A craft brewery in central Alberta has found a unique way to showcase the work of local artists, authors and musicians.
Lacombe-based Blindman Brewing is printing a collection of short stories, poems and musical lyrics on the labels of one of its beers this winter. The literary works are all the product of local artists — 28 to be exact.
“Mainly it was a way for myself to get published,” Blindman Brewing’s Kirk Zembal said with a laugh.
“But in all seriousness, it was a great way to showcase local writers, poets and musicians and get their work out into the world.”
The project is a partnership with Edmonton-based writer and publisher Jason Lee Norman. Zembal and Norman worked together at a fertilizer plant when they were students. Zembal said the project is a great way for the friends to merge their passions.
“It’s just something that we love and we’re always looking for fun things to do,” he said.
“It kind of goes to our ethos as a brewery. We’re really grassroots, community-focused — as all craft brewers are — we really like to get in there and showcase what our world’s all about.”
This is the second time the brewery has launched the project, as part of ongoing efforts to showcase to their Alberta roots. Last summer, Blindman’s Super Session cans also showcased the work of local writers, who are paid by the brewery for their work.
Currently, the brewery’s Five of Diamonds Pilsner can pays homage to a Lacombe fishing lure maker. They also have cans out right now for Edmonton’s Winterruption Music Fest and Big Winter Classic in Calgary.
“Same thing. Kind of showcasing local cool people doing cool things.”
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The most resent cans hit the shelves before Christmas. Zembal said the reaction from the authors, as well as customers has been really positive.
“Writers are super excited to see their work on a beer can,” he said. “Their families are digging it. We had one guy who came down to the brewery who wanted 24 cans all from the same writer — his daughter — stuff like that. It’s pretty fun.
“The wider world is digging it. We designed this beer to be an English-style beer which you can sit down and drink in a pub.”
LISTEN BELOW: Corus Alberta’s Alberta Matters series on the province’s booze boom
Blindman Brewery is now in its fourth year in Alberta. Zembal said it’s been great being part of the craft beer boom in Alberta.
“So far so good… More people are drinking craft beer. When we started we were brewery number 20 in the province. Now there’s 130 some. It’s been crazy.”