ugg bling Breaking into the craft beer scene
As we sat in the Cask Pub and Kitchen in London Pimlico neighbourhood, I got a sense of Graham Sherman, one of the brains behind Tool Shed Brewing, Alberta newest entrant onto the craft beer scene. He brings to his business a laser like focus of the variety that you only find in alpha nerds.
I will give you an example of the kind of enthusiasm that he brings to any project he works on: His eyes lit up as he explained the fact that he has rigged his backyard barbeque pit to be controlled from his iPhone. This may, in fact, be the only man in the world whose barbeque has its own automated Twitter account.
Amelia Earhart once opined that the best way to do something is to do it. This sums up the approach that the folks behind Tool Shed have taken towards life. Sherman obviously takes joy in understanding the most minute variable of whatever problem he working on, whether it a small variance in temperature on the coffee roaster he has installed in his basement or how long grain has to be mashed in order to maximize extraction for his beer.
When the plans for the brewery started out of his eponymous tool shed, he visited the local homebrew supply store in order to get an answer to the mash question. Given the answer an hour,
he hated it for its inspecificity. In terms of beer, one of the defining qualities when bringing a product to market is repeatability; it a quality that doesn get along with brewery has launched with three beers:
People Skills Cream Ale is aimed at relative newbies to the world of craft beer.
Red Rage is relatively powerful red ale which, unlike some beers in that category is completely opaque while retaining its drinkability.
Star Cheek IPA is the top of the range, and is designed to appeal to the craft beer cognoscenti. The font they chosen for branding will be familiar to anyone who has played a Grand Theft Auto game; another sure sign of the massive nerd cred involved here.
Tool Shed currently exists as a contract brewery using the facilities of Dead Frog in British Columbia, but there are ambitions here that go beyond merely getting a product to market. They project opening a brewery of their own in Alberta in the next few years. This is a daunting task due to the minimum brewing capacity that the ALGC imposes upon start up breweries, but it is my feeling that if anyone is up to the challenge,
it Tool Shed.