camraNewLogo2I’m happy, excited, and a wee bit nervous to announce that I am the newly anointed President of CAMRA Alberta. Why am I a little nervous? Because I know nothing about the craft beer industry. Well, that’s not totally true.

I know that at a local level the Alberta craft beer industry creates jobs, supports farmers, contributes to charities, and just generally makes our communities nicer places in which to live, work, and play. I also know that the industry is full of people who care deeply about their craft, collaborate rather than compete, and go out of their way to help each other. I want to be a part of that.

I’m never going to be a brewer or a beer judge; I’m cool with that and you’ve all had a lucky escape. I’m simply a consumer who cares. And one of the things I care about is the beer I drink. As I told my two oldest children, you’re better off spending a little more and drinking quality products, than spending less and drinking inferior products. And you better wait until you’re of age and you better drink responsibly. I also just happen to really enjoy craft beer. The fact that the money I spend on the beer I drink goes back into the community I live in is an added bonus.

So, how did I end up as President of a craft beer volunteer thing when I know nothing about craft beer? Well, I’m glad you asked.

  1. In July of 2016 I came across this video. In the video, Graham Sherman, co-founder of Tool Shed Brewing, talks about craft beer being locked out of the Calgary Stampede and why that’s a bad thing and must change. Some unkind thoughts about brewglomerates and Stampede organizers may have been thunked by me. I wholeheartedly agree with Graham; Alberta craft beer must be present at one of Alberta’s premier events.
  2. Reacting to the news that I was going to spend a weekend in Calgary (I used to live in the Edmonton area) to take a tour of Village Brewery, my former spouse remarked “I hope you can make money with this.” or something to that effect. And I thought, “why not?”
  3. As a result of #2, I started contacting all the then active craft brewers in Alberta to offer my services (I’m an IT-type, management type consultant). I also contacted some brewery management software developers. As of this writing, I am not employed in the craft beer industry, nor do I have any clients in said industry. I remain, however, undaunted.

So, those three things combined and made me want to go to work in craft beer. I really have no idea what I’d do, I just know that I feel compelled to find something. In the meantime, I’m going to participate how and when I can, and hopefully bring something meaningful to the table.

For those of you reading this that are beer drinkers, please go and try something from your local craft brewers. The beer’s probably pretty tasty and your community benefits. And for those of you in Alberta, consider signing up as a CAMRA Alberta member and supporting the craft beer industry. In return, you’ll enjoy discounts at local breweries, bars, and restaurants, and you’ll be supporting local businesses and charities. Look, I’ve even included a handy link that takes you right to the signup page. If you’re a partner / sponsor candidate, I have a link for you, too. And it’s a sweet deal.

I love craft beer and I’m enamoured of the industry, so I’ve decided to contribute. However, I can’t do this alone. The CAMRA Executive is made up of a bunch of very talented, generous people. We’ve also been lucky to have a wonderful President the last three years, and I’ve got some pretty big boots to fill. So, I’m also taking this opportunity to thank Natasha and wish her all the best on her journey (hint: it involves beer).

If you (anyone in the Alberta craft beer community) have comments, suggestions, complaints, related to how CAMRA Alberta serves the industry, or if you want to invite us for a pint, please reach out and let us know. We really are here for you guys.

Cheers!

Chris

president@camraalberta.com

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