What’s brewing

The year 2014 brought Calgary four new breweries if you include Tool Shed Brewing’s new facility and Wild Rose Brewery’s new expanded location. This year promises to be equally exciting.

Newest kid on the block Dandy Brewing is expanding and will deepen its lineup — the nanobrewery has already added Wilde Mild and Bleak House Ale to double its number of regular offerings — and begin to offer limited releases.

Last Best Brewing another 2014 arrival plans to open a brewpub this April in the space formerly occupied by District and Amsterdam Rhino. It will have 10 beers on tap nine of which will be Last Best brews and one of which will feature a collaboration with another local brewer. You are guaranteed to find something to love.

After focusing on getting their own brewery up and running last year the duo behind Tool Shed Brewing is ready to unleash their creativity onto the world. Their new space includes a pilot system that makes beer one keg at a time. Some of these micro-batches will be sold on tap at special events while others will become full brews. Tool Shed will also launch a homebrewer series of beers where local amateur brewers will get to have their beer brewed on a commercial scale.

Wild Rose also christened a new brewery last year and will use it to continue releasing seasonal beers the latest of which is the palindromically named Regal Lager a schwarzbier. But the brewery also plans to fully utilize the extended lease at its Currie Barracks location where cask-conditioned beer (literally the freshest beer you can drink) will be available at all times rather than merely once per week as it is at the handful of places that offer it. Wild Rose will also release some of its barrel-aged beers which have spent quite some time maturing but are reaching the peak of perfection this year.

Although not a new brewery Brewsters Brewing shook off its brewpub shell in 2014 to reveal the brewery within making its beers available at retail for the first time in their history. Demand has been great and expansion will be the focus of 2015 but the brewery will also find time to brew three dozen different beers this year: 12 regular beers three seasonal beers per quarter and a monthly rotating beer.

Big Rock Brewery marking its 30th anniversary this year will release 14 new limited offerings in 2015. There are plans for everything from new styles such as India Wheat Ale to an “estate ale” brewed with barley and hops that Big Rock has grown on its own property. Big Rock will also open the doors to brewpubs in Vancouver and Toronto.

Last but not least what’s new in the Village? Village Brewery’s next seasonal release will be the grimly named Village Undertaker a black saison. French yeast will provide spice notes to amplify the spiciness of the rye malt used in the beer. After that Village will release the Village Grandfather an IPA to celebrate their 1000th brew.

Cheers to a new year of beer!