Though I have many dirty little secrets, Canmore is probably my favourite dirty secret. Often overlooked as the little brother to Banff (though it is far bigger), it is where many Banff workers choose to call home. Located only 15 minutes from Banff town and just outside the National Park boundaries, it is very easily accessible. As much as I adore Banff, I love to get to Canmore as often as possible for a visit. The perfect excuse came up when I went to visit photographer and Canmore local John E. Marriot for a beer at the Grizzly Paw pub and brewery.
I don’t know if it was because I had gotten used to the warmth of the car or that extra 15 minutes away from Banff makes things colder but for some reason as the snow fell lightly all around me, I don’t think I have ever felt colder in my life! For this reason, amongst others, the Grizzly Paw could not have appealed more. The huge outside deck is understandably busy during the summer months with great views of the famous Three Sisters Mountain Range from the comfortable Main Street location. As mentioned earlier, I have been in warmer freezers – not even a troupe of scantily clad women could have enticed me outside…well maybe not.
The Grizzly Paw is actually a brewery as well as a restaurant / bar and our own resident photographer pointed me in the right direction when it came to choosing which beer to taste. There is almost too much choice when it comes to choosing the beer. I went for the Powder Hound Pilsner, which despite its obvious Canadian-ness really tasted like it came straight from a Czech Republic keg. It is hard to taste as many different beers as possible when the first one tastes so damn good!
As we chatted about John’s chances of photographing the elusive lynx, we shared some nachos to keep all the homemade beer in good company! Though the food wasn’t the cheapest around, it was still excellent and the perfect mix while sampling beers. Before we had to venture back into the freakish cold of Canmore, I found out some interesting and perhaps dangerous information – the beer I was drinking is available to take away. Not only can you take a few bottles away but it is also possible to rent a keg. 50 liters’ of Powder Hound Pilsner to bring home to Banff! Now I have another dirty little secret to add to the collection!