Chris Nowlan

Chris Nowlan

Chris Nowlan is the co-founder of InnerCity Brewing in Calgary, Alberta. What began as a home brewing venture is now a thriving business that keeps him on his feet—and on his toes.

Chris Nowlan is the co-founder of InnerCity Brewing in Calgary, Alberta.

“I’d ask my friends their opinions about the beer I was making, but their feedback wasn’t very constructive. Free beer is good, no matter what!”

I really got into beer 20 years ago when I lived in London. It was like an epiphany to see all of the culture surrounding it. When I got back, I taught myself how to make craft beer at home while I was doing my MBA. I didn’t really know what to do when I finished my degree, so I tried to keep busy at home. One Saturday morning, I was frantically reorganizing the kitchen pantry and my wife said, “You need a hobby!”

Later that day I went out and bought better brew equipment and a bunch of books and I decided to learn how to make beer properly. My friends appreciated all of the free tastings, but I started taking part in competitions to get constructive feedback. In the first year, I ended up finishing in the top three.

The next year, my wife jokingly said, “If you’re the best in the country, I’ll let you open a brewery.” And, sure enough, I was named Brewer of the Year in 2016-2017!

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