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Central Alberta Breweries

Although, geographically, the centre of Alberta lies somewhere north of Edmonton, when most people refer to Central Alberta, they are talking about the area south of Edmonton and north of Calgary, essentially bisected by the Queen Elizabeth II Highway. Commonly, people only see this countryside at about 120 kph while driving up and down Highway 2, but they are doing themselves a disservice by not stopping and checking out what this region has to offer.

While you can find several provincial parks and numerous lakes all through the area, there is also a great selection of breweries here too. This part of Alberta is full of small towns of around 5,000 people, and many of those have a brewery. Add in tourists visiting from other provinces and countries, plus the over two million people who are within a two-to-three-hour drive, and several of these locations have become a must visit for any beer lover.

Given that most of the towns in Central Alberta were established in the middle of an agrarian economy, the ties to the land are strong here. Barley and wheat are some of the leading crops in the area, so beer’s main grains feature prominently in local brews.

Canada Malting, the country’s largest maltster, has four of their grain elevators located here and malt giant, Cargill Malt is in numerous towns, while Rahr Malting has a production plant in Alix. Smaller specialty malt companies Red Shed Malting and Hogath Malt are located just outside Penhold and Olds respectively. In addition, this area also has some of Alberta’s fledgling hop farms, which allows visitors to get a true “field-to-glass” experience when sampling at the local taprooms.

The following breweries are all located between Leduc and Airdrie, east of the foothills to the Saskatchewan border.

Troubled Monk, Red Deer (LC)* - Opened in 2015, it was the first Alberta craft brewery to win a major international award with their Open Road American Brown Ale taking a silver in 2016 at the World Beer Cup. They now also make spirits, sodas, and hard iced tea in addition to an extensive line of beers.

Blindman Brewing, Lacombe (LC) - The other “elder” statesman in central Alberta,

also opening in 2015. Won Brewery of the Year for 2022 at the Alberta Beer Awards. Known for their wide array of beers, especially their barrel and foeder aged special releases and now their new open-topped koelschip allows for spontaneously fermented brews.

Olds College, Olds (LC) - Olds College began their Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management Program in 2013 and has supplied hundreds of graduates to breweries not only in Alberta, but around the world. The college has its own brewery, store, and restaurant where you can sample some of the students’ homework.

Norseman Brewing, Camrose - The first brewpub in the region opened in 2010. Located inside the Norseman Inn, their beers are normally not found outside of Camrose, which also has another brewery; Battle River Brewery (LC).

4th Meridian, Lloydminster (LC) - Alberta’s most eastern brewery has been around for over seven years. Late last year, they acquired Ribstone Creek Brewery, formerly of Edgerton, and will produce their beers in Lloydminster.

Field and Forge, Innisfail (LC) - Known for their solid core beers and full menu gastro pub, they also contract brew numerous other beers in their 25 HL brewhouse. Innisfail’s other brewery, Dark Woods Brewing (LC), opened in 2020 and is also a coffee roaster in addition to their beer and locally sourced food menu.

Snake Lake Brewing, Sylvan Lake (LC) and Familia Brewing, Westerose (LC) - There is something special about breweries located on lakes. Snake Lake has been around since 2018, while Familia opened in 2022 on the shores of Pigeon Lake. The summer season is the busy time, so the breweries need to be creative to stay busy the other 11 months of the year (I jest of course).

Valley Brewing, Drumheller (LC) - Speaking of tourist spots, the Badlands and Royal Tyrrell Museum are certainly Central Alberta’s most famous attractions. Fortunately for visitors, Valley Brewing has been producing a wide variety of award-winning beers since 2019. Recently, they have begun producing ciders from BC grown apples.

Other breweries in the area:

Rival Trade Brewing, Alhambra (Rocky Mountain House)

Prairie Brewing Co., Three Hills (LC)

Cowtown Brewing, Didsbury (LC)

Belly Hop, Red Deer (LC)

Red Hart Brewing, Red Deer (LC)

Something Brewing, Red Deer (LC)

Sawback Brewing, Red Deer (LC)

Siding 14, Ponoka (LC)

Hawk Tail, Rimbey (LC)

All these breweries have tasting rooms, most with patios, where you can try all their current products, some of which don’t get distributed beyond the area. You’ll also find numerous meaderies, distilleries, and cideries sprinkled throughout the region, as well as some excellent restaurants that have great local drink menus.

There are a few resources if you are looking to head to Central Alberta to do some brewery touring. Central Alberta Tourism ( covers the area. There is also a Red Deer Ale Trail ( for a tour around the region’s largest municipality. Take a trip and discover some great local beer, and more.

* (LC) Indicates some of their products are listed in Liquor Connect, so can be found province wide.


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