22 August 2014

RIP—and thanks for the beer, Ed

The inventor of my favourite beer died this week. Ed McNally, former lawyer and barley farmer, who founded Big Rock Breweries in 1985 and introduced Traditional Ale (Trad to us aficionados), the world's finest beer, a year later.

Ed was a pioneer in craft beer. Unimpressed by the pale, fizzy, lagers mass-produced by the major breweries, he decided to exploit Alberta's barley and glacial waters to make traditional European-style beer without additives, preservatives or pasteurization. The result was Big Rock Breweries, now the largest and longest-running independently-owned craft brewery in Canada.

Much more than an entrepreneur, Ed was also a philanthropist and will be missed by Calgary's arts community, of which he was a strong supporter. He was a member of the Order of Canada and has been inducted into the Calgary Business Hall of Fame.

If there was a heaven and God liked his beer, no doubt the two would be having a pint as we speak. Cheers!

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