Who are you and your current job?
The two principle founders of Bench Creek Brewing are Head Brewer, Warren Misik - Part of the first graduating class at the Olds College Brewmaster and Brewery Operations program, and Owner Andrew Kulynych, who still maintains his full-time day job as an Automation/Project Lead in Edson, Alberta.
What was the inspiration behind your brewery?
Andrew didn't like the beers being served in Edson, Alberta, so he decided to make his own - First as a homebrewer for 6 years, and then... On December 6, 2013, AGLC (the regulatory body for liquor in Alberta) abolished their minimum production requirements to be able to call yourself a brewery, going from a 500,000L limit to 0L overnight. It was then that Andrew decided to go pro. At that point, he knew enough about brewing to know he didn't know enough about brewing.
He was then introduced to Olds College by a friend of his, who was attending the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations program. After a visit to the college, Andrew found Warren, and a common goal to make the best Pale Ale and IPA in the province. Later, an overarching goal of making great beer without compromise was instilled in the business plan. in everything the business would do, the creation of the best-tasting brews possible would take precedent over everything else
The Brewery sits on 37 acres of untouched wilderness, on Andrew's homestead, So we've adopted the "Life Takes Craft" mentality in everything we promote. not only are the beers being 100% unfiltered and unpasteurized, handcrafted ales, but we also promote a healthy, active lifestyle, based on outdoor living and activities. our consumers are crafting a life for themselves after all.
Can you give us a tour of your beer scene?
The brewery is situated in Yellowhead County, Alberta, and the closest town is Edson (Edson is roughly 10km South East of the brewery), known for its blue collar attitude and mentality in all facets of life. Despite that stereotype, local support has been an amazing benefit to having the brewery in a remote location. Despite serving predominately macro-lagers prior to opening Bench Creek Brewing, locals have quickly adopted our beers as their own, switching their palettes to flavorful, unfiltered beers. We are continually amazed by the support we receive from our community.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a brewery?
We produce our products first and foremost out of a love for great tasting beer, and passion and drive for success come out of that. Everyone who works for, or volunteers for Bench Creek Brewing shares that passion that we are creating something special. If there was advice to be given, it would be to stick to the passion that drives the business. There will be sleepless nights and long hours, but if you have a love for the craft, that will get you through. We truly believe that life takes craft, no matter what it is you do, do it passionately.