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Our Story

CRAFT Beer Market is a premium casual restaurant with a passion for fresh local food and great craft beer. Launched in Calgary in 2011, the CRAFT movement has been spreading ever since, bringing our special recipe of sophisticated comfort food, unique craft beers and active community involvement to new cities every year. 

Read on to learn more.

CRAFT Founder PJ L’Heureux has long been interested in beer. At the age of 18, he started brewing his own beer at his parents’ house. Much to the delight of his folks, that venture never took off. But his passion for beer continued to blossom.

A trip to Portland, Oregon – the craft beer capital of America – gave PJ a glimpse of the emerging shift toward craft brewing and local food. He envisioned creating a place where people could enjoy fresh local food and beers from all over the world under one roof. And so the idea for CRAFT Beer Market was born.

After working on the concept for a year, PJ approached his childhood friends John Liwag and Rob Swiderski about joining forces to make it happen. The three of them got to work, honing the idea, assembling a great team, and securing a perfect location in Calgary’s historic Beltline. CRAFT Calgary launched in 2011 and was an instant hit.

CRAFT has since expanded to Vancouver, Edmonton and Ottawa, with more locations on the way. As it happens, people everywhere love to enjoy great food and drinks in a welcoming environment (big surprise!) – and we’re passionate about delivering just that.

CRAFT Leaders

PJ L’Heureux, Founder & President

From a young age PJ has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. At the age of 16 he started a DJ service which he grew to include concert and nightclub promotion and opened two of his own night clubs all before the age of 25. For the past 22 years he has continued to be a leader in some of Calgary’s most exciting food and entertainment venues.

PJ’s passion for craft beer goes back to his first attempts at home brewing when he was 18 years old. He quickly found out that brewing beer wasn’t for him but that serving it was. Through his travels and relationships with brewers across the globe, PJ realized that a concept like CRAFT Beer Market could truly change the way people think about restaurants.

His passion for the craft beer movement and community is evident in everything he does. He loves the small business model and the ability to have a positive impact in the communities where he opens his restaurants. PJ’s family values and belief in community involvement run deep through the entire CRAFT concept and he would have it no other way. The biggest excitement he gets about opening in new markets is getting to know the local breweries and farms that he can partner and connect with in the community.

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Beer Recommendations: Deschutes Mirror Pond, Cascade Vintage Gose, Driftwood Fat Tug IPA

CRAFT Crew

We couldn’t do what we do without an amazing team. These are the people that guide the CRAFT ship.

Cassandra Heaslip, General Manager

Cassandra is a vital part of the CRAFT Calgary downtown crew, and we are lucky to have her lead out team. Cass is motivated by working together as a team and achieving an end goal (and the goal is always for guests to feels like they are a part of the CRAFT family)! Outside of work she loves snowboarding or going for hikes. Or even better yet - riding a bike to breweries! Next time you're at CRAFT, say hi to Cass!

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Beer Recommendations: Catch Cass drinking bubbles, Establishment Afternoon Delight IPA, or a Blueberry Lemonade from the camper upstairs!

Dave Phillips, Executive Chef

Born and raised in Calgary, Dave has always gravitated to the creative and hands on side of things – music, art and of course cooking. While always having a passion for food, Dave’s journey into the culinary industry did not start until he attended post secondary 15 years ago and took a part-time job as a cook in a kitchen. It was here that he fell in love with the fast pace, camaraderie and most of all, putting out a well-prepared dish and the gratification from it. With several restaurants worked at along the way, along with some incredible chefs to help shape his skill set, he has spent the last 7 years at CRAFT, joining the team as an Executive Sous Chef in 2012 and working towards his current role as Executive Chef in 2015. His food philosophy is one that is shared in the craft beer scene – respect for the ingredient and technique, yield a product you are proud to serve and share with others. When not in the Kitchen at CRAFT, Dave can be found at home with his wife and two sons – sharing his passion for food and its ability for bringing people together.

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Beer Recommendations: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Russian River Pliny the Elder, Pilsner Urquell

CRAFT Club

CRAFT Club is a like a secret society for beer lovers, except it’s not a secret, and anyone can join. It gives you a chance to discover more about the beers you try at CRAFT, while getting the inside scoop on, and exclusive access to, special happenings at the the restaurant. To join, download our iPhone app from the Apple store to track, rate and share your beers on the go. Download the app today!

Or keep it old school and ask a CRAFT Crew member for a registration form next time to you visit. You’ll get an official Club card to track each pint you enjoy. Once you’ve tried 100 different beers, we’ll emblazon your name on one of the shiny kegs on our Alumni Wall.* From upstarts to aficionados, everyone’s invited (as long as you’re of legal drinking age).

Alberta & OntarioVancouver

Community

CRAFT isn’t just a place where people go to have a beer and a bite. We are actively involved in our community and, like a good neighbour, we try to make positive contributions wherever possible. We have partnerships with several organizations doing great work in Calgary. Over the past four years we have volunteered over 3000 hours and raised over $100,000 to support the following initiatives:

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St. Vincent de Paul Society

Over the holiday season we challenge our staff to donate funds to provide groceries, clothing and gifts for families in need. We then match their donations. Since 2011, we’ve raised over $70,000 for this program. Check out some of the amazing work our team did in 2014: CRAFT Cares - Christmas 2014

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Mealshare

Buy one, give one - it's that simple! For each Mealshare menu item purchased, one meal will also be provided to someone in need. Half the meals provided stay right here in our city while the other half are provided internationally. We are proud to be partnered with Mealshare, a non-profit dedicated to fighting hunger throughout Canada and around the world.

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Ronald McDonald House of Southern Alberta

Once a month, our team members volunteer with the Home For Dinner program at Ronald McDonald House, where they cook up a delicious dinner for families with kids being treated at the Alberta Children's Hospital. We also donate $1 from the sale of every CRAFT branded glass to this great organization.

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Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta

These amazing folks are dedicated to helping young people and their families affected by childhood cancers survive and thrive in body, mind and spirit. Each year during Stampede, we partner with a local brewery for our "Give Kids Cancer the Boot" campaign. Our partner brews up an exclusive beer for us and we direct the proceeds to support the great work of the KCCFA.

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TOMS Shoes

We encourage our team to wear TOMS shoes as part of their dress code. Under TOMS’ “One-for-One” program, for every pair of shoes purchased, a pair is donated to a child in need. To date our staff has helped donate over 2000 pairs of shoes!

Sustainability

We believe that environmental and economic sustainability go hand in hand. From composting and recycling to clean energy and green tableware, we pursue a variety of earth-friendly initiatives as part of our sustainability program.

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LEAF Certified

We are the largest LEAF-certified restaurant in Canada. LEAF, which stands for Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice, is an independent body that measures restaurant sustainability.

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Broiler Chicken Welfare

We are proud to have worked with Mercy For Animals on the adoption of the Better Chicken Commitment. As such, CRAFT is committed to working with our suppliers and others in the food industry to, by 2024, align with broiler chicken welfare standards established by the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) for 100% of our chicken. These GAP standards include a transition to breeds that have improved welfare outcomes, reduction in maximum stocking density to provide more space for birds per GAP standards, and improvements in growing environment for birds – including litter, lighting and enrichment. We will also ensure they are processed using a humane, multi-step controlled-atmosphere system. We will demonstrate compliance with all standards via third-party auditing.

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Ocean Wise™

Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise™ program educates and empowers people to make sustainable seafood choices. We support the health of our oceans by serving certified sustainable seafood and donating $1 of every Vivreau and Q Water sold to the program.

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Vivreau & Q Water

This system, which supplies still and sparkling water in reusable glass bottles, eliminates regular deliveries, disposal and packaging while conserving energy. $1 from each bottle sold goes to Ocean Wise.

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Dress Code

Our team uniform includes Levi’s waterless technology jeans, chosen specifically because the manufacturing process saves tens of thousands of gallons of water every year.

Think Global, Support Local

We use local or regional products whenever possible to minimize our environmental impact and help support businesses in our community.


Waste Management

Every year, our composting and recycling program diverts thousands of kilograms of garbage from the landfill. We also use biodegradable to-go containers, napkins and other paper products.

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