Fresh beer a Cowler away

Visiting the Sherbrooke “Wine Spirits and Oodles of Beer” store (Edmonton)

By Neal Markewich

If you are lucky enough to make it through the St. Albert Trail/Groat Road traffic circle, located in the northeast corner is a strip mall that is home to the Sherbrooke liquor store. This store boasts Canada’s largest selection of imported beers and a six tap growler filling station.


The filling station features pressure equalizing CO2 flushed growler fillers and a cowler machine. What is a cowler, you ask? It is a 946 ml can of beer that is filled and sealed right in front of you. This is a great way to bring beer home from your road trip. Cowler machines are common in Portland, however, this is the only one of its kind in Edmonton.

An empty cowler.
The cowler machine
Preparing to fill and then seal the can on the cowler machine.
Rolling the sealed can on the label.
Finished applying the label
Finished applying the label

Now THAT’S a Keezer!

–by Virgil Thomson

I recently enlisted my friend Jason Turner of JT Construction to help me build a keezer. Our plans to keep it simple quickly went out the window. The freezer itself is a 7.2 cubic foot Frididair which is about five years old and which was bought used for $100.00. We took the freezer lid off and Jason built a collar out of 2 x 4’s with weather stripping between the collar and freezer.

The exterior is made up of 3/4 inch thick maple with maple 2 x 4’s being used on the base and on the lid as framing. The exterior was stained and finished with three coats of lacquer. The exterior is finished off with a 14 inch stainless steel drip tray and a bottle opener.

I originally planned on it being just a two tap system and bought two of the regular taps, I later regretted this and bought a stainless steel Perlick tap which is positioned in the middle. In time I will replace the regular taps with matching Perlick taps. I replaced all the plastic handles with wooden ones bought from OBK.


The keezer is controlled by a Johnson A419 Temperature Controller. Co2 is provided by a 10 pound co2 tank. There are two Eva-Dry E-500 Dehumidifiers and a small fan to circulate the air, both of which will help prevent excess moisture and keep the temperate consistent throughout the keezer.

If anyone is interested in building something similar, my friend Jason Turner is a journeyman carpenter and would be happy to provide a quote if anyone is interested, his work email is

Ale & Lager Enthusiasts of Saskatchewan