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Central Alberta

Craft Beer Commonwealth a unique new Central Alberta brewery to open at Gasoline Alley Farmers Market

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From the Craft Beer Commonwealth

NEW GASOLINE ALLEY BREWERY IS A COLLABORATION BETWEEN BREWERS AND FARMERS

FIRST BEER, A GRAND COLLABORATION FROM CENTRAL ALBERTA BREWERS IS ALREADY AVAILABLE

Red Deer County’s newest brewery has been built from the ground up to be a truly local, collaborative showcase of the Central Alberta beer scene. A joint venture between Lacombe’s Blindman Brewing, Red Deer County’s Red Hart Brewing, and Penhold’s Red Shed Malting, Craft Beer Commonwealth will be opening in late December in the new Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market. The ground-breaking partnership between farmers and brewers offers a true farm-to-glass experience for beer lovers who want to support Central Alberta’s agricultural roots.

Craft Beer Commonwealth lives up to its namesake with a focus on cooperation. It will not only feature beers made in its own facility in the year-round famers’ market, but there will be selections from every brewery in Central Alberta on rotation. In fact, Commonwealth’s first beer – Landlock Ale – is a joint effort between each and every Central Alberta brewery, using only ingredients grown within 10 kilometers of Red Deer!

“Local is sometimes a bit of a buzz word, but now more than ever it really means something,” says Daelyn Hamill of Red Shed Malting. “This beer is a cooperative effort between multiple local businesses. It supports the local economy, helps Alberta farmers and is a great beer to celebrate harvest!”

The brand-new recipe redefines the pale ale style with a golden hue and resinous pine flavours evoking Alberta’s fields, parkland, and mountains. “Landlock Ale is Central Alberta’s beer,” says Ben Smithson, General Manager of Commonwealth. “Not only will it be available at the Commonwealth, but it’ll be on tap at all the local breweries.”

Breweries around the world have long been using Central Alberta’s famous malt barley in their recipes for good reason: this is one of the top barley-growing regions on the planet. Recently, Alberta-grown hops have also been making a big impression in the brewing industry. It is no wonder that Central Alberta has more craft breweries per capita than anywhere else in the Province. Craft Beer Commonwealth’s mission is to showcase the region’s growing beer prowess to locals and visitors alike. When the founders heard about the new year-round farmers’ market opening in Gasoline Alley, they knew it was the perfect location for the new brewery.

Ben Smithson, General Manager of Craft Beer Commonwealth

Ben Smithson, General Manager of Craft Beer Commonwealth

“Great beer requires great raw ingredients, so you have to keep a close connection to the farming community,” says Hans Doef of Blindman Brewing. “It is so fitting that we are opening in a farmers’ market.”

In fact, Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market is Alberta Agriculture certified – which means that at minimum 80% of the product in the market must be locally produced. Commonwealth’s hyper-local focus helps the market meet that standard. The first functional brewery within an Alberta farmers’ market, Commonwealth will be joining a number of food vendors in the ‘Market Kitchen’ area which offers a family-friendly dining area, a large patio, and a large event space overlooking the whole market. Commonwealth will eventually be hosting corporate parties, weddings, small concerts, and meetings in that space once COVID restrictions are lifted. For now, the Market Kitchen food and beverage vendors will be open extended hours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Background Information

  • Craft Beer Commonwealth is the result of a ground-breaking collaboration between Red Deer’s Red Hart Brewing, Lacombe’s Blindman Brewing, and Red Deer County’s Red Shed Malting. Their shared vision is to unify and showcase the thriving Central Alberta craft beer community by brewing beer featuring local expertise and ingredients.
  • Craft Beer Commonwealth’s taphouse is located within Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market and features beverages on tap to be enjoyed at the market and available to take home in cans or growlers.
  • Small-batch brewing allows professional and aspiring guest brewers to experiment with different techniques and styles, and to collaborate with other brewers and ingredient producers – even fellow market vendors.
  • The rotating taps showcase the quality and variety available from Central Alberta’s finest local breweries and wineries.
  • Craft Beer Commonwealth also serves espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos made with coffee roasted right onsite at the market by Birdy Coffee Co.
  • With a large variety of local vendors and kitchens in the market, food-parings are a special part of the commonwealth experience.
  • An exciting private function space overlooking the market is available for holiday parties, corporate meetings, weddings, and other events.
  • The atmosphere is lively, family friendly and will often include live entertainment and performances during market opening hours.
  • Operating hours: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from early until late.

 

Central Alberta

Local artist records original song for Remembrance Day with video showcasing Red Deer’s military history

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Editor’s note: This article was published in 2020.  It was extremely popular in the Central Alberta region so we wanted to circulate it again this year, now even more poignant with the war in Ukraine. The video uses many images that are familiar to Central Albertans and pays tribute to Central Alberta soldiers who have deployed internationally over the years. 

This spring, a singer and songwriter friend of mine from Red Deer, Shelly Dion, came to me with a song idea that had, in her words, been “knocking around in my head for the past 30 years”. She said that she really wanted to pay her respects to the people who sacrificed their lives and livelihoods to go to war.

The song is called “Lay Me Down”, and it’s a very fitting song for this time of year. We decided to get together and record a simple version of the song.  Then I sent her off to see musical wizard, Red Deer’s Heath West of Medodius Design.  Heath came up with some excellent improvements and we recorded it in his studio this fall.

As Honorary Colonel of 41 Signal Regiment in Alberta, I’m always looking for opportunities to promote the military, our Regiment’s members, and of course at this time of year, to acknowledge the sacrifice made by the men and women who serve in the Canadian Armed Forces. “Lay Me Down” hit all the right notes.

With some help from Counsellor Michael Dawe, long-time archivist for the City of Red Deer, I gained access to some wonderful historic photos that helped me to tell some of the stories of Red Deer’s military history. At the same time, I wanted to help the members of our Regiment honour the many local members who have volunteered to put their lives and careers on hold to deploy internationally to places like Afghanistan, Golan Heights, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and more recently Ukraine and Latvia. This project allowed me to both profiles some local history and recognize our more modern history. Thanks to WO Drew Adkins of 41 Signal Regiment for his help in coordinating photos from our wall of fame inside Cormack Armoury.

The above video is the result. Take some time to learn about our local military history. Do you know who Cormack Armoury is named after? You’ll also learn about local members of 41 Signal Regiment (2 Sqn), many of whom actively serve in the Armed Forces today. You may even know some of them as neighbours, friends, and co-workers.  Please take a moment to acknowledge their service, and on November 11th, attend a service, and at the very least, take a moment at 11 AM to be silent and consider how lucky we are to be at peace in our country.

“Lay Me Down” is written and performed by Shelly Dion and produced and engineered by Heath West. Musicians: Bagpipes Glenn MacLeod, acoustic guitar Heath West, electric guitars Lloyd Lewis, drums Phil Liska, Bass Doug Gagnon.

Click to read more on Todayville.

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Alberta

Eat. Drink. Think. Local. Even in Lockdown, with Bo’s Bar & Stage!

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Bo’s Bar & Stage and Everything else too? Yep!

Really a bit of everything and the best part is, ALL local. With the 2nd round of lockdown swinging into full effect, this Red Deer establishment is turning it up to 11 and going full out to support the small biz and indie arts community.

Effective now, you can pick up so many cool things at Bo’s Bar & Stage or should we say Bo’s Quality Provision Retail Space? What an awesome idea and a great way to support local. Walking the walk as their slogan is after all  “Eat. Think. Drink. LOCAL.” So here’s the thing. Not only can you order amazing food that’s handcrafted in the Bo’s Kitchen allowing you to take the night off from cooking for yourself or the fam, You can grab some incredibly unique gifts all while supporting a community of small biz and indie arts too. How cool?

Didn’t think it could actually be any better than that? “Wrong,” (in the voice of Charlie Murphy while telling stories about Rick James on Chappelle’s Show, RIP Charlie) it does get better! As of the last few days AGLC has revised certain regulations allowing “To Go and Delivery” mixed drinks and cocktails in an attempt to support “Licensees” during these evolving times. Yes that means you can order your favourite drinks and enjoy them at home. Wow, what a time to be alive.

It’s official, whether it be take-out food, drinks, that cool Christmas gift or just to treat yourself, Bo’s is a must stop for your lockdown needs. Lets be honest, nobody wants to be in a lockdown. At least we can be thankful that establishments like Bo’s exist to support Local. So much local to choose from in one really cool spot.

***All photos from Bo’s Facebook page

Bo’s Facebook Pg
bosbar.com
Bo’s Bar & Stage – YouTube

 

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may, 2024

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