A new craft brewery is preparing to turn on the taps at its grand opening on June 16.
“We want to be St. Albert’s craft brewery, we’re part of St. Albert, we want to drive our local business here,” said Matthew Atkins, who co-owns Endeavour Brewing Company with his wife, Georgia Atkins.
Even though the brewery has only been in construction since January, Atkins has dreamt about it for a decade.
As he walks from the restaurant to the brewery, separated only by a waist-high gate, he describes the seed that planted the idea.
“We were visiting family in Houston, Texas and we went to a small brewery. It was wide open and people could walk around,” he said. “They put their heart and soul into making beer and at that time I said ‘it would be great to do that one day’.”
After ten years of bringing up the idea, his wife told him to start the business or quit talking about it, he said laughing.
The restaurant area is 1,200 square feet. It opens to a large brewery, which is around 2,800 square feet, so patrons can watch as their beer is being brewed.
Atkins, who was previously an engineer, stands proudly in front of his equipment. The brewing process starts with a malt crusher, which grinds up the barley malt. Next, the grain is put in a mash tun, which turns the starches in the malt into sugar. Those sugars are then rinsed out.
Next the liquid is transferred to boil kettle, where it’s boiled for an hour to get rid of any bacteria. It’s at this stage where hops, spices and sugars are added for flavour.
Through this process the brewery can make 1,500-litre batches of beer at a time.
Finally, the beer is put into a large container – called a fermenter – where it’ll sit for a couple weeks while the yeast is monitored. At Endeavour Brewing there are three fermenters that each holds 3,000 litres of beer.
Each container features a different type of the brewery’s special craft beer: Extra Special Bitter Ale, Czech Premium Pilsner and English IPA.
From there, it’s onto the taps and into the glasses.
Creating the perfect beer was no easy task, however. Atkins explains that it took a lot of trial and error to come up with the perfect balance of nutty, fruity and hoppy tones for each of his craft beers.
“I would brew the same beer multiple times and change it a little bit. So many you’d add a little more caramel malt or you have a little more biscuit malt and see how that changes the flavour profile.”
The task proved increasingly difficult when he had to convert the recipes from his small home brewery into the large one that stands in his business today.
“That was a huge challenge, my system at home was 10 gallons and here it’s 15 hectoliters, so it was a lot of learning,” he said. “The science behind it is the same, but the measurements are different.”
When the business finally opened, Atkins said he was excited. The brewery celebrated a soft opening on June 10.
Endeavour Brewing Company is located at #4A 215 Carnegie Drive and is open Tuesday to Thursday from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
For more information visit: https://www.endeavourbrewing.com/