A who's who of Calgary's breweries

While Calgary's Microbrewery industry may be behind our West Coast friends in terms of number, this is not to say that Calgary does not have a plethora of exciting breweries, each bringing their stamp to the industry.

From long-standing breweries like Wild Rose Brewery, which has been part of Alberta's beer-scape since 1996, to Last Best Brewery and Distillery, which will be opening its doors in the Downtown Core in January 2015, each brewery utilizes Alberta's natural resources to create outstanding small-batch ales that focus on taste and quality.

The Calgary Journal looked at the faces behind four of Calgary's seven breweries, and the character's we found were as diverse and interesting as the beverages their companies produced.

Brian Smith, the Director of Brewery Operations at Wild Rose Brewery has a background in law and political science, and used to volunteer as a bottler for the Banff Brewing Company in the late '90s.

Village Brewery's Jim Button is one of the company's co-founders, and contributes 16 years of industry-related experience out of the entire 150 years shared between the founders. Button has worked in marketing with clients like Big Rock and Sleeman Breweries.

Tool Shed Brewing Company's Graham Sherman met his company's co-founder and business partner Jeff Orr in Afghanistan, where they worked in IT with the Canadian and United States militaries. The two friends began brewing out of their homes — thus where the company name "Tool Shed Brewing Company" originates.

And finally, Socrates Korongonas – named for his Grandfather – started a brewing company when he was 23 with his best friends that met at the Jasper Junior/Senior High School. The friends now own four brewpubs in Jasper, Banff, Fort McMurray and Calgary under the Beer Hill Brewing Company umbrella.

 

Photos by Sarah Comber and Kassidy Christensen

 

Published on October 9, 2014