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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
10229 105 Street