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As promised here is a little review of the Grizzly Paw brewery and pub.  It is the main drag of Canmore BC, Canada.  They have a nice size patio overlooking the street.  If it was just a little bit warmer it would have been a great place to have a brew. Grizzly Paw Beers

The inside is very cabin like with huge wood beams.  There is a nice amount of seating at the bar as well as tables in the front part of the room (with views of the mountains).  Extra seating is available upstairs.  The crowd was a nice mix of old, young, regulars, tourists, casual, and dressed up.  The staff were nice and friendly and the bartender liked to talk about the beers (I like that).

The menu is typical pub fair and from what I could see, the serving sizes were ample!  They also make their own sodas and have a store onsite where you can purchase beer, soda, clothing and other assorted paraphernalia.

On to the important stuff now.Grizzly Paw Brew Process The beers!  There were around 12-14 beers on tap.  As I mentioned in my earlier post.  I had the Beaver Tail Raspberry Ale…to see a review of it follow the link.  I was also able to have the Indra IPA.  It was excellent as well.  Nice malt and bitters.  It was more of an english style IPA than a North American.  They brew onsite and also offer tours.

All in all I was glad we made the 20 minute drive from Banff!


Brew – Hopping Mad Pale Ale 6%Granite Brewery Hopping Mad Pale Ale

BrewerGranite Brewery

Country – Ontario, Canada

Purchased – Granite Brewery and Restaurant

I had the pleasure of attending the 5th Cask Social at the Granite Brewery.  This is a gathering for those that love cask conditioned ales.  Cask ale is when the beer is conditioned in the cask and served from the cask.  It is said to be the freshest beer you can buy.  Granite was offering 3 cask ales.  Hopping Mad, Best Bitter Special and the IPA.

I have not been to Granite for quite some time and it was good to get back and sample some beer.  I have always loved their beers (suits my palate).  As you can see I sampled the Hopping Mad but I also took home a growler of Best Bitter.  Look for a review of the Best Bitter later.

About the Beer – The Hopping Mad had a nice copper colour and floral aroma.  The taste was all floral but I had a hard time placing exactly what I was tasting (maybe earthy with some citrus).  Very complex.  The finish was bitter but not overly bitter.

Would I Drink it Again? – In a heartbeat.  It was smooth yet complex but thoroughly thirst quenching.  What a great brew!!

Brew – Hogs Back Traditional English Ale (T.E.A) 4.2%Hogs Back Traditional English Ale

BrewerHogs Back Brewery

CountryUnited Kingdom


Well not much to say about Hogs Back Brewery.  The name comes from a ridge near Surrey England.  Hogs back have been around since 1991 and have numerous awards to their credit.  TEA (Traditional English Ale) is their flagship beer.  It is bottle conditioned.  For those that don’t know what bottle conditioned is, it is when you let the beer partially or wholly ferment in the bottle.  This is usually done to carbonate the beer.

On a side note Hogs Back has a cool custom motorcycle.  Check it out here: The Beer Engine

About the Beer – It pours a nice red/amber.  The head is quite small but sticks around a while.  It smells sweet and floral (maybe cloves).  The taste was of muskmelon, malt and a hint of honey.  The finish was a nice dry bitter hop.  Not a big hop taste, just a nice bitter finish.

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes, I found this beer very pleasing and easy to drink.

Brew – Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel 5.3%

BrewerBrauerei Weihenstephanweihenstphaner hefeweissbier dunkeler

Country Germany


So what is a Dunkel you say?  Well really all Dunkel means is “Dark” beer (generally a darker style malt is used).  There are 2 kinds of Dunkel’s, dark wheat beer or dark lager.  What we have here today is a Wheat Dunkel (Hefeweissbier Dunkel).  German wheat beers are top fermented and generally unfiltered which is what gives it that cloudy look.

Weihenstephaner is the oldest brewer in Germany and can trace it’s roots back to 768!  It actually has claim to being the oldest brewer in the world.  Here is a good article on the history: Wiki

About the Beer – It pours a cloudy rust colour and the head stays for a while.  It has a nice fruit and spice smell.  The taste is all banana and spice at the start, transitioning to a nice light dry hop finish.  Very smooth on the palate.  Almost like a draught.

Would I Drink it Again? – This is a no brainer, YES.  This beer is so tasty and easy to drink.  It would make and excellent beer for on the patio during a warm summer evening!

Brew – John By Imperial Stout 8.5%John By Imperial Stout - Scotch Irish Brewing

BrewerScotch Irish Brewing

Country – Ottawa, Canada


Imperial Stout is a strong beer that was originally brewed with high alcohol to keep it from freezing.  It was also known by the name of Russian Stout.  The Brits exported it to Russia from the 1700’s to early 1900’s.  Some Imperial Stouts can be aged up to a year in the bottle.

I could not find too much information on the Scotch Irish Brewing company accept that they were sold to Heritage Brewing Company in 2006.  I will have to make a trip over to the brewery next time I am in Ottawa!

About the Beer – It poured a very dark brown almost black colour.  It smelled of malt and chocolate and maybe a bit of grass (the one on the front lawn!).  On first taste I received a real hit of chocolate and then coffee, followed by a nice dry hop finish.  The taste lasts forever.  I also found it easy to drink and the alcohol compliments this beer nicely.

Would I Drink it Again? – Absolutely.  Although I think I could only have one at a sitting.  This would be a great beer by the fire after coming in out of the cold!

Brew – Baltika #3Baltika #3 Classic 4.8%

BrewerBaltika Breweries



So part of the promise to myself when doing this blog was to try beers that I most likely would not normally try.  So here is the first one.

Baltika has been one of the most popular beers in Russia since the mid 90’s.  The original brewery is in St. Petersburgh but they have numerous now(12).  According to their website this is how it all started: Construction of the new factory began in 1978. The state enterprise Baltika Brewery was formed in 1990 right after completion of the construction work.The first shipment of just 27,000 litres of beer was brought to market in November, 1990. The Baltika brand did not yet exist. Instead the plant produced beer under the widespread trademarks of the time: Zhigulevskoye, Rizhskoye, Admiralteiskoye and Prazdnichnoye.

The U.S. website is quite something to behold!

About the Beer – It is pale golden colour.  This beer had a grain aroma.  My first taste was of malt and then grains with a slight bitter aftertaste.  It is a refreshing dry beer but the flavour does not last long on the palate.

Would I Drink it Again? – No,  It was very generic for me with no complexity.

Brew – Bitter and TwistedHarviestoun Bitter & Twisted Ale 4.2%

BrewerHarviestoun Brewery



OK, all caught up after my Banff trip.  Here was what I had waiting for me when I got home!

I seem to really have a thing for Scottish beer right now.  Bitter Scottish beers that is.  This is the 2nd one is less than 2 weeks.

Apparently in the early days this beer was brewed in the company of a mouse.  The brewmaster drew inspiration from the mouse and it eventually became Harviestoun’s mascot.  Harviestoun was founded in 1985 as a small independent brewery and was later bought by Caledonian then released when Caledonian was bought by Scottish & Newcastle.

About the Beer – It has a foggy amber colour with a nice floral and hops nose.  When I first tasted it I got a distinct fruit flavour but I could not figure out what it was until I read the tasting notes.  Grapefruit!  How obvious once you know!!  This is followed up by a nice hoppyness.

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes, I found this a very pleasing beer.  Nice and refreshing with a good amount of bitterness.

Brew – Beaver Tail Raspberry AleGrizzly Paw Brew Pub

BrewerGrizzly Paw Brewery

Country – Alberta, Canada

PurchasedGrizzly Paw Brew Pub

Grizzly Paw is a local Canmore, Alberta brewery/pub.  It is the only one anywhere near Banff.  It is located in Canmore just 20 minutes down the road from Banff.  It has a nice location on the main street which makes it easy to find.  They had a big selection of beers on tap, so I went for one of the more interesting ones.  Beaver Tail Raspberrry Ale!  I will talk more about the Grizzly Paw in a later post.Beaver Tail Raspberry Ale, Grizzly Paw Brewery

About the Beer – This is an unfiltered Wheat Ale as you can see from the picture.  Not a big or lasting head on this beer.  It had a definite raspberry smell.  The taste was of light raspberry only, which surprised me.  I thought it would have been a bigger raspberry taste(not a bad thing just surprising).  You could really taste the tartness of the raspberries though.  The beer had a very refreshing taste.  You could easily drink a few.

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes, but they had so many choices it would take me a while to get back to it!

Brew – The Griz Pale Ale 5%Griz Pale Ale, Fernie Brewing Company

BrewerFernie Brewing Company

Location – British Columbia, Canada

Purchased – Golden, British Columbia

I like that the Fernie Brewing Company use local traditions and stories for thier beer.  It is said around Fernie that The Griz was/is a mountain man, who grew up in the wilderness surrounding Fernie in the 19th century. As the legend goes, locals heard this mysterious child wrestling with bears in the night many moons ago, and The Griz was spotted in more recent times by a group of backcountry skiers, pointing his musket into the clouds and bringing down the powder snowfall.

About the Beer – This beer had a slight malty nose.  It is an Amber/Red colour.  I found the first taste was definitely malt.  It was not too sweet and a nice hint of bitter at the end. Almost refreshing.

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes.  In fact I think I had 4 while on my ski trip!

Brew – Honey  Brown Lager 5%Big Rock Honey Brown Lager

BrewerBig Rock

Country – Alberta, Canada

PurchasedKicking Horse Resort

One thing I have noticed out west is that a lot more craft brewers use cans.

This beer was consumed at one of the halfway houses on Kinking Horse while enjoying a day of sun and boarding.  It is interesting that we were in British Columbia(barely) but they only featured Alberta beer at the halfway house.  Kicking Horse was a fantastic mountain.  If you get a chance go visit for some excellent skiing or boarding.  The views were incredible!

About the Beer – I could not get much of an aroma from the can nor its colour since there was no glass.  The taste was very malty then it follows up with a big hit of sweetness.  Must be from the Alberta Clover Honey they use!

Would I Drink it Again? – Probably not.  I found it a little to sweet for my liking.

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