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.