Dog Island Brewing facing new version of old problem

If you brew it, they will come and buy it

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Back when Dog Island Brewing of Slave Lake was in its starting-out period, the news was always the same: people love our stuff, but we just can’t make enough of it to keep up.

The answer to that dilemma was to purchase and set up a brewery with 10 times the capacity. That done and in production for the past three or four months, how are things going?

“We can’t keep up!” says Ben Fiddler, who runs the brewery with his partner Chad Paulson. “We knew it would happen; just not this fast.”

Apparently people really like the stuff. An example; Boston Pizza manager Tyler Warman picked up “a couple of flats” of canned DIB raspberry beer, says Fiddler, telling them he wasn’t sure how it would go over.

“A couple hours later he called and said, ‘I need some more.’”
Warman’s version is a bit different, but not in the essentials.

“It’s selling faster than I thought it would,” he says. “They just can’t make enough of it.”

As for the DIB tap room, it’s still only open one afternoon a week, which is Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. And it is very crowded in there.
“We are doing something about that, but I can’t tell you what it is,” says Fiddler.

They are also planning on upping their capacity even further, by improving the canning line and maybe adding fermenters to the process. The entrepreneurial pair are also still looking for ideas.

“Chad and I are going on a research and development trip to Vancouver,” says Fiddler.

That’ll be after they make a presentation on entrepreneurism to a women’s wellness retreat in Whitecourt.

“That should be fun,” he says.

In other local brew news, Dog Island won a bronze medal at the 2018 Alberta Beer Awards, for its 9 Mile Session Ale. The award was announced at the ‘Oscars style’ ceremony in Calgary on March 15, put on by the Alberta Small Brewers Association.

Gurus of brew

Ben Fiddler and Chad Paulson, proprietors of Dog Island Brewing Company, cooling off in the DIB cooler, surrounded by suds in kegs and in cans.

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