Earls Kitchen + Bar has announce Central City Brewing, best known for their “Red Racer” beers, as the newest brewery to take over brewing the restaurants’ historic “Rhino” house beer in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, while Muskoka Brewery continues to brew the Rhino beers for Ontario.
Long before anyone had ever heard of craft beer, Earls made it a priority to offer craft beers and support small local breweries by offering them the house beer taps in their restaurants becoming the first restaurant in Canada to offer draft beer in 1984. It’s a relationship that has spanned over 30 years and included nine different breweries across B.C., Alberta and Ontario.
When the family-owned restaurant group opened its first location in Edmonton in 1982 only “beer parlours” and bars carried draft beer, and only the big breweries offered it. Back then Earls was breaking ground with made-to-order gourmet burgers and fresh, made from scratch menu items. They wanted their beer to reflect that fresh taste. With just one restaurant, Earls was the little guy in 1982, and they wanted to support the other little guy; family owned like they were
Many of the breweries grew in size, often, in part, thanks to Earls own expansion. In some cases their success meant larger breweries bought them out. Each time this happened Earls went back to looking for a family-owned brewery, their mandate always to support the craft brewers and ensure their flavour profile wasn’t compromised by big brewing techniques.