Enjoy a beer or whisky in Canada.
Canadian adults enjoy beer and other alcoholic beverages quite often. Watching sports, especially hockey, is a popular time to consume these type of drinks.
Beer in Canada
Canadian mass-market beers (e.g., Molson's, Labatt's) are generally a pale gold lager, with an alcohol content of 5% to 6%. This alcohol level may be higher than popular beers in the U.S. or Great Britain, so it pays to be careful if you're a visitor. Like most mass-market beers, they are not very distinctive (although Americans will notice that there are beers made by these companies that are not sold in the States), however, Canadian beer drinkers have been known to support local brewers. In recent years, there's been a major increase in the number and the quality of beers from micro-breweries. Although many of these beers are only available near where they are produced, it behooves you to ask at mid-scale to top-end bars for some of the local choices: they will be fresh, often non-pasteurized, and have a much wider range of styles and flavours than you would expect by looking at the mass-market product lines. Many major cities have one or more brew pubs, which brew and serve their own beers, often with a full kitchen backing the bar. These spots offer a great chance to sample different beers and to enjoy food selected to complement the beers.
Ice beer in Canada
Ice beer (in name) originated in Canada, though it is essentially based on the German Eisbock style of beer. The first ice beer marketed in North America was Molson Ice which was introduced in April 1993, although the process was patented earlier by Labatt, instigating the so-called "Ice Beer Wars" of the 1990s.
The process of icing beer is done by bringing the temperature of a batch of beer down to or just below the freezing point of water (32°F or 0°C), the greatest constituent of beer. Because water freezes at a higher temperature than does alcohol, the water becomes frozen and the alcohol stays a liquid. Because of this, a layer of ice can be skimmed from the surface of beer (hence the name "ice" beer). This creates a concoction with a higher volume ratio of alcohol to water and therefore creating a beer with a higher alcohol content by volume.
Labatt patented a process where beer is pumped through a tank of ice crystals before filtration. The freezing of beer allowed the removal of protein-polyphenol compounds, creating a smoother, more colloidally stable beer, and avoiding long aging time.
Beer festivals in Canada
Beer festivals in Canada include the Great Canadian Beer Festival, which since 1993 (with help from the Victoria chapter of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)) has focused on cask ales from the Pacific Northwest. Since 2005 the festival has been held at Royal Athletic Park on the first weekend after Labour Day. The festival attracts over 40 craft breweries from across Canada and the Pacific North-western USA and more than 7000 visitors.The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a nine-day event in Kitchener-Waterloo, which started in 1969 influenced by the original German Oktoberfest. It is held every October, starting on the Friday before Canadian Thanksgiving and running until the Saturday after. Toronto's Festival of Beer was first held in 1995 at Fort York in Toronto, though has been held at Exhibition Place since 2009.The Mondial de la Bière was founded in 1994 in Montreal, and attracts around 80,000 people.
Wine in Canada
The two largest wine-producing regions in Canada are the Niagara Region in Ontario and the Okanagan in British Columbia. Other wine-producing areas include the shores of Lake Erie, Georgian Bay (Beaver River Valley) and Prince Edward County in Ontario, and the Similkameen valley, southern Fraser River valley, southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands in British Columbia. There are also small scale productions of wine in southern Quebec and Nova Scotia.
Ice wine, a (very) sweet dessert wine made from frozen grapes is a Canadian specialty, with products made by Inniskillin vinery in particular found at airport duty-free stores around the world. In contrast to most other wine-producing regions in the world, Canada, particularly the Niagara Region, consistently undergoes freezing in winter and has become the world's largest ice wine producer. However, due to the tiny yields (5-10% compared to normal wine) it's relatively expensive, with half-bottles (375 ml / 13 fl oz) starting at $50. It is worth noting that Canadian ice wine is somewhat sweeter than German varieties.
Spirits in Canada
Canada is famous in other countries for its distinctive rye whisky, a beverage widely known to be too commonly appreciated by Canadians. Some famous editions include Canadian Club, Wisers, Crown Royal to name just a few. In addition to the plentiful selection of inexpensive blended ryes, you may find it worth exploring the premium blended and unblended ryes available at most liquor stores. One of the most-recognized unblended ryes is Alberta Premium, which has been recognized as the "Canadian Whisky of the Year" by famed whisky writer Jim Murray.
Canada also makes a small number of distinctive liqueurs. One of the most well-known, and a fine beverage for winter drinking, is Yukon Jack, a whisky-based liqueur with citrus overtones. It's the Canadian equivalent of the USA's Southern Comfort, which has a similar flavour but is based on corn whiskey (bourbon) rather than rye.
Alberta Pure is a Vodka.
Non-alcoholic drinks in Canada
You can find most nonalcoholic beverages you would find in any other country. Carbonated beverages (referred to as "pop", "soda" and "soft drinks" in different regions) are very popular. Clean, safe drinking water is available from the tap in all cities and towns across Canada. Bottled water is widely sold, but it is no better in quality than tap water, so you'll save a lot of money by buying a reusable water bottle and filling it up from the tap.
A non-alcoholic drink one might drink in Canada is coffee. Tim Hortons is the most ubiquitous and popular coffee shop in the country. Starbucks is massively popular in Vancouver and becoming more so in other large centres such as Calgary (where it is larger than Tim Hortons), and Toronto. There is a Starbucks in most every city, along with local coffeeshops and national chains such as Second Cup, Timothy's, mmmuffins (currently owned by Timothy's Coffees of the World but operated under original trade name), Country Style, Coffee Time. Tea is available in most coffeeshops, with most shops carrying at least half dozen varieties (black, green, mint, etc.)