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Cold Garden Brewery in Calgary gives an inside look at their brewing process and how it all started. VIDEO: CONNOR BALSILLIE

If you’ve ever been inside a brewery, you’ve probably noticed the big metal tanks behind the bar. These are called fermentation tanks, and are essential in the daily routine of Cold Garden Beverage Company brewer Maggie Grant. However, her day includes more than just fermentation tanks.

“I get in here at 5:22 in the morning, exactly, every single day,” says Grant. “The night before, Anderson, the other brewer, mills all the grain, and I basically fill up the mash tun with hot water, grains, throw it all in and stir it.”

Since the grand opening of Cold Garden in 2017, co-founder and head brewer Blake Belding says it’s been a successful gong show that never stopped.

Belding says he wasn’t sure what he was going to do after finishing his entrepreneurship degree. He felt pressure from the adults in his life to pick a career.

Fermentation tanks fill the back of Calgary’s Cold Garden brewery. PHOTO: CONNOR BALSILLIE

The idea of starting a brewery began to grow in his mind.

“I grew up a little bit. I started maturing and I started saying, well, you know, I don’t drink as much, but I’m still fascinated with beer culture,” he says. “When you say something long enough, it kind of becomes part of your identity.” 

The hard work started paying off and Cold Garden even caught the attention of a travel writer for the New York Times who stopped in and covered the microbrewery.

“Seeing somebody write about our space and saying it was one of the most unique spaces he’s ever been to, this guy’s from New York City, you’re like ‘Wow, that must be very special’,” Belding says. 

Maggie Grant (left) holds the hose that connects the mash tun to the kettle that Blake Belding (right) is checking. PHOTO: CONNOR BALSILLIE

The demand for beer hasn’t stopped, according to Belding. Cold Garden has a list of restaurants and liquor stores that buy from them wholesale and Belding is looking into expanding the brewery’s business to better support their sales network.  

“What used to be a parking lot, is now covered in astroturf and it’s like a giant 300 person patio,” he says. “[I want to] try and turn it into an event space, put a stage out there to have music, landscape it and make it like a really, really unique space in the city.”

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