Blake Enemark has been working in the brewing industry for the last ten years, beginning his career at Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto during their reign as Canadian Brewery of the Year in 2013 and 2014. He moved to Calgary in 2016 and worked at Last Best Brewing where he helped develop Tokyo Drift, one of Alberta’s most popular IPAs, before returning to Toronto to apprentice under Luc “Bim” Lafontaine at Godspeed Brewery. Blake has been the head brewer at Tailgunner in Calgary since 2020 and spends most of his time focusing on brewing traditional lager beers. He was invited to speak at the 2021 Central European Brewer’s Conference in Budapest, the 2022 Alberta Craft Brewing Convention, and the 2023 Club Management Association of Canada’s AGM. Blake has also made an appearance on the world-renowned podcast Good Beer Hunting to talk about the intersection between music and beer.
What made you want to become a brewer?
“Before I was a brewer I was a musician, and one of my jobs in between tours was at a liquor store in my hometown of Victoria, BC. We had hundreds of craft beers and I cycled through them all before a regular at the shop invited me to brew a beer with him at his house. I fell in love with the whole process right away.”
Why do you use Alberta ingredients in your brews?
“I believe it’s important to highlight what local farmers and maltsters are doing in our backyard—one of my favourite things to point out to out-of-town visitors is the fact that Canada Malting’s production plant is pretty much right in Calgary’s urban core!”
What is your favourite Alberta ingredient to use?
“Highwood Crossing’s Organic Rolled Oat Flakes—they’re delicious, we use them in our core hazy pale ale, Dame Dorthey, and I always grab a few handfuls to munch on while we’re mashing in.”
What brew should guests be sure to try on your menu?
“Dame Dorthey Hazy Pale Ale—it uses 100% Alberta grains from suppliers like Canada Malting, Highwood Crossing, and Red Shed Malting.”
What is a favourite brewing memory?
“Probably the first time we did a triple decoction mash here at Tailgunner for the first batch of Linton Stephenson Czech Pilsner—I had to take everything I knew about brewing up until that point and throw it out the window. It was a real thrill.”
Why do you take part in Alberta on the Plate?
“I think it’s important to recognize that breweries can be a part of the local agriculture ecosystem just as much as restaurants.”