A lot of new breweries have recently opened their doors in Calgary. It can be hard to keep track of who’s pouring what and, more importantly than that, who is pouring something delicious. Luckily, these two new(ish) brewers are each offering something very different that are appealing to plenty of beer fanatics and budding microbrew enthusiasts alike.
Owned and operated by Andrew Bullied and Erica O’Gorman, Annex Brewing is a brewery that is extremely passionate about beermaking and that is something carries through in the craftsmanship of their products. Co-owner Bullied says he owes much to the folks at Banded Peak Brewing for their help in getting everything up and running. Opening on the first day of Calgary Beerfest, Annex was the first in the city to offer a subscription model to early investors –essentially a crowdfunding campaign– wherein those willing to pay a fee were rewarded with all sorts of perks including access to extremely limited supplies of special brews.
Their beers range from hoppy to hoppier, and they have the kind of brewing equipment to handle the intensity. For the designated driver on the team, Bullied also brews his own root beer, the first product that was launched by Annex. This rich and creamy vanilla bomb is a must-have for the home bartender, especially anyone interested in spiking craft sodas these days.
Try: Bitter Division
Next on the scene is Calgary’s northernmost beermaker, Caravel Brewing, who have hit the ground running with a fantastic pilsner and a monster of a red ale, that’s loaded with toasty toffee flavour and aroma. They’re coming out of the gate strong, and this beer-with-a-ship-on-the-label is making some serious waves, having netted two silvers and a bronze for their Hazy Hef at the 2017 Canadian International Beer Awards in Calgary.
So,what’s with the name? Caravel was the name of legendary explorer John Cabot’s ship –one of the earliest ships to reach Canada–, and it’s this spirit of exploration that drives these brewers. The more you know.
Owners Vlad Covali and Chris Travis are actually both electricians by trade, but hatched their plan to launch a brewery while working together in Calgary. Vlad –who is initially from Moldova– has been brewing for more than ten years. Upon moving to Calgary some 7 years ago, he had struggled to find something that he actually liked to drink. Now, he gets to make (and drink) whatever he likes.
Try: Hazy Horizon