Ponoka brewery celebrates southern Alberta train stations
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.
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.