Brady Grove, Times Reporter
Rockyford farmer Kyle Geeraert and his friend and business partner Josh Michaluk are set to open Origin Malting, Strathmore’s first brewery and malt house.
Located on Spruce Park Drive, across the street from the UFA cardlock, Origin Malting opens Aug. 4, just in time for the Strathmore Stampede and Heritage Days.
Geeraert has plans to franchise and hopes for 10 stores across Canada in three years.
“No matter where it is, it’s going to be the local story,” said Geeraert. “We are going to partner with farmers whether it’s in Ontario or P.E.I.”
Origin Malting will be more than just a brewery – they will be selling their products to people in the tap house area. Long picnic table-style benches will be available for customers to enjoy a locally brewed beer and socialize with their friends.
The tap house has a rustic theme which speaks to its local agricultural roots. Geeraert is hoping to eventually host events such as UFC fights and Calgary Flames games.
The tap house holds a maximum of 50 people and will offer five locally brewed beers and seven other kinds from other Alberta brewers.
“They’ll come out and brew with us and we can name a beer after them and put it on tap,” said Geeraert.
There are giant vats in the back used to brew beer from start to finish. The process of brewing begins by boiling water and mixing it with grain. After allowing the liquid to steep for about 60 minutes, a substance called wort is created which is basically sugary water.
Next, yeast is added to begin the fermentation process which converts the sugary wort into beer and alcohol. The product is allowed to mature before finally arriving in front of the customer.
“Everyone is craving that local flavour,” said Geeraert.
According to Geeraert, the company is planning on opening up the malting section of the business Oct 1. Malt can be used in a variety of products including beer, whiskey and some baked goods.
“We are going to sell malt to local craft breweries all over Alberta,” said Geeraert.
Geeraert and Michaluk lead the group of local farmers and investors. One of the company philosophies is to keep things locally sourced. Geeraert plans on reaching out to Strathmore food suppliers such as Rocky’s and Pure Country to offer food to customers.
“It’s great that we’re expanding our commercial and industrial base, and the owners are local and they are using local farmers and grains in production which is fantastic,” said Chuck Procter, an urban planner with the town. “As a young person in this town, it’s always great to have another venue to go to.”