Bear Hill Brew Crew Long Weekend Part 2
Labour Day Weekend is the last official weekend of summer, so take the opportunity and take an Albeerta Road Trip.
By Shira Kogut on Aug. 19, 2016
I hope you got a good night sleep because today is a long 8 hour drive. Consider breaking it up with a quick leg-stretch in Edmonton (perhaps check out new brewery Situation Brewing) or maybe in Fort Saskatchewan (check out the new brewery Two Sergeants Brewing Inc.). Fort McMurray was devastated by wild forest fires in May 2016 and more than 100,000 residents were evacuated from their homes making it the largest wildfire evacuation in Canadian history.
A great way to help a community get back on their feet is by supporting their local industries. Wood Buffalo Brewing Co. named after the regional municipality is one of those businesses. On this quick trip, we don’t have a lot of time, but I definitely recommend a return trip preferably on the last Monday of the month when they hold their Beer Club meetings. These are a great opportunity to learn about brewing and home-brewing, taste different craft beers, meet other beer enthusiasts and “help grow and educate the craft beer scene”. I’d definitely try the Northern Lite Pilsner or their namesake Wood Buffalo Pale Ale. Paired with anything from their All Day Brunch menu or their Beer Brined Chicken. Like Banff Brewing, they also have a Community Tap: Lemon Radler that sounds AMAZING! The proceeds go to Kidsport Wood Buffalo. This sounds like a pretty sweet beer that I’d pair with a dessert like their Brownie Sundae made with a stout brownie or if you wanted something to balance out the sweetness perhaps their Pilsner Braised Brats.
If you are lucky enough maybe you will catch sight of the Northern Lights dancing in the skies above, but then go get some zzzzzzs because tomorrow it’s back to Calgary.
Fort McMurray to Calgary is also quite a long drive, but you can stop again in Edmonton or Red Deer (home of the award winning Troubled Monk Brewery).
Before you go home and the weekend is done unwind from your long day’s drive at Last Best Brewing and Distilling. They may be last, but they are certainly not least. They are home to one of my favourite porters “There Will Be Porter“. Their unusual name comes from a program launched by the Canadian government at the turn of the 20th Century called the “Last Best West” Campaign. Its intent was to encourage people to come out and populate the western prairies. The government told would-be homesteaders that this was their Last Best opportunity to lay roots, shape their own futures and be agriculturalists in the new and open west. The success of this program led to the Calgary we know and love today and the thriving craft beer scene that is exploding in this city and all over Alberta. Thanks to the adventurous homesteaders who took a chance and came out here, the Alberta craft beer industry can make fresh and delicious beers using the best local ingredients.
Which isn’t hard here in Alberta – we are literally surrounded by a sea of barley, making (in our opinion) Calgary the Last Best opportunity for the craft brewing industry and brewers like us.
If you are looking for something light then the daily soup special with bannock would be right up your alley or if you are feeling a little fancy their bison tartare. Either of these would go well with their classics Olsch Kolsch B’Golsch or their Last Best IPA.
If you are looking for something a little bigger then I’m a HUGE fan of their Classic burger with my favourite porter, but fish’n’chip fans will love the kolsch-battered Ocean Wise cod fish & chips.
On their tap list, I also noticed this hefeweizen: “ABV 5.3%, IBU 12 A classic easy drinking hefe, with balanced notes of banana and clove. For our summer time tweak, ask your server for a fresh shot of banana, mango or peach puree in your pint for $1 extra.” That sounds like the perfect way to close our wild road trip and say a sad, but delicious au revoir to summer.
We’d love to hear what you think of the Bear Hill Brew Crew. If you’ve been there, let us know what you enjoyed! You could find yourself published here on Just Beer.
To learn more about the history of Alberta Craft Beer check out this fantastic video series: Aleberta – Our Beer History.
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