About Lagers from Canada

About Lagers from Canada
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


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.
Wayne Gretzky Hazy Pilsner
89 points
Light emerald straw color. Herbal, toasty aromas and flavors of toasted buttered baguette, French toast, and lemongrass with a supple, crisp, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, engaging, medium-to-long finish that shows accents of grilled greens and pepper. A rock- solid, crushable Pilsner for all occasions.
Vancouver Island Brewing Victoria Lager
89 points
Gold in color, with moderate and funky aromas of soft tropical fruit, toasted grain, and green apple. On the palate, crisp acidity brings flavors of lemon marmalade and egg croissant into a breezy, warming finish. This rock-solid Dortmunder has the fruity nuance of a perfect lunchtime pairing.
Okanagan Spring Brewery King Eddy Pilsner
87 points
Pale light gold color. Herbal aromas of dried grass, slate, dried herbs, and lemongrass with a soft, fizzy, dry medium body and an even, short sourdough, water cracker, fresh-cut grass, and melon rind finish. A crisp, clean pilsner for sunny days and backyard cookouts.