December 11, 2018
On the side of a brewery, you fully expect to see the word ‘brewers’, but entering Calgary’s Legend 7 Brewing, you can tell it’s going to be different when you see the words, ‘creators’ and ‘storytellers’ alongside it.
"We wanted to make beers with history and depth so our beer drinkers can look deeper into what they're drinking,” explains Legend 7’s Lyle Larson.
The upstart brewery started selling their beer in bars and liquor stores less than a year ago, but already it’s not only making a name for itself, it’s writing its own story.
The brewery got its name after the founders were trying to come up with a unique but interesting moniker.
"We realized there's seven days of the week, seven colours in the rainbow, seven wonders of the modern world, seven seas, seven samurais, seven dwarves, seven notes on a musical scale, it just goes on and on. We found over sixty instances of the number seven. At that point we said when we build this brewery, we're going to tell these stories around the myths and legends of the number seven,” says Larson.
Naturally they started with creating their beer, perfecting recipes until they had what they felt was a killer product. Then they started working on the rest of the puzzle; how to sell the beer to Calgarians, in a market where craft brewing now runs so deep that the neighbourhood Legend 7 opened up in is dubbed the Barley Belt.
“The whole goal of having us be creators, brewers and storytellers is that our beer would tell a story. We want them all to have a story. But we also want the beer to have the flavour to back it up. Of course we need the beers to be better than the labels, as cool as they are.”
Legend 7 makes several beers that are available at Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer stores; Serpens Pilsner, Dark Gate Porter and Temptation IPA.
Each features a stunning label designed and created by artist Wylie Beckert, and each beer is designed to have a story behind it; some tell the story of one of the seven deadly sins, but if you dig deeper, you’ll find complex and multilayered tales, whether it’s also tied to an ancient Greek philosopher or mythology. The stories are there for the beer drinker who likes a little more history with her hops, a bit of mysticism in the malt, if you will.
For those who just want to sip a cold and delicious barley beverage, there’s plenty to love courtesy of head brewer Matthew Dean, who came to Legend 7 after working at the Whistler Brewing Company.
Legend 7’s Serpens Pilsner is a bright golden Pilsner which uses Saaz hops, balanced by rich maltiness to give it a smooth body with a bite of bitterness. The Dark Gate Porter is a more complex blend of dark malts for layered depth which includes chocolate and coffee notes, while the Temptation IPA is an India Pale Ale with well-balanced bitterness and fruity notes.
While the team at Legend 7 obviously relishes the creation process on both the story side and the brewery floor, Larson says their beer is the priority and they’re delivering big time for beer lovers in Calgary.
“Nothing makes that point more than our recent award; we won a World Beer Award for best Czech style pilsner in Canada,” beams Larson.
While beer lovers are checking out Legend 7’s new taproom in the Manchester-Highfield Industrial areas, their brews are also readily available at Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer, and Larson is thrilled to be featured at Co-op.
"Co-op Wine Spirits Beer is probably one of the biggest embracers of craft beer. If you can get your beer into Co-op, they really promote craft beer and the staff is really knowledgeable. To have our beer more widely available to consumers keeps it top of mind and for that we’re really pleased.”
Some folks make Sunday dinner. For Adam Nachbaur, his weekend tradition has been making Sunday beer.
It’s kind of hard to imagine today, with a computer in every pocket, but back when Canada was still a baby, the railroad was Canada’s lifeline.
When Uncommon Cider set out to make an Alberta-centric cider they knew they wanted to be unique, and keep their focus on western Canadian ingredients.