A Shifting Beer Scene
Oh Canada: home of the strong and free. And also a quickly growing craft beer scene. Canada has a long history with beer and if you travel internationally, chances are someone will mention Canadian beer to you. But as the rise of craft beer grows around the world, Canadians are out different brews than the mass-produced beer of our past. We are a country with amazing scenery, passionate sports fans, and yes—craft beer connoisseurs. As our fair dominion turns a young 152 this year, we are taking a look at the expansive and booming craft beer that fills our pint glasses from sea to sea to sea.
A Look Back at Craft Beer History
Beer has been a part of Canadian history well before we were even a country of our own. Early settlers and Jesuit Brothers were creating brews well before we had provinces or a Prime Minister. Commercial beer has been available in Canada since 1688, which is when our first official brewery opened. So it’s safe to say, we are in fact a country built on a foundation of brewing. The early days of beer making in Canada only grew over time as more English settlers made their way over. Breweries thrived here between World Wars, Prohibition, and The Great Depression. Not to be thwarted by major hits to the Canadian alcohol landscape, breweries rebounded and our beer culture and industry has worked its way through huge hurdles. Original breweries like Molson, Labbatt, and O’Keefe have all grown well beyond their humble beginnings. These breweries paved the way for our craft brewing scene by creating a foundation of beer fans all over Canada. Without them we wouldn’t have the enthusiastic beer culture that we do.
Tides of Change
In the late 1970s-early 1980s, cottage (or craft) breweries started popping up in BC. Motivated by the desire to have beer other than straw-coloured pale ale, brewers started making their own product. Batches sold out quickly and fans of the small breweries kept growing. As the idea of microbreweries spread across the country, more kept popping up. Though mass-produced beer from the big brewers remained the most popular choice Canada-wide, people have come to the consensus that beer variety and quality is better when you go craft.
Where to Start
As more breweries pop up nationwide, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Luckily we have built great relationships with some of the country’s best breweries, which we get to share with you! Some of our favourite beer comes from Canada and we’re always proud to share these bottles and cans every month. Some recent Canadian favourites of ours include:
- Goat Locker | Lethbridge AB
- Bridge Brewing | North Vancouver BC
- Grain Bin Brewing | Grand Prairie AB
- Boxing Rock Brewery | Shelburne NS
- Collective Arts Brewing | Hamilton ON
- Dageraad Brewing | Burnaby BC
There are of course MANY more breweries across the country that we love. In fact, we feature them every month in our subscription packs! As breweries and craft beer continue to grow in popularity, we know Canadians will continue to embrace them and make the change to drinking craft. Happy Canada Day to everyone and Cheers to great Canadian craft beer!