Big Rock Brewery: It Started With One Man's Thirst
1984 was a simpler time. Men were men, hard drives were just how you got to Edmonton and beer was either "lager A" or "lager B". But noted beer fan Ed McNally was thirsty for a real choice. And rather than complicate matters by tracking down established import brews, Ed took the "easy" way out and started his own brewery. A feat made more extraordinary by his age at the time. Most sixty year olds are thinking about getting out of businesses and into deck chairs, not Ed. Taking the path of most resistance is a trait that endures at Big Rock Brewery to this day - we don't tolerate compromise in any of our beers and refuse to take shortcuts with their brewing or ingredients.
By 1985 he had found a small space to set up shop, "imported" our first brewmaster Bernd Pieper, and started creating the beers that he liked. At the time Ed was quoted as saying that his plan was to "make the beers that I want to drink, not what will be popular." That philosophy goes a long way to explaining why our first three beers were Bitter, Porter and Traditional. Of the three, Traditional was an instant hit, and continues to win praise and converts today. As for the others, well, Ed really liked them.
A lot of passion goes into the beer we brew here at Big Rock Brewery. Our beer tells this tasty tale but we also would also like to have the opportunity to show you. Touring one of our breweries (we have three production facilities) gives you the opportunity to experience the careful crafting that happens behind the scenes and gives you insight into the process from the top of a barley bin to the bottom of a pint glass.
- All tours are hosted by a trained beerologist.
- No matter if you're a craft beer newbie or a certified beer nerd, you'll learn a lot about beer and brewing.
- Follow our state-of-the-art brewing process with your own eyes, ears and nose, from the unloading of ingredients, through the brewing and fermentation stages, all the way to packaging.
- Before you head home, you'll experience a Big Rock tasting session where you get to sample the latest and greatest on tap.
- Participants must be 18 years of age or older with government photo ID (required to participate in sampling of beer), closed toed & flat shoes (no sandals and no high heels).
- Due to the nature of our production facilities, our brewery tours are not suitable for those with mobility restrictions.