February 4, 2020
EDMONTON – After 25-years of making one of Alberta’s most respected names in craft beer, Neil and Lavonne Herbst have announced the sale of Alley Kat Brewing Company to a local ownership team.
Zane Christensen and Cameron French will assume ownership of the independent Edmonton brewery, which distributes its line of craft beer including core brands Aprikat, Full Moon, Scona Gold, Main Squeeze, Fish Bone and Buena Vista as well as rotating seasonal brews throughout Alberta.
Neil and Lavonne are pleased to be handing Alley Kat and its proud legacy as a craft beer pioneer over to a new generation of local entrepreneurs who share their passion for premium-quality Alberta-made beer. Neil will remain involved in day-to-day operations at Alley Kat in a full-time capacity.
“At a time when we are seeing some craft breweries being absorbed by large multinationals, keeping Alley Kat in independent hands was extremely important to us,” explains Neil Herbst, who was one of Alley Kat’s original founders back in 1994. “This sale will ensure Alley Kat continues to remain locally- owned and operated,” Herbst says.
Zane Christensen and Cameron French were both raised in St. Albert, Alberta, and have strong roots in the community. Christensen is a U of A graduate who has worked as a CPA for the past 10-years, most recently as Controller at an Edmonton based organization. French, also a U of A graduate, comes to Alley Kat after serving in his previous role as CFO for a local construction company. Passionate about beer and the craft beer industry, opening a brewery was a dream the two friends have discussed for a number of years.
“Originally, the plan was to start a new brewery from scratch. When the prospect to take the reins of such a successful and well-respected brand presented itself, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity,” French says.
While Alley Kat is Alberta’s fourth longest operating brewery, it continues to be a driving force in the industry. Last year it was awarded the distinguished title of Brewery of the Year at the 2019 Alberta Beer Awards. The brewery recently opened a tap room at its 99th Street location, and continues to expand its product offering. In 2020, Alley Kat celebrates 25 years of purr-fect craft beer.
The new partners are committed to a business as usual approach, maintaining the core values and culture that are at the heart of organization. Their goal is to ensure Alley Kat remains a fresh and innovative force in the industry, and continues to strategically expand into new markets across Alberta – and potentially beyond.
“Alley Kat is a brand with a great deal of integrity. That isn’t going to change. Alley Kat will continue to produce well-loved, award-winning beers. We are looking forward to immersing ourselves in this amazing brand and culture, and finding out what really makes Alley Kat Alley Kat!” Christensen says.