9 surprising ways starting patio season early is more refreshing than new socks

Crazy Cactus rooftop patio season

Patio season will soon be here! How do I know? It’s technically spring, it hasn’t snowed in 48 hours, and any moment now the temperature will rise above zero. I just know it! Get ready to release your shorts and flips flops from retirement.

Okay, maybe I’m jumping the gun. The thermometer is currently sitting at -16 as I type. 

But I’m hoping that one of our city’s restaurant or pub managers will see this post and open up for patio season within the next few weeks. If you close your eyes, some local decks channel the quaint bistro cafe vibe of Europe. Let’s give people a reason to feel like Saskatoon really is the Paris of the Prairies.

9 surprising reasons to start patio season early:

Feel outdoorsy without getting eaten alive by mosquitos and hornets.

Last summer was really bad for bugs in the city of Saskatoon. Name any kind of annoying insect – flies, wasps, mosquitos – and my sweet nectar-filled pint glass attracted them. Get out there early to avoid the insects before they’re back in full-force.

Being the first to find a new, unknown patio is like winning a free mini-getaway with all your friends.

With one caveat: getting there before the masses find out about it.
The feeling of having an entire patio to yourself is quite liberating. You have the space to enjoy with friends… until someone says something and word spreads.

Make nice with the servers to potentially get top priority come summer.

Relationships are everything in the restaurant and bar industry. So treat your favourite patio bartenders and wait staff with the respect they deserve. They may remember you when the deck is packed this summer and it’s between you and that douche snapping their fingers.
Tips for bonding with industry peeps: ask about how their day is going and listen to the answer, give them genuine compliments when deserved, tip them a minimum 15% gratuity for a job well done, and avoid stereotypical asshole behaviour.

Start working on your tan before everyone else.

Okay, negative temperatures aren’t the best for sunbathing. But who says it won’t warm up in a fortnight? Once it gets above zero, the sleeveless tees are coming out! Make sure you bring layers to wear once the sun goes down. Remember: east-facing is better for morning brunch, and west-facing is better for sunsets.

People watch those unlucky souls who have to trudge through mud and slush.

Gif from gfycat.com

Cheers to avoiding mud puddles and potholes for an hour or two!

Rooftop patios with their own bars are lit! (When I say ‘lit’ I mean usually heated.)

Image result for crazy cactus patio saskatoon
Photo via Crazy Cactus on Yelp.ca

You won’t have to move a muscle ’cause the bartender keeps drinks flowing and the heater keeps you cozy. Sit, drink, repeat!

Day drinking begins every weekend at 11 AM!

Forget waiting around all day to head to a club at 11 PM. Seize the day and get home at a decent hour. (That’s the 30-year-old, getting-in-bed-before-10-PM, waking-up-without-a-hangover voice inside me talking.)
My favourite patio season day drinks include bulldogs, margaritas, sangrias, and gringos!

Have a sunny bunch on the patio complete with mimosas and chicken n’ waffles.

My favourite brunch at Elk Ridge Lodge.

Anyone who doesn’t love chicken n’ waffles is no friend of mine.

Horseshoe, or corn-hole games don’t need green grass.

Set up some lawn games on a patio and you’ll have plenty of fun – mower/shovel not required!

Patio season should start refreshingly early, Saskatoon. There may be snow and ice on the ground, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and convince your neighbourhood patio to open early for the season. Tell ’em it will make you feel better than putting on a new pair of socks. They won’t say no!

Saskatoon spots to inspire you this patio season:

Boffins Public House, University
Original Joe’s, 8th Street
Somewhere Else Pub & Grill, Avalon
Yard & Flagon, Broadway
The Hose & Hydrant Brew Pub, Broadway
PiNK Lounge & Nightclub, Downtown
Crazy Cactus, Downtown
O’Shea’s Irish Pub, Downtown
Cathedral Social Hall, Downtown
Una Pizza & Wine, Broadway
Las Palapas Resort Grill, Broadway
Amigos Cantina, Broadway
Finn’s Irish Pub, Downtown
Browns Socialhouse, Stonebridge
Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill, Stonebridge
Shift Restaurant, Downtown

So, which patios are on the top of your list in saskatoon?  JOIN THE DO SASK FACEBOOK GROUP TO HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE DISCUSSION.

Never miss a post. Sign up for the Do Sask newsletter to get updates sent to your inbox. Check the Date Ideas page for more things to do in Saskatoon.

Ride Along on a Saskatoon Brewery Tour Experience: Here’s Where Your Ticket Will Take You

9 Mile Saskatoon Brewery Tour

Each Saskatoon Brewery Tour experience has three hours, a city of breweries, and a few dozen mouthfuls of microbrew to swallow.

When you REALLY love local drinks a Saskatoon Brewery Tour experience makes building memories of microbrew easy.

Brewery tours are gaining in popularity across North America. People want to support passionate local producers and get to know the makers behind them. They also want to taste different flavours that won’t necessarily come on tap at your run-of-the-mill pub.

Most folks mistakenly believe that their beloved drink of choice is craft beer when it’s more likely owned by “big beer” corporations. But this isn’t an article on big beer vs. craft beer. Stops on the Saskatoon Brewery Tour are classified as microbreweries

Psst… You can look up your fav beer here to see if it’s actually craft brewed.

You also have bourbon and gin tasting options for added variety. So go ahead and argue about which local brewer or distiller makes the best micro-sip – you have a chance to sample and rate them all with the founders of each company guiding your tour. That’s something a lot of other big city brewery tours simply can’t offer. Saskatoon’s small brewery owners are a passionate bunch!

Taste your way through the unique flavours concocted right here in the Paris of the Prairies. This is what you can expect while on a Saskatoon Brewery Tour.

Your driver will either pick you up from your home (private), or you can meet them at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market (public) at the start of your tour. From there you’ll head out to three different microbreweries in and around Saskatoon.

Here’s what you can expect as you ride along on a Saskatoon Brewery Tour experience:

9 Mile Legacy Brewing Co.

Garrett 9 Mile Legacy Saskatoon Brewery TourWhat began as a nanobrewhouse in 2015 has grown to a space five times as big with a huge heart for the community of Riversdale. Co-founders Garrett and Shawn got the name from their family farms being located about 9 miles apart. Expect the same small-town vibe while on tour and enjoy light fare from their menu.

Paddock Wood Brewing Co.

Award-winning head brewer and founder of Saskatchewan’s first microbrewery, Steve Cavan, fell into brewing after an early search produced no results for good craft beer in the early ‘90s.  Paddock Wood eventually took off locally in 2004 after years of dabbling in mail-order grain and home brewing kit sales.

Currently, Paddock Wood’s “Heartstopper” chocolate stout is winning the best sample beer among Saskatoon Brewery Tour guests.

Crossmount Cider Co.

Crossmount Cider Saskatoon Brewery TourOne sip and you’ll have a crush on dem apples! According to their website, Crossmount’s been supplying batches of Flatlander hard cider to Saskatchewan since 2016. They’re located just outside of town with enough room to grow into their own on-site apple orchard. For now, Crossmount gets all of their fruit from the Okanagan Valley in B.C., Canada. They wash, press, and ferment on site with many different flavours added for diversity.

Note: Crossmount is temporarily closed for tours due to increased production.

Steps Bourbon Lounge

Saskatoon Brewery TourWhile not a microbrewery, the folks at Steps Bourbon Lounge have over 30 kinds of American whiskey stocked and ready for tasting. Your bartender will walk you through how to sample straight liquor alongside a crafted cocktail. Plus, there’s plenty of smoked nuts to go around if you’re starting to feel peckish.

Prairie Sun Brewery

You might be greeted by a friendly golden retriever named Buddy as you walk through this stop. CEO and owner, Heather Williams, is originally from Colorado – a utopia for craft beer lovers. She joined forces with brew master, Cameron, who’s a born and raised Saskie (Humbolt) to start their own brewery in 2013. Prairie Sun has a full menu with pub fare.

High Key Brewing Co.

Saskatoon Brewery Tour Experience High Key Brewing Co. The newest stop on the Saskatoon Brewery Tour is already getting top grades from tour guests. High Key likes to talk about their notes of beers – get it?  (I like puns.) Founder & President Madeline Conn was inspired by the Dallas craft beer scene. She and brewmaster Daniel Rommens moved back to their shared hometown of Saskatoon to build their dream together. They have plenty of games like giant Jenga and crokinole to play as you sip.

Black Fox Farm & Distillery

Home of the world’s best cask gin. Founders John and Barb are not only award-winning gin makers, but lifelong farmers. Black Fox Farm takes pride in growing over 90% of their ingredients on site. They have regular seasonal events where you can get hands-on with all that they grow.

Challenge: See if you can taste which one of three samples took home the top prize!

So, which three stops would you want to check out on your Saskatoon Brewery tour Experience?

Learn more about Saskatoon Brewery Tours and find out when the next public tour is booked. Sign up for the Do Sask newsletter to get updates sent to your inbox.