Left to Right: Lauren Kolenda, Lisa Heier, Michael Heier, Chris Heier, Kyle Heier, Chace Kozloski, Britt Kozloski
It all started at one of our regular Sunday family dinners. As siblings, we all knew that we wanted to get into business together, but we didn’t know what that would be. We all jumped at the idea of Microbrewery when it was thrown out, but there was one major hurdle, none of us knew how to brew beer. Lucky for our family, Chris was a natural. He took up homebrewing and not long after, began taking home awards for his creations. In 2012, Chris won four medals at the annual Roundup competition held by Calgary’s preeminent homebrewers’ club, the Cowtown Yeast Wranglers. He followed up in 2013 with a strong dark Belgian ale that won its category and was runner-up in the Best of Show competition.
In 2014 construction began on our brewery and restaurant located in the industrial area of Cochrane. Our family devoted a lot of sweat equity, building the majority of the monitor style brewery from the ground up. We worked hard to showcase Cochrane’s Western heritage through the rustic feel of the building. During the construction process, we fine tuned the recipes of our 3 signature beers: Farmer’s Daughter Pale Ale, Fire N’ Fury Red Ale and Shotgun Wedding Brown Ale.
On June 14, 2016 we brewed our first batch of Fire N’ Fury and poured our first pints for family and friends on July 12, 2016. In the fall of 2016 Gradey McMahon, our Director of Operations | Corporate Chef came on board to help us create a restaurant and menu that embodied the Western charm of Cochrane. Our restaurant doors opened on January 21, 2017. The first few months as a new restaurant was a whirlwind! Although there were many ‘knots’ we had to unravel, we came out of it alive, and in May 2017 won Cochrane Diners Choice Awards for: Best Restaurant, Best Burger (1881 Burger), Most Unique Item (Chicken and Waffles), Best Patio, Best Bartender, Best Customer Service, Best Place for Pub Night and Best Liquor Selection.
Papa Bear Prairie Ale became a mainstream beer for us in 2018, and took home a Gold Award at the Alberta Brewers Awards for Best Cereal Ale. 2018 was also the year that we opened up our second restaurant location in Canmore, at the Old Canmore Hotel. As one of the oldest buildings in Alberta, our Canmore location features two amazing patios with mountain views, live music and a unique saloon feel.