Kirk Zembal brings people together, one pint at a time. The AMA member is one of the co-founders of Blindman Brewing—a Lacombe brewery that uses carbon capture technology to recycle emissions produced during fermentation—shares his favourite things about the place he calls home.
You aren’t drinking beer for the day. What are you drinking and where?
I would order a non-alcoholic flight of Caesars at Cilantro and Chive.
How would you spend your perfect day in Lacombe?
The name of the coffee shop I always go to is ONA Cafe + Bakery, which serves Dose Coffee from Red Deer. It is the best coffee in town. Then I would get out and ride a bike. There’s an excellent cycling trail that is part of the Trans Canada Trail. You can see the world’s biggest fishing lure, which was made in partnership with local organizations and a company called Len Thompson Fishing Lures. They’ve been around since 1958 and are famous for fishing lures. Dinner is going to be at Cilantro and Chive. As voted by brewers at the annual Alberta Ber Awards, it’s the best restaurant in Alberta and does an outstanding job with craft beer.
What should every visitor do in Lacombe?
If there’s a farmers’ market, definitely check it out. Lacombe is smack dab in the agricultural heart of Alberta and, by extension, Canada. There are always lots of fresh local meats, cheese and produce from Central Alberta.
Share one of the best parts of working at Blindman Brewing.
We help a lot of community organizations and always try to support the Stollery Children’s Hospital, the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter and Saving Grace Animal Society. There’s rarely a volunteer event where we don’t throw in some free beer.
What’s your all-time favourite Blindman Brewing brew?
Dwarf Sour Cherry. It’s a beer made with locally grown cherries developed in the 1940s at the University of Saskatchewan. They’re designed for Canadian climates, making the beer taste incredible. It won Best of Show at the Canadian Brewing Awards this year, which is pretty awesome.