Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

America vs Canada

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Hdredfern, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. Hdredfern

    Hdredfern Savant (395) Texas Feb 16, 2012

    If anybody listens to Mike and Mike in the Morning today the discussed American beer vs Canadian beer. I was wondering from people more qualified than Golic what your thoughts are on the different styles and flavor profiles. (Golic only likes Canadian beers because it is stronger)
  2. When I think Canadian beer, I think Moosehead, Molson, and if pressed for craft beer, Unibrou... I'm certainly no expert on Canadian craft brew, but I'd assume that if it was even remotely as prevalent as American craft, we'd be seeing a lot of it on shelves here in the states.... And I'm not. Ergo, I'd have to assume that the U.S. craft industry kicks the crap out of Canada's!

    Sorry Canada!
    ktblue22, Bnoise11, CBlack85 and 9 others like this.
  3. matedog

    matedog Aficionado (245) California Jan 25, 2010 Verified

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the "Canadian beer is stronger" myth dates back to when the US breweries still indicated their alcohol in alcohol by weight as opposed to by volume. Basically Canadian mass produced pissy lagers have the same alcohol strength as American mass produced pissy lagers, but it used to seem like they didn't because a 5.0% ABV beer has some like a 4.2% alcohol by weight.

    As for the real question, I'd like to know of other great Canadian breweries that distribute in the US. Obviously Unibroue and Dieu du Ciel, but I don't know of many others.
    Fargrow, TheSevenDuffs, RJM and 6 others like this.
  4. videofrog

    videofrog Advocate (525) Texas Nov 13, 2010 Verified

    Stephen Beaumont, with his flapping head and beady little eyes, is a great resource for info on Canadian beer, and for that matter, the world. World Atlas of Beer is a great book.
  5. moshea

    moshea Advocate (690) Michigan Jul 16, 2007

    If Golic likes Canadian beer because he could be confused by the ABV / ABW labeling

    Edit:eek:ops someone beat me to it
  6. Skwalk47

    Skwalk47 Savant (310) Massachusetts Aug 31, 2010 Verified

    I spend a decent amount of time north of the boarder and have always been disappointed with the beer selections.
  7. Ranbot

    Ranbot Advocate (620) Pennsylvania Nov 27, 2006 Verified

    There are some good craft brewers in Quebec, both around Montreal and Quebec City. I was also quite content with the Canadian craft beer selections available when I was on vacation in Banff/Jasper, Alberta. Very little of Canada's craft beer migrates south though.
    iguenard, DanK4, Clvlndhops and 3 others like this.
  8. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,290) Maryland Mar 18, 2008 Verified

    This is an attitude that is very common and ingrained, mostly since in the younger days labelling had to have ABV on it per law, and I remember in my younger days the macro US beers sold in the states didn't seem to have the abv listed. However, when they were sold back home in Canada (where I was born and raised) they were listed, and were always lower than the mass Canadian macro.. as for the weight thing I have no idea... but there was that snort snort guffah yeah this is piss water compared to our CDN stuff.

    Fast forward 30 years later and things are very different, the biggest problem is the argument is completely meaningless now with the numerous amount of breweries that exist in both countries. Heck I remember 25 years ago people were excited that Coors Banquet was going to show up for a promotion on year, back in my old stomping grounds.

    The issue for Canada though is that because its large size, draconian liquor laws, and small population, there isn't a lot of choice for beer compared to the United States, so there's a lot of beer there in Canada to try but you are highly limited in getting your selections.

    The ballooning beer scene in both countries has produced great beer in both places, and also bad beer, so it's not a country vs country argument, more of a brewery vs brewery comparison. It's like saying which state makes better beer California or Vermont... well there you go... it's a pointless and not well thought out argument.
  9. Darwin553

    Darwin553 Savant (250) Australia Jan 5, 2009

    What's wrong with Moosehead? I'd prefer that to bud...oh wait this isn't just a US v Canadian BMC pissing contest :confused:
    Patandnik likes this.
  10. Nothing... If you're in the mood for drinking swill, I guess.
    Purp1eOne likes this.
  11. Skwalk47

    Skwalk47 Savant (310) Massachusetts Aug 31, 2010 Verified

    I dont know about the craft beer scene in Eastern Canada being all that great, when I drive up to Lake Memphremagog on the QC/VT Boarder (QC side), I know a trip by the Alchemist or one of the local co-ops that carry Heady Topper will result in a far superior beer drinking experience than anything I can buy up there.
  12. Prh27

    Prh27 Savant (370) Virginia Apr 24, 2012

    Heard that as well. I think American craft is ahead of Canada, but I still have plenty of love for Unibroue. I also used to drink the piss out of Molson XXX, no pun intended. I still drink it occasionally when watching hockey.
  13. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Advocate (670) Missouri May 11, 2012 Verified

    When I think Canadian beer I thing "Labbat Blue" therefore USA wins
    utopiajane likes this.
  14. Hdredfern

    Hdredfern Savant (395) Texas Feb 16, 2012

    The shocking part of it, I hate Collin Cowherd and he was the one that nailed it with his comments on microbreweries
  15. Frankinstiener

    Frankinstiener Savant (405) Illinois Jul 28, 2009 Verified

    USA duh... Canadians have beady eyes and flapping mouths... and Golic is just dumb.
  16. lvldweller

    lvldweller Savant (320) New Jersey Apr 3, 2013 Verified

    Using this logic, i think most of the whole world thinks budweiser when they think american...so then we clearly lose
  17. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Advocate (670) Missouri May 11, 2012 Verified

    I dunno, I'd take a Bud over LB any day of the week
  18. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Advocate (735) Illinois Apr 8, 2010

    I'm shocked that Mike and Mike didn't provide more insight into this debate.
  19. bobbyr5

    bobbyr5 Savant (290) Michigan May 17, 2013

    Living in Michigan and about 20 minutes away from Windsor I would say that 'Merica is better. When Canada comes to mind I think of Labatt and Unibroue.

    When I think of Michigan alone we have Founders, Bells, Dark Horse, Nektar, and Kuhnhenn. Sorry Canada.
  20. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poobah (1,195) Indiana Aug 11, 2012 Verified

    America..........Fuck yeah!
    Kiss my ass and suck on my balls.

    Seriosuly - 4 Unibroue beers are awesome and so is Peche Mortel. That's 5 that I can think of.
    Dreizhen, FEUO, BrewSTL and 3 others like this.
  21. mtomlins

    mtomlins Advocate (650) Ontario (Canada) Mar 12, 2010 Verified

    I am a duel citizen of both countries and lived long periods of time in both places (read: drank a lot of beer in both) and can say with 100% certainty that the beer scene in Canada is definitely lagging behind the US. Of course, if you have ever lived in both places you will know that this goes without saying for almost everything related to entertainment or commercial goods ;) !

    Canada seems to lack those few large scale ‘micro-‘ breweries that distribute across the country or have an international presence, the main exception being Unibroue (even Dieu du Ciel isn’t readily available on the Canadian West Coast). Without these giants advocating, people don’t realize there is a vibrant scene; it’s just young. People started seeking out The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead, 3 Floyds because of superstars like Stone or Dogfish Head.

    Unibroue is widely available but is no means the best Canada has to offer. Places Bellwoods, Le Trou du Diable, MicroBrasserie Charlevoix, Beau’s, Half Pints or Garrison are consistently producing excellent beer. Even better is that the explosion of micro-/nano- breweries in the States is catching on in Canada, and this is where the real gems are found. For example, here in Ottawa, there is a small nanobrewery called Beyond the Pale that is making some killer beer (including small batch barrel aged IPAs and stouts) .

    Don’t get hung up on the Labatt’s/Moosehead stereotype, image if all you ever head was America is a wasteland of Coors and Bud.
  22. I live about an hour from the border with Michigan. I usually cross every other weekend to get my craft beer fix. There are very good craft breweries in the Toronto area like Great Lakes, Amsterdam, and Bellwoods, but we are years behind the 'Merican craft beer scene.
  23. Danny1217

    Danny1217 Advocate (705) Florida Jul 15, 2011 Verified

    Is this even a serious question? Canada has some catching up to do in the craft beer scene.
    a74gent likes this.
  24. Those guys should stick to talking about sports.

    To the OP: I don't much about the craft scene in Canada, so I can't really comment. As far as macros go, I did used to enjoy Labatt quite a bit in my yellow fizzy days, but it nothing on Rolling Rock.
  25. OakedCanuck

    OakedCanuck Initiate (0) Washington Jun 23, 2009

    There are a lot of great microbreweries in Canada. The problem is that they don't distribute to the US due to restrictive import laws (for a small craft brewery) and just not being able to make enough beer to. I find it funny that most people here who say that the US is better have probably only had Unibroue and DDC. If I lived back in Canada and the only 2 US breweries I had access to were say, Rogue and DFH, then ya, I would say the local Canadian craft around me was way better. Works both ways. But yes, the US is ahead in breweries, selection and availability....which might have something to do with the fact that there are 10x more people in the US than in Canada. I'm not knocking the US (hell, I live here now and love the beer scene), it's just pretty stupid for people to compare the two, or label one as "better" without having an equal sample size.

    Oh ya, Canada gets way more Loons than the US. So ya, Canada is better.
  26. Compared to his oft-idiotic statements about sports, which really should be his area of expertise, Cowherd seems to know a good amount about beer. Especially for a mainstream person and not someone in the beer field.
  27. But Budweiser isn't even an American company anymore :(
    SammyJaxxxx and bobbyr5 like this.
  28. mtomlins

    mtomlins Advocate (650) Ontario (Canada) Mar 12, 2010 Verified

    Don't worry too much, people will always think Bud is American, much like people think Molson is Canadian owned.
  29. teraflx

    teraflx Advocate (555) Arizona Feb 4, 2013 Verified

    I obviously love American beers. Honestly I do not get to try much from Canada as we really don't get much around here except the big crap ones Molsons.

    I have heard amazing things about Peche Mortel by Dieu Du Ciel which they sell in some states. In fact most by Dieu I have heard is good and we get a few of them here in AZ which is nice. I am taking vacation soon in California and they sell it there so I will be picking some up to try.

  30. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (570) Colorado Dec 9, 2011 Verified

    As others have pointed out, old myths die hard. Perhaps "Mythbusters" should do a segment on this question. I'll gladly volunteer as one of the testers.
    Hdredfern likes this.
  31. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Savant (485) Missouri Sep 14, 2011

    Golic obviously should stick to sports.
    sfsean28 likes this.
  32. wordemupg

    wordemupg Champion (820) Alberta (Canada) Feb 11, 2009 Verified

    Being Canadian can suck at times, beady little eyes, my head looks like a trash can flapping up and down, no music to listen to other then Celine Dion and Brian Adams, and having only one road there's often dog sled jams. One area that's bearable is my beer selection, I'm never board. No we don't have anywhere near the number of breweries the states has but we have many hidden gems that get no American exposure.
    It's true Americans know about DDC, McAuslan (St Ambroise) and Unibroue but have you heard of any of these....
    Driftwood, Central City, Lighthouse, La Trou Du Diable, Charlevoix, Bellwoods, Alley Kat, Crannog, Wildrose, Flying Monkeys, Half Pints... that`s just scratching the surface.
    Were not as hyped and well known but were catching up slowly.

    Lets not forget that we know how to import and I know many Americans that would kill for my beer selection I`m in Alberta where Cantillon, 3 Fonteninen, and Westy 12`s collect dust on the shelf for fucks sake. Lets not forget Mikkeller, Evil Twin, every Trappiest brewery and a long list of other Belgians, 8 Wired, Haandbryggeriet, Nogne O, and plenty others. There`s beer from 48 countries available right now in Alberta alone.

    I`m happy with how our beer cultures progressing and it seems there`s a new beer bar opening up every month here in Calgary.

    So come up North my American friends, have a great pint from an unknown brewery, get stoned and marry your same sex cousin, have a bacon maple syrup smoothie, and head south with a trunk full of Cantillon.
    Don`t forget to bring your skis and snowboards, all our slopes are open year round.
  33. tigg924

    tigg924 Champion (855) Massachusetts Apr 30, 2008 Verified

    I do not have a wealth of Canadian beer experience, however whenever I have taken trips up there I have always been able to find good local beer that does not get the publicity here. The Gahan House and Pumphouse amongst others are a couple of the hidden gems I have discovered by asking around town.
    ALeF likes this.
  34. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,290) Maryland Mar 18, 2008 Verified

    Can't get that stuff where I grew up... :( But loving the selection down these parts :D
  35. i prefer canadian AALs

    but when it comes to craft, it really isn't a discussion
  36. OakedCanuck

    OakedCanuck Initiate (0) Washington Jun 23, 2009

    There really can't be a discussion to begin with. See my above post.
  37. frazbri

    frazbri Advocate (695) Ohio Oct 29, 2003

    Another stifling factor for Ontario is the Beer Store's monopoly. It's not a government run entity, like PA's liquor stores, but a joint venture of Molson, Labatt, and Sleeman. (may have to fact check ) That has to make it a little tough to enter the market when the only beer seller in the province is owned by your much larger competitors.
  38. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Advocate (735) Minnesota Feb 6, 2013 Verified

    Canada's beer scene is about as renowned as France's...which is to say, not.
  39. I love Unibroue and what I've had from Dieu Du Ciel has been solid, but I think from a craft standpoint, US breweries just have more going on than Canada.

    From an AAL standpoint, I do agree that Molson/Labatt's are superior to BMC. Back in the day, I drank my fair share of Blue, Ice and Molson Canadian. When in Canada, I don't mind hitting a Molson Dry for nostalgia's sake either.

    Now Canadian vs. American Women, that's a whole 'nother debate! I'm giving the nod to the honeys north of the border. They did me justice when I used to frequent Canada!
  40. To answer the OP's question, USA wins by a landslide, but as others have said, there are some really good small breweries around Canada, they just don't export to the U.S. What surprises me is that this thread has been going for some time and no one (on either side of the border) has commented on the cost of beer in Canada :eek: Outrageous would be a large understatement. To prove my point, I smuggle Corona into Canada because my father-in-law can't afford it... and I'm sure his addiction to single malts has nothing to do with this :rolleyes: