First Indigenous brewery opens in Saskatchewan


Minihkwe Brewery, Saskatchewan’s first Indigenous brewery, is now officially open in Saskatoon. Located at the Sandman Signature on Lorne Avenue, the brewery kicked off its opening on Saturday with a prime rib dinner, live comedy, magic and a musical performance by Armond Duck Chief, a Juno award nominee.Owner KJ Bird said the idea for a brewery all started with something simple.“The way it started out was just over a conversation and we were just kind of making jokes about starting our own beer company,” Bird said.Now two and a half months later, the company is ready to launch two beers, which are expected to hit the shelves on March 1. Story continues below advertisement The first beer is named ‘The Minihkwe’, a blonde ale named after both the company and the Cree word for drink.“Not only are we teaching everybody a word of Cree but there’s also on our label all the treaty territories in Saskatchewan … which is pretty cool,” Bird said. 1:53 Indigenous music scene expands with SIMA The brewery will also be offering the ‘Omawisow’, a raspberry blonde ale meaning berry picker. Trending Now Minihkwe is partnering with Better Brother Brewing to help get their product off the ground. CEO Jeff Rushton said it was humbling when Bird connected with him to get the project started.“When KJ came to us, it was a no-brainer,” Rushton said. “(We thought), how could we help and how could we best serve them. This whole process has been just finding out what they’re looking for and just trying our best to be able to help out.” Story continues below advertisement A portion of Minhkwe’s proceeds will go to organizations that provide mental health and wellness support to the community. Bird hopes starting the first Indigenous brewery in the province inspires conversations about First Nations history and sends a message to those thinking about starting their own business.“If you have an idea, just follow through with it,” Bird said. “We didn’t expect this to happen and it was just a conversation. If you don’t take your chances, you’re never going to know.” 0:34 University of Regina Indigenous faculty leader reacts to degree rescindment, impacts of claiming false identity &copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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