Sip the South with Prairie Sprinter

Scenes from the Prairie Sprinter Sip the South tour in Medicine Hat.

Explore the breweries and distilleries of Southern Alberta on the Sip the South tour with Prairie Sprinter. Enjoy your trip to the fullest and leave the driving to the experts!

There’s so much to see and do in Southern Alberta. Take off for the weekend and discover the magic of Alberta’s Sunshine City, Medicine Hat. Or, use the city as a base to explore Newell County. There’s so much to see and do…you’ll want to come back for a second weekend!

A farmer's hands hold golden shafts of wheat in the field.

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Cruising Through the Prairies

There’s a running joke that you can see your dog from miles away on the Canadian prairies. The flat landscape can often be repetitive and hypnotic for drivers passing through. However, prairie dwellers know these wide open spaces hold acres of hope and promise.

Those ‘monotonous’ fields of wheat, canola, and especially barley yield promise. Craft breweries and distilleries are a natural (and delicious!) way to showcase the bounty of the prairies.

Breweries and distilleries are part of the lifeblood of many southern Alberta cities and small towns. They’re welcoming gathering spaces for city folk, farmers, and weary travellers alike. Who can pass up a cold drink and a bit of respite from the daily grind?

Sip the South with Prairie Sprinter

Craving a little prairie adventure but want to leave the driving up to the experts? Prairie Sprinter and Tourism Medicine Hat have come together to design a fabulous two day Sip the South tour.

This tour is a unique idea for corporate team building, stags or stagettes, weddings, staff parties, or other private charter. Escape the city on a fully guided booze cruise with a designated driver. At each stop, you’ll learn a bit about the establishment while enjoying the best brews and eats the south has to offer.

Sip the South tours run May-September and include morning pickup in Calgary. Day 1 lunch and tour at Pivot Spirits, patio time at Hell’s Basement, and dinner at Medicine Hat Brewing Company.

Finish the evening at Travois Ale Works and fall sound asleep at Medicine Hat Lodge. In the morning, there’s brunch at Grit City followed by a visit to Piston Broke Brewing in Brooks. Finally, catch some z’s on the way back to Calgary as your driver navigates back to the drop off point.

Note: There’s a minimum of eight adult only (18+) passengers and 21 days notice are required to book a tour. For more information visit HERE.

Scenes from the Prairie Sprinter tour; a flight of spirits at Pivot Spirits Craft Distillery in Rolling Hills, Alberta.
Prairie Sprinter tour bus photo courtesy of Tourism Medicine Hat.

Sip the South Stops

Each stop along the Sip the South tour is unique. Learn their stories and sample their product, knowing that you will be safely transported from one location to another. If you would like to purchase product along the way, the Prairie Sprinter coaches have plenty of storage room for your purchases.

Pivot Spirits Craft Distillery

Owners Larry Hirsch and Rachelle Fiset appear to have made a seamless transition from sustainable farming to sustainable distilling at Pivot Spirits. This beautifully designed prairie distillery embodies the spirit of the prairies with warm hospitality and quality products.

Learn about the inspiring distillery construction and systems while enjoying a flight of their unique spirits. Their products use locally sourced grains, botanicals, and flavour infusions, including those grown just next door on Larry’s land.

Scenes from the Prairie Sprinter tour; beer at Hell' Basement Brewery in Medicine Hat.
Photos courtesy of Tourism Medicine Hat.

Hell’s Basement Brewery

Imagine traveling the bald, flat prairies at the turn of the 20th century and arriving at town of Medicine Hat. For Rudyard Kipling, the town was a welcome respite from the ‘hellish’ basement of Canadian prairies. Furthermore, he described Medicine Hat as the ‘trap door’ within this Hell’s Basement.

Over a hundred years later, the folks at Hell’s Basement Brewery were inspired to name their brewery after Rudyard Kipling’s observations. This spot is a great place to whet your whistle with solid craft beers. They have a great patio space in the summer and carry excellent soda options for non drinkers. I highly recommend the Root Beer!

Scenes from the Prairie Sprinter tour; beer at Medicine Hat Brewing Company in Medicine Hat.
Prairie Sprinter tour bus photo courtesy of Tourism Medicine Hat.

Medicine Hat Brewing Company

A few years after Rudyard Kipling visited Medicine Hat, the original Medicine Hat Brewing Company was born. The brewery served locally brewed beer to the locals until it was forced to close during the Temperance Movement.

However, great ideas have a way of coming back full circle. Re-established (and re-imagined) in 2016, the brewery is now a great place to catch with friends and family. Relax in the large tap room or on the beautiful patio with one of the 22 beers on tap and then stay for dinner!

Scenes from the Prairie Sprinter tour; beer at Travois Ale Works in Medicine Hat.

Travois Ale Works

Travois Ale Works is the new kid on the block and by block, I mean it is located right in the heart of historic downtown Medicine Hat. The owners lovingly restored the interior of the brewery, stripping down years of changes to reveal the original locally fired IXL brick.

This small brewery releases flavourful classic European beers and revolutionary American styles. It’s a great spot to wind down on a Friday night. Just grab a pint and absorb the comfortable local vibe.

Scenes from the Prairie Sprinter Sip the South tour; craft spirits at Grit City Distillery in Medicine Hat.
Photos courtesy of Tourism Medicine Hat

Grit City Distillery

For those who like a mixed drink, I highly recommend a stop at Grit City Distillery. From brunch mimosa flights, to morning after caesars, to gin based Tiki style concoctions, this is the place to experience all the flavours of Medicine Hat.

The owners and staff at Grit City have a mission: to go above and beyond in every way. Through pure grit and determination, this friendly family run distillery has become a favourite among locals and visitors. They have a fun tasting room menu that reflects their passion for flavour and fun times.

I highly recommend bringing home a bottle of Toasted Coconut Gin, any seasonal liqueur or ready to drink canned cocktails. Oh, and their brunch menu is not to be missed!

A collage of photos showing beer tasting, food, and tours at PIston Broke Brewing a stop along the Sip the South tour.

Piston Broke Brewing

Last, but not least is Piston Broke Brewing. It’s located in the small city of Brooks Alberta, about an hour’s drive from Medicine Hat. You don’t have to be a gearhead to love this craft brewery, you just have to love great beer and food.

This family friendly spot (with a dog friendly patio) hosts many fun events throughout the year and is a hub of activity for the community. From a light crisp Pilsner to the intense Smokestack Black IPA, there’s a beer for every taste. I highly recommend trying one of their unique seasonal brews and the amazing Cowboy Candy Chicken Wings.

Book a Sip the South Tour with Prairie Sprinter

Pinterest image featuring beer and spirits from stops along the Prairie Sprinter Sip the South tour.
Image features several photos courtesy of Tourism Medicine Hat.

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