Beer produced by an Edmonton microbrewery has become such a hit that the company is improvising to keep up.

The Yellowhead Brewery Company has been in business for less than two years and business is booming, success the company attributes to a heightened interest in locally-produced food.

"We had to figure out how we're going to deal with this demand, otherwise we may run out of beer," said brewmaster Scott Harris.

"So we decided to scale back the bottle side of things and focus on the draft side of the business right now."

The company was bottling 1,000 brews a day at its site in downtown Edmonton until a part broke on a machine. The company will shift most of its production to draft until repairs can be made.

"Figure out a schedule that works and stick to it so we can always be ready for when people need beer," said sales manager Leon Hunter.

Brewing a second career for former dancer

The boom in sales is gratifying for the company, which makes its product in a heritage building located on 105th Street, just north of 102nd Avenue.   

For Harris, who was born and raised in Edmonton, working at Yellowhead is a dream come true.

A former principal dancer with Alberta Ballet, Harris was a soloist with the National Theatre in Munich, Germany, when back problems forced him to look at life beyond the stage. 

"Do I teach? Do I go into choreography?" he said. "I happened to be drinking a beer at that time and I thought, you know, now there's a good idea. Here I am in Munich. Why don't I learn how to brew beer?"

Harris went to school and found that he loved his new vocation. After working at breweries in Germany and Toronto, Harris came back home to Alberta.

"We're happy. We're having a good time," he said. "Enjoying the fruits of our labour and it seems like the community is now starting to come on board and they are discovering it for themselves."