About Canadian Beer

About Canadian Beer
Canada: Beer Eh?

Despite its geographic proximity, Canada has a very different beer scene in comparison to the United States. For example, many beer connoisseurs agree that mass-market Canadian pale lagers are typically stronger and more full-bodied than their U.S. counterparts. Canada’s beer scene also varies due to provincial government monopolies on beer distribution and retail sales. These laws often allow for the rapid growth of microbreweries by eliminating the difficult step of securing distribution and placement in the marketplace. However, it is interesting to note that with an alternatively independent retail sector, Quebec boasts the liveliest craft-brewing scene in Canada, with the similarly unregulated British Columbia falling close behind.

Unibroue from Chambly, Quebec has been recognized by the Beverage Testing Institute and many others for their outstanding range of Belgian-style ales. McAuslan of Montreal boasts an excellent range of Anglo-style ales, many of which are also found in U.S. markets. Apart from various artisanal products, U.S. consumers are most likely to encounter Canadian beers from Labatts, Molson or Moosehead. Additionally, a considerable amount of beer from other countries are brewed under licenses in Canada, including Guinness of Ireland, Foster’s of Australia and Carlsberg of Denmark.

Top Picks for Canada

Unibroue 2015 17 Grande Reserve Dark Ale
97 points
Hazy light mahogany color. Earthy aromas of chocolate ganache, balsamic reduction, smoked nuts, canele pastry, dried leaves, and caraway with a velvety, lively, spritzy, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, massive, very long baked figs, dark chocolate, candied lemon peel, burnt caramel, and toasted pecan finish. Outstanding balance and wildly attractive flavors; an earthy and chocolaty Belgian style ale that will win you over swiftly.
Wayne Gretzky Hazy IPA
94 points
Light gold color. Attractive aromas and flavors of spiced mangos, pineapple-zucchini bread, and cannabis cookie with a chewy, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, long finish displaying notes of grapefruit marmalade on rye and mixed peppercorns. A spot-on IPA with plenty of delicious, juicy, and quenching hop flavors to offer.
Awards: 2021 Best Ale
Unibroue La Fin du Monde Belgian-Style Triple Ale
94 points
Bright hazy gold color. Aromas of banana creme, clove, lemon balm, pickled apple, and chutney on toasted crumpet with a velvety, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a very complex, medium-long spiced rice pudding, valencia orange, salted flatbread, and hints of gouda finish. Champagne-like carbonation, complex spicy flavors, and a lengthy finish that lasts until the next sip; an excellent, vibrant example.
Unibroue Don de Dieu Belgian-Style Wheat Ale
93 points
Hazy light gold color. Aromas and flavors of spiced praline, scrambled eggs with cheddar chive, zucchini raspberry bread with rosemary oil, and book pressed flowers with a round, bright, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, refreshing, medium-long finish displaying notes of frosted banana cake, apple cobbler with candied orange zest, and sweet and peppery spices finish. A finely balanced and delectable Belgian blonde ale for all occasions.
Wayne Gretzky Pale Ale
92 points
Golden yellow color. Aromas of toasted coconut bread, honeyed herb muffin, orange marmalade, and chocolate puffed rice with a satiny, bright, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, stimulating, long grapefruit yogurt, honeyed bitter greens, hint of BBQ wood, and grilled sweet potatoes finish. A hoppy, chewy English style Ale with plenty to offer.
Vancouver Island Brewing Dominion Dark Lager
92 points
Dark brown in color, with lively aromas of dark roasted pecan, raisin swirl bread, toasted oats, black coffee, and graham crackers. On the palate, dry flavors of buttered nuts, mocha latte, baking chocolate, and braised greens tingle into a medium-length, malty finish. This is an easy-drinking but deliciously roasty black lager; great for autumn sessions.
Vancouver Island Brewing Ocean Sun White Sails Brewing Collab Double IPA
92 points
Bright copper in color, with bright aromas of plantain, spruce tip tea, and orange muffin. On the palate, crisp acidity brings golden raisin and grilled citrus flavors into a breezy, tingling finish. This bold and bitter brew packs a punch!
Unibroue Éphémère Pomme Flavored Wheat Ale
92 points
Gold color. Fruity aromas and flavors of honeyed sliced apples on apple jack cereal and apple-scented candle with a silky, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, medium-length finish imparting elements of wheat wafer with apple butter finish. A very tasty, balanced and refreshing apple flavored beer that really hits the spot; one for the beach.
Vancouver Island Brewing Nanaimo Bar Imperial Porter
92 points
Nearly opaque dark brown color. Attractive aromas and flavors of chocolate nuts and fruit cake dipped in rum with a chewy, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity full body and a warming, stimulating, medium-long finish with nuances of artisan dark chocolate bar with golden raisins and espresso beans, delicate spice, and cherry pipe tobacco finish. A rich, warming and deliciously chocolatey porter in the imperial vein.
Unibroue Terrible Belgian-Style Quadruple Ale
91 points
Ebony color. Aromas of licorice, cinnamon, orange tea, chocolate, and rye toast with a velvety, lively, effervescent, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, long sarsaparilla, figs and dates, almond granola, and spiced apricot preserves finish. A vibrant and extroverted Biere de Garde for the masses.