October 24th, 2020

Coulee Brew divides to conquer


By Mabell, Dave on December 12, 2019.

Herald file photo by Ian Martens Workers attempt to lift a new 90-hectoliter fermentation tank into place back in 2018 at the Coulee Brewing Co. The brewery and the renamed Coulee Taproom restaurant are now being run as two separate entities. @IMartensHerald

Dave Mabell

Lethbridge Herald

dmabell@lethbridgeherald.com

Coulee Brew products will continue to be produced and served. And the renamed Coulee Taproom is continuing to offer popular food and drinks.

But the business is now being run as two separate entities, says the chief executive officer of the Coulee Brew Co.

In a public statement, Esmarilin Rauda says the “internal business separation” will allow for “new opportunities” for both the restaurant and the brewing operation.

It was the brewery’s size that became a problem, she indicates. It’s rated at a capacity of 30 hectolitres, and occupies a large part of the 21,000-square-foot building.

“The sheer size of the overall facility, mainly the brewery, is still putting negative financial pressure on the desired outcome,” Rauda explains. “But we feel we know the steps that have to be taken to resolve this.”

The Coulee Brew Co. came to a crossroads in May 2018, she says, so it reached out for management expertise to the Lethbridge-based Epiphany Group. That October, the company came to an agreement that the Epiphany Group would take control of the Coulee operations, land and building through an equity offering.

“The original shareholder group of both the brewery and the restaurant would remain intact but would not be involved in the operational aspect going forward,” she says.

In the year since, she adds, “there has been a focus on the success of both the brewery and restaurant operations.”

Coulee Brew Co. products continue to be produced there, an Epiphany Group spokesperson confirms.

Operation of the all-ages restaurant and pub is now managed by Scott Crighton, a founder of the Pop’s Pub group and the brewery. Located in the middle of a group of limited-amenity hotels, it’s the area’s only full-service restaurant and lounge.

Rauda says Coulee Brew varieties continue to be served there and at a number of pubs across the city.

“And Coulee Brew Co. beer is still for sale at liquor stores near you.”

As a seasonal offering, she says, there’s now a “Marry Mix” package available at the Coulee Taproom, including Milk River Stout, Pop This Cherry Ale and Brewed Awakening Coffee Porter.

“We care about our customers who support us, and our goal remains to provide you with a great Coulee Brew Co. product and experience well into the future.”

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