After teasing us with tasty craft soda for the past few months with the promise of craft beer in the future, Annex Ale Project has opened up their brand new tap room in Calgary! I had a lightning-speed sneak peek (I had to sandwich my stop-in between work and a game of slow pitch) but I managed to grab a flight of their four current beers and have a bit of a look around.
Location-wise they did well; right off Macleod trail, just a couple blocks South of 39th Avenue train station, and a short amble from Banded Peak Brewing, making it a perfect addition to my summer brew and bike tour plans! Though there is no patio, they have the ability to open the roller door on one side to let in the fresh air and sun. The space is bright, clean, and open with a really great classy but casual vibe. I especially love the detail of the ceiling, peppered with old-style light bulbs and the wooden beams cleverly displaying their logo.
I was just smitten with these tap handles too, I tried to control my photographing of them but they got the best of me. Consistent, clean design, cool pastels and prints…
(Insert heart eyes emoji here.) Just so smitten.
Anyway, before I get weird(er) lets move onto the beers, they have four to start, and not really the styles you’d expect, but true to their philosophy I think they started off progressive.
The beers left to right; IPA, Dry-Hopped Kettle Sour, XPA and North American Bitter.
First Impressions; the IPA was very approachable, having minimal bitter aftertaste and being very smooth and almost fruity, I would say it was my favourite of the bunch. Though I like my sours pretty tart, I find I usually move on after one, while this was much lighter and I could see myself having a couple quite happily. The XPA had a fresh bitterness to it, you can taste that there’s complexity to the hops going on there for sure. Lastly, the beautifully colored Bitter was malty and easy drinking. Overall I think this is a very well-rounded starting list and I wish I’d had time for a pint of that IPA and to have a better look at their set up!
If you’re not a beer drinker, those sodas I mentioned earlier are delicious, and you can pick up some of those, or beers, to take home.
I want to say a huge congratulations to Andrew and Erica of Annex Ales and the rest of the team there on a successful launch! They officially open to the public tomorrow so be sure to check them out. Personally, I look forward to visiting again soon and I’m just going to put it out into the universe that I also look forward to Erica using her background in ice cream to create something incredible… Just sayin’.