December 26, 2018
There are dedicated craft beer types who speak in hops, and judge their beer in IBUs. And then there’s the rest of us; interested in local and craft brews, but maybe not quite as zealous. And it’s that person—the average beer drinker—that Calgary’s Banded Peak Brewery is looking to tempt.
“We focus on beers that are both approachable and adventurous in style. A lot of our beers, they're not going to set you off. You don't have to be a total beer junkie to enjoy it,” laughs Colin McLean, one of the co-founders of Banded Peak.
Banded Peak was the 10th licensed brewery to open up in Calgary, according to McLean, throwing open the doors nearly three years ago after Alberta’s licensing regulations changed.
With a background as an urban planner and gas plant operator, McLean’s side hustle was getting together with some like minded guys and brewing up their own beer in a local warehouse. One day things got serious.
“We had kind of a home-brew club with about a dozen or so guys brewing in there and we realized we had this awesome space and it was pretty close to central Calgary and we started to talk seriously about making things more real. We wrote up a business plan and took it to the bank and see what they had to say. Fortunately, it was at a time when breweries were just coming on the scene in Calgary, so the bank did sign off on it and the rest is kind of history,” recalls McLean.
Banded Peak is named for a pinnacle in Kananaskis Country with a distinctive stripe of limestone near the top. But the Rocky Mountain name is also fitting because of the brewery’s collective love for the great outdoors.
“It’s kind of like a cool tie together; the location, the water, the ingredients that we're using and the love for getting outdoors that we aspire to. We work a lot with conservation groups and adventure based groups like Trout Unlimited, Avalanche Canada, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. It all comes together under the Banded Peak ethos, I guess you could say.”
Co-op Wine Spirits Beer has been carrying Banded Peak for almost a year. The brand’s PlainsBreaker Hopped Wheat Ale, Southern Aspect IPA, Summit Seeker IPA and Javalanche Coffee Milk Stout are all available from Co-op.
“Co-op has been an awesome partner to work with. They love supporting local and they're always willing to pick up the phone if we've got a new cool new offering coming down the pipe.”
Banded Peak Tasting Notes:
An aromatic, style bending approach to the pale ale. The PlainsBreaker is bursting with late addition hops, boasting a huge tropical flavour and aroma. Well balanced, interesting and very approachable, this beer is for every adventure.
SRM (Colour): 6 (Golden)
Hops: Citra, Amarillo, and Summit hops
Malt: Pale, Wheat, and Crystal
This is a beer that embodies adventure. A departure from the classic IPA, it has a deep red colour from Alberta’s world class barley, balanced by a notorious line up of hops. All this packaged in a beer designed for the drinker who has their eyes on the summit.
SRM (Colour): 15 (Amber)
Hops: Centennial, Cascade, Simcoe, and Summit hops
Malt: Pale, Munich, Crystal, and Roasted Barley
A west coast style IPA exploding with fresh hop flavour at the front of your mouth. An amazing IPA for scaling mountains and tackling any adventure you can come up with.
SRM (Colour): 4 (Straw)
Hops: Mosaic and Ekuanot
Malt: Pale, Wheat, And Crystal
Javalanche Coffee Milk Stout
Last call, first chair is this beer’s mantra and it can help on both ends of that fun. An aggressive cold side addition of whole bean Rosso Coffee, Heaps of milk sugar and Red Shed’s roasted barley bury taste buds under a turbid melange of excellence. All this packed into a super sessionable ABV that can help dig up fun on any day off.
SRM (Colour): 34 (Straw)
Additions: Rosso Coffee
Malt: Pale, Oats, and Roasted Barley
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