A can of beer in the water

15 sustainably-brewed Canadian beers

From easy-drinking lagers to extra-bitter IPAs.

Canada’s beer-makers are going green: From clean water causes to reforestation programs to initiatives that upcycle spent ingredients for animal feed, brewers around the country have introduced creative and effective ways to make sure their beer gives back. Do your part by picking up a can – or six.

A blue can of beer in a light green circle
Lake Ontario Keto IPA,
Something in the Water Brewing Co.

Each can of Something in the Water’s beers sold donates five cents to Swim Drink Fish to support clean water initiatives across Canada. Their brand-new keto beers have just 4 grams of carbs per can, and are named for the Great Lakes.

A can of beer in a cream-coloured circle
Local Organic,

Beau’s likes to call their Local Organic “Canada’s most sustainable beer.” The first beer in the country to be both certified organic and certified carbon neutral, it’s made with 100% Ontario hops and 100% Quebec malts.

A six pack of beer over a dark green circle
PrimeTime IPA,
Bridge Brewing Co.

Bridge Brewing in Vancouver is 99% waste-free – 99% of everything that comes into the brewery either goes out in bottles to be consumed, eaten or recycled and used for other things. Their PrimeTime IPA is light-bodied and full of hoppy flavour.

A light green can of beer in a cream-coloured circle
Karbon Brewing Co.

Ontario’s Karbon Brewing is on a mission: they want to become Canada’s first carbon-neutral brewery. Support the cause by snagging some of their J.E.D.I IPA, a full-bodied, hazy golden ale with fruity hop aromas and a sweet finish.

A beer can in a dark green circle
Homegrown Lager,
Origin Malting and Brewing Co.

It doesn’t get more local than this: Alberta’s Origin Brewing uses barley grown on their own family farm for their malts. The lager is crisp and fresh, with a mild bitterness and kick of citrus.

A six pack of black beer cans over a cream-coloured circle
Fahr Pils,

Fahr’s approach to brewing is perfectly summed up by its logo: the German flag’s colours in an outline of Alberta. These beers are all brewed in Turner Valley, using traditional German purity laws and a detailed sustainability system that includes sending spent grain to local farmers for animal feed.

A can of beer in a light green circle
Mountainview Stout,
Bench Brewing

Niagara’s Bench Brewing was recently recognized at the 2023 Water Canada Awards for their Zero Wastewater Footprint initiative, which sees all wastewater produced in the facility recycled. Their take on the classic American stout is creamy and bold, with notes of chocolate and roasted coffee.

A tall can in tones of teal and orange in a cream-coloured circle
Deep Bay Lager,
Farmery Estate Brewery

Manitoba’s Farmery grows its own hops to avoid transportation emissions, and they waste none of the crop (they occasionally sell bath and beauty products made with leftover hop oil). Their new Deep Bay Lager is inspired by Clear Lake, Manitoba, and is light but malty.

A yellow can in a dark green circle
Cariboo Blonde,
Pacific Western Brewing

Pacific Western Brewing has its own reforestation program, with 500,000+ seedlings planted to date. Their Cariboo Blonde is a lightly-flavoured American Blonde style ale, brewed in Prince George, BC.

A tall can with a forest design inside a dark green circle
Blindman River Session Ale,
Blindman Brewing

Alberta’s Blindman Brewing uses a high-tech system that recaptures C02 from the fermentation process to carbonate their beer and run canning lines. Their River Session Ale is medium-dry finishing, late hopped session beer with notes of citrus and tropical fruit.

Three tall cans of beer with brown labels over a light green circle
Idle Hands Italian Pilsner,
Annex Ales

Alberta’s Annex Ales launched a program in 2021 to rescue their recyclable six-pack holders from landfills and ensure the materials are repurposed. Their Italian Pils is clean and lightly dry-hopped.

Islander Lager,
Vancouver Island Brewing

Vancouver Island Brewing has supported all manner of wildlife conservation efforts in BC, from salmon stock replenishing for the orcas to raising awareness of the endangered marmot. Their easy-drinking lager has a touch of bitterness and subtle floral finish.

A can in a light green circle
Earl Grey Pale Ale,
Tin Whistle Brewing Co.

Okanagan’s Tin Whistle Brewing has a multi-pronged sustainability program, and is inching up to their goal of being 100% zero-waste  (just their label backings are left to figure out). This flavourful pale ale tastes remarkably close to Earl Grey tea, with noticeable bergamot.

Four yellow-and-black tall beer cans over a dark green circle
Blonde Ale,
Tofino Brewing Company

Tofino Brewing is powered completely with hydroelectricity, and multi packs are packaged with biodegradable “EcoRings” to keep the nearby ocean clean. Their blonde is one of the brewery’s most popular beers, and features earthy hop notes with a malty sweetness.

An orange and pink can in a cream-coloured circle
Ancestral Quinoa Beer,
Miski Brewing

Miski’s innovative gluten-free beers are made with quinoa, with any surplus grain being sent to local animal sanctuaries for feed. The beer has a smooth, dry finish and slight bitterness.

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