For many years, Saskatchewan was not the first place people thought of when looking for local, creative, and great-tasting craft beer. Often, getting a good craft beer in the prairies meant having to join a brewing club or taking a trip to a big Canadian city, like Toronto, to explore the scene and bring some home. Things have certainly changed, and Saskatchewan breweries have more recently found themselves among some of the top in Canada. 

So, when did things change for Saskatchewan’s craft brewing scene? We need to rewind to 1991, and the opening of the Bushwakker Brewpub in Regina. It was one of the first instances where Saskatchewanians could experience and taste a style of brewing, completely different from industrial beer. Since then, the craft brewing scene has exploded across the province, especially in Saskatoon. If you’re eager to explore Saskatoon’s craft beer scene, we’ve got some tips on some of the best spots to get started. 

Craft Beer in the Heart of Saskatoon: 9 Mile Legacy Brewing Co.

The Saskatoon brewing story of 9 Mile Legacy dates to 1907. The families of founders Shawn Moen and Garrett Pederson lived in homesteads just nine miles apart from one another. Through generations and for a century, the families found ways to work together. Though in 2007, Shawn and Garrett took their working relationship in a different direction by starting to homebrew using a kit obtained from the Moen family. After experimenting for some time, they realized that all-grain brewing was their style. From the garage to their first standalone location in 2015, 9 Mile Legacy has continued its growth to now occupy an even larger space with a taproom. 

A staple of the city’s Riversdale District, 9 Mile Legacy produces a diverse range of beers including collaborations with local restaurants and other breweries.

Check out their selection: https://​9milel​e​ga​cy​.com/

A Passion for Great Beer: High Key Brewing Co.

High Key Brewing Co. was born from a passion for brewing and the tastes of great beers. Madeline Conn was raised in Saskatoon, though while she trained for a job in Dallas, she always seemed to be drawn to the craft beer industry. Through family, she met Daniel Rommens, a skilled brewer who had intentions of becoming a brewmaster in Saskatoon, producing his recipes on a wide scale. Daniel’s love for craft brewing began when attending university in California. It was there that he began experimenting by creating small batches in his spare time. 

Today, High Key Brewing Co. is one of the most well-known Saskatoon breweries. They offer up a selection of mainstay menu items and seasonal specialties. At High Key Brewing Co., the passion for creating craft beer, expressed by founders Madeline and Daniel is truly something that can be felt in their offering. Visitors and locals interested in the craft beer scene should add this place to their lists as a must-try”.

Experience a passion for craft beer: http://​www​.hkbrew​.ca/

Always Something New and Delicious on Tap: Shelter Brewing Company

Shelter Brewing Company refers to itself as a nano-brewery, meaning that they only produce one and a half barrels per batch. Regardless of the size of their production, it is the uniqueness of their selection that sets them apart from other Saskatoon craft beer makers. They consistently have a rotating selection of beers, with many of them made from local flora, an ingredient not commonly seen in the brewing process. So, how often can you try a new beer at Shelter Brewing Company? Of their seven taps, four offer new flavors every three weeks! 

Located nearby downtown Saskatoon, Shelter Brewing Company doesn’t distribute their beers, so you’ll have to visit their taproom to pick-up or try the selection for yourself. The in-person experience is well worth it. They have partnered with a local business, Dylan and Cam’s Tacos to provide visitors a food option to go along with some great tasting beer. How to know which beer to start with? The New England IPA is one of their most popular offerings. They also offer gluten-free options and ciders.

Try local, unique craft beer: https://​www​.shel​ter​brew​ing​.ca/

History, Tradition, Local Beer: Great Western Brewing Company

This brewery was originally built in Saskatoon in 1927. Since that time, it has gone through some ownership and name changes. Though it was the year 1990 when its identity came to life. A group of sixteen brave employees stood up, put their resources together, and formed the Great Western Brewing Company. It is now known as one of Canada’s most successful regional brewers. 

They take the concept of local” quite seriously. In addition to being 100% locally brewed and owned, some of their main ingredients come directly from the province they produce in. Great Western Brewing Company uses barley from ten Saskatchewan communities. Although they don’t have a vast offering, they have a few core products that suit a variety of taste preferences, including, light, pilsner, classic, and a Radler which is made up of a refreshing blend of ruby red grapefruit, sweet orange, and of course, beer.

Taste traditional craft beer options: https://​www​.gwbc​.ca/

Finely Crafted Brew Near Saskatoon: Nokomis Craft Ales

About an hour and a half drive east of Saskatoon is the town of Nokomis and the well-known Nokomis Craft Ales brewery and taproom. Here, owner Jeff Allport and his team craft unfiltered, fresh beer from only the best ingredients. One of the main draws of the Nokomis location is the pure water sources in the area, ideal for the brewing process. The all-year-round lineup of beers consists of Golden Ale, Pale Ale, Brown Ale, and India Pale Ale. Keep a close eye on their social platforms and website as they also offer seasonal beers and other specialties from time to time. 

Whether getting ready to kick back and relax for the evening or preparing to watch a big game, Nokomis Craft Ales are not far away. In fact, you won’t need to drive to Nokomis to get some. You can find them in local liquor stores across Saskatchewan as well as on-tap at a variety of local establishments.

Enjoy small batch, big taste craft beer: https://​nokomis​craftales​.com/

If you’re interested in pairing your craft beer selection while supporting local restaurants, look no further. Check out some of these top restaurants around Saskatchewan. 

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