We wanted the cocktail to take us to the beaches of Madagascar where these vanilla beans soak up the island vibes and deliver the tropics to our taste buds!
My partner Blake has been brewing at our location in Inglewood for a year and we’ve been building out the space for a year, but we only opened it up to the public as a tasting room three months ago!
Right out of the gates, as soon as we opened the tasting room, we hit capacity on all of our equipment. The community in Inglewood has been so supportive; we originally had the same 12 accounts for wholesale selling to bars and restaurants, the Nash being one of our biggest supporters. Prior to opening the tasting room, we kept it with those 12, not knowing how much volume we would go through once we opened — we didn’t anticipate how much more volume would be going through at the bars once the tasting room opened, because people who came to visit our location would then specifically look for our beer in bars wherever they were.
We’ve looked at a really steady growth on the consumption side, and then beer aside, the actual space itself has grown in the sense that our patrons have made it their own. A woman in Ramsay made us handmade afghans, just because our couches were looking naked, and a friend made all of our throw pillows. The chandelier was a gift, someone’s mom bought us the foosball table. We think it’s a really special place because the décor was made by the community, so the growth of the space was whole-heartedly from people around here.
Our personalities are well-suited to Inglewood and Ramsay—both Blake and I live here. When we started doing the business planning a couple of years ago, there was no question that we wanted to open up in Inglewood or Ramsay. We got very lucky finding this place — we wanted something that was pedestrian-oriented, a little grimey, but it had to be suitable for a medium-sized microbrewery, and this place just perfectly fit the bill.
Blake and I went to university together, and he started home brewing there as a way to drink cheaper, and then it got a little more expensive because the ingredients were getting better. I was coming off of my last project two years ago and he asked me if I wanted to do this next and the answer was, “Yes. For sure.”
Then Blake went to formalize his training at BrewLab in the U.K. for a designation there. We already honed in all the recipes through, over the years of him home brewing. So we literally just scaled those up and came out of the gates with almost the exact same recipes that we had been making for house parties, and that was it. We just jumped in, and here we are.
I am not the craftsman, so I can’t comment on what Blake likes to make, but my favourite beer to drink is the ‘Red Smashed in Buffalo Jump.’ That one is the favourite but is probably one of his least favourite to make, or maybe it is his best, because it was the hardest to create — the red colour had to be on point, and it represents our brewery really well because it is a very malty red and all of our beer profiles are malty. We focus on the grain from Alberta, and that is our MO. That one in particular, there had to be at least a dozen test batches trying to get that colour right. Then we finally nailed it, so we had some of the other breweries over trying it out and they said “Oh, are you guys using 6001?” and we had no idea what they were referring to. Apparently that is the colouring agent that everyone uses to get that colour! Blake was not too impressed, since we were using natural ingredients. It was just the type of roasted grain that we were playing with. It’s a nice thing that we got there naturally though! Meanwhile, we could have just dosed it in colouring agent.
The name is an homage to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump. I am Metis, and growing up they used to call me “White Buffalo” because I have blonde hair — so that’s another reason why it’s named “Red Smashed in Buffalo Jump.”
I love going to the Blues Can on Sunday. Plant is just obviously a no-brainer, and a lot of the plants in here come from Plant. Swan’s we love, a classic blue-collar pub. I love shooting pool there. Hose n’ Hound, I’m getting used to the new hose, but that is going to be back under my favourites pretty soon I’m sure, once I get used to it. The Nash, obviously. In my old job, I would go there for lunch all the time, and I’m always at the Off Cut side, especially Thursday nights for their music. Capina’s is another one that I love to eat lunch at, and obviously Inglewood Pizza for late-night pizza! Sometimes on our days off me and some of the neighbourhood guys just walk up and down the strip — we go to Gravity for coffee, Rosso for another coffee. There are no favourites, honestly, and Smithbilt, they’ve just got such a cool space there too.
Eceletic is the probably the best way to put it. When people come in here that is usually what they say, and that is what they equate Cold Garden with. But more than anything, I think Inglewood and Cold Garden are both approachable. I find Inglewood is super approachable: the residents are chill. On Halloween kids are actually out trick-or-treating, and we literally just wanted to create a space that captured our favourite things about the area.
A lot of people say quaint. It’s changing at the moment, so it’s kind of hard for me to pin it down, but words that come to mind are, “quaint, trendy, a small-town feel.” You know everyone, your neighbours wave to each other, and yet there is still a bit of grime to it, so that is another good word for it. It’s quaint, it’s trendy, it’s a little bit grimey, and it’s approachable — it has tons of character, definitely.
It’s not just lip service with the businesses around here – there is tangible support. That is a unique thing – a lot of places will propagate the whole community vibe, but the businesses here just have no qualms about recommending each other. On the beer side, between all the breweries in the area, it’s the same thing – we try to encourage each other’s rowth, and anybody that comes in on a bike tour is told where to go for their next beer.
Between Smithbilt and everybody in the neighbourhood, they are the anchors around here, and there’s a lot of history in those white cowboy hat makers, and they have a lot of really like high-profile people going through those doors. A lot of delegates go through there to get their white hats and they support everyone around here. So there is something really cool about Inglewood, and it’s not just lip service, they will tangibly tell you: “Here’s why you should go to the Nash on Thursday night — they have sick music and their cocktail guys are magicians.”—and they really do know about the businesses in the area. It’s not that anecdotally heard those guys are good; they have specific examples as to why you should go there and they have no issue about telling people about all of the amazing businesses in Inglewood. I think that’s really, really special.
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