Business Spotlight: Wild Rose Brewery in Calgary
When local beer is the topic of conversation in Alberta, Wild Rose Brewery is one of the first to be mentioned. This Calgary business started in 1996 with the dream of two local entrepreneurs, Alan Yule and Mike Tymchuk. These two men sought to see local brews "in the hands of Albertans," and from there, dream became reality and Wild Rose Brewery was born.
The Unique Beginnings of Wild Rose Brewery
Wild Rose Brewery's success is due in part to their friendly approach, but most importantly their unique tasting beers. The beer that goes into each bottle is of the highest quality and is kept consistent with the use of their Wild Rose Brewery lab. The company is proud to use "authentic craft brewing techniques like single and small batch brewing" and, as a bonus for Albertan's and brew masters alike, all beers are tested for quality and freshness before being sent out for sale.
"In one word, the driving factor behind the company is trust," says Candace Potter, Creative Lead at Wild Rose Brewery. "We have been honest about our beer, and our customers trust what we do. Not to mention we throw some good parties along the way."
How Wild Rose Brewery Stands Out In A Saturated Craft Beer Market
Unlike other Alberta breweries, the outlying feature of Wild Rose Brewery is their welcoming and characteristically interesting Taproom. This building, located in the southwest of Calgary, is a refurbished Air Force hangar believed to have housed provisions for soldiers departing for their next tour.
This historical structure is decorated with a large garage door, which opens to serve patio picnic tables, and a rustic indoor dining area that serves food, including their popular Bison Chili Bowl and Montreal Smoked Meat Prairie Pizza. All menu options are conveniently paired with one of their many flavourful brews to guarantee a superior dining experience. It is this Taproom that distinguishes the brewery from others, as it creates a place where the community can truly come together.
But a brewery is more than it's prime location - Wild Rose Brewery is continuously celebrated for their award winning beers. The company sells six core brews and three draft exclusives, with additional seasonal and draft exclusives available throughout the year. All beers are made from the best ingredients Alberta has to offer, also known as "fresh, local, natural ingredients and no preservatives." Each new innovative flavor the company releases keeps customers guessing about what new amazing tastes will be shared next.
One of the most distinguished flavors is this summer's popular Ponderosa Gose — a seasonal brew with citrus and tropical notes and a hint of salt and coriander. The flagship location has also created beers now considered "household names," such as their Velvet Fog, which is crafted with half barley and half wheat, and continues to be a fan-favourite.
Calgary's Influence on Wild Rose Brewery
Despite the recent economic downturn, the Wild Rose Brewery team says that they were fortunate enough to elude the serious effects of the decline. Like most Calgary establishments, price increases were required to account for significant changes, such as the Alberta minimum wage hike and carbon taxes, but the business held fast throughout. Wild Rose Brewery continued to do well enough to witness growth each month, which led to the expansion of their newest location in the northeast of Calgary.
When asked about how Calgary inspires the Wild Rose Brewery business, Candace Potter replied, "It really comes down to how [Calgary] is changing. Calgary is dynamic and that is the thing that inspires our innovation." This innovation can be seen in the business's overarching goal to provide Albertans with great-tasting beer that they love and deserve.
"Our favourite thing about Calgary is our customers," said Potter. "They have seen us through the hard times and stayed with us through it all." Wild Rose Brewery admires their loyal following and goes above and beyond for their customers.
How Wild Rose Brewery Gives Back
The Wild Rose Brewery brand is fun and playful, fitting in well to the beer industry since the industry itself is so lively. Potter notes that the "beer scene" in Calgary is one of collaboration, friendliness, and comradery with other businesses to thrive as a group. This welcoming approach is reflected in Wild Rose Brewery's desire to give back to their customers and the community.
For Wild Rose Brewery it has always been a top priority to engage with and stay involved in the Calgary community. Currently, they support Calgary's "Fur-Ever Homes Rescue" through their monthly outreach "Patrons Pint." For every pint of Velvet sold in the Taproom, 25¢ is given to the registered Canadian Charity. Past "Patrons Pints" charities included Vecova, Two Wheel View, and Meals on Wheels.
Wild Rose Brewery also supports other charitable initiatives, such as "Soldier On," which took place in May and June of 2018. For this partnership, 100% of the proceeds of Electric Avenue 6-packs went to Soldier On and special labels were designed for each bottle identifying the charity as well as the hosts (and Wild Rose Brewery partners) of TheFan960's morning show. Other organizations that the business has worked alongside are the Calgary Police Foundation and the Calgary Humane Society.
Up-Coming Events for Wild Rose Brewery
Wild Rose Brewery team is endlessly seeking new ways to engage one-on-one with the community and offer everyone the chance to try their beer. "We will be out constantly at events to share and engage with people, and we do this on a daily basis" says Potter. When the team is not out connecting with the public, they are likely be found at the Brewery Taproom. Potter continues, "It isn't uncommon for our CEO and other staff to be hanging out at the Taproom talking with customers and having a good time."
September 14 — BBQ Competition Beer Launch
The brewery is passionate about sharing the latest, and on September 14th, Wild Rose Brewery will be launching their new seasonal products with a BBQ competition Beer Launch and live music from the Mitch Belot Band. For more information regarding tickets and location can be found on the Wild Rose Brewery Facebook page.
September 21-22 — The Mashing
Wild Rose Brewery will be joining The Mashing, happening in Calgary Sept. 21-22 at the Stampede Grandstand. This new outdoor beer, cider, and spirits festival will be put on by Alberta Beer Festivals and is highly anticipated by the brewing community. The event will feature the best distilleries, breweries, restaurants, and artists at this sampling event. Tickets and further information can be found at albertabeerfestivals.com.
October 13-21 — National Bank Challenger
Finally, the highly anticipated 2018 event for Wild Rose Brewery is the National Bank Challenger tennis tournament, in which the company is the sole beer sponsor. This event is taking place in Calgary Oct. 13-21.
For more information about these and other upcoming events and activities of the Wild Rose Brewery, visit their website or find them on social media (@WildRoseBrewery).
Wild Rose Brewery is excited about the plans they have in store for Albertans, and are looking forward to new ideas they will share in the coming year. With the addition of a new location, this local business is eager to continue providing Calgary customers with the beer they love from the company they trust. The future is bright for Wild Rose Brewery.