November 21, 2018
They may be best known for their 11 brewpub restaurants across Alberta, but Brewsters is also a longstanding brewery, turning out numerous local craft beers. They've been so popular, this year they're celebrating their 30th anniversary.
Brewsters Celebrates 30 Years
Brewsters founder Michael Lanigan started Brewsters in 1989, long before small-batch brewing was as popular as it is now. Big Rock brewery is the only other brewery that's been around longer.
"Brewsters was started by the Lanigan family who to this day still owns us. It's now the second generation of the family running the company," remembers Brewsters' Don McDonald. "Michael had been to the west coast of the U.S. and to Victoria and had seen the brewpub concept and just kind of loved it. He thought—why we can’t do this in our province?"
While the craft beer batches have grown in size over the 30 years Brewsters has been in business, the sentiments that led to Michael opening the brewery are the same now as they were then; quality, craft and microbrews, made in Alberta, for Albertans.
Brewing Old Favourites — and New Beers
"We still have a few of the original beers that we've been making right from the beginning," recalls McDonald. "There's our Original Lager, Hammerhead Red Ale and Brewsters Blonde, which was back then called Wild West Wheat Ale."
Brewsters has always been about local; serving local beer, brewed by local folks, and using local ingredients.
"Our base malt is all Rahr Malting, which is in Alix Alberta just outside Red Deer. They do all of our barley and all of our wheat which makes up the vast majority of malts that we put in our beers. We also get specialty malt from all over the world."
Tastes of Alberta, and Far-flung Locales
You'll find those specialty malts in some newer creations from Brewsters, like their Hawaiian Coconut Porter where classic British porter is infused with fresh coconut.
While that's a bold and tropical choice, if you're not familiar with Brewsters' offerings, McDonald has some great suggestions to start with.
"You've got to try our River City Raspberry Ale—that's our best-selling easy drinking fruit beer. The Honest Paul IPA is another great choice and so is our Farmer’s Tan Belgian White," says McDonald.
Longstanding Local Relationships
Brewsters and Co-op Wine Spirits Beer go way back. As soon as Alberta's liquor laws changed about four years ago to allow breweries to sell in retail stores, Co-op started stocking Brewsters offerings.
"It's a very longstanding relationship. Co-op's support of local is insane. Co-op has kind of proved itself to be a go-to store for beer selection. There are some great beer coolers at Co-op Wine Spirits Beer.
Find many varieties of Brewsters beer at Co-op Wine Spirits Beer.
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