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 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.
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.
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.
“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.”
Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market is Alberta Agriculture certified – which means that at minimum 80 per cent 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.