The Sea Change name has a storied history, at least to Ian McIntosh. It reminds him of when his father created a mobile dental practice on their family boat, roaming Vancouver Island in search of willing candidates. “It turns out that was a pretty eccentric idea that didn’t work,” says McIntosh.
Years earlier, Sea Change was a charter vessel transporting passengers to the island, including ABBA and members of the British royal family. Now, Sea Change enjoys a lazy semi-retirement docked on the West Coast, while Sea Change Brewing Co. has become a vessel for trying eccentric ideas.
Folk rock and beer are a great combo, but not many folk rockers become award-winning brewery owners. McIntosh founded Sea Change Brewing around the spirit of Edmonton’s music scene and, on any given day, he is a frontman handling different facets of manufacturing, branding, marketing and hospitality within his two taprooms.
“A lot of what makes people successful independent artists can really translate well into business,” McIntosh says. “You learn how to work on a budget (which is mostly non-existent), you’ve got to DIY a lot and just try to leverage every opportunity into the next.”
Sea Change has taken home numerous gold medals provincially and nationally with its hazy pale ale, “The Wolf,” and light lager, “Death Wave,” since it began brewing in 2017. The Prairie Fairy wheat ale was an overnight success, and Sea Change has since donated over $60,000 to the Fruit Loop Society.
“Like a song, you don’t always know what’s going to be a single and what’s going to resonate the most… As a young company being able to do that, we’re super proud”.