With the days ticking down until Red Deer’s newest brewery officially opens, the trio behind it have already started canning their first beer for public consumption.
Trouble Monk Brewery’s canner arrived and on Monday they filled about 1,100 cans. The brewery is the brainchild of Charlie and Graeme Bredo. They brought on Garret Haynes — a graduate of the Olds College Brewmaster program — and the Trouble Monk Brewery will officially open its doors on Saturday.
At the brewery, they will sell six-packs and growlers. But they are also producing kegs and cans for distribution to pubs, bars and restaurants.
The front of the brewery at 5551 45th St. in Red Deer also includes taps offering pints of Troubled Monk.
They will also offer tours of the brewery and the brewing process.
“I think people will see how the beer is made, see it is made with local Albertan ingredients and people are going to love that,” said Charlie. “You not only get the craft beer interest, but you also get the people who want something local.”
Their beer starts with a base malt that comes from Alix and speciality malts that add flavours to the finished product. Those are combined to start the recipes.
“Some of them give off a caramel flavour and as you get darker, you get a raisin flavour,” said Haynes.
The malted barley is milled to expose the starches so the water can get at it. The grain is then hydrated into a mash tun, converting the starch into sugar. Working with the yeast, this is how alcohol is created. The sugar water is then separated from the barley and sent into the kettle. In the kettle, hops are added to provide both flavour and preservatives.
The kettle boils and is then rapidly cooled to the fermentation temperature. The beer is fermented for about two weeks before it goes to its last tank, allowing the sediment and yeast to drop out and forcing the carbonation into it.
Ales take two weeks while lagers can ferment for about a month.
The goal is to have four regular house beers and a couple of seasonal offerings.
“We’ve been working on this for more than a year,” said Charlie. “Putting lots of work, lots of planning, lots of money and to be at the stage where we can taste our beer, share our beer with people and actually launch the business is actually really exciting.”
The Bredos started homebrewing four or five years ago as a hobby. But then Graeme suggested starting the brewery and the idea took off.
“It’s one of those ideas you throw out there and most of them you don’t take seriously,” said Charlie. “For some reason, it just stuck and we slowly started to work on it and it got momentum. Now we’re all in.”
The taproom blends with the theme of locally sourced and locally produced. Old farm wood from the Bredos’ grandfather’s home was brought in to accent the serving area and a mural painted by a local artist graces a wall, following the monk theme the brewery has used.
Local heritage plays a role in the names of the beers, including the Golden Gaetz Ale and the Pesky Pig Pale Ale. Graeme said the Golden Gaetz Ale has light citrus notes with a bit of pepper at the end and that the Pesky Pig has melon and papaya flavours.
Starting on Saturday, the brewery will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on weekdays from 1 to 8 p.m.