Local Business Feature: Sheepdog Brewing

It’s not a bad day at work when the assignment is “Please go interview the Sheepdog Brewing Staff”.

Sean sat down with Sheepdog Founders Allen Russel and Josh Forster, and enjoyed a pint and a laugh.

Sean: When did Sheepdog start? What is the origin of the name?
We opened our doors in June 2019! (Side note: The Rockies Rentals Crew was there!!) Josh and I started the concept in 2017 and in 2018 our third partner, David joined us. We went through a bunch of name ideas and finally decided on Sheepdog Brewing. All three of us are firefighters, law enforcement and a veteran so Sheepdog was an analogy for first responders, veterans and military.

There was a Lieutenant Colonel in the US military, who was a ranger, he came up with an analogy for military personnel going to war. He said that society is like a herd of sheep, they do their own thing, eat the grass, go to work. On the outside of the herd are the wolves that prey on the herd, like the bad guys or the terrorists. Then there’s the sheepdog who sits on the hill guarding the flock. When the wolves come to prey on the sheep, the sheepdog jumps into action and protects the flock.

Sean: So… you’re protecting the town of Canmore with beer?
Allen:  Yeah, exactly!! You guessed it! Sheepdog Brewing is a great place to spot a local firefighter!

Sean: How many beers/ales/stouts etc. do you typically have available?
Allen: We have 16 taps so we try and have 15 different types of beers available, plus we have a cider on tap too. We’re releasing a new item in July 2021 but it’s super secret right now.

Sean: How did “Pedal for Pints” come about?
Josh: We’re all big mountain bikers here in town. We wanted to find a way to support the local trail maintenance crews and find a way to raise some funds to build more trails and sustain our existing trails. We figured, what’s better than riding bikes and drinking beer? So we created a loop for businesses to get some awareness and sponsorship and a way for people to socialize after COVID.

Sean: What is your favourite non-alcoholic beverage?
Allen:  Ginger beer!

Sean: What is the worst beer in the world?
Allen: I don’t know if there is a worst beer, maybe macro brewed beer. It’s cheap, but flavourless.

Sean: I hear that Sheepdog is dog friendly, which brings me to my final 2 questions; Who’s a good boy? Are you a good boy?
Allen: *Belly Laugh* That’s right!! I’m a good boy! Do I get a cookie?

Staff Favourites from Sheepdog Brewing

Sean’s Pick: Coconut Porter, and the Guava Kettle Sour
Kristina’s Pick: Guava Kettle Sour, and the Boysenberry Wheat Ale
Charla’s Pick: Charla is our eternal Designated Driver, and  *loves* the “Non Alcoholic Beer Dispenser” on the 2nd Level.  Spoiler alert: It’s a Fire Hydrant.

When asked his favourite Tom Replied: “Not been there in a while so not sure really. I like wheat beers though”… Follow our Blog for more of Tom’s Recommendations.

Check out what they’ve got on tap, which days they have food trucks, and where to find their patio next time you’re in Canmore here!