B R E W E RY P R O F I L E
“It’s fantastic how Neil
and Lavonne have been
able to build the brand
over the 25-year history
of the company.”
– Cameron French, Alley Kat Brewing Company
French says he and Christensen had been looking to get into
the craft beer business for a while, so when they were offered an
opportunity to purchase Alley Kat, they jumped at the chance.
“Both of us like craft beer and have always been interested in
that. In addition, we’re both entrepreneurial minded and wanted
to get into business for ourselves,” said French.
French and Christensen, both 34, initially considered starting
their own brewery from scratch. In the end, though, they decided
that buying an established craft beer company like Alley Kat – the
fourth longest operating brewery in Alberta and winner of the
Brewery of the Year title at the 2019 Alberta Beer Awards – just
made more sense.
“French and I have accounting backgrounds, so we were
well equipped to take a deep dive into the books. From a financial
aspect, the company seemed really good – steady, consistent
growth and very financially healthy,” said Christensen. “It was a
very successful, well-run, well-respected business with a great
market presence. Everything just lined up to be just a slam dunk
in our mind.”
French and Christensen bought Alley Kat Brewing Company
from Neil and Lavonne Herbst. Neil is an Alberta craft beer
pioneer who founded the brewery with his then business partner,
Richard Cholon, in 1994. Lavonne later purchased Cholon’s share
of Alley Kat, turning the company into a family owned and
“If you walk into almost any liquor store across the province,
you’re going to see Alley Kat beer somewhere on the shelf. It’s
fantastic how Neil and Lavonne have been able to build the brand
over the 25-year history of the company,” French said.
Neil says it was a priority for he and his wife that the company
remain locally owned and operated.
WINTER 2021 § POURED CANADA § 5