Ponoka brew­ery cel­e­brates south­ern Al­berta train sta­tions

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Alberta - BY JAMIE RIEGER JRIEGER@PRAIRIEPOST.COM

The staff at Sid­ing 14 Brew­ing Com­pany in Ponoka had no idea that there was still any­thing hap­pen­ing at the Many­ber­ries Sta­tion when they named one of their sea­sonal beers af­ter the his­toric south­ern Al­berta land­mark.

"We heard of Many­ber­ries Sta­tion, of course, but did not know what was still there," said brewer Casey Sta­ple, when he learned that these days, a fam­ily calls the Many­ber­ries Sta­tion home and a re­stored ca­boose sits on the ad­ja­cent rail­road tracks. Cana­dian Pa­cific Rail­way built the line that runs through Many­ber­ries in 1916. The sta­tion house was built the fol­low­ing year.

Ch­eryl Stromsmoe, who owns Many­ber­ries Sta­tion with her hus­band, TJ, said she was de­lighted when she learned there was a beer for it.

"What a sur­prise! I had no idea that they picked Many­ber­ries Sta­tion. (Rail­way his­tory buff) Ja­son Sailer called me and told me about it," said Stromsmoe, who called Sid­ing 14 and would like to make a trip to Ponoka to have a taste of the beer.

Ev­ery brew in its tap­room and brew­ery is named for some­thing or some­place re­lat­ing to Al­berta and western Canada's rail­way her­itage and each comes with its own dis­tinct flavour.

Fit­tingly, the Many­ber­ries Sta­tion beer comes with a fruity taste.

"Many­ber­ries Sta­tion is a com­bi­na­tion of two dif­fer­ent berries; rasp­ber­ries and blue­ber­ries and then com­bined with our in-house golden ale," said brewer Casey Sta­ple.

Many­ber­ries Sta­tion beer was just in­tro­duced last week and is quickly be­com­ing a hit among cus­tomers.

Sta­ple said the Many­ber­ries Sta­tion will be served un­til it sells out, also not­ing that it was the tap­rooms big­gest seller on its first day of sales last Thurs­day.

"It's be­com­ing one of our favourites and we'll be selling it un­til it's gone, prob­a­bly some­time in Septem­ber," he said.

Along with beer names, the name 'Sid­ing 14 Brew­ing Com­pany' is also rail­way-themed, ways the brewer pays trib­ute to Al­berta and western Canada's rail­way her­itage. Be­fore Ponoka was named, the place was called Sid­ing 14 of the Cal­gary-Ed­mon­ton Rail­way Com­pany and was a sup­ply point for steam lo­co­mo­tives.

"Head brewer Marc Shields is a huge train fa­natic and his wife works for CP. This town has very deep roots with farm­ing, ranch­ing, and the train," said Sta­ple.

Round­house taps cur­rently be­ing served at the Tas­te­room plat­form in­clude the South­ern Ex­press: Many­ber­ries Sta­tion, the Em­press: Dou­ble IPA, and the Short Line Series: Tak­ing Your Min­utes Stout.

Their main­line va­ri­eties are avail­able through­out the province year-round and all are rail­way-themed.

Photo con­trib­uted

Many­ber­ries Sta­tion is gath­er­ing a bit of recog­ni­tion be­yond south­ern Al­berta af­ter the Sid­ing 14 Brew­ing Com­pany in Ponoka named one of its sea­sonal beers af­ter the his­toric rail­way sta­tion.

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