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Creative Microbrewery Taps Into Your Childhood Cartoon And Sci-Fi Fandom

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Located in North East Calgary, the Zero Issue microbrewery stands out within Alberta’s growing brewery landscape for its commitment to personality, creativity, and local celebration. Founded in 2017 by brothers and self-proclaimed comic book nerds Kirk and Mark Macdonald, Zero Issue features the unique mash-up we’ve all been searching for: awesome beer and all our childhood cartoon and sci-fi fascinations. The taproom offers a friendly, neighborhood feel where patrons can play board games and read comic books as they sample flights or enjoy their after-work pints.

The Zero Issue approach to brewing is rooted in science fiction and comic book creativity, beginning with the name itself, and extending into each individual beer created. Zero Issue products include brews like the Multiverse Pale Ale, Cryostasis German Pils, and the Nemesis IPA, along with a number of other seasonal and “one-time-only” brews. Each beer features its own mini comic book backstory, while the beer cans themselves stand out on the shelves for their brightly coloured original designs, all of which are drawn by local artists.

In addition to displaying local artwork on their beer cans, Zero Issue celebrates Alberta in more ways than one. The Zero Issue taproom in North East Calgary doubles as a gallery in which local artists can also display their work. “We wanted to use our taproom space to allow them to showcase what they do and give them an opportunity to gain exposure in a unique way,” says Mark regarding the taprooms Seasonal Feature Artist display.

“We all agree it is so important to highlight local artists,” adds Kirk.

As a microbrewery, Zero Issue faces difficulties similar to those of all small business owners, including competition with others within the craft community itself, as well as with larger brand beer companies. According to Kirk, the brothers are committed to “changing people’s ideas and pallets in regards to craft beer. [They] are always trying to show people that there is so much more to beer than just the macro breweries.”

When it comes to the craft beer industry, Mark and Kirk highlight that people may be shy of venturing out into their local craft breweries because of some existing stigmas that surround craft beer. These most commonly include words like “hoppy”, “pretentious”, and “unapproachable”. However, they are determined to change people’s minds. According to Mark, “You can still like lighter lagers and easy drinking brews and be a fan of craft beer. There can be something for everyone who enjoys beer, sometimes even for people who didn’t think they liked beer at all.”

And Kirk follows up with some sound, age-old advice, “You don’t have to know anything to try it, you just have to be open to trying something different.”

As such, the future of Zero Issue lies in a non-compromising commitment to quality beer (and comic books), and the continued support and expansion of the growing craft beer industry in Alberta.

 

For more stories, visit – Todayville Calgary

Calgary

Summer is here to Stay at Calgary’s Only Indoor Beach Facility

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After a fairly stagnant summer, where the typical buzz of team athletics and busy sporting fields has been largely missed due to COVID-19, the return of the winter weather is being dreaded by most. 

Do not fear the cold, however, there is a way for Calgarians to beat the winter blues. The Beach YYC, Calgary’s only indoor beach recreation facility offers “a little bit of the summer, all year long”. Located in southeast Calgary at 3030-2600 Portland Street, The Beach YYC is a 23,000 square foot facility with almost 13,000 square feet of beach court space and more than 700 tons of sand.
“After the way the summer has been, where people haven’t been able to play the normal leagues and sports they usually do, people are looking for a social, fun, active thing to do.” Says Elliot Weinstein, Founder of The Beach YYC, “And here we are!” 

Originally inspired by an indoor beach facility located in Vancouver, BC, Elliot decided to introduce the concept to the city of Calgary. As the fifth facility of its kind in Canada and the only one available in Alberta, The Beach YYC draws both high and low level players from across the country for everything from major tournaments to evening rec leagues. In addition to offering rec, intermediate and competitive beach volleyball leagues in co-ed and gendered divisions, the facility has 5 courts that can be adjusted to accommodate beach volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, Spikeball and dodgeball games.

“It’s a great place for people to maintain and improve their skills during the winter months,” says Elliot, “that way they can jump right back into their summer sports when the weather changes.”

In addition to hosting regularly scheduled leagues, The Beach YYC offers kids play dates and camps, catered events such as birthdays, corporate events and beach parties, as well as weekly drop-in rates – which have been on hold due to COVID-19 but will resume when deemed appropriate. 

Opened in September of 2018, The Beach YYC is now approaching its 2-year anniversary, and recently announced the opening of their beachside diner, George’s Beach Club! Named in honor of Elliot’s grandfather George, the club features a full comfort-food menu that includes delicious anomalies like the Bahn Mi Sub, the Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Poutine, and banana splits for dessert. 

Now in the final stages of securing a liquor license, George’s will soon be a full-service destination for players and friends to relax at before or after games with a pint and bite. 

Don’t wait on that tropical vacation to get your toes back in the sand … everything is better at The Beach! 

To learn more about The Beach YYC or to check out George’s Beach Club, now available on Skip the Dishes and Uber Eats, visit https://www.thebeachyyc.ca

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

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City of Calgary Helping Local Businesses Recover from COVID-19 with Digital Main Street ShopHERE Pilot

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The City of Calgary is piloting a new initiative aimed at helping artists and small businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Working with Digital Main Street to join the ShopHERE program, powered by Google, the City will aid up to 90 local businesses and artists in their transition to online stores. 

The growing digital economy of recent years has been massively accelerated by the Coronavirus pandemic, as people have increasingly turned to online alternatives and contact-less deliveries for everything from groceries to clothes to entertainment purchases. Now more than ever, for small businesses to be successful, participation in the digital economy is key. 

In May, Google Canada announced a $1 million investment for Digital Main Street to expand the Toronto-based ShopHERE program across the country. In Calgary, Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE program is now available to artists or registered small independent businesses and nonprofits that are commercial or home based, have fewer than 10 employees (25 for restaurants or bars), and are not a corporate chain or franchise. 

As a participant in the ShopHERE program, businesses will have access to hands-on assistance in setting up and launching their online stores with customized information and branding. Members will also receive digital marketing, shipping and inventory support to aid in the successful maintenance of online shops.  

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi speaks on the ShopHERE program

Operating on a first come, first serve basis, the program will help up to 90 independent local businesses and artists enter the online sales sphere. “We remain optimistic and more determined than ever that technology is the toolkit for a world of opportunities,” says Sabrina Geremia, VP and Country Manager, Google Canada, “Our $1 million investment will go towards expanding the ShopHERE program nationally, so we can help small businesses across Canada navigate the challenges ahead.”

To learn more about the ShopHERE program or to apply, visit https://digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere/.

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

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