Brewster Brewing Company and Restaurant (Beltline location)
834 11 Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2R 0E5
(403) 265-BREW (2739)
Many years ago, I was fascinated with the idea of starting a brew pub. I was sick and tired of sub-standard beer, and the same boring choices. I wanted beer brewed in small lots, with seasonal diversity, in many different styles. Rather than do my market research, I let enthusiasm take hold of me and I immediately started looking for a brewer. Through one of my contacts, I was put in touch with a top notch Canadian brewer. When i presented him with my idea, he says to me “oh, you want to build a Brewsters?”
Brewsters is a chain of Brew Pubs located in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Each location brews their own beer, and typically has a tremendous amount of diversity on hand at any given time. From Pilsners, to Barley Wine, to stouts, ales, and lagers, to seasonal beers, their skilled brew masters meticulously craft small lots frequently- making sure that their beers are fresh, and tasty.
The concept behind Brewsters is pretty simple. Pub/Bistro type fare, microbrewed beer, televisions for sports, comfortable seats and VLT’s. A place for everyone – I often go here to meet friends that come from very diverse food and beverage backgrounds – it isn’t anyone’s favorite, but no one objects either. The food itself is reasonable – more of a crossover between Earl’s and a pub. It is, however, nothing to write home about, but with prices fairly reasonable (entrees from 11-30, mostly in the 12-16 range) and some decent, even healthy alternatives available, the diverse selection makes it a reasonable choice for something to eat when you’re craving a tall schooner of beer, and there’s a group of you that can’t decide on where you want to eat. The menu is one of those eclectic mixes of something for everyone.
The beer itself is quite good. I find they don’t quite have the same body and depth that other brewpubs seem to have (like Wild Rose, or Wildwood) – everything tastes a bit sterile, like it’s been brewed for the lowest common denominator. However, it is very consistent from one brewery to the next, and they do have a great selection of styles. I’m fairly partial to the Bow Valley Brown ale, Czech Pilsner, and the Heffeweizen.
Overall, the concept is pretty sound, and based on their 11 locations (and growing), they are obviously striking the right chord with the Alberta and Saskatchewan markets. Good beer, decent food, tv’s may not seem like a unique concept, but when trying to find a place that will appeal to everyone that consistently serves a decent pint and reasonable food, there arent a lot of other choices. Brewsters fits the bill.