Alberta is a hot bed of craft beer activity right now. Think BC about five years ago, when you couldn’t go a month without hearing about a new brewery popping up somewhere in the province. All that activity has led to a flood of exceptional craft beer coming from Alberta, especially in cities like Edmonton and Calgary.
With all that change, it can be hard to keep up. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Here are ten of the most exciting craft breweries in Edmonton for you to wet your whistle.
Alley Kat is one of the original Edmonton based craft breweries, and the fourth oldest Alberta craft brewery. Founded in 1995 by Neil Herbst and his wife Lavonne, the brewery focused on locally sourced ingredients and clean drinking crowd pleasers. While the original owners sold in 2020, Alley Kat remains locally owned and operated.
Analog Brewing appeared on the Edmonton scene in 2018 and is the brainchild of two best friends from college with a love for craft beer and video games. They are self professed “super-nerds” and their beer reflects a love of old school video gaming and role playing with offerings like their Ready Paler One and Power Up Porter.
Bent Stick Brewing is a nano brewery started by four brewers in 2015. As a nano brewery, they focus on a highly rotational lineup of beers in North Edmonton 400 Litres at a time. Because the beer rotates, you’re never going to know what’s on offer, but you can rest assured that the small team has poured a ton of energy and love into each creation.
Located in the ultra-modern Ritchie Market, Blind Enthusiasm has a benefit of being a sister to the popular restaurant Biera. You may recognize the owner, Greg Zeschuk, as the former owner of video-game developer Bioware. This is an award winning team with a strong enthusiasm for beer making.
Campio is the fourth brewery in the Bearhill Brewing family, with the previous breweries being Jasper Brewing Co. (2005), Banff Ave Brewing Co. (2010), and Last Best Brewing & Distilling (2014) . Launched in 2018, Campio looks to provide beers ranging from the “working man’s thirst quencher” to a sour program that pushes the palate. They must be doing something right as they won a silver medal for Brewery of the Year at the Alberta Beer Awards.
Located in the trendy Oliver Exchange Building, this is an exciting brewery for any craft beer drinker that is up for experimentations. The brewers are chemists who started brewing as a hobby in the garage, and officially launched the brewery in 2017. Small batch brews mean something new every time you visit.
Polar Park brewing opened in 2016, but it has a storied history in Alberta. Founder Robert Oeming’s grandfather Al Oeming ran the Alberta Game Farm from the 1950’s to the 1990’s. That park was renamed…you guessed it “Polar Park” when they began specializing in colder climate animals. While the original brewery location had been planned to be to repurpose the old polar bear enclosure, we’ll take the current location on 80th ave NW all the same.
Sea Change Brewing Co. is named after founder Ian McIntosh’s family boat. Not only are they producing stellar beer, but they are also very community minded and support worthy causes where they can. Early in 2021, they offered growler fills for only $1, as long as you donated to the local food bank; that was so popular, they did it again and ended up raising over $13,000. Sea Change also donates 10 per cent of its Prairie Fairy sales to Fruit Loop, an Edmonton not-for-profit focused on LGBTQ2S+.
Located in what used to be an old bookstore, Situation Brewing is just off of Whyte Avenue, which makes it a very convenient spot for those out on the town. Their philosophy is great tasting craft beer brewed locally, served in an atmosphere where it can be enjoyed with friends. Drinkers can tour the microbrewery, or sign up for a brewing workshop in a laid-back environment where everyone can learn more about a drink we all love.
Town Square’s motto is “big flavours in small batches”. You can count on rotating taps as they take traditional recipes and put their own unique twists on them, bringing you something new every time you visit. You can also enjoy artisnal pizzas at the brewery, and they have a regular charity tap and pizza where 10% of proceeds go to a selected charity of the month.