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YYCTOURS - Calgary Brewery Tours 
Citizen Brewery Review - September, 2023

Citizen Brewery patio by Calgary brewery Tours

This week we popped into the award-winning Citizen Brewing Company for the very first time and we really enjoyed everything about it. 

Citizen, located at 227 35 Ave NE, is a little out of the way from downtown Calgary and when we pulled up after a 40 minute drive through Friday's rush hour traffic, we saw auto body shops,  other industrial companies, no street parking and wondered for a second what we were heading into. But then everything changed.  We noticed that Citizen did offer access to a lot across the street and when we jumped out of our van, we saw the venue was packed! Families were pulling up on their bikes, dogs were wagging their tails and the sound of laughter from kids having fun could be heard and all was feeling good. 

Exterior image of Citizen Brewery in Calgary - Beer tour

Upon entering Citizen, we instantly picked up a relaxed and friendly vibe that just felt different than most breweries in Calgary. It reminded us of breweries in North Carolina and California. Lots of open space with an industrial type feel and urban inspired tunes. A huge patio on the side with faux-grass and picnic tables, a kitchen window that opened to the patio, a second patio in front and ample seating inside.

 

Citizen makes a wide range of beers, but we decided to go with an Ale style flight. We like to order Pale Ales because almost every brewery makes them and they are a great way to compare venues. Our flight today included: Cashmere Pale Ale, the Bahama Trauma New England IPA (NEIPA), and two more that we were super excited to try, the Hawaiian Pineapple Wheat Ale and the Electric Fruit Punch NEIPA. 

a beer flight of samples at Citizen brewery Calgary Brewery tours

First up, Cashmere Pale Ale. On first sip, everything was good and nothing stood out as unbalanced as we noticed the standard Pale Ale citrus, but then BOOM! We picked up some spicy pepper from the use of Tettnanger hops and we loved it! These hops are named after Tettnang, Germany where they grow in abundance and are considered one of the four Noble Hops, or, the OG's of hops that have been used in beer since the middle ages. The use of these hops here gave the Ale something that made it stand out from other Pale Ale's in town. 

Secondly we went for the Citizen's summer release, Bahama Trauma NEIPA on our server's recommendation. When it comes to NEIPA, one would expect 'juice' by definition, but here we got BIG JUICE. In fact,  this was one of the juicier NEIPA's we have had in recent memory. There were so many fruit/citrus flavours in this beer that we couldn't begin to pick them out. 

The patio at Citizen brewing in calgary by YYC beer tours

Our third beer was another summer release from Citizen, the Hawaiian Wheat Ale. Something about wheat ales and fruit just works so well together, and here with this beer, there were no issues. We did pick up a dryness at the end, which is standard for an American Wheat Beer with 100% malted Alberta wheat. The pineapple worked well here and was balanced and not overly juicy. The temperature was also pretty hot outside, so this beer hit the spot. 

Last up, the one we really wanted to try and have never seen anywhere before, the Electric Fruit Punch NEIPA. If we aren't drinking beer, we like fruit punch, so this was a perfect combo for us. Although the beer was not red, it certainly did taste like a fruit punch. We picked up on some nice fruit like strawberry and pineapple which went great with the wide range of citrus derived from an insane amount of different hops, giving this brew an all-around fruit punch flavour that did not overtake the beer itself. A great sunny day beer indeed. 

Food at Citizen Brewery in Calgary by Craft Beer tours

No stop at a brewery is complete without ordering some food. We ordered the Crispy Korean Chicken Banh Mi and a Double Citizen Burger. We are not food critics, but everything was pretty tasty, especially with a side of tater tots! 

Our visit fell on Citizens 6th birthday and as we were leaving, we were informed that Starlite Dark Rice Lager was on sale for $6.00 for a 4 pack of tall cans, so to the fridge we headed. While there, we also grabbed a four pack of Hot Pink Hibiscus Sour as we were heading to a friends nearby for a birthday party. Although all the beer we tried at Citizen was tasty, creative and well-crafted, and there was nothing we could find wrong, the Hibiscus Sour really stood out to us and so we have picked it as our Beer of the Week as seen on our Calgary Brewery Map! This beer was incredibly well done and packed a fantastic flavour profile. Normally with sours, they are the kind of beer you can one or two of, but this is one we could drink all night! At 4% ABV, Citizen describes this beer as 'This incredibly crushable ale as the name suggests is pink and loaded with hibiscus! The flower imbues this sour with cranberry and pomegranate tartness balanced with  notes of sweet lemon from a dry-hopping of Lemondrop  and we could not agree more! 

The bar at Citizen Brewing in Calgary by YYC tours

All this said, the only thing we did not enjoy about Citizen, is that the brewery is just to far away from our office. So until they move closer to us, if you have never been to Citizen before, and a laid-back casual vibe is your thing, make sure you drop in. 

If Citizen sounds like the kind of brewery you would like to visit for a Calgary Craft Beer Tour, let us know below. 

We also offer Charters if you would like to plan your own event and just need a van and a driver.

 

To see more Calgary brewery reviews, click here.  

Cheers. 

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