Suds and song for local bands at Calgary cask sessions

Calgary's Village Brewery boosting local bands with signature beer, intimate performance

Tommy Ringwald (left) and Marky Ringwald enjoying some afternoon beers at Oak Tree Tavern in Calgary. (BRETT KLASSEN / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY)

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Beers, buds, and bands converge monthly at Village Brewery’s Cask Sessions – an event that’s gained popularity among local bands.

The show, which has been held for almost two years, has bands craft a signature beer to accompany a performance.

For Calgary rock band the Ringwalds, playing an event like this is right up their alley.

“Our whole thing really is we like to party, and what better way to do that than at a brewery,” said Tommy Ringwald, lead singer and guitarist for the band.

The band formed four years ago, playing frequent show at Vern’s Bar in their early days.

Tommy said that the cask session provides a new interesting venue and a medium for bands to do something really cool.

“With Village, making your own beer, just the collaboration between the bands and the brewery is something really special,” Tommy said.

The Ringwalds released their new EP and cracked open their cask of bubble-gum flavoured beer April 20. According to bassist Marky Ringwald, it was one of the band’s most successful shows.

For some bands, the cask session may not be the biggest gig they’ve played, but it’s definitely got an allure, said Jesse Gillett, lead guitarist for local band the Detractions.

The Detractions’ May 2018 cask session saw them craft a ginger beer and release a single. Gillett said the show was an “unreal experience.”

It’s more enticing than most other shows because it wasn’t just, “come out and see a cool band,” but more like, “come out, see a cool band, and taste this beer that will exist for only one night,” Gillett said.

“It became more than just a show; it was sort of an honest and truly once in a lifetime experience.”

Detractions bassist Shawn Savard said the folks at Village Brewery provide a fantastic space and offer promotion and community outreach as well.

“They want to see our music thriving, and not just for commercial reasons, but for artistic ones as well,” he said.

“Their team are invested in the arts community, and through co-sponsors, they’re able to help put money back into Calgary’s various art scenes, not just music.”

Tommy agreed.

“They support local arts in a huge way, like even just down to local artists’ pieces hanging in their tap room.”   

Village Brewery’s next cask session in on May 24, with folk music band Copperhead featuring Ol’ Gill.

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