Best of Kin Brewery donates beer proceeds to Wellspring
Kin is top of mind at the family inspired ‘Best of Kin Social’ in Calgary’s Sunalta, where a couple of brothers and a best friend paired their passion for beer brewing with excellent food, and elevated community spirit to a whole new level.
“The name is literal in that my brother and I built this brand as a sort of tribute to our late father, but in another sense ‘kin’ is about anyone you choose as family, and that includes friends, coworkers, neighbours,” said Ryan Mortson. “We wanted to recreate that inclusive welcoming atmosphere that we were lucky to grow up with.”
The Mortson brothers first began brewing beer in their garage as a weekend hobby. Their goal in those days was simple: hang out, have fun, make good brew. When the beer kept getting better, Collin took an added interest and left his consulting career to pursue a master’s degree in brewing and distilling at Harriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. With a business plan in the wings, the brothers were moved to accelerate their dreams when they lost their father to pancreatic cancer.
“It was one of those moments where you say ‘life is too short,’ and you put a plan in place to follow your dreams,” said Ryan.
The brothers go on to share that the early business model had some challenges, but when their good friend Cole Glendinning pitched the idea of adding a food component, Best of Kin acquired another brother and business partner, and Cole’s specialty as a chef helped put the business on a new track.
With teamwork and persistence, the entrepreneurs seem to have found their niche, not just with great beer and amazing eats, but also with clever branding that’s hitting the mark.
“Our ‘Dad’ beer is exactly what it sounds like. It’s based on the beer our dad would always have stocked in the fridge. I took that beer and tried to refine it to reflect something our dad would have loved,” said Collin.
Appropriately, the ‘Dad Beer’ is the lagered ale that the brothers have designated as their selling product with some proceeds being donated Wellspring. Since the brothers lost their father in the month of November, they have decided that for the last two weeks of this month, for every pint of Dad Beer they sell, they will donate $1 to Wellspring, as well as $2 from every 6 pack of Dad Beer sold as off sales from the taproom.
“We wanted to join forces with a local cancer support organization and bring awareness to cancer that affects so many,” said Ryan. “Wellspring is a good choice, as their values of community and inclusion very much align with ours.”
Along with the Mortson brothers losing their dad to cancer, Ryan shares that he himself had a brush with melanoma a few years ago, and Cole also shares that his mom survived uterine cancer. All agreed that cancer is prevalent and they know many who have been affected, including some chosen ‘kin’ from their large group network.
Fortunately, in the case of this family enterprise, the path that includes heartache takes a detour that is fun and uplifting.
“We wanted Best of Kin to be a great gathering spot where everyone is welcome and everyone belongs,” said Ryan. Indeed, this phrase is echoed in the mission and vision of Wellspring.
Well done Gentlemen!
Proud to be “kin”! Good job guys!
Great to hear of the success of Best of Kin. Way to go guys. Remembering your Dad too. Your parents did a wonderful job. Hugs Mary and Wes
What a great story. Looking forward to checking out Best of Kin and trying the DAD beer. Wonderful!! Thanks so much for supporting Wellspring… you are far more appreciated than you know. THANK YOU.
I can only say how significantly proud your Dad
Is watching you put your plan together and succeed as you have. He is beaming with pride
as are we.