Subscriber Exclusive

Breakout Brewer: Calgary’s The Establishment Bursts at the Seams

Three years after opening in Calgary, The Establishment has ridden its mixed-culture creations to the height of respect in Canada’s beer scene—winning medals, winning fans, and running out of room.

Scott Messenger Mar 28, 2022 - 12 min read

Breakout Brewer: Calgary’s The Establishment Bursts at the Seams Primary Image

Photo: Curiocity Calgary

One day, Mike Foniok would love to have a coolship. It would be a logical next step in the former mechanical engineer’s obsession that began with getting into homebrewing more than a decade ago.

However, that coolship installation won’t happen soon, as he and his team are too busy adjusting to the success they’ve had since opening in January 2019. Anyway, there’s nowhere to put it. The Establishment, in an industrial zone in Calgary, Alberta, has become like a very healthy starter culture: a dense state of organized chaos.

Like many breweries, The Establishment is built as a reverse mullet: The party’s up front in a tidy, warmly lit taproom featuring clean lines and natural wood; the business is in back, where a narrow, labyrinthine path radiates from a 15-hectoliter (12.5-barrel) brewhouse to two rows of conical fermentors, a canning system, some stray kegs, stacks of empty cans reaching toward the 17-foot ceiling, and a garage-sized walk-in stuffed with cold, packaged beer for shipping across Alberta.

Make & Drink Better Beer

Subscribe today to access all of the premium brewing content available (including this article). With thousands of reviews, our subscribers call it "the perfect beer magazine" and "worth every penny." Your subscription is protected by a 100% money back guarantee.