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Breweries

Craft Breweries

Barn Hammer Brewing (595 Wall Street) – What a handsome transformation of an auto shop this brewery and taproom is. It's located half a block north of Portage Avenue, fairly close to Polo Park – which is great if you need to kill some time while waiting for someone shopping. They make five signature beers along with an experimental and seasonal beer that frequently changes. Their refreshing Lousy Beatnik Kellerbeir has become our go-to après skate draft at The Common (inside The Forks Market), while their Le Sneak Belgique is a super flavourful wheat beer. If you get a chance to tour the brewery with brewmaster Brian Westcott, do so; he is hilarious (in the driest way possible), while also extremely knowledge and forthcoming about their brewing processes, sharing fun tidbits on what test batches were successful, and others that were not so much. 

Brazen Hall Kitchen & Brewery (800 Pembina Highway) – The former location of The Round Table has been completely overhauled and converted into a brewpub that is always packing in the crowds. They generally are brewing six main beers, along with a seasonal offering, while on the food side of things the menu is extensive, ranging from bar snacks to large mains, including Nashville hot chicken, stout-braised short ribs, and a selection of fish dishes. 

Devil May Care Brewing Company – Their motto is “brewing it to 11,” which any Spinal Tap fan will appreciate, while they promise to start brewing “the coolest styles” utilizing “top-quality ingredients” and “the most innovative brewing techniques in the industry today.” It’s a partnership between two Winnipeg home brewers – Colin Koop and Steve Gauthier –  who are currently collaborating and brewing within Stone Angel Brewing (1875 Pembina Hwy Unit 9) where you’ll be able to find their beers being served by June 2018. You can expect hoppy IPAs, malty stouts, and various inventive sours, ales and such.

Fort Garry Brewing Company (130 Lowson Crescent) – Winnipeg's oldest microbrewery, Fort Garry first started brewing in 1930, and has since gone through several incarnations with Molson (1990) along with an amalgamation with BC's Russell Brewing in 2007, before being sold back to a Manitoba firm in 2016. Group brewery tours can be arranged to take you through their nine-step process, while across the province you can purchase (and find on tap) their large catalogue of beers. We're big fans of their Big Buddha Beer, which is a lager infused with ginger and lemongrass which goes down so nice in the summer (especially with Thai food). 

Half Pints (550 Roseberry Street) – One of Winnipeg's pioneering independent microbreweries, Half Pints offers tours every Saturday (and by special request), where brewers show you grain to bottle processes. Half Pints brews four main beers, along with fun seasonal selections like their "fruity and fabulous" Queer Beer, which they brew every year for Pride Winnipeg. They also just won "Top Brewer" and "Top Beer" (for their Le Temps Noir Batch Two) for Manitoba from RateBeer.com for 2016.

Little Brown Jug Brewing Company (336 William Avenue) – It just opened in November and is crafting and serving one excellent beer, the 1919 Belgian Pale Ale, which you can find on many taps across the city. It's a delicious, sweet-yet-sour and refreshing number that pairs well with breakfast on the frozen Red River (as RAW:almond brunchers will recently attest). The tasting room itself is quite the stunner; the building is a former livery that has been completely opened up and made shine so you can see everything – from the brewer working the tanks to the storage areas – while sitting on the teak furniture in the swish tasting area. LBJ also gets green bonus points: all the heat created during the brewing process is captured and used to heat the room in the winter, while the inverse will happen with regards to the brewing cooling equipment that will be converted to air conditioning in the summer. Open Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Read more about it here.

Nonsuch La Brasserie and Brewing Co. (125 Pacific Avenue) – After perfecting their craft making batches of beer at Barn Hammer, Nonsuch has made it official, taking over the former home of PEG Beer Co. location in the Exchange's theatre district (more on that here). They are currently brewing a Saison – which has been getting great reviews and is meant to be cellared like wine – that you can also find at fine outlets and other breweries across the city, while they’ve also recently come out with an Old Ale X. We give them big points for marketing too – particularly the nautical website and sexy black bottles, which look like a high-end cava.

One Great City (OGC) Brewing Company (1596 Ness Avenue) – Owners/co-founders Tim Hudek (a lawyer who is the business manager) and Jon Burge (the chef), along with general manager Diego Osorio, have a real gem on their hands, located right by CF Polo Park. The large blue, grey and blonde room is rather striking; the food is really quite great, with share plates like kimchi pork tacos and plenty of gluten free and vegan options; while they have six regular beers on tap, along with two-three seasonal offerings.

OXUS Brewing Company (1180 Sanford Street) – While their tap room is yet to open, Oxus is currently brewing three core beers, those being the Canadian Dream Blonde Ale, Juice of the Oats Oatmeal Stout, and Transoxania India Pale Ale, all of which you can find in select Manitoba Liquor Marts, along with on tap at SMITH Restaurant and Segovia Tapas Bar. 

Kilter Brewing – Was originally set to opening in summer 2018 on Sherbrook Street, but since hit a snag with their location. Thankfully – Winnipeg's brewing community being just that, a community – they've now found themselves a space to brew within Stone Angel Brewing Co. (1875 Pembina Highway). Their focus is on producing hoppy, inventive IPAs, with recent releases including the Tiny Umbrella Pog Milkshake IPA (with passionfruit, orange, guava, citra hops and milk sugar), and the ¡JAJAJA! Mexican Stout, which utilizes ancho, pasilla and guajillo chiles, cocoa, milk sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.   

Stone Angel Brewing Co. (1875 Pembina Highway) – Established in 2017 and now serving around eight beers and one cider. Their cheeky website is also good fun -- owners Paul McMullan (a former lawyer with sommelier training)., Paul Clerkin (an Irishman who is the graphic and web designer) and James Defehr, are all former home brewers who seem like witty fellows, while Paul C. gets bonus points for being a Liverpool supporter.

Trans Canada Brewing  (1290 Kenaston Boulevard) – This huge taproom and brewpub is producing an extensive lineup of beers (at last count it was 14), covering all manner of tastes from a light lager and pilsner, to an assertive Saison and Double IPA. Inside the brewery, you’ll also find Timmy Tom’s Pizzeria, which knocks out a number of pies. They also offer free brewery tours every Sunday at 1 p.m. (limited space available, so arrive early to guarantee your spot).

Torque Brewing Co. (330-830 King Edward Street) – You can find their cans and growlers available in liquor stores across Winnipeg, while their beer is also available on taps across the city. Their taproom just opened a few weeks ago and the website RateBeer has just bestowed them with the title of "Best New Brewer" in Manitoba. Plus, at the brewery you can now get custom designed double insulated stainless steel growlers that are both super badass and will keep beer cold and carbonated for 24 hours. They currently brew four regular beers -- a stout, IPA, wheat and lager along with specialty small batches.

Winnipeg Brew Werks – Currently brewing within Torque (their real location is yet to be announced), owners Bernhard Wieland, Darren and Zoe Wanless will be hitting the market on August 1, 2018 with their first beer, the Pils, named to honour “the German Brewing Heritage of brewmaster Wieland.” You can expect to find this pale German style lager on draft at select pubs and restaurants, as well as on the shelves at Liquor Marts.

Distilleries

Capital K Distillery (Unit 3 - 1680 Dublin Avenue) – The award-wining lineup of spirits from Tall Grass, Manitoba's first craft distillery, keeps growing and now includes Tall Grass Oaked Wheat Grain Spirit (which essentially is a whisky, but they can't say that until it has reached three years in a barrel), Tall Grass White Rhumb (distilled from blackstrap molasses), Tall Grass Strawberry Rhubarb Vodka, Tall Grass Dill Pickle Vodka, Tall Grass Espresso Vodka (infused with De Luca's espresso beans), and the limited release Prairie Pear Gin Cooler with partner Fort Garry Brewing, on top of their incredibly smooth Tall Grass Gin and Vodka. They have a tasting room where they make cocktails, while distiller/owner Jason Kang is almost always around to give tours for up to 30 people. You can get the full story on this smooth operation here. Oh, and as to those aforementioned awards, that would be gold for its vodka, silver for both the gin and dill pickle vodka, and a bronze for its espresso vodka at the 2018 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition.  

Patent 5 Distillery (108 Alexander Avenue) – Opening soon with a tasting room in the Exchange’s trendy theatre district, Patent 5 is currently producing gin, vodka, and at some point in the near future (once it has aged in a barrel) whisky. The name comes from the fifth patent that was ever issued in Canada, which was for a still in 1869. You can read more about this fascinating building and the fascinating man behind it – Brock Coutts – in this detailed CBC story here

Tours

Beer and Food Tasting at Fort Gibraltar – Heartland International Travel & Tours offers this 2.5-hour culinary experience inside the historical walls of Fort Gibraltar, a replica 19th century trading fort located on the Red River inside Winnipeg. Guests receive a delicious 3-course French meal paired with premium European craft beers and ciders.

Downtown Winnipeg Biz Tap In Tour – This walking (or group cycling) tour brings you to four of downtown's most lively rooms where you'll sample appetizers along with one or two draft beers at each stop. With seven participating restaurant/bars, this tour can be customized and runs approximately four hours.

Winnipeg Tasting Tours – "Exploring Winnipeg… one drink at a time," Winnipeg Tasting Tours' Brews Cruise brings you by van to four stops – including Little Brown Jug, One Great City, Torque, and Half Pints – where you'll get either a pint or flight, along with a flatbread pizza. They also offer South End Brewery Tours, which will bring you to Stone Angel Brewing, Trans Canada Brewing, One Great City, and Torque, while also providing you with a burger to build that base. Tours are round trip, and take approximately four hours. 

Winnipeg Trolley Ale Trails – Everyone's favourite orange trolley now offers The Ale Trail, which departs from The Forks and brings you to three breweries (with a pint at each stop) and provides you with a brief course in beer evaluation. There's also great fun in between stops as your trolley guide regals you with saucy tales on Winnipeg's historic brewing scene. The Ale Trail runs every Wednesday and Friday, with Wednesday's stops being Little Brown Jug, Torque and One Great City, and Friday being Little Brown Jug, Trans Canada Brewing Co., and Brazen Hall Kitchen & Brewery. Tours are round trip from The Forks and run for approximately three hours and 45 minutes. 

Brewery fans please note: we plan to continually expand this article, and to use it as a standalone in the EAT section on Tourism Winnipeg's website. If you notice something new we are missing please email mike@tourismwinnipeg.com so we can keep it updated. Cheers!

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