Most popular craft breweries in Canada
All around the world, brewers are booming, and Canada is no exception. With over a thousand breweries and brewpubs spanning every province, beer drinkers now have more choice than ever when it comes to reaching for a cold one. Between 2010 and 2019, craft brewing was the fastest-growing manufacturing sector in Ontario, according to the president of Ontario Craft Brewers.
While overall beer sales have fallen in the last few years, craft beer continues to grow in popularity in Canada. The question remains: which of the nearly 1,100 Canadian craft beer breweries is the most popular? Here at OGCA, our expert team has answered this burning question by conducting an analysis of breweries’ social media following and user reviews.
As always at OGCA, we want you to have all the right information, so we did the hard work of tasting some of Canada’s best craft beers, so you don’t have to (you’re welcome). Keep reading for our full findings and methodology.
Canada’s most popular craft breweries
All 10 provinces in Canada have a thriving brewing industry with IPAs, NEPAs and Bocks rolling off the production line and into happy customers’ glasses. As you can see in our map of the most popular breweries in each province, craft beer is being produced all over Canada.
In the Atlantic Provinces, Bannerman Brewing Co. tops the list in Newfoundland and Labrador. Elsewhere, Upstreet Craft Brewing is the most popular craft twofer on Prince Edward Island, and Alexander Keith’s serves the most-thirsty customers in Nova Scotia. Picaroons operates New Brunswick’s craft pubs and produces one of our favourite Canadian beers: it’s Ruby Ale, Picaroons Irish Red.
In the two largest provinces, Quebec and Ontario, Dieu du Ciel! and Collective Arts are the most popular breweries. Lake of the Woods from Winnipeg, Manitoba, produces ‘The Beer With No Name’: an excellent raspberry ginger wheat ale, which we loved when we tried it (for research, of course).
Elsewhere in the Prairies, Saskatchewan’s most famous brewery is Rebellion, and Alberta boasts one of the longest-standing craft breweries in the country, Big Rock Brewery. In the West, British Columbians love Granville Island, and Yukon Brewing produces a hearty and rich Mocha Milk Stout – unsurprisingly for the climate up north, it’s designed to be enjoyed by plenty of Yukoners and Canadians in the cold! Wherever you are, there’s a local brew to enjoy.
Some other popular breweries include the Farmery Estate Brewery in the heart of the Canadian prairies, which operates a brewpub and on-site Fish & Chips truck in Neepawa, MB. Moosehead Brewing in St John, NB, is another popular brewer and claims to be the last independent brewery in Canada still owned by Canadians. All these producers create outstanding beers and have devoted fans nationwide, but which is the most popular?
Our expert team used social media following and user ratings and reviews to determine the most popular breweries in Canada by producing a scoring system out of a total of 50. We looked at the number of Facebook and Instagram followers to gauge breweries’ overall social footprint to give a score out of 20 for each platform.
We then looked at the quality and volume of Yelp reviews, with more weight placed on volume rather than quality. For instance, a brewery with 37 reviews of 4.5 stars will score higher than one with three rankings of 5 stars. Since Yelp is a less popular platform than Facebook and Instagram, its weighting is lesser, with a maximum of 10 awarded.
The most popular craft breweries in each province
Our expert team found that Yukon Brewing in the Land of the Midnight Sun, and Upstreet Craft Brewing in Prince Edward Island, are the most popular breweries in Canada using our metrics, with a perfect score of 50. With 15,000+ Facebook and 16,100+ Instagram followers, Upstreet has a more extensive social following than Yukon Brewing, but has more positive user reviews from Yelp.
Next on the list are Rebellion and Dieu du Ciel!, with 42.18 and 42.06, respectively. Dieu du Ciel! has the third-highest social media following on our list, with 38,297 followers, indicating that its beers are popular with users. The brewery, whose favourites include Blanche du Paradis, a Belgian wheat ale, had 471 reviews with an average score of 4.5.
Alexander Keith’s Brewery from Nova Scotia, the brewery with the largest following on social media (at 229,867 on Facebook and 11,000 on Instagram), scored 34.70. Our experts found Collective Arts Brewery, with a following of 34,300 on Facebook and 120,000 on Instagram, posted a score of 35.13.
The other breweries, Bannerman Brewing Company from Newfoundland and Labrador, Lake of the Woods from Manitoba, Grandville Island Brewing from BC, and Big Rock Brewing from Alberta, scored 26.46, 29.98, 31.51 and 38.97, respectively.
Best Craft Beers at Canadian Casinos
If you want to combine a cool and fresh brewski with some casino gaming, the Niagara Brewing Company opened a taproom at the Fallsview Casino Resort in August 2022. The 65-seat space features rotating taps that highlight the season flavours produced by the brewery, like its Oatmeal Stout or Black Lager.
At the Fallsview site, you can grab beers from one of Ontario’s best breweries while playing slots and table games at the 200,000-square-foot location. Grab a Passionfruit Sour or a Beerdevil IPA while playing on nearly 3,500 slot machines, 130 gaming tables, and two live entertainment venues.
It’s a golden time for hop lovers across Canada, with some of the world’s best craft breweries operating in the Great White North, don’t be afraid to try some of the best brewskis the country offers.