Business Spotlight: Village Brewery
Village Brewery started as a dream and became a reality. Noting, "It takes a village to raise a beer, and a beer to raise a village," the brewery has become a neighbourhood destination for a kid-friendly taproom and some of the best craft beer you can get in the city.
But that's not all. There's even more to Village Brewery than meets the eye. Determined to foster the true meaning of a safe, community-building, inclusive village, the brewery has its own team of "superheroes." They are called the Beer Barons, 50 members that work together to make Calgary a better place.
Jackson Stuart, Events & Marketing, shares what else sets Village Brewery apart.
"The first thing that comes to mind is community support. The seven partners that make up the founders of Village Brewery had a collective 150 years of experience in the beer industry at the time of Village's opening. Each founder wanted to craft great beer for Calgary and beyond, but it was also about giving back to the community. That was the idea behind Village Brewery from day one and it is woven into every decision Village Brewery makes going forward."
You would not be faulted for envying how Village Brewery holds its most important meeting — deciding which beers to craft and carry.
"We have a meeting once a year in the taproom with all the staff," smiles Stuart. "Everyone brings ideas for the beers they want to make, and we make an afternoon out of making the argument for why our beer style makes sense. Each of our beers are named after a character of the village, so incorporating that aspect into the beer style and brand is also up for discussion. Makes for some good arguments/discussions!"
When Village Brewery is not busy having a full afternoon together discussing their favourite subject — beer — they are easily found out in the community.
"Village contributes 10 per cent of their bottom line to local charities and non-profit organizations. We also support hundreds of local initiatives, with a strong focus on the arts. From the beginning, Village Brewery's philosophy has been keeping it local; local talent, local ingredients, local support for the community," notes Stuart. "Village Radio is a podcast hosted by Dave Kelly where we interview Calgarians doing interesting and innovative things in the community. The idea is to share the stories of Calgarians and further connect the community."
As Village Brewery grows and the face of Calgary evolves, the founders continue to move with the times and relentlessly pursue being good community partners.
Stuart explains, "At the beginning of Village Brewery, our taproom was used as a private event space. Lately, we have worked hard at making this space open to our customers and treated as a community hub. We sponsor over 300 events annually around Alberta and this community support is one thing we wouldn't change for the world. [For us, it's important to] share the same values as our customers around making our city a better place, and using beer as a social lubricant to gather around arts and community."
Calgary has been an ideal place for the Village Brewery to grow. "Calgary's growing entrepreneurial spirit is incredible!" exclaims Stuart. "The way the city collaborates and innovates really inspires us. We get to work with other local businesses a fair bit and it is always inspiring to see what people/businesses are doing to make Calgary a better place."
He names the staff as a key driver in the brand's success and is grateful to those that enjoy the atmosphere in the taproom and the craft beer Village Brewery creates. On behalf of the team, Stuart also thanks the community for the opportunities to give back.
Learn more about Village Brewery by visiting villagebrewery.com, and keep a look out when the weather turns colder for a new seasonal beer called Village Troubadour. It will be a winter variety pack featuring artwork from local artist Curtis Van Charles.
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