Business Profile: Atlas Brewing

Craft beer community fosters another legend

Four friends were struck with an idea in 2017 while sitting around a campfire, drinking craft beer from Classico spaghetti sauce jars.

“We should open a brewery,” recalled Mike Phipps.

They had just toured Dandy Brewing in Calgary, and Phipps and Craig Mauthe asked their friend, Michael Johnson what they should call the brewery they were building in their minds. Looking at his jar, he said, ‘Atlas Brewing,’ due to the brand stamped on his glass. The name struck their imaginations and inspired their logo to be the Titan holding a keg rather than the globe.

In 2019, they began contract brewing through Last Spike Brewery and selling to liquor stores, which proved to find demand for their beer. By October 2021, Phipps and Mauthe, along with three co-investors had taken the necessary steps to open Atlas Brewing in its Kingsview Market location.

“We got immense help from both 948 and Balzac [breweries],” said Phipps. “The questions we were able to throw at them and the answers we got back were invaluable.”

Some of the pub’s brewing equipment was purchased from 948 Brewing Company, along with the taps in front, which all originally came from Dandy in Calgary.

“The craft beer community is amazing,” said Phipps.

Atlas supported local businesses as best they could when building the brewery, and were impressed by the service from Minuteman Press and Sign Concepts.

With 12 beers on tap, and recipes for dozens more in Phipps’ catalogue from over 30 years of homebrewing, Atlas has something to pique everyone’s interest, including a cider using Johnson’s recipe and video-gaming moniker called Phule’s Gold.

“We have these recipes and these beers, and this is where we'd like to share them,” said Phipps of opening in Airdrie.

The chief operating officer and master brewer busily brews beer to his heart’s content, weaving in storylines from mythology.

“The worst day brewing is better than the best day at work,” said Phipps, noting the process of opening a business has been tough “but worth it.”

To learn more and taste test, visit the store at 2000 Market St., visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Story and photography by Britton Ledingham