  • Phillips Benefit Brew – Alberta Animal Rescue Dunkleweizen

    Reviewed by on February 17, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Phillips Benefit Brew AARCS-landscape

    Phillips is a prolific craft brewer located in Victoria, BC, but we are hereby denoting them temporary Albertans, for a beer that they’ve brewed to benefit charity – the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society in this case – as chosen by the voting public.  Besides, I think head dude Matt Phillips spent some quality time […]

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  • The Golden Brown Dandy

    Reviewed by on February 2, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    The Dandy Golden Brown Dandy-landscape

    The Dandy Brewing Company is a rather new nano-brewing concern from Calgary, Alberta, who are inspired to make British-style ales, a conceit that very much carries through to their marketing – lots of English Lit references abounding. This 650ml bottle pours a murky, dark burnt caramel colour, with one flabby finger of wanly puffy, loosely […]

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  • Alberta Unity Brew 2014

    Reviewed by on January 9, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alberta Unity Brew 2014 IPL-landscape

    The 2014 version of the Unity Brew, wherein all of Alberta’s craft brews collaborate to create a single beer, the proceeds of which go to charity – was brewed at Wild Rose Brewery in Calgary (the only indication of this being the tell-tale bottle-cap), and is a relatively new, not quite codified (big deal) style […]

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  • Amber’s Chocolate Stout

    Reviewed by on December 9, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Ambers Chocolate Stout-landscape

    Amber’s was a brewery that lasted for a few years, before folding during a lease renewal conflict in Edmonton.  Since then, their brand has been kept alive, and brewed by Hog’s Head in St. Albert – this is their chocolate stout, which you might hear still being referred to as ‘Kenmount Road Chocolate Stout’, a […]

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  • Ribstone Creek Lone Bison IPA

    Reviewed by on September 5, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Ribstone Creek Lone Bison IPA-landscape

    Lone Bison IPA comes to us from Ribstone Creek Brewery in rural Edgerton, near the Saskatchewan border, and is of the unfiltered sort, which brings to mind their Buckin’ Bronco IPA from last year. A six-pack of Alberta-made IPA?  Sign me up, please! This 355ml can pours a mildly hazy, medium copper amber hue, with […]

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  • Brewsters Curly Horse IPA

    Reviewed by on September 3, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Brewsters Curly Horse IPA-landscape

    A regular on-tap American-style IPA was a long time coming to Alberta – but now Brewsters offers this, on draft and in take-away bottles.  It’s dry hopped twice – once in the fermentation vessel and again in the maturation tank, according to the brewery, and comes in at 55 IBU. A different beer than their […]

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  • Village Father

    Reviewed by on June 18, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Village Father-landscape

    Village Brewery is Calgary-based, and distributes their products in that city (and immediate environs) only – this is their ode to Father’s Day 2014, an Imperial Red Ale, made with the newish Belma hop varietal, and is a stronger offering than their typical wares thus far. Ok, called Dad – check. My little guy down […]

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  • Alberta Unity Brew 2013

    Reviewed by on May 13, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alberta Unity Brew 2014-landscape

    The Unity Brew is a collaboration of the members of the Alberta Small Brewers Association, first cooked up in 2009, where one brewery hosts the event, and the rest help develop the recipe and donate the ingredients for the one-off beer to be brewed.  Each participant brewery receives a keg or so of the finished […]

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  • Grizzly Paw Rundlestone Session Ale

    Reviewed by on May 8, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Grizzly Paw Rundlestone Session Ale-landscape

    The Grizzly Paw Brewery, situated on the side of the Trans-Canada highway as it enters (or leaves, too, I suppose) the mountain community of Canmore, Alberta, is the latest to get into the current trend of session ales, those lower ABV, very pale-ale like brews.  I guess they just be representin’!  The brew in question […]

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  • Alley Kat Bearded Dragon Imperial Red IPA

    Reviewed by on April 8, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Bearded Dragon-landscape

    Alley Kat just keeps rolling out the new releases (to the glee of Alberta beer fans) – this one is part of the Big Bottle Series, and not the Dragon Series, as one might expect, given the name – I guess the Kats wanted to keep tapping into the good will thus far generated by […]

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  • Alley Kat 6 1/2 Bears Oatmeal Export Stout

    Reviewed by on March 12, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat 6 1-2 Bears Oatmeal Export Stout-landscape

    Alley Kat re-releases their popular Three Bears Oatmeal Stout, but now as a Foreign, or Export stout, a style designation which basically means that traditionally, brewers had to increase the alcohol content to ensure the safety of their products for shipment abroad.  I am a little perplexed by the name here, though, which plays on […]

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  • Wild Rose Life on Mars

    Reviewed by on March 7, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Wild Rose Life on Mars-landscape

    I first thought that the dude on the left on the label was an old photo of James Hetfield – sorry, Perkins! On to the beer – it proclaims to be Wild Rose’s take on the Bière de Mars sub-style of the Bière de Garde style, a decidedly spring-like type of brew. This 650ml bottle […]

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  • Wild Rose Electric Avenue

    Reviewed by on March 4, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Wild Rose Electric Avenue-landscape

    From Wild Rose Brewery’s new open-sixer packaging, this is their first straight-up lager, it would seem. Named for a (somewhat) infamous formerly bar-laden strip in downtown Calgary, also known as 11th Ave SW, which is now a more genteel and mature kind of neighbourhood. This 341ml beer pours a slightly hazy, pale golden yellow colour, […]

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  • Alley Kat Murasaki Dragon DIPA

    Reviewed by on February 5, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Murasaki Dragon DIPA-landscape

    Not having run out of colours just yet for the single-hop Dragon DIPA series (I believe that the count stands at eleven different colours and hops so far), Alley Kat has nonetheless gone with a little language play in naming this one, as Murasaki is the English representation of the Japanese word for ‘purple’, in […]

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  • Alley Kat New Moon Cascadian Dark Ale

    Reviewed by on January 24, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat New Moon CDA-landscape

    Alley Kat released their first Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA) as part of the brewery’s 15th anniversary series in 2010.  It was well received back then, so they’ve released it again, in the Big Bottle Series, dubbed it ‘New Moon’, and this time made it with Simcoe and Citra hops. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, […]

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  • Brewsters Bow Valley Brown Ale

    Reviewed by on January 14, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Brewsters Bow Valley Brown Ale-landscape

    Here we have another offering from Brewsters Brewing Company, who have been quietly making this English-style brown ale for their Alberta brewpub locations for as long as I can remember darkening their doorsteps (2001, at least).  It it also bottled for takeaway, as part of their regular beer line up. This 500ml bottle pours a […]

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  • Wild Rose S.O.B.

    Reviewed by on January 10, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Wild Rose S.O.B.-landscape2

    Wild Rose Brewery of Calgary brews this English bitter or “Special Old Bitter” (I don’t know what you were thinking), to be a less assertive, in hop bitterness and ABV, version of their IPA, or ‘little brother’ as they call it.  It can be found in six-packs and draft in your more discerning beer parlors […]

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  • Alley Kat Alligator Blackened Lager

    Reviewed by on January 7, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Alligator Blackened Lager-landscape

    Alligator Blackened Lager was originally produced by Alley Kat for the Louisiana Purchase and DaDeO restaurants in Edmonton, and is now available at a few other select locations around the province.  It is made in the style of a Munich Dunkel Lager, or dark lager, a type of beer that is popular in Mexico, one […]

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  • Brewsters Blue Monk Barley Wine

    Reviewed by on January 3, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
    Brewsters Blue Monk-landscape

    Blue Monk was my first ever exposure to barleywine, a good number of years ago, and I recall barely being able to finish the pint I had ordered of it. Now that I’ve grown to appreciate the style, I look forward to its release each winter.  It is made at the Brewsters Foothills facility in […]

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  • Big Rock Scottish Style Heavy Ale

    Reviewed by on December 12, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide
    Big Rock Scottish Style Heavy Ale

    Another entry from Big Rock Brewery in Calgary.  This offering started out as part of their small-batch pilot test system, which they call the “Kasper Shultz Line”, in 2008, and has graduated from keg-only, to six packs of bottles, and now to tall-boy cans.  The beer itself is a malty, mildly smoky version of the […]

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  • Brewsters Rig Pig Pale Ale

    Reviewed by on December 10, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide
    Brewsters Rig Pig Pale Ale

    Rig Pig is an American-style pale ale, through the application of copious amounts of Cascade hops to an all-Alberta malt bill.  A somewhat obvious ode to the oilfield workers of Alberta, and particularly those on the northern fringes, this beer is one of Brewsters’ year-round offerings, as well as one that they provide in take-home […]

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  • Wild Rose Natural Born Keller

    Reviewed by on December 6, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide
    Wild Rose Natural Born Keller

    Wild Rose is a brewery that started operations in 1996, and grew out of its original location in Calgary’s Foothills Industrial Park in 2006, which prompted a move to their current digs in Building AF23 in the Currie Barracks, an old Canadian Forces Base.  They make a host of year-round offerings across styles, and produce […]

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  • Sherbrooke Chocolate Cherry Ostiarius

    Reviewed by on December 5, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Sherbrooke Chocolate Cherry Ostiarius-landscape

    This was first made in 2007 as a holiday seasonal release from Alley Kat for the Sherbrooke liquor store in Edmonton, using cherry extract and cocoa as additives to a base porter.  It has been revisited a few times since, most recently this past winter.  The tag line for the beer is ‘Di! Ecce hora!  […]

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  • Big Rock Erratic Stone Fired Ale

    Reviewed by on December 3, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide
    Big Rock Erratic Stone-Fired Ale

    Erratic is another departure for this brewer of late, experimentation-wise. Purportedly a steinbier (‘stone beer’ in German), an archaic style not currently recognized outside of historical contexts, wherein the boiling of the wort is enabled or aided by the addition of already baked chunks of stone.  This was done, back in the day, when the […]

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  • Yukon Red

    Reviewed by on December 2, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide
    Yukon Brewing Yukon Red

    An honorary Alberta brewery, Yukon Brewing’s products sell well in our province, coming as they do from our northern neighbours, but not nearly as well as they perform at home.  In a story so absurd that it has to be true, it turns out that Yukon Brewing’s draft products outsell Molson and Labatt’s, combined, in […]

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  • Alley Kat Olde Deuteronomy

    Reviewed by on November 29, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Olde Deuteronomy Barley Wine

    Barleywines are a style that seem to get short shrift by Albertan brewers, as there are have only been a handful of instances over the years.  Maybe that’s because they have to compete with Olde Deuteronomy, Alley Kat’s (near) yearly big-beer offering, that almost always seems to be available, and at a very reasonable price, […]

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  • Grizzly Paw Big Head Nut Brown

    Reviewed by on November 26, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide
    Grizzly Paw Big Head Nut Brown

    Grizzly Paw is a brewpub that opened on Canmore’s main street in 1996, in the heart of the Bow Valley, which is a sort of lead-in to the towering Rocky Mountains from the Alberta side.  They have since become a micro-brewery that produces beer for distribution outside of the pub, and recently built a stylish […]

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  • Drummond Beer Beer

    Reviewed by on November 22, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide
    Drummond Beer Beer

    The current incarnation of the Drummond Brewing company came about in 2009, when a few Red Deer locals bought up the lapsed trademark from a brewery of the same name that operated in the 1980s.  They convinced the original brewer to come back, and set about making beer with only Alberta barley, eschewing the adjunct […]

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  • Ribstone Creek Lager

    Reviewed by on November 19, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide
    Ribstone Creek Lager

    The first offering from this relatively new rural Alberta brewery, who started bringing product to market in 2012 by contract brewing at Yellowhead in Edmonton, and now have their own production facility and taproom up and running in Edgerton, a small village in eastern Alberta near Wainwright. They have thus far produced this, their signature […]

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  • Brewsters Czech Pilsner

    Reviewed by on November 15, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide
    Brewsters Czech Pilsner-landscape

    Alberta’s longest existing brewpub, Brewsters was started in 1989 in Regina, Saskatchewan by the Lanigan family, and subsequently expanded into Alberta in the 1990s. There are chain locations spread throughout Edmonton and Calgary, and the brewing is now done primarily at the Calgary Foothills facility, with a lesser amount whipped up (the German styles) at […]

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  • Big Rock McNally’s Extra

    Reviewed by on November 12, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide
    Big Rock McNallys Extra

    Named after brewery founder Ed McNally, who in 1986 wanted to make an Irish-style beer that reflected his heritage. McNally’s was by far my favorite bottled offering from Big Rock back in my university days. I recall it being a participant in the first time that I ever had beer for dinner – I arrived […]

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  • Alley Kat Full Moon Pale Ale

    Reviewed by on November 8, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide
    Alley Kat Full Moon Pale Ale

    This Alley Kat product is broadly available around the province, and in some various spots elsewhere in the country. It is a classic west-coast American pale ale, aided in large part by the use of 2 of the big ‘C’ hops – Centennial and Cascade – in both the brewing and dry-hop stages. It is […]

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