We like to say we’re untapped, unfiltered, and unforgettable up here in the Peace Country, but the truth is… A whole lot of tapping gets done in our neck of the woods. (Barrel and bottle tapping that is). What can we say? Nights get long up in here in the winter, what else is there to do?
(Well, quite a bit actually. There’s the beauty of the Northern Lights to admire, you can go ice fishing and stay overnight in a log cabin, downtown Grande Prairie comes alive with karaoke, casinos, after-hours tours of art galleries…).
We digress. The truth is there are a growing number of up-and-coming local companies here in the Grande Prairie region producing a wide variety of wines, beers, and spirits. Many of these concoctions take inspiration from the stories and history of the area, meaning that when you take a sip of some local whiskey on the rocks or treat yourself to aromatic haskap berry wine, you’re drinking a piece of the Peace Country’s heritage, too.
Read on to learn about Grande Prairie’s booming craft beverage scene, including opportunities for tours, tastings, and the chance to take a bottle or two home with you. Just remember – no matter how tasty, please indulge responsibly.
Broken Oak Distilling Co. was started in 2018 by Shawn Herbert and Patrick Chute, locals dedicated to old-school distilling practices and innovative ideas that make their business one of the premier distilleries in the region. Their lineup of gins, liqueurs, whiskies, rums, and vodkas are made from hand-selected local grains with finishing touches that reflect the community they call home.
In addition to their distillery, they also provide a lounge space for events such as bachelor/bachelorette parties, team-building events, birthdays, and Christmas parties. And! They feature tastings and in-house cocktails devised by their skilled team of mixologists.
Looking for a wide selection of tasty, locally brewed beers? Grain Bin Brewing Company has you covered. Their award-winning beers include lagers, amber ales, IPAs, stouts – basically the whole gamut of anything a devoted zythophile would appreciate.
No matter your taste, you’ll find something to enjoy in their taproom. While you’re there, be sure to check out their impressive patio and vibrant outdoor mural while you enjoy their most popular brews. (A little insider’s tip: try their Red Willow American Amber Ale or their Pipestone American Pale Ale!). Tours of their brewery are also available for booking.
Mead is one of the oldest of the old-school drinks going, a wine made from fermented honey enjoyed by pharaohs, Vikings, and various other historical rulers. If you fancy channelling your inner barbarian – don’t worry, long beards and chainmail aren’t necessary – Stolen Harvest Meadery is located in Grovedale and has been producing meads that have won prestigious national and international awards such as the World Mead Challenge Gold Medal in 2020 and 2021, and the All Canadian Wine Championship in 2021!
Using local honey means the flavour of the Peace Region runs deep in every glass. Stolen Harvest’s most popular meads include their Saskatoon Berry, Ginger Peach, and Fruits of the Forest varieties. You can find Stolen Harvest Meads available for purchase at multiple locations throughout Alberta, or you can get your fill directly from their website.
If delicious fruity wines are more your style, head immediately to Broken Tine Orchard close to Beaverlodge. The orchard was originally planted in 2011, and since then, Broken Tine has been farming haskap berries for the uniquely flavourful wines they produce. Never tried haskap berry wine before? There’s no better place to start. Or better still – never tasted a haskap berry before? When the season’s right, the orchard features a u-pick experience where you can gorge yourself on the delicious berries
They also sell many other products made with the haskap berry, including haskap-flavoured ice cream. Simply put, Broken Tine brings a unique experience to our region – so much so that we wrote an entire blog about them before. Don’t miss out on this lesser-known jewel of the region.
Latitude 55 has become one of Grande Prairie’s premier distilleries, taking their name from the geographic coordinates of our fair city. Crafting everything from gin, rum, moonshine, and vodka, Latitude 55 works with local businesses to source the best local ingredients. Their philosophy is in working with the community to create a spirit of togetherness.
Visit their website to learn more about their business and to contact them regarding tastings. Also, check out our recent Q&A with the team at Latitude 55 to get to know this local distillery better!
The Joosed Moose is a local winery with a bit of an irreverent spirit. Their name is taken from an incident where a moose got into their orchard and “joosed” (stole) a sizable amount of the owner’s prized saskatoon berries. The name stuck, and the wines are just as delicious as the saskatoons the moose stole. Give their Siggy’s Saskatoon dry oak a try – it won the Judges’ Selection at the 2021 Alberta Beverage Awards.
Located near Happy Trails Campground off of Highway 43X, the orchard features a small berry u-pick during the summer months. Give them a call to set up a short tour and tasting – we guarantee you won’t regret it.
Grande Prairie is home to many great craft goods, more than what is mentioned above. For more ways to experience what this region has to satisfy your local food, drink, and souvenir cravings, check out The Grande Plan: The Craft Experience.
Have you had the chance to sample any of the drinks we mentioned above? Share your experiences with us on social media – along with your recommendations for other Peace Country treasures we haven’t listed here – and raise a glass to buying local!