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YYCTOURS - Calgary Brewery Tours 
Four Dogs Brewery Review - August 6, 2023 

Outside of Four Dogs taproom and Brewery by YYC Brewery tours

YYCTOURS stopped into Calgary’s newest brewery, Four Dogs Brewing Company at 1205 1 St SW to see what was going on and to try a flight of beer. Having opened their taproom in July 2023, until now, all Four Dogs beers were brewed off-site at award winning venues like Common Crown (2020 Canadian Brewery of the Year) and Field and Forge (multiple award winner), but as of this weekend, the on-site brewery is rolling at full steam, and the Four Dogs brewmaster (formerly with Vancouver’s Bomber Brewing)  is now officially brewing their beers in-house. 

Brewing equipment at Four Dogs Brewery by Brewery Tour Calgary

One thing that always impresses us, is when a brewery, in this case a Picobrewery (less than 500 barrels a year on-site), manages to pump out high-quality beer without spending a million dollars on equipment. Four Dogs fits this bill. Their small 150L brewing system manufactured by Spike of Milwaukee, which is also used by local Belgian beer gurus and two-time 2023 Canadian Brewery Award Winner, Two Pillars, would fit in anyone’s kitchen. As the saying goes, it’s not the size of your brewing equipment, it’s how you use it. 

 

Another draw for us was how comfortable we were made to feel by the service staff as soon as we walked in the door. Often the craft beer scene can be too trendy and pretentious, but at Four Dogs, we felt like we could sit there all day. The room was spacious with ample seating, the bar was comfortable and a couple TV’s were mounted for sports. Perfect! 

 

Before we share our take on the beer at Four Dogs Brewing, we should probably mention, in case you haven’t heard, dogs are allowed inside the taproom!!!! In fact, this brewery was inspired by dogs and built for dogs. If you are a dog lover, nothing beats saying hello to as many furry friends as possible, and this brewery is a great spot to do so. We arrived shortly after opening on Friday, and there were already two dogs lounging around and ready to be petted. Four Dogs also has a Polaroid camera so you can snap a picture of your pup and put it on their wall. They have locally made dog treats available and even have a printing press to create your own custom dog inspired t-shirt. The beer taps are built into a mini doghouse,  there are dog beds and nooks for all sized pets and beer flights are served in dog bowls. Correction, the beer flight glasses are placed in dog bowls. Four Dogs also offers a variety party pack to-go, which includes beers and dog cookies, with a portion of the proceeds going to AARCS (Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society). 

Beer samples at Four Dogs by YYC beer tours
A flight of beer in a dog bowl at Four Dogs brewing by Brewery Tour Calgary

Our beer flight consisted of four of the five core beers, named after owner Vince’s buddies who sadly have all passed over the rainbow bridge. There was ‘Sasha’s’ Rhodesian Ridgeback Red Ale, ‘Friday’s’ German (Pointer) Pilsner, ‘Presley’s’ Seasonal Pale Ale, ‘Zen’s’ Great Dane Stout and lastly,  a specialty beer titled  ‘Elvis’s’ Salted Lime Lager.

 

The Seasonal Pale Ale was fantastic with a nice biscuit/bread taste and a pleasant fruity hop bitterness that lingered into the aftertaste, we grabbed a pack to take home. The Red Ale was also very well crafted and featured a light toasty malt character. The German Pilsner was excellent with what we noted as an abundant doughy/cracker flavour, making it more exciting and far more tasty than most pilsners. Although all of these beers were very well balanced and smooth, our winner for the best beer (only because we have to pick one) was the Great Dane Stout. When evaluating a stout, there are so many variations of that style to consider. Is it a Sweet Stout, Irish, Irish Extra, Foreign Extra, Oatmeal, or Tropical Stout? However, without even knowing what kind of Stout it is, one thing you can always taste is craftsmanship, and here, it clearly stood out as being extremely well made. With an ABV of 4.7%, a somewhat creamy roasted flavour and slight, but balanced, hop bitterness in the finish, this must be an Irish Stout, and it is one of the better ones we have tried as of late. 

 

With the addition of this new venue, the Beltline now has a very dog-walkable 3-brewery district along 1st St SW (and all within a couple blocks of each other) that features Vancouver’s 33 Acres and the creative Bottlescrew Bills, both have dog-friendly patios. To see our story on all the new brewery districts in Calgary, check here. To see a map of all the breweries you can visit with your dog, click here

 

If you like friendly people, dogs and beer, Four Dogs Brewing is worth a trip. 

Behind teh bar at Four Dogs Brewing by Calgary Beer Tours

If Four Dogs brewing seems like the kind of place you would like to visit on a Calgary Brewery Tour, let us know. We also offer charters if you would like to create your own tour and just need a driver. 

To see more Calgary brewery reviews, click here

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