Craft Beer Spotlight Series: Marcus Brais

The Alberta craft beer scene is growing; I think that’s pretty obvious. There are many reasons for this growth spurt. One that pops to mind is the passionate people who have been working to nurture this growth. It is for this reason that I would like to have a series of articles showcasing some of these individuals. First up is Beer Revolution‘s Marcus Brais.

The Start of a Long Friendship

Marcus Brais at Beer Revolution

Here’s the man of the hour.

Marcus started working in the industry about 8 years ago. At that time he was managing at 1410 World Bier Haus.

Anyone who has been to World Bier Haus knows that they have a wide selection of European beers. Having the opportunity to sample various beer styles from so many places of origin will really open your eyes to just how diverse beer is. This is where his love affair with beer began.

Tasting beers was great but it was the stories behind them that really intrigued Marcus. He was fascinated by the process that produced the beverage resting in his glass. This thirst for knowledge drove him to seek out beer related books and attend brewery tours around the world. You know you’re hooked when you start planning your vacations around which breweries are in the area (Yes I do think that Portland breweries have much more to offer than the Dominican beaches, honey).

Beer Revolution

A few years ago Brewsters Brewing Company & Restaurant decided to open up a new craft beer focused bar in Calgary.

Beer Revolution

Just look for this sign when you are walking downtown next time.

This bar was going to be different from the others because it would feature 24 rotating taps. So the beer list would be different every time you chose to stop by. In fact, the beer selection can change multiple times in one day. Just watch the digital beer boards displaying all of the current beers on draught.

beer tap handles

Just some of the many tap handles that have been seen behind the bar at Beer Rev.

A Good Mix

Beer revolution’s philosophy on craft beer meshed well with Marcus. As a manager at Beer Rev, he has the ability to do more of what he loves. There are always people coming in from different breweries telling stories about the beer that they are representing. Plus he has the opportunity to go on more beer-cations in order to find inspiration for new beers to bring in.

Here are some things to note about Beer Revolution:

  1. They have no macros available there. So if you’re in the mood for “a cold one” you’ll have to settle for something a little different. The beautiful thing about Beer Rev is that the servers can guide you to something completely new but somewhat familiar as well. Who knows, you may enjoy it.
  2. Fridays are cask days! Every Friday at 5pm a fresh cask is tapped and will be available until it’s gone. Being owned by Brewsters gives them the opportunity to have some really cool ideas right at their fingertips.
  3. Beer education is an ongoing thing for someone that makes a career in this industry. At Beer Rev they have a beer education course for all of the workers. The idea is to start off with the basics: main ingredients in beer, the difference between ales & lagers and some of the general styles. Once they are more comfortable the more in-depth styles can be discussed.
    They developed a beer description system on the computer for the workers to refer to when customers ask about a specific beer that’s available. It states the beer’s origin, IBU, ABV and some basic tasting notes i.e. notes of citrus, pine & resin for a West Coast IPA. Having knowledgeable servers who are able to provide information like this to a customer is a major plus, as anyone who has ever inquired about a new beer can attest.
  4. Some of the best pizzas in town are made right there. I’m not joking, they are ridiculously good!
  5. If you like a wide mix of rock music playing in the background (at levels allowing you to converse) then you’ll dig their playlist. If you want something added to the soundtrack, just tweet it to them.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (to be read in your best David Bowie voice)

It’s really interesting when you ask someone like Marcus about the changes that he has seen over the years.

Craft Beer at Beer Revolution

Just look at that selection. You feel like having a beer now, don’t you? Photo courtesy of Rob Walker

KeyKegs were one of the changes that Marcus elaborated on. A key keg is a lighter and stackable keg that is meant for one-way usage. It is easier to transport than a regular keg, cheaper to ship and completely recyclable once it is empty. These have resulted in more breweries being able to ship their beer across the globe at a decent price.

Now you know why we are able to get such a diverse selection of beer on tap at places like Beer Rev.

Cheers Guys!

We’re living in some exciting times for craft beer lovers in Alberta. It is thanks to the hard work and dedication of guys like Marcus that we are riding so high right now. So next time you stop in at Beer Revolution raise your glass and send a “thanks for the beer” his way.

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