Craft Beer Crawl: A Tour of Kelowna's Brewery Scene

A man standing in front of a bar filled with different types of beers and a tray of beer glasses at Kettle River Brewing in Kelowna.
Kettle River Brewing

Immerse yourself in the effervescent world of Kelowna's craft beer scene, a diverse mix of flavours and experiences that tantalize your taste buds and invigorate the soul. This journey through Kelowna's breweries is an exploration of unique brews, rich culture, and the artistry of local brewing.

Downtown Kelowna's North-end Breweries

BNA Brewing Co, in downtown Kelowna, offers a dynamic experience with its multi-level setting and dog-friendly patio. Here, craft beer enthusiasts can savour house-made beers like the Seaside Cerveza or the Ace hazy pale ale, complemented by a large food menu. The brewery’s unique ambiance is enhanced by an onsite tasting room and bowling lanes.

Vice & Virtue Brewing Co. stands out for its creativity. They're always creating new beers, coming up with quality food pairings and working with talented local artists to create tantalizing labels. Their diverse selection includes unique offerings such as Brave New World NEIPA, The White Lie Pilsner, and the tantalizing Love Potion Raspberry Berliner Weisse. Vice & Virtue's taproom features both core and seasonal rotations, ensuring a dynamic and ever-evolving experience for beer enthusiasts.

Kettle River Brewing, in Kelowna’s North-end brewery district, is known for its small-batch craft beers and seasonal eats. The brewery’s cozy tasting room and dog-friendly patio make it a welcoming spot for beer lovers. Start by introducing yourself with the Business in the Front - Dry-hop Blonde and then, if you're cool, don't miss the Party in the Back - Hazy Blonde. Also, for the fans of big flavour meltdown for the bestseller Nuclear Splash - Tropical Hazy Pale.

Rustic Reel Brewing Company offers a diverse selection of beverages, from the refreshing Grape Seltzer with its burst of grape goodness to the Tropical IPA, a vibrant blend of five citrus fruits that invigorates the senses. Embracing the art of small-batch brewing, the team transforms each brew into a ritual, crafting liquid poetry from malt, hops, and boundless imagination.

Jackknife Brewing, known for its "weird beers and classic pizza," is ideal for those seeking unconventional brews. Their commitment to brewing in-house ensures a unique and localized experience. Passionate about the brewing community, they collaborate with like-minded brewers, vintners, and distillers, infusing their creations with farmhouse yeasts from Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and Norway. Notably, the use of Kveik yeast adds a distinct character to their beers, incorporating ancient techniques like baking mashes, barrel fermentation, and using locally foraged ingredients such as spruce, juniper, and wild berries.

Breweries Beyond Downtown

Kelowna Beer Institute, located in the Cultural District, offers small-batch unfiltered beers served straight from their tanks. Their beer-inspired menu features items made with grains from the brewing process, providing a true farm-to-table experience. The Kelowna Beer Institute is built to best showcase the brewing process and share their knowledge and passion for craft beer.

Copper Brewing Company, a recent addition to Kelowna’s beer scene, focuses on approachable and easy-drinking craft beers. With a variety of beers and a partnership with MontREAL Foods, Copper Brewing presents a fusion of great beer and food. The brewery offers a diverse range of beers, from unique IPAs and refreshing sours to classic styles like Blonde Ale, Red Ale, and Copper Lager. Special features include their House IPA and Mosaic IPA, alongside seasonal and experimental brews. Food lovers can enjoy a variety of pub fare, including juicy smash burgers, gourmet hot dogs, deep-fried pickles, and perogy bites.

Red Bird Brewing, deeply rooted in Kelowna’s history, offers small-batch brews. Their tap list frequently updates with new creations, inviting patrons to return for new tastes and stories. Their tap list is a highlights their dedication to quality and variety, featuring standout beers like the Lady of the Lake Lager and the Antipsipation IPA. The brewery also offers a delicious menu crafted by Head Chef Nico and Sous Chef Jericho, who infuse their culinary creations with influences from various cultures.Barn Owl Brewing, set in a heritage barn, provides a rustic and sustainable beer experience. Their BREWHA brewing system and environmentally friendly practices add to the brewery's charm.

Shoreline Brewing Co., located by Okanagan Lake, showcases local flavours and ingredients. Established with the vision of providing approachable, easy-drinking beers, Shore Line Brewing uses locally sourced ingredients from the Okanagan Valley and the Lower Mainland to craft a spectrum of classic to modern beer styles. Their core brews include the Lochy Lager, a crisp and dry malt-forward lager, and the Wakesetter IPA, a hop-forward Northwest IPA with tropical, citrus, and pine notes. The Smokeshow Hazy IPA offers juicy tropical fruit flavours, while the Dead Calm Stout delivers a creamy mix of coffee, chocolate, and caramel.

Unique Experiences at Kelowna Breweries

Unleashed Brewing combines a love for dogs and beer, creating a pet-friendly atmosphere. Their lineup includes the London DOG Vanilla Earl Grey Special-Tea Ale, a delightful blend of vanilla, bergamot, and earl grey; the Off the Chain Unfiltered Pilsner, a crisp and slightly hoppy pilsner; and the Puckered Pooch Salted Lime Margarita Sour, which offers a refreshing, citrusy twist perfect for pairing with spicy foods. Beer enthusiasts can also enjoy the Fuggley Dog Irish Red Ale, the Dog Haze of Summer NEIPA, and the All Dogs Go to Heavenweizen Hefeweizen, among others.

Welton Arms Craft Beer and Restaurant brings a slice of Britain to Kelowna, BC. Inspired by the heritage of its founders, the Welton and Mason Brown family, this British restaurant offers a genuine dining experience with a menu full of traditional English fare. Signature dishes include the famous Fish and Chips, Scotch Egg, and Toad in the Hole, all crafted in a scratch kitchen to ensure authenticity and quality. Complementing the food, Welton Arms features a selection of ales from their own Welton Brewery, known for its range of nitro options such as the Chester Bitter, a traditional English amber ale, and the Northgate IPA. The full bar also offers a variety of spirits, cocktails like the Lychee Bliss and Dark & Stormy, and non-alcoholic beverages to cater to all preferences.

The Office Brewery’s unique office-themed setting provides a casual and fun environment. Their 9 to 5 Hazy Pale Ale is a standout amongst their cheeky beer names. unwind with their beers cocktails and delicious food menu.

Tasting Tours and Experiences

Kelowna's craft beer scene offers an array of tasting tours and experiences that cater to both seasoned beer enthusiasts and curious newcomers. Each brewery provides a unique atmosphere, distinct flavors, and engaging tours that highlight their brewing philosophies and the stories behind their creations.

The Kelowna Brewery Tour by Canadian Craft Tours offers an educational and entertaining guided experience. The tour includes tasting flights, round-trip transportation, and a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process. You are also welcome to walk in to any breweries of your choosing and rely on their amazing staff to guide your journey.

Kelowna’s craft beer scene is evolving, offering an array of experiences for beer aficionados and casual drinkers alike. From the rich history embedded in each brewery to the innovative brews and lively atmospheres, there's something for everyone in this dynamic beer paradise.