May 14, 2019
It’s the image many Canadians have when it comes to imagining the Rockies; tall, snow-capped peaks, lush, steep-sided valleys, and icy streams trickling the freshest glacier water into pristine lakes whose blues defy description.
At 11,228 square kilometres, Jasper National Park is the largest park in the Rocky Mountains. But the park’s rich history and majestic beauty was the inspiration for the first brewery to ever open inside a National Park; Jasper Brewing Co.
Created by a small group of friends who were born and raised in the town, with a love of the wilderness and a taste for great beer, Jasper Brewing Co opened its doors in 2005.
Jasper Brewing Co.’s Jasper the Bear Ale and Crisp Pils are both available at Calgary-area Co-op Wine Spirits Beer stores. The brand’s Crisp Pils is particularly easy to spot on the shelf, thanks to its retro-inspired, yellow and brown label.
“We were trying to reference, obviously, the parks in the seventies and eighties which is where that kind of vintage vibe comes from and it spoke really well to pretty much anyone that grew up traveling and going to the parks back then,” explains Sarah Stephenson,Marketing Manager at Alberta Provisions, makers of Jasper Brewing products. “The look just really plays on that nostalgic factor.”
Jasper’s Crisp Pils was created in celebration of Canada’s 150th year. The true pilsner-style lager is designed to be enjoyed year round and uses local malt from the foothills of the Rockies. Despite its slight hoppyness, it’s definitely an approachable craft beer.
Jasper the Bear Ale, on the other hand, is brewed with clover honey from the Okanagan valley. A hint of coriander gives the golden ale a fresh and inviting flavour that’s great when served with a squeeze of fresh lime. Or a slice of history.
Before the Yellowhead Highway or the Icefields Parkway started bringing a wealth of global visitors to our Canadian Rockies, the beloved little mountain village was a trading post used heavily by the Hudson’s Bay Company and North West Company. Tucked into some pretty serious wilderness, the town was soon to get a proper name, thanks to one of the post’s overseers, Jasper Haws. In time, the National Park that was created would also take his name. For many years Jasper National Park drew only the adventurous, thanks to its ruggedness and remote location.
Today, Jasper is still a far-flung destination for some, but Albertans know all too well of its beauty, its wildlife, and now, its beer.
Find Jasper Brewing Co.’s Jasper the Bear Ale and Crisp Pils at Calgary-area Co-op Wine Spirits Beer stores.
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