Touring Calgary’s Tool Shed Brewing

Looking at Calgary’s craft brewery scene, you’d be forgiven if you thought the industry isn’t seeing very much growth, but behind the scenes there’s been a growing movement towards producing more craft beer locally, one that’s been supported by both newly launched craft breweries and those that have been around since the 90’s.

Tool Shed Brewing Company is one of those local breweries spearheading the initiative to have more local craft beer. Founders Graham Sherman and Jeff Orr are the epitome of the homebrewer’s dream. The two started making beer in Graham’s actual tool shed and eventually it led to a full-fledged business. It wasn’t an easy start however; Alberta, like other provinces before it, suffered from antiquated liquor laws that made opening craft breweries a serious pain in the ass. But the two pushed through, and see a bright future for the Calgary market.

“I think Calgary has a huge opportunity for craft beer,” said Sherman. “I like to think I have a Crystal ball I look at Vancouver and Portland and know that will happen here; it’s only a matter of time. ”

Having a smaller production capacity, Tool Shed focuses on their three main offerings: Star Cheek, a hoppy IPA that comes in at around 6.2%,Red Rage an Amber Ale with hints of bread and coffee, and People Skills a light, easy drinking cream ale.

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In addition to their regular line-up, they are producing some smooth tasting experimental beers like the recently released Belgian Dip, a Belgian IPA aimed at introducing Belgian style beer to Calgary drinkers. Like the majority of craft breweries in North America they’ve also hopped on the sour bandwagon and are working on plans for an eventual introductory sour.

As of right now, Tool Shed can be found in a number of different liquor stores in Calgary, Edmonton, Canmore and Red Deer. Use this handy locator map to find the one nearest you.

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