An award-winning micro-brewery in Diamond Valley, Alberta, has big plans on tap after clearing a major hurdle.
With a five-acre lot now in the hands of Brauerei Fahr, signage was unveiled on February 2 on Decalta Drive where the new facility will be built.
“Today is a great day,” said Jochen Fahr, the brewery's proprietor and namesake, following the sign unveiling. “Finalizing the land purchase is a huge step forward, albeit just the starter pistol going off.”
Now Fahr is off to the races developing the proposed 25,000-square-foot facility, expected to cost between $4 million to $6 million, on the plot purchased from the Town of Turner Valley, before it amalgamated with Diamond Valley.
Plans include a restaurant and events space, as well as a second-floor patio facing west toward the mountains.
“I’ve been looking at more of a German-style restaurant, essentially elevated German street food, then of course a much-improved production facility,” Fahr said. “The goal is still mainly manufacturing.”
More capacity means more employment, with Fahr estimating they will add 20 to 30 new jobs to the existing team of 11.
The brewery first filled its tanks in October 2017, leasing a 5,000 square-foot building along Kennedy Drive in what was then Turner Valley, turning out its authentic German-styled beers.
It wasn’t long after the brewery filled its original facility to the brim.
For the past two years running, the brewer also held a wildly popular Oktoberfest event.
Despite the lack of elbow room, Fahr’s stein has runneth over with provincial, national, and international accolades.
In 2019, its flagship Hefe took the Canadian title of the World Beer Awards and the brewer captured the 2020 World Beer Awards for Best Bavarian-Style Hefeweisse, as well as Canada titles for his Pilsener and Copper Lager.
The success is a far cry from the proprietor’s humble beginnings, growing up in Ebringen, Germany, a town of 300.
Arriving in Canada more than 10 years ago, he got his master’s degree in medical science at the University of Calgary, followed by a PhD in biomedical engineering.
Turner Valley Council voted unanimously to rezone the five acres of municipal reserve lands in 2021.
Now across one finish line, the brewer begins another race, with a goal of getting shovels in the ground this summer.
“Now it’s really on, financing, planning, and I have a firm deadline the town gave me,” said Fahr, adding he is confident he can attract the required investment.
Having sat on Turner Valley, and now Diamond Valley councils, Mayor Barry Crane is happy to see the project go forward.
“This just seems to fit perfectly with the attraction and day tripping we want out of tourism,” Crane said.