meet the fam
Our journey began around the family dinner table in 2011. As siblings, we knew we wanted to create a company in Cochrane that we could all be a part of, however; our egos clashed when it came to what that company would be. Ideas such as a bakery and cheese factory were put into the list of contenders (I mean, who doesn’t love cheese!) but it wasn’t until Kyle suggested microbrewery that all our interests were peaked. Fast forward through a few years of blood, sweat and tears and we were officially brewing beer and offering delicious bites in our very own microbrewery and restaurant called Half Hitch Brewing Company. With the left over grain from brewing beer, we created The Mash – our newest baby! We take our spent grain and turn it into uniquely flavourful pizza dough that pairs perfectly with Half Hitch pints. To stay true to our slogan: Brewed by Family, Shared with Friends… we aim to create a space where those who enter feel at home. Thank you for being a part of our community!
The Mash encompasses a full-circle approach, emphasizing the upcycling of products in a way that reduces waste and allows for second chances of used components. With upcycling and repurposing we reduce the need for production that requires massive amounts of energy, resources, and pollution, and in turn, we minimize landfill gasses that are harmful to the environment. We enjoy getting creative with old and vintage furniture and incorporating it into our restaurants, making it a unique and comfortable space that our guests can feel good about when they dine at The Mash.
Let’s talk about brewing, baby. Crushed malted barley (and in the case of Papa Bear: barley, wheat, rye and oats) is mixed with hot water to convert the starch into sugar. The grain is separated out and the liquid becomes the brewing water, which is then boiled, flavoured with hops and fermented to become the liquid of the gods. The end.
Oh yeah, one little thing: that grain that was separated out accounts for about 85% of the total brewing byproduct, and in our case, roughly 2 tonnes of grain each time we brew. Lucky for us we now have a handful of kick-ass ranchers that we partner with, so our grain feeds local bison, cattle and chicken, but giving it away to farmers is not always easy. Many breweries in North America are not accessible to farmers and unfortunately find themselves dumping their grain in landfills.
Using spent grain to make our pizza dough allows for a unique and flavourful crust - it's a little sweet, crispy, and fluffy and it makes an incredible base for our chef-curated pizza flavours. There is nothing else like it.