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CRAFT Beer Market – Beer With Class

The new Craft Beer Market is located in downtown Edmonton just off Rice Howard Way.  It is tucked away in the same block as Wood Work and 100 Bar and Grill.  I am a huge beer fan, and “on tap” is the best of the best that a beer drinker can experience.  The original Craft is located in Calgary; my Calgarian friends rave about how much they love it there.  I have been waiting for Craft to open for months and carefully watching the social media feeds for opening day.  Today is the day.

Craft Beer Market has over 100 different brews on tap.  This is the view of HALF of the refrigerated keg room:

Craft Beer Market Keg Fridge

Having all of those lines running to the tap room you can imagine would be a feat unto itself.  Craft has made the endeavor aesthetically pleasing to the eye; so shiny!

Craft Beer Market Taps

As you can well imagine, my eyes lit up like a giddy school girl when I got to see the setup!

Craft has the seating capacity for 500 people.  It is a beautiful building with a lower seating area and a “mezzanine” upstairs near the kitchen.  They also have a rooftop patio that will be opening this summer that will seat approximately 150 people.

The interior is done in wood and brick, with an open beam ceiling.  There are long tables for groups upstairs in the mezzanine and there are cozy booths throughout.  I liked the fact that this eatery would not have a problem seating a large group.  You don’t see very many large tables anymore.

I was in the mezzanine area with the Yelp Edmonton group.  We were fortunate enough to be treated to some tasting samples from Craft.  They were serving the Baja Fish Tacos with Craft’s own hot sauce:

Craft Beer Market Fish Tacos

So these were good, but not Tres Carnales good.  The hot sauce was spectacular, just the right amount of heat.  I paired this dish with a Hogshead Clockwort Orange.  They went really well together.

We were also treated to some small bites tasting samples.  I managed to get a bite of  the “Fast Food Sushi” which was cheeseburger and fries wrapped in bacon and served sushi style.  I quite liked it, but my opinion is biased when it comes to anything wrapped in bacon. I was hoping to try a couple of the other samples, but unfortunately they never came to our table again.  Everyone raved about the Cheese Infused Pretzel Bites!

My dinner companion settled on an order of “Canadian” wings.  These were tossed in a maple/bacon glaze:

Craft Beer Market Canadian Wings

My husband quite enjoyed these.  They were meaty and juicy, full of flavour.  He had an Innis and Gunn to drink with the wings.  He was impressed that they had Innis and Gunn on tap; this is where his love affair began.

I had the Hawaiian Ahi Poke:

Craft Beer Market Hawaiian Ahi Poke

I really, really, really love sushi.  This was a nice, light dish with a great spicy kick to it.  Served with the deep fried wontons it was a perfect mixture of textures and flavours.

You can’t leave Craft without trying one of their “Beertails”.  This is a line of cocktails made with beer.  I tried the Mojito.

Craft Beer Market Beer Mojito

This was a reminder that summer does actually exist and it will be back someday!  Fresh lime and fresh mulled mint.  A very refreshing addition to any meal.  I notice the small things – the presentation and glassware for all of the food and drinks are such nice touches.

Alas, no room for dessert, but happy to find out that there is indeed Guinness Ice Cream Floats for the next visit.

For the beer lover, Craft has a rotating sampler.  Half a dozen different beers to try, brought out to you on a plank.  What a great way to try out some new brews.  At Craft, everything is on tap! They have a nice variety of brands, flavours and types of beer to choose from.  They proudly support the local breweries.

For the food lover, everything is hand crafted and supports local as well.  All of the food that was brought out looked and smelled awesome.  Portion size versus price; a little on the pricey side compared to other local gastropubs.  (We have a lot of friends that are on a student’s budget.)

There were some rumblings about the service downstairs, but I never take that to heart on a soft opening.  Our waitress, Courtney, was fantastic!

Many thanks to the fantastic Jennie Marshall, community leader for Yelp Edmonton for the invitation.  It was nice to have the opportunity to meet the community!

The menus for the beer and food are conveniently located on Craft’s website.  They have cask nights and Brewmaster’s dinners listed in their events.  It looks like this venue is going to be a very busy one.

If you are a beer connoisseur, then you must visit Craft.  Beer with class!

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