Hops and Dreams: Exploring Kelowna's Craft Breweries

a couple of people sitting at a table with some food and a remote control in front of some drinks
Copper Brewing Co.

Kelowna's craft brewery scene is an example of innovation, history, and community spirit, brewing a story as compelling as the beers themselves. From the transformation of historical buildings to the infusion of local flavours, each brewery adds a unique contribution to Kelowna life.

The Historical Context and Evolution of Kelowna's Craft Breweries

Once dominated by chain restaurants and big-box stores, Kelowna has witnessed a remarkable transformation over the years. The city, known for its agricultural richness and technological advancements, has become a fertile ground for the craft beer revolution. Pioneers like Tree Brewing, established in 1996, have been instrumental in shaping the local beer culture. The historical significance is clear in places like BNA Brewing Co., which rejuvenated the British North American Tobacco Company building on Ellis Street into a buzzing brewery and restaurant. This blend of old and new encapsulates Kelowna’s beer scene: a respect for tradition with a zest for innovation.

Spotlight on Notable Breweries and Their Unique Offerings

BNA Brewing Co.

BNA Brewing Co. is an example of creativity and historical preservation. This brewery is a cultural experience. The eclectic décor, the Seaside Cerveza, and their diverse menu, including anything from BBQ Chicken Wonton Nachos to Mussels and Fries, make BNA a landmark of modern brewing in a historic setting.

Rustic Reel Brewing Co.

Rustic Reel Brewing Co., run by Susi Foerg, embodies the Okanagan spirit in its brews. It’s a place where you can indulge in unique flavours like the Blueberry Vanilla Blonde Ale while embracing the Okanagan lifestyle – from beaches to cabin living.

Kettle River Brewing

In Kelowna's North-end brewery district, Kettle River Brewing offers an ever-evolving selection of craft beers. It's a cozy space where community and creativity merge, evidenced by their eclectic tasting room and dog-friendly patio.

Kelowna Beer Institute

Uniquely situated near the waterfront, the Kelowna Beer Institute serves beer at its freshest with their tank-to-tap method. Their offerings are deeply intertwined with the brewing process, even using spent grains in their pizza dough and sandwich buns.

Vice & Virtue Brewing Co.

Known for its innovative approach, Vice & Virtue Brewing Co. integrates fruits into its beer recipes. This creative fusion results in refreshing brews like their Currant Affair Black Currant Sour, paired perfectly with their menu of smoked meats.

Copper Brewing

Copper Brewing in Kelowna's Landmark district is a community gathering spot. Affectionately known as “Darla's Living Room”, this brewery features a welcoming atmosphere with house-made dog treats and a variety of unique brews.

The Cultural and Community Impact

Kelowna's craft breweries are more than beer production sites; they are cultural hubs fostering a sense of community and local pride. The breweries have become integral to the city's social fabric, offering a place for gatherings, events, and a celebration of local craft. They represent a movement away from mass-produced products towards an appreciation for quality, uniqueness, and local flavours.


Kelowna's craft breweries are about the stories, the community, and the culture; going above and beyond just the beer itself. They offer a unique experience that goes beyond the taste buds, inviting locals and visitors alike to explore the city's craft beer scene. This journey through Kelowna's breweries is a journey through its soul, one pint at a time.