Breweries to support athletes
Josh Dawson - May 10, 2024 - Get Involved

Local Paralympic gold medallist Greg Stewart has brought together five Kamloops breweries to craft a unique golden ale in a bid to raise money for Canadian athletes.

Iron Road Brewing, The Noble Pig, Red Collar, Alchemy Brewing Company and Bright Eye Brewing will be collaborating on a new limited batch of Shot of Gold after the fundraiser raised over $14,000 in 2022.

Stewart said proceeds raised will go to the Canadian Athletes Now Fund, which provides Olympic and Paralympic athletes with an $8,000 grant.

“CanFund is a an organization that supports Olympic and Paralympic athletes with an $8,000 gift, which typically goes to all their training and whatnot,” Stewart told Castanet Kamloops.

“Now that I’ve returned out of retirement, I’ve been training for about six months, funds will go and help support my Paralympic journey, hopefully to get back into Paris, but also maybe help push me forward to competing in L.A. 2028.”

He said the funds help athletes cover the costs of training, transportation and accommodations among other expenses.

“When I returned from Tokyo in 2021, there was there’s no money attached to the medals. Whereas if you were an Olympic medalist you were given $20,000,” Stewart said,

“Fast forward to March 2024. We finally are now in a place where Olympic and Paralympic athletes receive the same amount of funding if they medal at the Paralympic Games. So we’re definitely moving in the right direction, but there’s still definitely still a lot of things that are missing in terms of how we support our Paralympic athletes.”

Iron Road will be brewing this year’s batch. They say they’ll be doubling the amount this year, brewing a total of 1,600 bombers, 4,000 cans and dozens of kegs of the ale.

Aaron MacInnis, Iron Road’s head brewer, said the five breweries got together to come up with an ale they felt best represented their collective pallets, deciding on a Kölsch.

“Kölsh is a German style ale. So you’re essentially making like a pilsner but you’re using a German ale yeast. Still clean, but it’s a little bit faster and a little bit tastier, some might say,” MacInnis said.

Iron Road co-owner Jared Tarswell said the breweries wanted to create something collaboratively and embodies the spirit of the community.

“The first time was a massive success, It sold out in like a week,” Tarswell said.

“The biggest complaint was nobody could find it, though. So hopefully we can remedy that.”

Shot of Gold will be officially launched on June 22 at the Noble Pig. The ticketed event will include a silent auction and raffles to raise funds for CanFund.

After coming out of retirement and spending six months training, Stewart said he would be heading to Japan next week to compete at the World Championships.

He said his training has been going well so far, and despite some of the challenges now that he’s older he’s been enjoying it.

“I have a different workout with a different group of people now, different coaching, different physio, all that kind of stuff,” Stewart said.

“So a lot of that has changed but it’s I think it’s for the best again because I’m an older athlete.”

According to Stewart, around 900 athletes applied for CanFund funding and he said the organization is attempting to support 600 to 700 of them this year.

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