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  • Writer's pictureCalgary Brewery Tour Guy

Calgary Brewery Review - Bottlescrew Bills by YYCTOURS

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

Every week YYCTOURS visits a different Calgary brewery to sample a flight of beer and to have a look around. To see all our current 2023 reviews, click here.

Bottlescrew Bills (BSB) has been around since 1980, long before Calgary had craft breweries. During the pandemic, the team decided to take out the adjoining Buzzards cafe and put in a brewery. Since then, they have been cranking out a wide range of beers at a high rate.

A flight of beer at Bottlescrew Bills in Calgary- by YYC beer tours.

Our beer flight for this week's Calgary brewery Review was mixed. We wanted to see how their lagers were, and we wanted to try some ales. First up was the Czech Amber Lager and right away we could tell this beer was perfectly crafted. It featured a nice aroma of malt and light caramel with good clarity. The beer was crisp with a clean, smooth lightly sweet finish. After warming up for a few minutes, the malt character really came through.

The Italian Pilsner was next and again, was very well made. The Italian Pilsner is a relatively new style of beer 'invented' in 1996. What makes an Italian Pilsner stand out from other styles of Pilsner is that it is 'Dry-Hopped' (Hops added after the boil, usually in the fermentation tanks so that you get hop flavour without bitterness). This example was clean and crisp and we found no faults. Thirdly, we went for our measuring stick beer, Paradise Pale Ale. This version used a brand new experimental hybrid hop called HBC 586. BSB also adds honey and wheat to this beer making it unique to most Pale Ale styles. These additions blended well and our notes indicate a heavy fruitiness after warming up.

Lithuanian Raw Ale at Bottlescrew Bills Brewery in Calgary by YYCTOURS calgary brewery tours
Lithuanian Raw Ale

Last up is our pick for Beer of the Week. We chose this beer as not only was it delicious, but it is a rare, ancient and unique style of beer and that automatically gives bonus points in our books. The Lithuanian Raw Ale is essentially a farmhouse Ale that does not undergo typical boiling of the wort. Most beers were "raw" until the early 19th century and the advent of the blast furnace. Additionally, this old-world technique of brewing handed down through generations of European farmers does not include adding hops in the 'boil'. Instead, the hops are boiled separately and added later as a 'tea bag'. The final product is a full bodied (more protein) grainy ale. We generally get excited on any visit to a brewery, but seeing the wide range of beers (lagers, ales, sours, festbiers, SMASHes and Real Ale as well) made by Head-Brewer Ian at BSB (he cut his teeth at Common Crown, Big Rock and Village), and given that they have 240 beers available with 13 local/foreign taps and 13 of their own taps (soon to be 18 as they just expanded the brewery this weekend) we have to pick Bottlescrew Bills as one of our favourite all-around breweries in Calgary. Plus we especially love the 'Dive-bar" feel.

Brewmaster Ian at Bottlescrew Bills in Calgary YYCTOURS Calgary craft beer tours
Ian the Brew Master

If Bottlescrew Bills sounds like your kind of place, let us know and we can stop by on your Calgary Brewery Tour.

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