Craft beer industry says ‘cheers’ to local brewery expansion

Click to play video: 'Pile O’ Bones Brewing opens new taproom' Pile O’ Bones Brewing opens new taproom
WATCH: A local brewery is helping expand Saskatchewan's craft beer industry one pour at a time. Allison Bamford reports – Aug 23, 2019

A new taproom showcasing dozens of different craft beers is looking to turn “Regina residents into hop heads one at a time.”

Pile O’ Bones Brewing started in the basement of Copper Kettle, three years ago. The company pumped out around 100,000 litres of craft beer each year, but with the opening of their new taproom and brewery, that’s expected to reach 500,000 litres.

“We sell out of our beer everywhere we go,” said Kate Byblow, taproom manager. “I think more and more people are mindfully purchasing and supporting local businesses.”

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The taproom, located in the Cathedral neighbourhood, stocks eleven other local breweries – Rebellion, Nokomis, and Malty National, as well as two types of kombucha, and one cold brew on tap.

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Byblow says craft brewing is a ‘community’ and they’re all looking to help each other out, which is why the taproom carries more than just Pile O’ Bones product.

“The more something becomes available somewhere, the more people are going to come to it,” Byblow said.

That’s a sentiment Mark Heise, Rebellion Brewing owner, echoes.

“We need more of that mass appeal, more to legitimize our business, to legitimize our industry. We are not a fringe industry [and] we are not a fad industry,” Heise said.

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In the past five years, Heise has watched craft beer grow into a multi-million dollar industry in Saskatchewan. But, despite the apparent success, Heise says they’re barely scratching the surface.

“We estimate the industry is only around 3 per cent of the market right now, we think we can easily push that to well beyond 15 per cent and above,” Heise said.

Heise estimates there are around 16 breweries across the province, and he thinks that could “easily double in the next year or two.”


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