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A Brief History of Craft Beer in Edmonton, Alberta

#DrinkLocal is a global movement in efforts to support local craft breweries and brewers. Here’s a little history on Edmonton’s first brewery and why you should #drinklocal by drinking Edmonton beers.

A Brief History of Craft Beer in Edmonton, Alberta

History of Beer in Edmonton
Edmonton’s first brewery

Edmonton is home to many craft breweries, but what is the oldest brewery in Edmonton? Edmonton is home to the fourth oldest brewery in Alberta, Rossdale Brewery, formerly known as Edmonton Brewing and Malting Company, was founded in 1905 by W.H. Shephard, the owner of the Strathcona Hotel.

Edmonton’s craft beer industry dates back to 1891, when the Legislative Assembly of Northwest Territories passed a liquor licensing ordinance that the selling and consumption of alcohol in hotels. At the time, the biggest beer distributor to Alberta’s hotels was Calgary Malting and Brewing Company. When Alberta became a province in 1905, Edmonton’s population began to grow and W.H. Shephard opened the Edmonton Brewing and Malting Co. and by 1908, the brewery was distributing an estimated 20,000 barrels of beer around north-central Alberta per year, which required the brewery to move to a larger building. Eventually, the brewery was taken over by Sick Brewing after the prohibition ended in 1924.

Today, the Edmonton Brewing and Malting Company, now known as Rossdale Brewery is the oldest standing unaltered brewery in Alberta. Two breweries that are still standing predate this structure, The Calgary Brewing & Malting Company a.k.a Cross Brewery (Calgary, Alta) and the Lethbridge Brewery (Lethbridge, Alta.) – both of which have either been altered or are not fully standing. If you’re looking to dive deeper into the history of Edmonton beer, you can visit the Rossdale Brewery at 9843 – 100 Street in Edmonton, AB.

Why Should You Drink Edmonton Beer?

Drinking locally-made Edmonton beer helps support local businesses and fosters growth in the beer industry which can lead to positive economic development. Drinking craft beers from Edmonton’s local breweries is important because the beer industry in Canada is huge.

What is #DrinkLocal?

#DrinkLocal is more than just a beer hashtag, it’s a craft beer movement.

Drink Local or “#drinklocal” is an important grass-roots social movement. The #DrinkLocal tag creates awareness and support for local breweries, pubs, taprooms and liquor stores. Click here to learn more about the #drinklocal movement or tap into the world of Edmonton craft beer by checking out our Edmonton Beer Guide.

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