Welcome to Half Hitch Brewing Company
It all started around the dinner table. One of our weekly family dinners in 2011 turned into an evening of “what ifs”. What if we got into business together? What would it be? What makes sense for all of us? Our ideas ranged from cheese makers to bakery, but it wasn’t until Kyle mentioned brewery that all of our ears perked up. As exciting as the proposition was, there was one honest truth we all had to face; we had no idea how to brew beer. We all knew how to drink it, but that’s about it. That didn’t stop our enthusiasm, however, as a week later Chris was attempting his first home brew. He quickly made home brewing a passion, creating his own unique recipes and learning the ins and outs of the brewing process. Fast forward a few years, a business plan and a chunk of land later, and we were ready to start construction. Since we were doing this as a family, we found ourselves in roles we never expected, and looking back on that time, it’s surprising to say we made it out alive. From Britt being 7 months pregnant wrapping the building on a makeshift scaffold to Kyle nearly boiling Chace inside the newly installed tanks, there are countless memories (and photos) that document our crazy journey in the construction of the brewery.
June 2016 was a monumental month for us, as we were finally able to brew our first batch of beer. All of a sudden we found ourselves playing in the big league, with a solid product and the drive to succeed. From brewing, packaging, selling and sampling, we were all busy making sure we could get our beer into the hands of Albertans, while still working around the clock to get the restaurant up and running.
January 21 was our first day in the restaurant business, and man, have we evolved! Our first couple weeks were a whirlwind, trying to keep up with the influx of people wanting to check us out. In hindsight, it’s safe to say that we were super naïve in assuming that we knew what we were getting ourselves into! At that time, our business model was brewery first, restaurant second, and it was very clear those initial weeks, that we were restaurant first for the people of Cochrane. The first few weeks presented huge challenges and heartache, watching the reviews and complaints come in, and we realized quite quickly that we needed to step up our game. Since then we have won many awards, such as Gold Medal for Best Restaurant and Gold Medal for Best Customer Service.
In 2018 we had the opportunity to open a second restaurant, in the heart of Canmore. The Canmore Hotel is one of the oldest standing buildings in Alberta, and has been closed since 2017. With new ownership and extensive renovations, Half Hitch moved into the restaurant space, opening its doors at the end of September, 2018. After a year in the space, we decided to part ways with the restaurant location, focusing more on our own product development and brewery operations. It was a very difficult decision to make, and we are very thankful for the opportunity we had.
The end of 2019 sees many new possibilities. We are expanding our product lineup to included 4 canned seasonals per year, as well as venturing into new markets. Roll on 2020!