Step aside, mass-produced ales; microbreweries are officially the hottest thing in the Canadian beer market. With over 500 locations in operation across the country, it’s easier than ever to support small local businesses in your town, while *also* getting your craft brew sip on.
There’s a crazy amount of variety when it comes to craft beers; a single Saskatoon locale might have up to 30 seasonal beers on rotation! But don’t get overwhelmed just yet. To help you out, our Localist correspondent Leah Sookoo rounded up the best microbreweries in Saskatoon so you know exactly where to spend your next night out (or two, or three…). Then, bookmark all of the best microbreweries in Canada because supporting local has never tasted so good.
Prairie Sun Brewery
Location: 2020 Quebec Ave., Open since: 2013
The rundown: Prairie Sun was started by two Paddock Wood graduates with big vision who wanted to dive into the craft market and have a plethora of rotating beers to suit any preference. With 26–30 seasonal beers rotating annually, it seems there’s no stopping them when it comes to unique ales and stouts.
What to order: If you’re feeling adventurous, get a pint of their Toffee 5, a lush take on a traditional porter that is lip-smacking good.
What they’re known for: The crowd-pleasing Crazy Farm, because they’ve always had an affinity for Belgian ales
Beers on tap: 9
Guided tours: Yes
Nokomis Craft Ales
Location: 301 1st Ave. East, Open since: 2014
The rundown: Although Nokomis is just outside of Saskatoon, we’re going to go ahead and claim them in the name of YXE. Their vibe is a bit home-on-the-range meets scandi-cool, with the most devoted following of beer drinkers and the most passionate master brewer you’ll ever meet.
What to order: They occasionally use barrels and casks to impart phenomenal flavours for seasonal brews, like their Kettle Sour or their Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, so go with one of those.
What they’re known for: By following an early craft tradition, their beers are characterized as hybrids from European recipes, marked by American hop varieties.
Beers on tap: 6
Guided tours: Yes, from Thursday to Saturday
Paddock Wood Brewing Co.
Location: 116 103 St. East B1, Open since: 2007
The rundown: When Steve Cavan moved to Saskatchewan from Ontario in the ’90s, he noticed that a few things were lacking, beer-wise. So he started Paddock Wood and forged the trail for the breweries we now have and love in the province. The storefront feels a little like a bulk warehouse, walls lined with ready-brew kits, grains and hops so you can DIY at home.
What to order: 606 is their biggest seller, the so-called “puddle-jumper”. It’s a British ale with an American hop, lending it a bright, grapefruit profile.
What they’re known for: Classic styles, like a good British ale and European lagers. Their specialty lies therein, but if you’re feeling wild, try one of their barrel aged beers or ale infusions (for example: a Belgian triple style with white wine and grape juice).
Beers on tap: 7
Guided tours: Yes, and call ahead for a guided tour with the founder
9 Mile Legacy
Location: 220 20th St. West, Open since: March 2017
The rundown: This long-awaited 20th Street taproom opened in March this year, and it’s a clean, industrial-style space complete with concrete counters, rustic wood finishes, and the omnipresent taxidermy white ram acting as their semi-official mascot.
What to order: The 9 Mile Ale, an English-style pale ale
What they’re known for: English and Belgian-style ales, but they also do a silky stout (the Angus) that finishes like good dessert, and a damn good IPA (the Rafiki) that will leave you feeling light and rosy
Beers on tap: 9
Guided tours: Yes