New Airdrie Business: Thumbprint Craft Beer
Turning on the “we’re open” sign for the first time on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, Thumbprint Craft Beer Market, located at Creekside Village (8th Street and Railway Avenue), is the first specialty craft beer store in Western Canada. Thumbprint offers over 400 varieties of beer – sold in bottles, cans, and growlers that are filled via an 8-tap growler bar system – and a small selection of craft ciders.
Store owner, Kara Fulton, says that her decision to open Thumbprint was an easy one. She became a beer enthusiast a few years ago, and recognized a gap in the market in Airdrie. She often had to travel outside of Airdrie to find a selection that suited her tastes, so with some advice from her late father, Thumbprint Craft Beer Market was born. Kara truly believes that there is a beer for everyone, and her and her staff are ready to take on the challenge of turning beer likers into craft beer lovers. Kara and her six staff stand by their belief that there is a beer for everyone by breaking away from the norm and selling single cans bottles of beer – allowing their customers to explore a variety of beers without “committing to a whole six pack.”
So, what sets Thumbprint apart from other liquor stores? Firstly, they strictly sell craft beer and cider – you will not find macro-produced products at Thumbprint (sorry, Budweiser lovers!). Secondly, they do not sell liquors or other alcohol-based products. Finally, Thumbprint provides an environment for learning and sharing in conversation about craft beer. Since opening, there are consistently a handful of beer enthusiasts, beer rookies, and everyone in between, in the store sharing in conversation about their favourite beer styles, helping one another choose the perfect beer, and expressing their excitement that Kara decided to open her shop in their home community.
Kara says that her favourite thing about owning a business is being able to chat with the community, and to be able to bring profit and employment opportunities into the community. Kara’s love for Airdrie shines through, and she is so happy to be able to share that with others as she travels to a variety of communities around Canada and the United States doing “beer research.”
With early success in Airdrie, Kara’s long range plans are to potentially open up shop in another location in the next five years.
When asked what the biggest challenge she has faced as a business owner, Kara said the process of opening was challenging. The permitting process and construction pushed Kara’s anticipated opening date back, but in the end, she says the challenges were worth it.
If you want to learn more about Thumbprint Craft Beer Market, you can visit them at 6112, 403 Mackenzie Way SW, or check them out on one of their many social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Untappd.