“There is a lot of power in beer,” Jim Button, co-founder of Village Brewery, told me during an interview (page 44). Indeed, it’s not hard to see what he means. Beer brings people together whether socially (think meeting for drinks or exchanging a favour for beer) or professionally (such as partnering to host a beer pairing dinner, or literally opening a brewery. Beer in Alberta is also an important part of so many industries, including agriculture, as most ingredients in beer can be grown in Alberta. Over the years I have been pleasantly surprsied to see how collaborative the local beer community is; it’s a relatively small industry but instead of keeping to themselves, brewers share resources, drink each other’s beer, and collaborate with small businesses outside of the brewing industry.
“Supporting small breweries is good business and good community as it helps to build the craft beer industry,” Button says. “The more consumers know about a good quality craft beer, the more likely they are to try it.”
I invite you to become a part of Calgary’s welcoming beer community: visit a brewery for a tour to learn about not just brewing methods but the stories and ideas of the brewers and owners — they are some of the most interesting people in Calgary. Or when dining out at a restaurant or bar, ask the server which local beers they have available and find one that’s been made right here in Calgary. Or meet like-minded locals and try a variety of beers on a Calgary Brewery Tour (page 17). And, if you think you don’t like beer, try a local craft beer — it wasn’t until I tried craft beer years ago that I realized how diverse beer is and how delicious it can be. Exploring Calgary through beer is one of the most truly local experiences you can have.
BREANNA MROCZEK, Editor