Big year for Big Rock - Metro US

Big year for Big Rock

Celebrating 25 years of brewing, staff of Big Rock raised a pint Thursday to the city where it all began.

The company marked the milestone by piling staff into buses and driving to various pubs across the city to buy a pint of Big Rock for unsuspecting Calgarians.

While the company has grown since 1985, when Ed McNally, now 85, began the brewery, Big Rock has retained the same philosophy, according to the first salesman.

“It’s difficult to describe it, thinking back now, because as you can well imagine in the last 25 years I’ve probably consumed a few Traditionals in my time,” said Alastair Smart.

“What I loved about it was nobody knew who we were, nobody had heard of us.”

Now, 25 years later, Big Rock has expanded into the bars across the city and Canada.

“I can remember when we had two or three accounts, and now we’re in the thousands,” said Smart.

Brewmaster Paul Gautreau became the seventh employee on the Big Rock team nearly 25 years ago when he began stacking bottles on pallets.

“There are some important things that haven’t changed,” said Gautreau.

“The culture in the plant is the same, exactly the same.”

He said the beer is brewed in the same fashion, just in bigger batches.

President of Big Rock Bill McKenzie said there’s no other job he would rather have.

“This is my dream job,” said McKenzie.

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