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Canmore is one of the adventure capitals of the Canadian Rockies. Surrounded on all sides by tall mountains, Canmore is the place people come to explore the great outdoors. With an unlimited amount of things to do in Canmore and some pretty epic tours that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
However, many forget that a holiday in the Rockies is also about unwinding, and what better way to do that than at a brewery?
Visitors to Canmore and spoiled for choice when it comes to visiting local breweries. In fact, there are 4 local breweries in Canmore and 1 distillery in this tiny mountain town. I got to know them well while living in Canmore.
But for visitors, it can be hard to know where they are, what they serve, and which one (or ones) is right for you!
So, in this blog, I answer all that and more from one beer lover to another. Oh, and I’ve included Canmores very own distillery just in case you love a delicious cocktail.
This is the only list of breweries in Canmore that beer lovers visiting Canmore need!
Distilleries and Breweries in Canmore
1. Canmore Brewing Co.
- Location: Near Safeway in Canmore, 1460 Railway Ave, Canmore
- Price for a pint: $7.65 CAD
- Serves food?: Only snacks like pies and pretzels.
Canmore Brewing Company is one of the best breweries in all of Canada. It’s the one craft beer I drink regularly and seek out at local liquor stores. Their brewery is located at the Railway Avenue shopping complex in Canmore. Although not the most ideal location to get amongst Canmore’s vibrant atmosphere, the beer is brewed on-site which I love.
When it comes to the selection of beers, theirs is growing nicely. The Ten Peaks Pale Ale is a favorite of mine as well as the Misty Mountain Hops. There are three other choices on their regular taps but they also have seasonal taps so there’s always something new to try. Of course, this changes regularly, so pop in to see what’s new!
As for food, well, they do lack in that department, and for the time being, you can only get snacks such as savory pies, pretzels, and nuts.
Canmore Brewing also offers tours on Saturday afternoons, so be sure to book it if that interests you.
Related Read: Heading to Canmore? Check out all of the best things to do in Canmore while you’re there!
2. Sheepdog Brewing
- Location: In the industrial area of Canmore, 105 Bow Meadiows Crescent, Canmore
- Price for a pint: $7-8 CAD
- Serves food?: Only small snacks like sausage rolls, pretzels, and chips. You are welcome to bring your own food or order delivery!
Sheepdog Brewing is Canmore’s least-known brewery and if you don’t look for it, it’s likely you’ll miss it- which is such a shame. This brewery reminds me of what craft breweries should be, a small garage operation run by a bunch of friends who all share a love for craft beer.
For such a small brewery though, they craft a lot of great beers for you to try. In fact, there are 15 tap beers available to try including some really unique brews such as a coconut porter, mixed berry sour, and an ages saison. Seriously, these guys are testing the waters and the brewery is suited to those who love to try something more unique – like me!
My favorite beers would have to be the Everythings Peachy, Jammy Dodger (mixed berry sour), and The Dogfather Hazy IPA! With that said, I love most of their beers – they really are all that good!
The brewery is located on the outskirts of Canmore in the industrial area, but trust me, this place is worth the drive!
3. Blake Brewhouse and Distillery
- Location: In central Canmore, 810 Bow Valley Trail, Canmore
- Price for a pint: $8 CAD
- Serves food?: A large “evolving creative menu” with everything from poke bowls to burgers to mussels.
This next place combines both a brewery and a distillery into one. Blakes Brewhouse and Distillery are located in Canmore and both brew their own beer and craft their own spirits onsite. On top of that, they serve a full menu and have a huge onsite restaurant with a large outdoor seating area. It’s the place to be on a warm sunny day!
I personally come here for the cocktails and food as opposed to the craft beer. Although they have 6 full-time beers on tap including a delicious IPA, it’s just not really my style of beer. With that said, I love the large selection of cocktails including the Mango Picante Margarita and the Filthy Chia.
If you arrived hungry then you came to the right place. The Blake serves some really interesting food. My personal suggestion is the Tandoori Chicken Naan or the Lemon Grass Mussels – perfect on a summer’s day with refreshing flavors that pair well with fruity cocktails.
4. Wild Life Distillery
- Location: In the industrial area of Canmore, 105 Bow Meadows Crescent
- Price for a pint: $10-14 CAD for a craft cocktail
- Serves food?: You can choose between a charcuterie board or an affogato dessert
Tucked away in the industrial area of Canmore is another pleasant surprise. Wild Life Distillery is a small craft distillery that only crafts 7 spirits. With that said though, the small tasting room is the perfect place to try a unique cocktail crafted with expert care.
I myself love their rotating cocktail menu which is usually inspired by current events. Or, if you love your classics they have a ton of favorites everyone will love.
These guys do not serve food and the tasting room is rather small, however, I have a feeling this place will grow especially with the quality of the cocktails and service!
Related Read: Heading to Canmore for the holiday season? Check out our blog about visiting Canmore in December for info on the best things to do and festive events!
5. Grizzly Paw Brewing Co.
- Price for a pint: $9 CAD
- Serves food?: Yes. Large pub menus available at both locations. The burgers are so good!
Last but certainly not least in Canmore is Grizzly Paw Brewing. This small brewery was the first in Canmore and they actually have two locations. The first is the most convenient to visit and that’s on the main street (8 Street) of Canmore. Here, you can try many of their beers including one that’s still brewed in that location.
The other location is a little further out on Old Canmore Road. Funny story actually, I never knew this location existed until I stayed at the Coast Canmore Hotel across the road – talk about a handy location! Anyway, this location is much bigger than the one in town and is where most of their beer is brewed nowadays.
Both locations serve food although I’ve only eaten at the one on 8 Street. Their burgers are delicious and I’d say stopping in for a burger and a beer is definitely one of the best things to do in Canmore!
As for my favorite beer, well I really loved their Grumpy Bear Honey Wheat and the entire Summit Range (which is made up of three ales.)
Now I know we’re all here for the beers, but if you’re bringing someone along who doesn’t love beer then Grizzly Paw Brewing is a perfect choice. The reason? Well, they actually sell homemade cocktails in a can! These include a Mountain Mule and a Gin Squeeze! Although Bailey loves beer, she couldn’t resist trying the cocktails too!
Related Read: Visiting the Grizzly Paw is awesome all year round! With their indoor fireplaces, it’s a cozy place to have a beer and one of the best things to do in Canmore in the winter!
Distilleries and Breweries near Canmore in Banff
Only a short drive from Canmore you can actually visit a few other breweries and distilleries. These are located in Banff town only 20 minutes away! Here are a few of the best breweries in Banff (near Canmore!):
1. Banff Ave Brewing Co.
- Location: Right in the heart of Banff, 110 Banff Ave
- Price for a pint: $9.75 CAD, daily specials available
- Serves food?: Yes. An extensive menu or typical Canadian pub food.
First up is, of course, the Banff Ave Brewing Company! This was the first brewery in Banff and the craft beer here is delicious! The brewery is conveniently located on Banff Ave but it can be a little tricky to find as it’s on the second floor.
Luckily though, Banff Ave Brewing has a small shop below selling merchandise and take-home packs where the employees will point you in the right direction to the bar and restaurant upstairs. Once in the brewery, the world is your oyster…
One thing I really, really love about Banff Brewing Co. is its huge range of beers. To be exact there are 12 delicious beers to choose from and the variety is so vast there really is a beer for everyone. Personally (yes, let’s hear about my favs!) I love the Head Smashed IPA, Pond Hockey Pale Ale, and the Strawberry Pint’a Colada (a golden ale brewed with strawberries that actually tastes like a strawberry Pina Colada!) Although the Pint’a Colada is seasonal, you’ll find lots of other great seasonal beers to try when you visit.
The brewery also serves really good food consisting of many Canadian pub classics such as nachos, burgers, and poutine (if you’re not Canadian you may need to Google that last one.)
Regardless of what beer you love, you’re bound to find it at Banff Ave Brewing Company. Don’t get stuck there too long though, you need to move on as there are many more craft breweries to try around Banff!
2. Three Bears Brewing
- Location: In the heart of Banff town, 205 Bear Street
- Price for a pint: $8.75-$9.50 CAD
- Serves food?: Yes. Their menu includes a variety of pizzas, sandwiches, bowls, salads, and appetizers.
Three Bears Brewing is Banff’s newest brewery and is actually owned by the Park Distillery in town. When I first heard about Three Bears Brewing opening for business I was super excited to try it out. I mean, why did Banff only have one brewery up until now!?
The indoor area is trendy (perfect for a rainy day in Banff) and they also have a nice patio area outside. The entire brewery is gorgeous with high sealings, beautiful decor, and great beer. Overall this creates a really fun atmosphere and it didn’t take me long to get the beers flowing.
My favorite beer? It has to be their tea-infused rotating beer. This might not be available when you visit but luckily they have 4 full-time beers on tap of which I loved the Happy Trails Pale Ale and Wishing Tree IPA. I’m just patiently waiting for them to brew a sour!
The food at Three Bear Brewing is also a highlight and the Cheesy Waffle Fries pairs perfectly with your beer. I also recommend sharing some of the Lamb Ribs!
Three Bears Brewing is located on one of Banff’s newest pedestrian priority streets Bear Street making it very convenient. This is a must-visit on your trip to Banff in winter or summer!
3. Park Distillery
- Location: Right in Banff town, 219 Banff Ave
- Price for a pint: $10.50-$18 CAD for a craft cocktail, $9-$10 CAD for a pint of beer
- Serves food?: Yes, and everything is sooooo good! They have a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu.
Park Distillery is the only distillery in Banff and one of my favorite places to enjoy lunch! But first, let’s start with what they’re famous for…cocktails and craft liquor!
Park Distillery has 5 whiskeys and 11 spirits all of which are crowd favorites. In fact, they’re often completely sold out of their craft whiskeys! Whiskey lovers will really enjoy tasting them all which range from 36 to 47 months. I myself am not a whiskey fan so I stick to their spirits which include vanilla vodka (my favorite) and expresso vodka!
To be completely honest though, I’ve only tried their straight liquor once. In fact, I almost exclusively come for the cocktails, and why not, they’re delicious! Be sure to try the Sawback if you love a bit of spice or the Nitro Shaft on Draft for a pick-me-up with expresso vodka and cold brew coffee.
As for food, well you really can’t go wrong if you love hearty meals. I love the Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich and the Seared BC Salmon. Both pair perfectly with cocktails or craft beer (they serve lots of local brews!)
If you can, plan accordingly and take part in their daily FREE distillery tour that begins at 3:30 pm!
You’ll find Park Distillery conveniently on Banff Ave!
Other Things to do While You’re in Canmore
If you’re still putting together your Canmore itinerary here are some of my personal favorite activities across all seasons that I would recommend to anyone!
- Explore the Canmore Caves – one of the best and most popular adventure tours on the outskirts of Canmore is this Canmore Caving adventure tour. You’ll rappel down into the Rat’s Nest Cave system and explore underground through narrow spaces before reaching a clear pool of water with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. This tour lasts 6 hours, costs $179 CAD, and includes all climbing gear and your own guide so you don’t get lost.
- Go ice skating on a frozen lake – if visiting Canmore in the winter one of the most epic and non-touristy experiences to have is to go skating on one of the area’s frozen lakes (usually frozen solid by mid-December). A few of my favorites are Gap Lake, Lake Louise, and Vermilion Lakes. If you don’t have your own skates you can easily rent a pair from Gear Up in town.
- Whitewater Rafting – an iconic Canadian activity that is sure to provide lots of scenic views, thrills, and laughs! After a safety briefing, this whitewater rafting tour will have you splashing through rapids for around 2 hours. It costs $130 CAD and is available in the summer from mid-May until mid-September.
- Wildlife Safari – Canmore is home to an abundance of wildlife, including black bears, grizzlies, moose, bighorn sheep, foxes, cougars, elk, coyotes, lynx, mountain goats, wolves, and more. Spotting wildlife on your own is often a coinflip so I recommend going on a wildlife tour with an expert who knows where and what to look for along with how to do so in a safe manner. This private half-day wildlife safari tour is a fantastic option that spends 2 hours on a drive through the Rocky Mountains and a 1.5-hour nature walk to track wildlife. It is pricey at $325 per person but it’s worth it if you’ve been dying to see the native animals!
- Hike to Grassi Lake – this hike to a naturally emerald-colored lake is one of Canmore’s main attractions. The color is so bright it’s hard to believe it’s real! This 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) long trail only gains 125 meters (410 ft) in elevation and takes most people about 2 hours to complete. It’s totally doable for most ages and experience levels so you really have no reason to miss out on the incredible views of Grassi Lake! Just get here early before the parking fills up.
Where to Stay in Canmore
The truth is that there are so many hotels in Canmore that it can be hard to know which one to choose for your stay. Well luckily for you, Dan and I have stayed in a lot of different hotels in Canmore and have been able to narrow it down to our absolute favorites!
Here are the best places to stay in Canmore including our personal top choice, a budget option, and one for those looking for absolute luxury!
Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre – Our Top Choice
Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre is our absolute favorite place to stay in Canmore. It is affordable without sacrificing any of the comforts you’ll need for a relaxing and enjoyable stay – suitable for almost all travelers and budgets. They have an onsite pool, hot tub, and fitness center along with a delicious bar and restaurant (Table Food + Drink.)
Coast Canmore Hotel is located right in the heart of downtown Canmore walking distance from 8 Street (Main Street in Canmore), and just across the road from the Canmore Shops where you have a selection of restaurants, cafes, and takeaway places.
Oh, and did I mention the views from the hotel windows are breathtaking!
On top of all of that, Coast Canmore Hotel offers a variety of different rooms to choose from, including some that are even pet-friendly (super handy when we are traveling with Rex!) The average cost per night ranges between $200-$300 CAD.
You can book this hotel easily on Booking.com. Be sure to book as far in advance as possible because these guys are usually fully booked!
Canmore Downtown Hostel – Budget Backpackers Option
If you’re a budget backpacker and looking for a hostel then Canmore Downtown Hostel is your best choice! These guys offer clean and comfortable facilities, dorm beds as well as private rooms, and a social atmosphere perfect for meeting other backpackers yet reviewers mention it is quiet at nighttime. The shared lounge room even has incredible mountain views! A dorm bed in a co-ed room averages around $47 CAD.
Copperstone Resort – Luxury Escape
If money isn’t an issue, then Copperstone Resort may be the luxurious option you’re looking for. It is located a 10-minute drive outside of Canmore which makes for a peaceful escape from the town. There is an outdoor hot tub and many of the rooms are full suites with kitchens and multiple bedrooms. However, rooms here don’t come cheap and are often up to twice the price of most hotels in Canmore, around $275 CAD. Note: A 2-night minimum is required.
You can check the prices and book Copperstone Resort on Booking.com.
If you want more options you can look through all hotels in Canmore here!
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
There really isn’t a shortage of awesome breweries in Canmore. There may even be too many to visit on one trip. Oh well, I guess you’ll have to come back again soon!
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