The name Sagitawah is a Cree word which means “the place where the rivers meet”, where four rivers; the Athabasca, the McLoed, the Beaver and the Sakwatemau “Eagle” Rivers join up in this area around Whitecourt, Alberta.


I have grown up in Whitecourt and have raised my kids here too. I have had an entrepreneurial drive to start my own business for as long as I can remember. I had gotten an FM signal before there was a radio station in town; however, the business loan eluded me. For 9-years, I had a rental company with inflatable bouncy castles for kids, tents and bbq's – my kids and I were busy on weekends setting them up! All the while, as I continued working fulltime at the local newsprint mill. Then, I looked into starting a brewery. But Covid hit, and this allowed me to really think and do research about my business idea.

Finally getting that biz loan, a year of renovations, working with a brew master creating recipes, along with the support from a great contractor and from my amazing family and friends, Sagitawah Brewing Company opened its doors with a Taproom and Eatery in downtown Whitecourt in December of 2022.

Many of the beer names for our craft beers reflect local life experiences. The Backyard Shack IPA is what happened in my back yard having friends, family and crew stop in to taste beers, filling out comment cards and the brew master tweaking the recipes. Plus the photo on the label is of my shack in my backyard. The Chill’axn Blonde Ale is named after a conversation with my sisters asking me ‘how was I doing on holidays in Mexico’ and my response while holding a beer with my feet in the ocean “Chillaxn!”. River Rafting Red Ale describes a hot summer day floating down the McLoed River. After an attempt to make an all Alberta ingredient lager we came up short by 3%, it rightfully got its name as Road Ban Lager.

Sagitawah Brewing Company has created partnerships locally that help build a strong sense of community and local relationships. The Sagitawah Roasted Blend coffee beans are purchase from a farm in Cameroon, Africa and roasted by Whitecourt’s own Rasp Coffee. The burgers are from local farmers in the area, Anselmo feed lot, and supplied from North Country Deli in Whitecourt. Sagitawah’s spent grain is picked up from a local farmer to provide feed to his exotic animals he raises; the miniature cows, Maori pigs and East Indie ducks.

My hope for everyone who visits the Taproom and Eatery will have a great experience tasting the craft beers and trying our unique dishes.

Hope to see you soon,

Clayton Chartrand

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