Pub Talk

TOUR: Wild Rose Brewery

Their expansive production facility in the SE industrial looks a little boring from the outside but you’ll find it’s anything but when you enter the realm of Wildrose beer.

TOUR: Wild Rose Brewery

Brian Smith, the Director of Brewing Operations, greeted me at reception and guided me through the Wild Rose brewing process from start to finish. He delightfully brought me back to the staff keg and tap system first. Snuck in the back staff area the tap system had one off brews, collab test brews and sampling beers already in production. Of course being the curious girl I am I had to try a little of everything.

Image by: The Beer Maven


Image by: The Beer Maven

One of their brewers Tomo hails from Japan and made a small batch of a specialty saison with Yuzu fruit and Sansho pepper from his hometown. The flavours were sweetly unique and married extremely well together. I would love to see this go into a limited edition batch and bottled in bombers.

Image by: The Beer Maven

The Sour Nelson Brian and I sampled is currently on store shelves and is part of their Barrel Aged Series, it combines their much loved Cowbell Sour and Hef Nelson hefeweizen. It is then aged in wine barrels. The delightful aroma and flavour of white wine make this brew exceptional. I won’t say much about the Ribstone collab I tried, as it is a work in progress and I don’t want to be a spoil sport, but the deep amber color was stunning.

With a glass of stout in my hand, Brian guided me through the brewing process and we enjoyed being the only ones on the brewing floor as it was a rare non operational day. I was able to climb to the top of the brewing station, ask all my beer geek questions (I finally learned the difference between wet and dry hopping) and felt fully immersed in the Wild Rose experience. The Brewers are creating 60 hectalitre batches at a time and the bottling team is pumping out 130 bottles a minute with the ability to increase those numbers if and when needed.

I had to ask about my favorite Cherry Porter that was part of my Beermas countdown last year (and will be this year). Brian poured me a sneak peek of the brewing cherry which was currently in the fermenting stage. Carrying the heavy yeast aroma and pour which is distinctive to this part of the process. The color was beginning to turn that lively deep red hue already. For all you Cherry Porter lovers like myself this will be ready the first week of November.

The last part of my adventure (besides picking beer from their dreamy beer cooler) was entering their mad lab where all their quality control testing is performed. It was a scene in between a breaking bad set and my high school science lab. The tested batches were neatly organized and labeled, the clean petri dishes and microscopes were placed on the tables ready to go. You could tell that they take this part of the business seriously and so should every Brewery.

Brian sent me out the door with a variety of beers to sample and I promised to be back in November for my Cherry Porter! The public is welcome to tour the facility (after arranging for a viewing). I recommend paying a visit to an important part of our Albertan brewing heritage. And say hi to Brian for me when you go 🙂


The Beer Maven

Catch this article and other articles on the Beer Maven website.

Related Posts

Festivals and Events

5 Breweries to Visit During Black History Month

February is Black History month, and we here at JustBeer wanted to take a moment to honour some amazing black-owned breweries.

Pub Talk

VIDEO: Tool Shed’s Red Rage

Will this booze review leave you red-faced in an angry rage? Maybe? Maybe Not? Read on to find out!

Pub Talk

BREWERY TOUR: Mill Street Brewery – Calgary, AB

Dan Crocker, A.K.A. Booze Reviews, recently took part in a brewery tour of Calgary’s Mill Street Brewery. Follow Dan through Mill St.’s brewery to learn more about their brewery, taproom, and their beers!

Pub Talk

An Albertan Beer Legacy – A Tribute to Jamie Gordon: Flat Cap Stout by Tool Shed Brewing

Tool Shed’s Flat Cap Stout is a tribute to Jamie Gordon, the man who initiated the shift from craft bottling to beer cans. Find out how innovation, passion and creativity from one one person can fuel the shift of a whole industry.

Pub Talk

8 Best Beers to Drink on Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras falls late this year… which gives you the perfect amount of time to stock up on brews for your Fat Tuesday celebrations. Here are eight beers that we think pair nicely with a fun Mardi Gras party.