The coldest Alberta winters may call for a drink that warms us up, while our scorching summers may call for a cold-brewed beer or refreshing mixed cocktail. Alberta’s smaller towns and cities are home to a number of locally owned establishments that can help provide refreshment with a seasonal flair and home-grown ingredients, while sometimes in quite cool or unique spaces.
Camrose is home to several wonderful microbreweries, crafting unique new flavours that are sure to please your palette. Whether it’s beer, cider, or mulled wine, you’ll find something for every season at these 6 sensational craft breweries.
We are preparing to welcome one of Alberta’s newest microbreweries to the province! Detention Brewing took over the old Rosalind School and transformed it into one of the most unique-looking breweries in Alberta. Their chosen location is fitting though, as Detention’s aim will be to educate beer-lovers on the creation of their craft beer. While Detention Brewing excitedly prepares for its grand opening, you can take a lesson in local drinks from several other breweries and distilleries.
On-site at the Norsemen Inn, this Camrose brewery creates their small-batch beers with a “purist” approach while providing you with a full bar in which to sip and taste. Norsemen’s unfiltered, unpasteurized, and preservative-free brews come in four standard varieties, each of which pair beautifully with the four different seasons.
Located next to the Norsemen Brewery Company, The Tap Room serves up big plates of good food to perfectly complement the ice cold beer. And best of all? Tastings are complimentary!
Summer: Thor’s Hammer IPA
This IPA comes loaded with tropical fruity flavour combined with the strong hop flavour to give it that full-bodied IPA taste.
Fall: Epic Oatmeal Stout
What makes this so epic, and so epic for fall? The Oatmeal Stout is a warming drink with chocolate and espresso flavours as deep as the colour of the beer itself.
Winter: Idun’s Dark Plum Porter
Allow the richness of dehusked and dark-roasted specialties malts to wrap you in warmth for the winter. And don’t mind the hint of fruitiness with notes of festive dark plums for Idun’s Dark Plum Porter.
Spring: Longship Blonde Ale
Many will want to turn to this beer on the golf course in the spring, and on the patios. It is an easy-drinking crisp beer, and one of the favourite classics from Norsemen.
You have a few options on how to enjoy your Back40 Distillery liquors: you can find it at local liquor stores around Alberta, through many local pubs around Alberta, or through online ordering; but you can also stop by for a taste and tour at their Camrose distillery. The tour allows you to sample all their current vodka, rum, liqueur, and oaked spirits.
Summer: Loretta’s Moonshine
Inspired by Local Country Artist Tracy Millar – A Rhubarb Liqueur that sure to please your taste buds. Drink it on its own or mix with gingerale, cran-gingerale, PC Jamaican ginger beer, or PC Peach ginger beer.
Fall: Ol’ Apple Betty (liqueur)
You can create a wide variety of cozy drinks out of Back40’s Ol’ Apple Betty; however it is recommended for both warm and cold drinks. It can be added to something like warm apple cider for additional kick, or a cold holiday punch. Back40’s fall recipe: Cranberry Mulled Wine
Winter: Vanilla Frost (liqueur)
The distinct vanilla bean flavour of this darker liqueur could be the spice your holiday drinks are missing; add Vanilla Frost to something like egg nog or coffee or get the best of its richness by tasting it straight. Back40’s winter recipe: Christmas Morning Martini
Spring: Smooth Oak Blend (‘S.O.B.’)
Well son of a- this drink is smooth. The SOB blend is easy drinking on ice or neat with a bit of sweetness and caramel taste. These notes also make it great to mix with Pepsi or Coke, soda water, or a strong ginger beer/ale. Back40’s spring recipe: Hi Balls
Simplicity is key at Battle River Brewery. Simple and quality ingredients; simple yet tasty beer; and simple processes combined with high attention to detail. From this, Battle River offers classic beer varieties made with local Alberta goodness: barley, hops, and yeast.
Hand-crafted, authentic cider made here in Camrose from 100% Canadian grown apples. True North has a selection of ciders that are available year-round, as well as seasonal collections which incorporate flavours from across the Central Alberta landscape.
Summer: Raspberry Hopped
This is a truly local drink to help you usher in the warmer weather of spring made with Canadian apples, raspberries, and hops.
Fall: Original Dry
Whether you prefer your apple cider warm or cold, this Original Dry makes the perfect companion to a crisp fall day with tart apple flavours.
Winter: Kinda Sweet
Mix the Kinda Sweet cider with some mulling spices, warm your beverage, and prepare to get cozy with your perfect fireside holiday drink.
Spring: Blueberry Vanilla Bean
This original blend started as a spring seasonal but will remain on their menu. It is a smooth, easy-drinking cider with just a hint of sweetness from the vanilla, and a bit of tartness from the blueberries.
Ever wanted to make your own wine but didn’t know where to start? Newly open in November 2021, Half Korked wine making supply store & urban winery offers the most authentic craft wine making experience, so you can craft age-worthy wines of distinction that will impress anyone.
Choose your wine kit from Half Korked’s vast selection, then add the yeast to start fermenting. The helpful staff will take care of all the heavy lifting for the next 4-6 weeks, then you can come back to bottle your very own wine with Half Korked’s professional grade equipment.
Or if wine isn’t your thing, Half Korked als has a selection of Black Rock beer-making kits with ingredients prepared for you by master brewers in New Zealand to ensure premium quality every time.
This is where it all comes together! While it’s not a brewery itself, the Fox & Fable is well renowned for its friendly atmosphere, good food, and selection of Alberta craft beers and ciders. Here you’ll get a chance to taste a wide variety of drinks from Alberta distillers and brewers, and a comfy and cozy place in which to sip. On top of a full food and drink menu, F&F has a large stock of board games, books and magazines, and a play area and menu for younger children.
Why visit in Summer: local beers and sodas
Take your pick from a wide variety of Alberta beers served ice cold from the tap, in a can, or a frosty bottle (depending on the brewery) to enjoy on Fox & Fable’s patio. For the underage crowd they offer local sodas from Troubled Paw or Troubled Sodas.
Why visit in Fall: cider season!
Get your fall cider fix from one of four Alberta establishments: True North, based in Camrose; Broken Spoke from Edmonton; or Calgary’s two cider-makers, Uncommon and Village.
Why visit in Winter: mead cocktails to warm the soul.
The Fallen Timber Meadery in Alberta’s Water Valley provides this warmth through Meadjitos, a MR. Pink, the Honey Buck, or the Hopped Mead. Come in, escape the cold, warm your soul, stay a while.
Why visit in Spring: pick your favourite cocktail to be made with local spirits
As the patio approaches its open season for Spring, consider your favourite cocktail or hi ball to be mixed with local liquors and liqueurs from all around Alberta. The café has Back40, Rig Hand, Section35, and Wild Life spirits on hand, as well as the Troubled Sodas and Grizzly Paw Sodas available for mix.