If there’s anything we search for while travelling, it’s a good local brewery. Every time. A craft brewery honestly says a lot about a location; the names of the beers reflect local culture, the locals of that community will likely be hanging out there, and the servers tend to know the best touristy and non-touristy places to visit. The craft brewing industry has boomed in the last few years, especially in the Atlantic provinces, and we love it!
Consider this article your guide to Canadian craft breweries (and cideries) from the twowildtides perspective. We’ll come back here and update each time we visit a new one. I’ve decided to keep them in alphabetical order– I can’t rank or choose a favourite, they’re all so good! Keep scrolling!
Newfoundland & Labrador
Bannerman Brewing Co.
Located in an old firehouse on the corner of Duckworth and Ordnance Street, Bannerman Brewing Co. is new to the St. John’s microbrewery scene, but already known as an irreplaceable establishment. Killer food, great beer, and a friendly atmosphere, Bannerman Brewing Co. is the perfect place to chill with pals. I recommend the Scenic Route sour.
Crooked Feeder Brewing Co.
We visited Crooked Feeder Brewing Co. after a day on the slopes at Marble Mountain. While their beer is brewed in Cormack, they have a quaint little gastropub in the lower level of the Millbrook Mall in Corner Brook. I really enjoyed their sour as well.
Dildo Brewing Co.
This place garnered a lot of attention in the past few years, mostly thanks to this brewery (and Jimmy Kimmel). I won’t get into too much here because we already have a full-length blog post all about Dildo and the Dildo Brewing Co. right here. Have a read!
Newfoundland Cider Company
While I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting the Newfoundland Cider Company Tasting Room yet, I was able to snag some Scrumpy Cloudy Cider before it quickly sold out in NLC stores. It was one of the better ciders I’ve had without a doubt. I hope I’ll get the chance to visit their tasting room in Milton next time I’m in NL.
Just off Conception Bay Highway in CBS you’ll find Ninepenny Brewing. While the outside of the building doesn’t offer much of a view, the decor inside makes up for it. The brewery has a cool, industrial feel and the selection of board games makes it an awesome hang-out spot for residents of CBS and Paradise. I really liked that Ninepenny offered both growlers and grunters for taking their yummy beer home with you.
Port Rexton Brewing
This was one of the first craft breweries I visited. The perfect stop on a Discovery Trail road trip, Port Rexton Brewing offers delicious beer in a picturesque community. If you’re lucky, you’ll visit on a day when the sun is shining and a food truck is parked outside.
Quidi Vidi Brewery
Arguably the most established brewery in NL (it is the third-largest beer producer, just behind Molson and Labatt), Quidi Vidi Brewery is located in the beautiful small community from which it takes its name. I love their well-known Iceberg Beer which is available nationwide. If you can only make one brewery when you’re in the St. John’s area, make it Quidi Vidi.
Split Rock Brewing Co.
Located in scenic Twillingate, Split Rock Brewing Co. has a great selection of beers and a low-key atmosphere. I’ll never forget the fun day I had with some of my best friends, playing cards and laughing until we cried. Twillingate has some awesome tourism opportunities, so we definitely recommend making a trip and including Split Rock as one of your stops!
A St. John’s staple, Yellowbelly Brewery is housed away in a massive heritage building downtown St. John’s. Known for their excellent beers, yummy food, and top-notch event space. Yellowbelly always nails their seasonal selections, so much so that you’ll dearly miss the beers as the seasons change. During the Covid-19 lockdown, they even had a “Stay Where You’re At” beer available by curbside pick-up only, paying homage to the Come From Away musical.
Annapolis Cider Company
In linds’ old stomping grounds, in Wolfville’s downtown area, is the Annapolis Cider Company. Linds was drinking Annapolis cider way back in 2016 when twowildtides started and highlighted their delicious cider in a blog post. I had the pleasure of visiting their taproom last Fall and it was a fantastic experience. Ciders are my favourite, especially these!
Church Brewing Co.
This is honestly one of the most unique venues for a brewery I’ve visited. Every aspect of this old church in downtown Wolfville has been adapted to house a friendly, wholesome brewery and restaurant. All around good vibes and awesome food and beer. A must-visit on a NS holiday.
Lake City Cider
Lake City Cider in downtown Dartmouth has a vibrant atmosphere and even more vibrant ciders. Take the ferry across from Halifax with your bffs just like I did and enjoy a fun evening on the other side of the harbour. They’ve recently debuted hard sodas which I cannot wait to try.
Linds had the pleasure of interviewing the founder of Flying Canoe and visiting their cidery. Check out the full post:
70 Acre Brew Co.
Calling themselves a ‘farm-to-glass operation’, this newer brewery is in an industrial area of Sherwood Park. With a cool, upbeat taproom and friendly service, we really enjoyed our experience here. We had an Oktoberfest pizza and the crust was one of the best I’ve had (thin and crispy, but still moist and buttery), and I thoroughly enjoyed my Raspberry Sour.
Banff Ave Brewing Co.
Nestled right in the heart of Banff, Banff Ave Brewing Co. has an exciting and modern environment. It’s the perfect place to grab a beer and a few appetizers after a long day of hiking and exploring.
Dog Island Brewing
This brewery is located in Slave Lake, Alberta. We took a mini road trip there on a Saturday in the fall, just for something to do, and it was totally worth it. Dog Island has a low-key, relaxed atmosphere with board games available as well as sweet merch and televisions to catch a game. Dog Island, ironically, has a pet cat who is super sweet and loves to cuddle the guests– imagine our surprise when we looked at her collar and realized she has the same name as our kitty: Frankie! I highly recommend their sours, but all of the beer is really good.
Endeavour Brewing Company
A hip, friendly brewery in St. Albert. Great service, great atmosphere. Decent location, decent beer. A fun place to play some cards and pass some time with friends.
Fat Unicorn Brewery
Located in Lac la Biche, Fat Unicorn has a huge tap room with a lovely patio, decent food, and pretty good beers. I particularly liked their Hefeweizen Ale.
Jasper Brewing Co.
Another mountain town, another awesome joint to grab a beer and a bite after a day of exploring. Jasper Brewing Co. has the best Blueberry Vanilla Ale (available in liquor stores across Alberta) and their elk meatloaf is to die for. I also recommend the Jasper Trail Session IPA, Rockhopper IPA, and their Korean BBQ wings.
In quaint downtown Drumheller, you’ll find Valley Brewing. Their logo pays homage to the hoodoos found in the Canadian Badlands, a spectacular sight to follow with a flight of craft beer. I highly recommend the Discovery Raspberry Ale.
West of the 5th Distillery
Okay, not quite a brewery– but locally-produced, small-batch alcohol is where I’m at. It doesn’t have to be exclusively beer, does it? West of the 5th (or W5) is in Barrhead, a small town just west of Westlock. We stumbled upon this place by chance during our camping trip at Thunder Lake Provincial Park, which is only 20 km outside Barrhead. It has a cool, industrial feel with a nice patio. Unfortunately, during our visit, in-person dining was banned due to Covid and their patio was closed because it was raining. We picked up some Hard Iced Teas and some small flasks of flavoured moonshine, all of which were quite tasty (and affordable). My favourite was the peach moonshine. I want to try their moonshine pickles next!
Backcountry Brewing is in the industrial part of Squamish. Honestly, if we weren’t at the Ford dealership picking up a new truck, we wouldn’t have found it, or probably even bothered to visit that part of town. But it is so worth the quick cab ride out that way. I recommend the Forager Pizza and the Asking For A Friend Raspberry Smoothie Sour. (Have you noticed that I lean towards fruity beers and sours?)
Three Ranges Brewing Company
Aptly named for its location in the valley of three breathtaking mountain ranges, this brewery was the perfect hang-out spot during our camping trip in Valemount. I loved their cider and I bet you would too.