Edmonton’s Newest Microbrewery: Yellowhead Brewery

Brewmaster Scott Harris has an excellent memory. On my way to a meeting downtown Thursday afternoon, I stopped inside the new Yellowhead Brewery for a look, mainly because the door was open and beckoning. I had wanted to explore the interior of the building for some time, and this seemed like a timely opportunity to do so. Inside, Scott was being interviewed by someone, but stopped to ask if I needed anything. As I was en route elsewhere, I told him I couldn’t stay, but would be back on the weekend.

Yellowhead Brewery

At the City Market on Saturday, we ran into Scott in line for Fat Franks. He remembered me from the other day, and asked if we intended to stop by later. We made good on our promise, and made a proper visit before heading home.

Inside the brewery

Yellowhead Brewery is located in the historic 1913 H. V. Shaw building at 10229 105 Street, which was originally a cigar factory. The structure was renovated by Gene Dub in 2005, and housed Maverick Brewery from 2005-07, before it went out of business. With a central location and a beautiful facade, it was a shame the building sat empty for several years – so it is great to see it being used again as a craft brewing facility.

Bottling area

Yellowhead has a tasting room open most days from noon to six. While they currently only make one lager, Scott told us he has plans to make a lighter and darker brew, as well as a seasonal variety. He also said he is working on supplying kegs to several local restaurants and bars, including Skinny Legs and Cowgirls and Level 2 Lounge.

Tasting Room

We both tried a small glass of the Yellowhead Beer. I don’t trust my palate, as I am not a beer drinker (Alley Kat’s Aprikat cooler is about as close as I get to beer), but Mack enjoyed it. He compared it to Alley Kat’s Charlie Flint Lager. We picked up two 500mL bottles (a steal at just $3 each).

Yellowhead Beer

What was apparent to me during our visit was the brewery’s decision to honour the history of the city and the space. From the name (Yellowhead Beer was the first brewing company established in Edmonton, back in 1894) to coasters that tell the history of the word “Yellowhead”, to the archive photo proudly displayed on the wall, I love that Yellowhead decided to consciously shine a light on the city’s roots.

Edmonton Cigar Factory in 1913

We also took the time to take in the Yellowhead Room, a beautiful space with capacity for 150. Between the exposed brick, lively art on the walls, and a built-in bar and corner stage, both Mack and I thought it would be a great space for events. And at just $350 for the night, it’s a pretty good deal, too.

Yellowhead Room

As we were leaving, Scott was serving up fresh glasses to patrons who had just walked in. I hope many more people stop by to try out the beer – best of luck to Edmonton’s newest brewery!

Yellowhead Brewery
10229 105 Street
(780) 423-3333

16 thoughts on “Edmonton’s Newest Microbrewery: Yellowhead Brewery

  1. Wow, the brewery looks great. I love that they have a tasting room and an area for events. I tried their beer a couple of weeks ago and was very pleased to find that Edmonton has another great beer option!

  2. Was just next door and while sitting outside waiting for my wife, I noticed what looked like a brewery. Looked around and saw “Yellowhead Brewing Company.”. Did some research on my Blackberry and found this site. Great to see some local beer moving onto the market. As a long time beer drinker, I will make it back here to tour the place and try the beer. Will be keeping an eye open for it now where ever I go.

  3. What a cool place. I was walking downtown doing some scouting for some photos when I spotted the building. I walked around the front and saw that it was a brewery. I thought it was awesome that the brewery part is all in glass open to the public to peak right in.

    The Assistant Brewmaster was in the brewery and spotted me gawking at the set up. He waved me in and gave me a tour right on the spot. I was so impressed by his passion for the brewery. He wouldn’t reveal any brew secrets but took me into the Yellowhead room and explained their plans for the future. He then pulled a cold bottle out of the fridge, took a bottle opener from his pocket and poured me a perfect glass of the European Lager.

    The head is tight with tiny bubbles almost like a nitrogen head. It’s not though. He explained the tiny head was from the natural CO2. They don’t force CO2 into the beer. They capture the natural occuring CO2. The smell is amazing. There is a slight fruit smell to the beer but my host wouldn’t tell me if they add fruit to it anywhere. It was just a slight overtone to the smell. It smelt delicious.

    The color is a medium caramel color. It has a slight red tinge to it which made me wonder if it would be a touch bitter. I took a deep wiff of it again before I savored the taste. I was expecting to taste a medium ale like Keats Red Amber Ale. Well…… no. It was a perfect lager. The lager slipped past the head nicely and had a bright hoppy taste. Sharp and clean and that apple smell was in the taste in a very very slight undertone that actually had a washing effect on the pallet and balancing out the beer. It made each sip like the first one.

    The customer service, the one off tour and the pride of the employee’s was as refreshing to see as the beer was to taste. I was incredibly impressed and I hope to see this beer out there for easy purchase. We have something new in Edmonton to be very proud of.

  4. Ale or Lager? Does Yellowhead produce a real ale, or was the bartender at the Artery club mistaken? The “Yellowhead” I drank there sure tasted like ale…

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