Local brewery collaborates to create cider that supports charity

Story by Stacie Gaetz


Photos by Sergei Belski

The Balzac Craft Brewing Company has partnered with a number of Calgary businesses to create a delicious and meaningful cider.

Balzac Brewing, SunnyCider and Field and Forge Brewing Co. have come together with a number of other partners to create a cherry vanilla cider called Courage. Fifty cents from each can will go to support The Alex Community Health Centre – a hub for vulnerable Calgarians.

“We believe that supporting worthwhile causes for the community at large is a must,” said Stew Ward, owner of Balzac Brewing.

“We did this same thing by making a specialty beer for Airdrie Dads in support of the Airdrie Food Bank and for the Alberta Winter Games, so to do this for one of our industry partners for their chosen organization was a natural choice.”

The cider recipe was developed by Balzac Brewing’s Brewmaster Thecla Wiart in collaboration with Sunny Cider. According to Ward, infusing the vanilla was Wiart’s idea, which has proved to be very popular.

The Courage campaign is a collaboration among creative businesses of all kinds from Alberta and is based on the belief that during challenging times like these, we are called to be courageous together.

“We’re all in this storm together. We wanted to collaborate with all the businesses in our supply chain and this was the best way we felt we could contribute to the part of our community that is most vulnerable,” said Tim Kitchen, owner of SunnyCider.

The cherries were sourced from Pearson’s Berry Farm, the branding and cider labels were designed by Clarke Studio, the labels were printed by Mountain View Printing & Graphic and the canning was done by Field and Forge. PARKER PR and Locke Stock Creative offered their support as well.

Courage cider is available at the partnering breweries (SunnyCider, Balzac Craft Brewing Company and Hard Knox Brewery) and at more than 50 liquor stores across Southern Alberta as of May 15. Proceeds from the campaign will be donated to The Alex, including the sales of merchandise that will be available at

Since 1973, The Alex has provided thoughtful, comprehensive care to vulnerable Calgarians. With clinical and social components in many programs, The Alex tackles tough health and social issues head-on by moving people from poverty to stability and from crisis to wellness.

“The Alex is excited to be the chosen charity for this campaign,” said Joy Bowen-Eyre, CEO of The Alex.

“The message of community resilience, courage, and connection resonates with The Alex, as these are integral elements of our health, housing and community programs. We see examples of courage every day, in both our front-line staff and the community members who come to The Alex to take the first steps towards healthier futures. Now more than ever, we all have to help each other, and SunnyCider’s initiative is a great reminder that good things happen when we come together as a community.”

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