Calgary Craft Brewery Closes Its Doors – Is Alberta’s Saturated Craft Beer Market to Blame?
Red Bison Brewery shuts its doors in Calgary’s Franklin neighbourhood just a year and a half after opening. Is this the beginning of the end for new craft breweries looking to enter the market?
By Clara Jaide on Aug. 26, 2019
Red Bison Brewery permanently closes after a year and a half of serving local brews
It has been a sad weekend for the Calgary craft beer scene! Red Bison Brewery permanently shut off its taps on Saturday, August 24, 2019, just a few months after announcing the sale of its property in July.
The brewery was founded by Steve and Veronica Carlton, a local Calgarian couple, who began their craft beer journey through homebrewing, and later went on to open Red Bison Brewery in Calgary’s Franklin Park community in March 2018. The brewery was a neighbour to many other local breweries, like Tool Shed Brewing, Common Crown Brewing, and Heathen’s Brewing.
Why did Red Bison Brewery shut down?
According to Steve Carlton, there was a shift in preference for beer drinkers from Beer Bombers (22oz or more) to Beer Cans (generally 12oz). While Red Bison prided themselves in providing their beers in bombers, they ultimately decided to try to rebrand and repackage their beers into cans, which is not an easy (or cheap) process. In order to do this, Red Bison tried to raise money to have labels changed, provide cans and have the beer repackaged.
Unfortunately, the amount of cash flow coming in couldn’t match up to the cash flow running out. “Our current investors were tapped out. Veronica and I put in as much money as we had plus more we didn’t have to try to keep going.” Carlton told Postmedia.
Image Cred: @thisthirstynomad
Is Alberta’s saturated craft beer market to blame?
In Carlton’s interview with Calgary Herald, he mentions the craft beer industry in Alberta growing rapidly and urges new brewers to avoid starting a craft brewery right now.
According to Mike McNeil, the executive director of the Alberta Small Brewers Association, Alberta currently has over 120 craft breweries and the scene continues to grow. Is this possibly the beginning of the end for new craft brewers looking to enter the market?
Read more about the closure of Red Bison Brewery on the Calgary Herald.
Do you believe that Alberta’s ever-growing craft beer industry will lead to the closure of more local craft breweries?
Tweet us & Tell us your thoughts!
Looking for more beer-related news and stories? Check out these articles you might like:
Help Save Orcas By Drinking These Beers from Vancouver Island Brewery
Calgary and Edmonton Beer Events
You Can Now Get Bubble Tea Flavoured Beer
You Can Officially Drink Beer on a Party Bike in Calgary
With two (viable) months of summer left in Calgary, Pedal Pub is here to make the most of that limited time! Bounce from brewery to brewery, all while drinking along the way.
What is the 2016 Unity Brew?
The 2016 Unity Brew by Big Rock Brewery is a must-try Dark Wheat Ale.
Hash House Harriers: An International Group of Non-Competitive Running Social Club
It’s unsure whether the Hash House Harriers are “a running group with a drinking problem” or “a drinking group with a running problem”. This is the beer movement you don’t want to miss! Drink beer, Run & Have Fun!
Waterloo Brewing Awarded SMART Green Grant
Waterloo Brewing Co has received nearly a half million dollars from the Government of Ontario, Canada. The brewery operates as Brick Brewing Co. and is the first – and so far the only – brewery to ever be awarded SMART Green Program funds.