The Fernie Brewing Company has undergone an expansion this past year, nearly doubling its capacity at its Dicken Road microbrewery. It’s the kind of underdog success story to warm a beer lover’s heart.

Started in 2002, the Fernie Brewing Company revived Fernie’s longtime history of producing great beer with the launch of their first product, Fernie Pale Ale, later renamed Griz Pale Ale, in honour of Fernie’s legendary mountain man, The Griz.

The microbrewery soon followed up with a second product just in time for summer, their lighter brew, Legendary Lager.  And this fall, they generated a good deal of excitement with their third product, First Trax Brown Ale, a distinctive nutty brown ale full of flavour. To date, it’s their best selling product.

“From 2003 to 2004, we saw an 80% increase in sales overall,” says Murray Pask, Fernie Brewing Company. “As a result, we’ve added two more fermentation tanks and doubled our production capacity.”

The growth is necessary, now that Fernie Brewing Company beer is being sold throughout the Canadian Rockies, from Kicking Horse in Golden, to Panorama, to Kimberley and of course at Fernie Alpine Resort.

“First Trax is definitely our best seller,” adds Pask. No doubt this appeal is helped by a name that is synonymous with skiing in Canada’s powder playground.

The company now has their sites set on the Alberta market, and hopes to move into Calgary and Lethbridge in the near future; by next winter, if all goes to plan, their will be six packs of Fernie Brewing Company beer available on liquor store shelves.

Fernie Brewing Company products are available in bars, restaurants, and retail liquor outlets throughout Fernie, the Elk Valley, and on tap at participating mountain resorts.

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