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ASBA Hiring, Breweries Opening and More

ASBA logoTime for some prairie beer news. I find these days things move so fast that my semi-regular posts to offer a round-up aren’t really keeping up – however here is yet another just to get things back up-to-date.

The biggest news, industry-wise, may be that the Alberta Small Brewers’ Association is looking for a new Executive Director (see here for job posting). Since the organization’s formation a couple years back, Greg Zeschuk had been heading up the organization on a volunteer basis. That was always intended to be a temporary solution, as Zeschuk has other plans (include opening a brewpub sometime in 2017). So this is a significant step in the organization’s evolution. The job will be part-time to start, but as membership grows and other possibilities open up, the role may expand.

We also have seen a new brewery open this month in Calgary. Boiling Oar Brewing in Calgary opened its doors a couple weeks back. A small brewery (it has a 7 HL system at the moment), it currently has a Kolsch and a Pale Ale as its first offerings. I hope to have a longer profile of the brewery and its principals soon, once I have a chance to sit down with them and chat.

In other news:

  • As mentioned in a recent review post (find here) Brauerei Fahr has contracted with Tool Shed Brewing to produce its first beer while its brewery is under construction. Fahr Away Hefeweizen is out and about in select locations, with a Maibock and other offerings to follow shortly.
  • Big Rock released in mid-March its latest barrel-aged beer. This installment is a 10.4% Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter. It is available in bombers around the province while supplies last.
  • Remaining in Calgary, Wild Rose has released their spring seasonal. Czech Pilsner is their modern take on a European classic lager. It, too will be available in 650-ml bombers.
  • village squeezeBoy, Calgary is a busy place this month, clearly. Village Brewing has collaborated with Fiasco Gelato for its latest seasonal offering. The beer is Village Squeeze, and it is a German Helles style with lemon zest and raspberries added to give it a summery, fruity character. In the ice cream department, we have Fiasco Squeeze, a sorbetto using the same fruits and some of the beer itself. Both the sorbetto and the beer will be available through the hot, sunny days of summer.
  • Jumping up to Whitehorse, Yukon has officially released its latest beer in its classic-movie inspired big bottle series. Some Like It Haskap, is a light, fruity Kolsch with the addition of haskap berries, which is a berry similar to a blueberry and well-suited for the northern climate. It is also considered a “superfood” for its anti-oxidant properties.

There are also some interesting beer events coming in the next few weeks.

  • Coming this week is the official launch of Aleberta: Our Brewing History, a documentary looking at the province’s long brewing traditions. The first screening was actually last Thursday in Calgary (sorry, Calgary readers!). Tonight it launches in B.C. and on Thursday, April 14 will be shown in Edmonton at the Yellowhead Brewery taproom. I have a particular interest in the movie as I was one of the people interviewed for it. I have no idea if my face perfect for radio will translate to the big screeen. Info and tickets can be found here.
  • Alberta Beer Festivals is gearing for their spring events, which are their signature festivals. The Calgary International Beer Festival runs May 6 & 7 at the BMO Centre at Stampede Park. Edmonton’s Craft Beer Festival is June 3 & 4 at the Northlands Expo Centre. Tickets and info can be found here.
  • A company called BrewHops has started offering ocassional tours of  Edmonton breweries and brewpubs. The nascent operation offered its first tours in February and hopes to offer variously themed tours for tourists and Edmontonians alike. I also hope to connect with the people behind the operations to give you a bit more info (sorry, but the day job has been quite hectic lately!).

And on a final note, I have been contemplating the value of doing these news round-ups. I started them a few years ago as a way to compile various happenings into one place. However, recently I have found it hard to keep up with all the news in the region (this post likely misses lots going on in Saskatchewan and Manitoba), and often the items are old news by the time I post them. I find them fairly time consuming posts to write. Also other websites, including one of my favourits, Canadian Beer News, and the new and impressive The Daily Beer (although they have a solely Alberta focus), are doing a better job than I am of keeping drinkers up-to-date.

So I want to poll my readers. Using the comments section, let me know if you still find these round up posts valuable or if I should shift my attentions to other topics including analysis, reviews and education. I want to offer what you want to read, so let me know.






4 comments to ASBA Hiring, Breweries Opening and More

  • It is a busy place and a reviewer like me it is hard to keep up with it all! I have been trying..

    As well the launch party of the Brew Brothers V2 showed up and the Launch party of the Alberta Beer Festivals was last week too 🙂

    Hope to see you on Thursday at Midtown!

    • beerguy

      Thanks for the additions. Yes, it is hard to keep up.

      If you are referring to the Brews Brothers Version Two mixed pack of BC breweries (rather than a re-boot of Brew Brothers Brewing, which would be news to me!), I generally don’t add non-prairie beer news on this blog.

      And what event is happening at Midtown on Thursday? I am going to be at the Aleberta documentary launch at Yellowhead Brewing.


  • Derek

    You should continue doing your sporadic round-up of prairie beer news! For us folks east of AB there are not a lot of options to find out whats happening in the ever changing craft beer scene and your take on prairie beer is appreciated.


  • Scott

    I agree! Keep it up. I appreciate the news out of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, even though I live in Alberta.

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