Calgary’s first industrial district, Manchester is southeast of the Stampede grounds. While the neighbourhood has its share of commercial operations of the kind you’d expect to see in any industrial area — autobody repair shops, bottle depots, impound lots — it has also become the heart of Calgary’s craft-brewing scene. After the Province lifted regulations around craft brewing in 2013, many brewers gravitated to Manchester for its interesting and eclectic spaces suited to the backroom-brewing-with-public-facing taproom model. The brewery boom was bolstered by the central location, accessible by CTrain or by bike from downtown. Along with breweries, Manchester is also home to several craft distilleries, at least one craft cidery and Calgary’s only urban winery, as well as the venerable Alloy, a perennial Best Restaurants list-maker.
Unique Feature: Breweries? Sew what? On the eastern side of Manchester, you’ll find Rick Rack Textiles. Offering sewing classes, unique prints, indie patterns and more, this spot has become a hub for anyone in Calgary who prefers or aspires to make their own clothes.
What the judges said: “Manchester is industrial, but it’s a special kind of industrial, with one-of-a-kind and unexpected enterprises around every corner.” -James Stauch