Strathmore (Rural Roots Canada) – The latest creation out of Origin Malting and Brewing in Strathmore has a distinct hockey flavour to it.
The Sutter Six Shooters Lager, named after the famous six Sutter brothers who played in the NHL, is brewed with Alberta-grown barley from Hilton Ventures.
Four-time Stanley Cup winner Duane Sutter says work on the lager started last July after the Sutter family decided they needed to find a new funding initiative for the Sutter Fund after 25 years of holding golf tournaments.
“We’ve donated money all over central Alberta and anyone who is in desperate need,” says Sutter in reference to the millions of dollars the fund has distributed to those in need.
He says the new partnership between their non-profit charity and Origin was a natural fit.
Hilton Ventures has seen five generations of the Hilton family grow crops in the Strathmore area, steadily growing in size over the years.
They started Origin Malting and Brewing in 2017 after they saw an opportunity to get more value out of the barley they were growing.
And while the Hiltons may only have had the brewery for seven years, they have been growing barley for over 60.
Sterling Hilton, who serves as a director of Hilton Ventures and president of Origin Malting and Brewing, says they have taken a lot of pride in the fact they get to grow it near the Rocky Mountains, where the cooler evenings are conducive to top-quality malt.
He says there have been a lot of lessons learned and rewards since they moved forward with adding a customer-based business to their primary agriculture operation.
“We look for different opportunities to try to give back to local communities, given our rural roots.”
He says this is why a partnership with the Sutter Fund made so much sense.
“When we had this opportunity with the Sutters to do a beer that would help with proceeds going back to the Sutter fund, which gives back to a lot of community initiatives, that was just a very easy transition for us to say, yeah, let’s do this together and have some fun doing it,” says Hilton.
He adds the fact that both have a long history in agriculture only added to that.
The natural partnership fit is not lost on the Sutters either. Sutter says the two families have a lot in common, which made it easier for both sides to come to a consensus on what should be brewed.
“We decided to do some kind of beer that would appease a bigger crowd, like a grassroots crowd,” says Sutter.
He adds Origin did a great job brewing it.
A percentage of the sales of the lager will go to the fund so they can distribute it to charities and non-profits.
One thing clear from the conversations with both Sutter and Hilton is that they have a lot of excitement about the potential this lager has for helping various charities and causes through the Sutter Fund.