The Rocky Mountains are famous for their beautiful views, fresh air and mountain adventures, but more and more people are beginning to associate them with something else as well: An astonishing number of craft breweries and distilleries have been popping up in recent years. Access to fresh glacial water means that breweries and distilleries have an excellent base to start making their products, and the mountain views make the experience of sipping a cold one that much better.
Here are a few breweries and distilleries in the mountains near Calgary that are worth the trek.
Canmore Brewing Company is a great stop for a casual drink while exploring the town or after a hike. The brewery offers several styles of beer on a regular basis, as well as a few seasonal flavours. While there isn’t a formal kitchen, there is a menu of local snacks, or you can bring your own food to eat alongside the mountain view.
1460 Railway Ave., Canmore, 403-678-2337, canmorebrewing.com
This family-friendly taproom in Canmore offers an ever-changing menu of craft beers and ciders. There isn’t a full kitchen at Sheepdog Brewing, but there are a few snacks like sausage rolls, pretzels and strombolis. You can also bring your own food.
112 105 Bow Meadows Cres., Canmore, 403-679-4009, sheepdogbrewing.com
At Blake Brewhouse and Distillery, soak in panoramic mountain views from the dining room while enjoying the craft beers and spirits on the menu. Blake offers five styles of beer (available in flights if you want to try all of them), as well as an eclectic food menu with items like dumplings, sandwiches, braised short ribs and even house-made ice cream.
810 Bow Valley Trail, Canmore, 403-675-3663, blakecanmore.com
Canmore’s Wild Life Distillery offers a menu of craft cocktails from the small on-site tasting room. All made using Wild Life’s handcrafted spirits, options include classics like an old fashioned and more unique drinks like the “Lady in Red.” If you’re hungry, order the charcuterie board made with products from Canmore’s Valbella Gourmet Foods.
105 Bow Meadows Cres., Canmore, 403-678-2800, wildlifedistillery.ca
With two locations in Canmore, The Grizzly Paw is a great spot to stop for a drink and good food when you find yourself in the mountains. The Grizzly Paw Pub, located in downtown Canmore, offers many beer styles and traditional pub fare. Tank310, located on the third floor of the Grizzly Paw brewery, offers panoramic views of the mountains from its dining room and a menu that is heavy on house-smoked items and inventive takes on pizza.
Grizzly Paw Pub, 622 Main St., Canmore, 403-678-9983; Tank310, 310 Old Canmore Road, Canmore, 403-678-2487; thegrizzlypaw.com
Located in the heart of downtown Banff on the second floor of the Clock Tower Village Mall, this brewery serves beers brewed both in-house and by sister company Jasper Brewing Co. There’s also a tasty selection of pub classics like burgers, fried chicken or mac n’ cheese.
110 Banff Ave., Banff, 403-762-1003, banffavebrewingco.ca
Park Distillery is another spot located on hip Banff Avenue, serving its own craft vodka, rye and gin in a variety of cocktails. The food menu is also a big draw here — the campfire-inspired fare is cooked using the restaurant’s wood burning grills. Dining at the restaurant gets you 10 per cent off retail purchases, so be sure to pick up some bottled spirits for home before you leave.
219 Banff Ave., Banff, 403-762-5114, parkdistillery.com
Banff’s newest brewery offers several styles of beer and seasonal rotating brews. The taproom is particularly good for nighttime visits as the restaurant’s retractable patio roof makes for excellent stargazing while you sip on a beverage and snack on dishes like lamb ribs, pepperoni and chili crisp pizza, Thai green curry and more.
205 Bear St., Banff, 403-985-8038, threebearsbanff.com
Open since 2005, Jasper Brewing Co. was Canada’s first National Park brewery. Jasper Brewing is part of the Bearhill Brewing Co. (which includes Banff Ave. Brewing, Last Best Brewing and more) and serves its own brewed beverages, as well as more beers and craft spirits from its sister companies. As for food, the brewery offers its own take on classic pub fare with dishes like elk meatloaf or pork ribs with a cherry cola barbecue sauce.
624 Connaught Dr., Jasper, 780-852-4111, jasperbrewingco.ca
Located on the edge of Jasper National Park, Folding Mountain Brewing offers gorgeous views of the mountains while serving eight styles of beer. There’s a food menu with a variety of burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and other tasty treats, or you can order pizza from the Juniper Pizza Pie food truck located outside of the taproom. Folding Mountain Brewing is a short drive from Miette Hot Springs, making it a great pit stop before or after your road trip to visit the natural warm waters.
49321 Highway 16, Jasper East, 780-817-6287, foldingmountain.com
If you happen to find yourself in Fernie, stop by the tasting room at Fernie Brewing Co. (which also has a patio in the summer). A series of sours, IPAs, ales and more can be found at this mountain brewery, plus a few bar snacks. Whether you are skiing at Fernie Alpine Resort or just passing through, grab a six-pack to take back with you.
26 Manitou Road, Fernie, 250-423-7797, ferniebrewing.com
Arrowhead Brewing Company opened its doors in Invermere in 2021. Stop by the taproom, which is a 1950s Gastown-inspired space, to try one of the six permanent brews on the menu or one of the seasonal rotating taps. In the summer, grab a spot on the patio to soak in the views of the Columbia Valley.
481 Arrow Road, Invermere, 778-526-2739, arrowheadbrewingcompany.ca
The taproom at Radium Brewing is meant to be like a community hub — a wood burning fireplace, board games and cards, and good drinks make it a great spot to relax. The brewery does have snacks on the menu, but invites you to bring your own food along, as well. The taproom has great views of the mountains, plus the occasional glimpse of bighorn sheep, wild turkey, or, if you’re lucky, local celebrity Percy the Peacock.
7537 Main St. West, Radium Hot Springs, B.C., 250-688-8091, radiumbrewing.ca