We all know about the 100-mile diet, but when to comes to enjoying beer these days in Calgary, the same rule applies. In the last few years, craft beer has taken over Calgary taps with IPAs, sours and a milieu of other imaginative styles made right here in our own backyard. In 2017, craft beer is as much a staple of Calgary culture as the white Stetson hat, and the warm Calgarian brand of hospitality that locals and visitors alike have come to know.
As proud supporters of local suppliers, we thought we’d have some fun this week with showcasing some of our favourite local craft picks on tap at the Sandstone Lounge.
Big Rock Grasshopper
From the company that put craft beer on the map in Alberta over two decades ago, Big Rock’s Grasshopper is a well-regarded wheat ale with a crisp finish and soft fruit notes. In the words of Brewmaster Paul Gautreau “This beer is the gold standard for Kristallweizens in Canada. It was a game changer for craft beer when it first arrived on the scene in 1994… and there’s still nothing quite like it.”
Wild Rose Velvet Fog
“The choice is clear. The beer isn’t,” remarks the team behind Wild Rose Brewery’s classic unfiltered Velvet Fog beer. This longstanding craft brewer in the Calgary area has made a name for itself with a wonderfully eclectic line up of beers like the Cowbell Kettle Sour and the Electric Avenue Lager, along with this staple unfiltered wheat brew – complete with tangy citrus notes, and a brilliant golden hue in your pint glass.
Bench Creek Black Spruce Porter
One of the newcomers to the Alberta beer scene is Bench Creek Brewing in Edson, Alberta. For any of our guests who love a good Porter, the Black Spruce is highly recommended. ‘Fine roasted coffee’, ‘dark chocolate’, and ‘molasses’ are just a few of the key descriptors thrown around when talking about this malty pick. The best part about the Black Spruce is that it pairs perfectly with your dinner – and your dessert.
Goat Locker Fainting Bock
Inspired by an antiquated nautical term, the ‘Goat Locker’ refers to the space beneath the ship deck where the goat for the voyage used to be kept, along with the beer rations. While we’re many miles from sea here in Calgary, we can still agree with the sailors of bygone eras that nothing is better than a cold beer at the end of a long day.
The brewery’s Fainting Bock is a hoppy treat and just what you need after a day of sightseeing or business meetings. To impress your drinking companions at the bar, you can drop in the fun fact that the word ‘Bock’ actually translates as “goat” in German.
Crisp, handcrafted craft beer at its best. Village is a well-known brand around Calgary and one we’ve been proud to have on tap at Sandstone for many years. This thirst-quenching beer is what you need in your life for the spring days ahead. If you’re still trying to find ways to entertain your friends with snippets of craft beer trivia, make sure to drop in the fact that the Village Blonde is made to conform with the 1516 Bavarian Law of Purity. Your company will never question your beer knowledge again.
Last but not least, we can’t go without mentioning our very own in-house craft beer, called the Sandstone Buffalo Head Lager. This easy-drinking brew’s inspiration actually dates back to 1892 when A.E. Cross opened the Calgary Brewing and Malting company, using the buffalo head as a symbol of frontier beer. Tipping our hat to Calgary history, it only seemed fitting to use the buffalo on our label.
We’d love to regale you with more fantastic facts about Alberta craft beer on our blog, but we think it would be much more fun for you to join us in the Sandstone Lounge for a beer. Be sure to ask your server or bartender for his or her personal pick of Alberta craft beer right now and try something new.