Welcome to the first edition of Hello Neighbour, a blog series that shines the spotlight on your favourite Downtown Saskatoon businesses!
Today we’ve got Stuart and Sarah from Shelter Brewing Co. in the hot seat. Let’s fire a few questions at them and get to know the driving force behind Shelter!
Q: Tell us a bit about Shelter!
A: We are a nano brewery and we opened in November 2018. It happened pretty organically in that we both felt we could build a brewery our way and to fit our vibes. After Stuart graduated from the Olds College Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program in 2015, we decided it was time to give it a shot.
Q: Why Downtown Saskatoon?
A: It was never our intention to be a manufacturing style brewery, so we had a little freedom in that we could choose to be Downtown with a more taproom-centric model. We chose Downtown because we wanted a central and vibrant location!
Q: How did you come up with your business name?
A: Our business name came from a brainstorm session we had with some friends. Stuart and I knew the vibe we wanted to put out into the community. The name Shelter encompassed the idea that the taproom be warm and welcoming, but also that you can take shelter with you and enjoy a brew wherever you “take shelter” – for us that means around the fire with pals or camping around northern SK.
Q: How is your business coping with the pandemic and how can people support you best?
A: It’s obviously been a big change and like a lot of other businesses, we’ve shifted and made hard decisions. We’ve also had the privilege of unwavering support from this rad community we get to be a part of, even through all the hiccups of turning our taproom-centric model into a canning line/takeout and delivery joint. We don’t take that support for granted! If and when possible, we always encourage the support of small local businesses.
Q: What’s a day in the life of Stuart + Sarah?
A: Our days are always different. We brew, we come up with beer ideas, we get in our car on Friday nights and do Beer Delivery – because no one was kidding when they said owning a small business means you do it all. You just go with it. It’s fun, and it’s hard, and it’s lots of work, but we get to do what we dig and share it with other people.
Q: What would shock people about Shelter?
A: We are super tiny! We have a 1.5bbl system – but we make it work. It’s kind of wild what can be done with such a small set up. Because we are so tiny we also get to come out with new beers almost weekly, so there’s almost always something new to try on tap.
Q: What is Shelter’s greatest success so far?
A: …getting people stoked on a cucumber gose – it’s essentially a pickle in beer form and we juiced a bunch of cucumbers for it! We just like to make good brews and have fun with it.
Hello Neighbour is a new Downtown Saskatoon initiative. This blog series shines the spotlight on the people in our district – because it’s them who make it all happen! This #PlaceToBelong is a welcoming community. Get to know more of the members here.