The publication that was the first to name the Top 50 Restaurants in Canada has published a ranking of the Top 24 Brewpubs in Canada in time for Oktoberfest. Why a list of 24 and not 25? "In case you are asking that question, you may need to drink more beer to fully appreciate the list," says Vacay.ca Managing Editor Adrian Brijbassi, noting that beer drinkers in Canada have a romantic attachment to the number 24, often pronouncing it "two-four" when talking about a case of their favourite bottled drink.
The craft-brew craze that has redefined how Canadians and visitors to this country drink beer is about celebrating local as much as great taste. At the Bushwakker, Saskatchewan's best is showcased with confidence — whether it's the music, the art work or the beer, which is made from the province's bounty of hops. The Bushwakker brews more than 30 beers annually, plus its Blackberry Mead that comes out once a year and is gone in minutes as thirsty patrons line-up at 4 a.m. — in December, no less — to grab a bottle or two.
"What put the Bushwakker on top was the commitment to both craft beer and community. The bar is unabashedly supportive of every artistic pursuit in Saskatchewan and that enthusiasm is not only refreshing, it improves the experience for the traveller," says Brijbassi, an award-winning travel writer who visited the Bushwakker in August. "One of the reasons why craft beers are so popular is because people want authentic experiences. The Bushwakker delivers that experience better than any other brewpub in the country."
The same local spirit can be found in several of the brewpubs on the list produced by Vacay.ca, an online magazine dedicated to showcasing Canadian destinations and culture to a global audience.
Tiny Shawinigan, Quebec, which has a population of about 50,000 people, placed two brewpubs in the Top 24, as did Peterborough, Ontario, which has close to 80,000 residents. Toronto led all cities with four entries; the newly opened Beer Academy (No. 8) ranked highest among those brewpubs in Canada's largest city. The list had entrants from every province except Manitoba. Ontario had nine brewpubs on the list while British Columbia had four and Quebec had three.
Here's the full list of the 2012 Top 24 Brewpubs in Canada. (Rankings were determined on the quality of the craft-brewed beer first and foremost, with food, ambience, service and overall experience also considered.)
1. Bushwakker Brewpub, Regina, Saskatchewan
2. Le Trou du Diable, Shawinigan, Quebec
3. Dieu du Ciel, Montreal, Quebec
4. YellowBelly Brewery, St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador
5. The Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company, Squamish, British Columbia
6. Lion Brewery at the Huether Hotel, Waterloo, Ontario
7. Clocktower Pub, Ottawa, Ontario
8. The Beer Academy, Toronto, Ontario
9. Canoe Brewpub, Victoria, British Columbia
10. Wild Rose Tap Room & Brewery, Calgary, Alberta
11. Bar Volo, Toronto, Ontario
12. Broadway Microbrasserie & Pub, Shawinigan, Quebec
13. C'est What?, Toronto, Ontario
14. The Pump House, Moncton, New Brunswick
15. Rogue's Roost, Halifax, Nova Scotia
16. Motor Burger, Windsor, Ontario
17. Mill Street Brew Pub, Toronto, Ontario
18. Spinnakers, Victoria, British Columbia
19. Dockside Restaurant, Vancouver, British Columbia
20. Gahan House & Brewery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
21. Olde Stone Brewery, Peterborough, Ontario
22. Alexander Keith's, Halifax, Nova Scotia
23. Saskatoon Brewery/Factory Tap Pub, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
24. The Publican House, Peterborough, Ontario
To read more about each of the Top 24 Brewpubs in Canada, see the Vacay.ca article: http://vacay.ca/
Vacay.ca is asking Canadians to name their favourite brewpub. Those who do can be eligible to win a travel prize. Also, Canadians are encouraged to enter the 2013 Foodie of the Year contest that runs in conjunction with the 2013 Vacay.ca Top 50 Restaurants in Canada List. Details can be found on the website at http://www.vacay.ca/
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