Tag Archives: Calgary beer

Calgary Under $10 Lunch: Tool Shed Brewing

Tool Shed Brewing primarily makes beer

Can you go to a craft brewery taproom just for the food? You can if you’re trying to spend less than $10. And you can if said taproom is serving some of the best smoked meat in the city.

Of course, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to sample some fine brews. But my primary motivation for visiting Tool Shed Brewing, in an industrial section of northeast Calgary, was to check out the house-smoked barbecue.

It turns out co-owner Graham Sherman is a world-class competition BBQer from many forays to the shrine of Memphis. And he’s brought that experience to the Tool Shed taproom and an outside food truck operating under the name Notorious P.I.G.

But it also makes great, Memphis-style BBQ

In honour of my cheap-eats series, I ordered a pulled-pork sandwich ($10), a lovely, three-napkin mess of slow-cooked meat, coleslaw and stinging Memphis red barbecue sauce. Other full-flavour menu items include BBQ pork tostados ($10), smoked pork belly banh mi sandwiches ($11) and side ribs ($12, hickory smoked for six hours). They await future visits.

A pulled pork sandwich for only $10

Fortunately, I was able to sample a flight of four fine beers, including a Belgian IPA and a kveik ale.

The beers are pretty darn good, too

To celebrate the lifting of restaurant restrictions in Alberta, I’m accelerating my under-$15 Calgary lunch series to twice a week. Besides, I’ve got a lot of great places to cover. And you can help me by suggesting your own cheap-eats discoveries through the “reply” button on the upper left.

Tool Shed Brewing
801 30 Street NE
Tuesday to Saturday 11 am-9 pm, Sunday noon-5 pm


Eighty-Eight Brewing Produces Olympian Beers

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Eighty-Eight Brewing is neon cool on two floors

Eighty-Eight Brewing Company is named in honour of Calgary’s Winter Olympics (yes, in 1988). It boast an impressive list of about 15 core and seasonal beers.

The clincher is Noble Pie, which makes 18-inch pizzas—featuring aged and fresh cheeses—hand crafted by Mike Lange and fired in a little upstairs oven. They’re only available Thursday to Sunday or until the dough runs out, a great incentive for showing up early.

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Beer and hand-crafted pizza: Can’t beat that

Location In a little industrial strip mall off Blackfoot Trail near Crossroads Market

Ambience Neon cool, on two levels

Food Hand-crafted, in-house pizzas from Noble Pie

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The roster of pizzas

Favourite beer Double Dare Imperial IPA (7.7%, 88 IBU; 500-ml bottles only). Knocks you down and attacks your tastebuds. Three words: “Big, Dank, Pine.” Enough said.

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The Double Dare IPA might leave you seeing double

Beer availability Widely available in 500-ml bottles in liquor stores, restaurants and bars

Eighty-Eight Brewing Company
1070, 2600 Portland Street SE, Calgary
Tuesday-Wednesday 4 pm-9 pm, Thursday 4 pm-10 pm, Friday-Saturday noon to midnight, Sunday noon-7 pm. Closed Monday

A wobbling cycle hop at Calgary’s newest craft brewery

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Bike tour lands at Calgary’s newest craft brewery, Annex Ale. All photos by Helen Corbett

Annex Ale Project just opened on a commercial side street in southeast Calgary. So how busy can its taproom be on a warm spring Saturday afternoon, especially on a weekend when the annual Calgary International Beerfest should be siphoning off the hard-core aficionados?

The swigging crowd at Annex is actually not too bad when we arrive. But mayhem soon descends, when some 75 cyclists wobble into the parking lot. They’re on a three-microbrewery cycling tour, part of the citywide Jane’s Walks weekend. And they’ve certainly worked up a thirst, forming a long line to the counter, where co-owner and brewmaster Andrew Bullied and staff are scurrying to fill pints and taster glasses.

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Before the cyclists descend

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We’ve already staked out counter seats, where we can enjoy the show while sampling Annex’s four, small-batch brews on tap: a pale ale, a bitter, a sour and, our favourite, the Prologue IPA (7.8%). We also try a Calgary first, their delightful, all-natural root beer along with a novel bowl of salty cheese strings.

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Tasters’ choice. Annex’s flights feature generous 6-ounce pours, all for $10

It’s a nice, bright space (a former woodworking shop) in Calgary’s Manchester district, with long tables along spacious front windows and a big glass garage door, which can be opened on hot days. In back, a gleaming row of steel tanks harbours batches of brewing beer.

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The business end of the brewery

Annex is a fine addition to Calgary’s booming craft beer scene. Soon enough, you’ll be able to fashion a full day of beer hopping on a bike.

Annex Ale Project
4323 1 Street S.E., Calgary, Alberta
Taproom  hours:  Thursday 3 pm-10 pm, Friday 3 pm-11 pm, Saturday noon-11 pm, Sunday noon-5 pm. Closed Monday to Wednesday