Canada

The drinking age in Canada varies from province to province. In Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec the age is 18, while in the rest of the provinces and territories it is 19. A peculiarity of many Canadian provinces is that liquor and beer can only be sold in licensed stores and this usually excludes supermarkets, corner stores, etc. In Ontario alcoholic beverages can only be sold in licensed restaurants and bars and "Liquor Control Board" LCBO stores that are run by the Province; although you can also buy wine in some supermarkets in a special area called the "Wine Rack". Supermarkets in other provinces generally have their own liquor store nearby. Québec has the least restrictions on the sale of alcohol, and one can usually find alcohol at convenience stores depanneur, in addition to the government-owned Société des Alcools du Québec SAQ stores. Alberta is the only province where alcohol sales are completely decentralized, so many supermarket chains will have separate liquor stores near the actual supermarket. Prices may seem high to Americans from certain states, bringing alcohol in to Canada up to 1L of hard liquor, 1.5L of wine, or a 24 pack of beer, is advisable. American cigarettes are also quite popular to bring in as they are not sold in Canada.

Canadians are known for their love of beer, although wine and hard alcohol or spirits are also popular.

Like neighboring United States, some places in Canada are dry communities. Which, just like in the dry counties in the U.S., means that the sale of alcohol is either prohibited or restricted.

distilled spirits

Canada is famous in other countries for its distinctive rye whiskey. 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 Whiskey of the Year" by famed whiskey 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 whiskey-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.

beer

Canadian mass-market beers e.g., Molson's, Labatt's are generally a pale gold lager, with an alcohol content of 4% to 5%. 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.

wine

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. Imported wines from France, Italy, the US, Australia, and others are also popular and available in large varieties

Ice wine, a very sweet dessert wine made from frozen grapes is a Canadian specialty, with products made by Inniskillin vinery (http://www.inniskillin.com/) 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.

other beverages

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.