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St. Patrick's Day, 1893

by Christine Hayes - 0 Comment(s)

PC 1376

Calgary Brewing and Malting Co.

Postcards from the Past, PC 1376

The Calgary Brewing and Malting Company was founded in 1892 by A.E. Cross and his partners. It was just outside of the outskirts of the city on land that Cross had purchased from his father-in-law, Colonel James Walker. The property had a river fed aquifer giving it great water (as we know, "it's the water..." that makes a great beer!) and it also had access to the rail line. The brewery was such an important part of the community, providing jobs for many people, that the residential area that grew up around it was known as Brewery Flats.

Brewing began on March 9, 1893. A story has come down to us regarding the first batch of beer brewed on the site. As the tale is told, a group of gentlemen of the Celtic persuasion, frantic to procure libations for their St. Patrick's Day festivities, stormed the new brewery trying to persuade Cross to give them some of the new brew. The fact that the ale was still "green" did not deter them and much of the town spent the next day suffering the ill effects. Is this, perhaps, the origin of the green beer tradition in Calgary?

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