A quartet of Airdrie breweries have teamed up to prepare a custom-made pint that not only tastes great but pays homage to the city it comes from.
The new brew is dubbed ‘Next 4 Exits’ – a play on both the number of local breweries in Airdrie and the soon-to-be numbers of highway exits in the community.
The joint effort follows last year’s ‘Next 3 Exits’ collaboration between local breweries 948 Brewing Co., Fitzsimmons Brewing Co., and Balzac Craft Brewing Co. In 2021, the trio teamed up to brew a double IPA that was sold in each of their establishments.
The idea was highly popular among the local craft brew drinking community, according to Kyle Wudrich, co-founder of 948 Brewing. He said the batch was sold out in only a few weeks.
“It was pretty awesome to have the community support us over the last couple of years that have been pretty crazy,” he said. “And then being able to get together finally and brew a beer together – it was just incredible.
“It’s just neat how we’re able to work together and continue to grow the beer culture in Airdrie and give back to our community.”
A year after that successful experiment, Wudrich said the breweries decided to band together once again this year to show the community what they had accomplished and what they could do.
The project widened to include the latest brewpub to set up shop in Airdrie – Atlas Brewing Co., which opened recently in Kingsview Market.
“Lucky for us, they started building the fourth overpass for traffic [in Airdrie] so we wanted to incorporate more of what the City is doing and include Atlas and create another style of beer and have some fun and welcome Atlas to the brewing community,” Wudrich said.
He added the ‘Next 4 Exits’ beer was released to the public on July 1, and has since been extremely popular with each brewery's patrons. He said the beer will only be available while supplies last.
“We’re about halfway through our first keg already and we’ve sold through a couple of flats,” he said in an interview last week, adding each brewery got 24 flats to share with their customers. “We’re moving through those fairly quickly so you can find the beer at any of the breweries. I’m pretty sure everybody’s got it on tap right now as well.”
Staff from Fitzsimmons Brewing described the new brew as a “fruited saison” with hints of “peach, mango, and apricots.”
Looking forward, Wudrich said the breweries are hoping to collaborate again next year, including yet another up-and-coming brewery, Solutions Brewery.
“Hopefully next year if they get up and running [in their own space] we’ll look at doing another version,” he said. “We want to keep collaborating and working together and growing Airdrie beer.”
He added the team may have to rework the name next year, as it doesn’t look likely a fifth highway overpass will be coming to Airdrie anytime soon.
“Unless they build another overpass next year, we might have to figure out a different name if there's five of us – we might have to rework that a bit,” he said with a laugh.