It’s no secret I love craft beer. Heck, my relationship with Tyler started on the basis of craft beer! We love it so much, Tyler at one point even brewed it at home (we’re not so good at it, so we’ll leave it to the pros).
When I first moved to Calgary in 2012, I was looking for a place that not only had an amazing selection of beer, but that also had good food and a fun vibe. Enter: National.
I first found National on 17th while out with some new friends and it has since been one of my go-to spots when going out for drinks. Their location on 10th ave is in walking distance from my job, so that place was frequented more than 17th 😉
From their website: Our original location, on Calgary’s bustling 17th Avenue, has been a popular hangout since its doors first opened. Long, communal tables and ample seating make it the perfect place to meet new people, and to gather with friends for a late breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The food menu is big and well-considered, and dishes pair well with our curated selection of craft beers from small North American brewers. A huge oyster bar and robust wine & cocktail menu round out your options. This location also boasts a lively, sun-drenched patio in the warmer seasons.
PS: There are actually FOUR National locations- 17th, 10th, 8th, and Westhills. I am eager to check out the other two!
My friend Susie turned 30 on Saturday, so we headed to National on 17th for a few beer flights. We were immediately greeted by some awesome staff members and snagged a pretty sweet table near the front windows.
You guys, the beer selection is huge. Like, it’ll-take-you-forever-to-make-up-your-mind huge. Luckily, the staff is pretty darn educated in the stuff and can throw out some recommendations (insert hallelujah hands here).
We enjoyed 2 different flights (12 beers total) ranging from pale ales to stouts to sours to wheat beers. I think I can say with confidence I would order pints of about 10 of them- two just weren’t my style, but that could be because the taste was altered after following a different beer?
National has 2 features that I absolutely love:
- They have several monitors mounted about the bar that display all available beers. It is constantly rotating to show the different beers AND it shows their province/state of origin. NEAT!
- The long, sturdy picnic table seating. It makes for a great way to socialize with others. Plus you can squeeeeeze more people in if need be.
Once we finished our flights, the birthday girl chose a round of cocktails for us: Hound Dog Hooch (vodka, pink lemonade, wheat beer). They were pretty tasty and a nice palate cleanser.
I could have stayed at 17th for the remainder of our night, but we decided to head on over to the 10th location for some beer and BOWLING! Unfortunately once we got there, the lanes were all booked. We ended up staying there anyways and having another drink (or two…) to round out the evening.
Once I get my ‘going out’ mojo back, I’ll be sure to head back to 10th to get my bowling (and beer) fix!
National is a really fun bar. I’m not really huge into craft beer. I like an occasional beer but don’t notice the difference really between beers. (sorry) ha ha.
National on 10th is just behind our office, and is one of the places for an after work beer. That or Bottlescrew Bill’s which is even closer, though BB doesn’t have as good a beer selection. National food is good too. You’d probably like Craft, just beside National.
I’ve been to the 17th ave location once. Good brunch but damn it was hard to pick a beer lol. I think I picked something I already know and love just because I was too overwhelmed to pick something new.
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