Daily, at 2 pm, the Yukon Brewing Company has a free tour and beer sampling.  Naturally, as the words free and beer were used in the same sentence we attended. The facility, located on the north end of Whitehorse produces 100% of the Yukon Brewing Companies' product.


The tour took place during production hours so we were able to see employees at work packaging and labelling beer.  This small producer does not have automated packaging so the process is very manually intensive.  We were also shown an unusual piece of equipment, a fifty year old Coca Cola company bottle cleaning machine.  The Yukon Brewing Co.  buys only used bottles collected at recycling centers, cleans, inspects and re-uses them for all of their brews.  This saves them the cost of shipping empty new bottles to this relatively remote location. We were also shown the oak barrels where the first batch of their whiskey awaits a release party still several years distant.


Now, for the brews:


Cranberry Wheat Ale - Unlike most fruit infused beers this one was not particularly sweet.  The cranberry flavor is so subtle that only the tartness really makes it through at the finish.  However, I have to say that really disguises the flavor of the wheat in an strange way, making it seem more like a lager with a cranberry nose.


Yukon Red Amber - This formula was good enough to win the 2009  Canadian Beer of the Year, which the brewery is not shy about mentioning.  As a real fan of ambers I have tried it a couple of times so far here in the Yukon and I wouldn’t rate it particularly high on my list.


Chilkoot Lager - This lager, unlike some large brand name lagers, is brewed without the use of any rice.  This means it is a bit smoother than it’s corporate brethren.  This could be a plus or a minus for you, I appreciate this style of lager more.


Discovery Ale - My favorite of their products.  I frequently see honey wheat beers, but a honey ale is a bit more rare.  Add to that the unique flavour of fireweed honey and you have a really distinct flavor.  It is sweet, delicate, but still tastes like a beer. Try this one out, if you can find it.


Yukon Gold - This beer was not particularly memorable.  As an Ale it is average.  It is worth trying if you are in the area but I would not pay the price it would probably go for outside of Canada.


Lead Dog Strong Ale - As far as IPA’s go this is not a particularly hoppy but that is intentional.  I spoke with Amos, the brewmaster who developed this particular recipe.  He understands the hop heavy tastes down in the USA but wasn’t aiming to please them specifically.  The beer does have a strong good taste, healthy head, and whopping 7% alcohol so I would say he has found a good spot with this one.


Midnight Sun Espresso Stout - As it happens Jess and I had a cup of Midnight Sun the day before our tour.  They are a local roaster located in the same building as Icycle Sport where I fixed up my Kona.  The coffee was great and the flavoring it imparted on this otherwise smooth stout was impossible to ignore.  This thing is perfect for a cold night with a warm fire.

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Founded: 1997

Location: Whitehorse, YT, CAN


Cranberry Wheat Ale

Yukon Red Amber

Chilkoot Lager

Discovery Ale (Honey Pale Ale)

Yukon Gold Draught Ale (Pale Ale)

Lead Dog Strong Ale (IPA)

Midnight Sun Espresso Stout