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Bearhill Brewing gives First Call second run

First responders Fire chief Mathew Conte and lieutenant Kelly Dawson raise a can of First Call with Jasper Brewing Co.’s general manager Justin Melnyk and the brewpub’s head brewer, Spike Baker. | J.Stockfish photo

Jason Stockfish |

Bearhill Brewing Co. is once again releasing First Call in honour of first responders in the province and to raise money for local charities.

First brewed in 2021, the Alberta company decided to create a beer in support of those who are people’s ‘first call’ when an emergency arises.

“Inspired by the difficulties faced every day by first responders, only intensified by the global pandemic, the breweries wanted to show their gratitude for the tireless work and invaluable impact these individuals have on our communities,” reads a press release from Bearhill. 

The four breweries that make up Bearhill—Last Best Brewing & Distilling, Campio Brewing Co., Banff Ave Brewing Co. and Jasper Brewing Co.—are each brewing their own batches of the beer.

“The ultimate goal is to partner with a community group (and) donate some money back to the community,” said Justin Melnyk, general manager of Jasper Brewing Co.

“The community is a big supporter of ours, and we want to support the community.” 

Melnyk added that the initiative is a fun way to introduce people to different beers while raising money for a great cause.

A portion of every sale of First Call will be donated to charities serving first responders in Alberta, with $1 from every four-pack going directly to Legacy Place Society, an emotional support service for first responders.

In addition to raising money from beer sales at liquor outlets throughout the province, a portion of the proceeds from draught beer sales at each brewpub will be donated to a local charity in each community involved. 

The Jasper Brewing Co. has partnered with the Jasper Crisis Team for the initiative.

One dollar from every First Call draught sold at the Jasper Brewing Co. will be donated to the local non-profit.

After selling out of the product in the first few days of its release last year, the four breweries doubled their recipes for 2022.

Around 750 litres of the craft beer have been brewed at Jasper Brewing Co., which is the equivalent of 1,400-1,500 draught pints, Melnyk said.

First Call is available on tap for a limited time at each brewery, and liquor stores throughout the province are carrying the product while supplies last.

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