Kelowna's Ale Trail: A Guide to Must-Visit Breweries

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


Traversing the ale trail in Kelowna is like an expedition for the taste buds, where each brewery reveals a piece of the city's craft beer mosaic. This journey is an exploration of creative brews, unique atmospheres, and the passionate community behind each pint. From historic buildings to lakeside views, Kelowna's breweries go beyond just exceptional beers – they provide a glimpse into the heart and soul of this dynamic city.

BNA Brewing Co.

BNA Brewing Co. is a nod to Kelowna's multifaceted beer culture. Housed in a building with a storied past, this downtown spot offers a trifecta of delicious bites, house-made beers, and leisure activities, including bowling. Beer aficionados will delight in their range, especially the Purple Rain sour. The brewery's unique character is further enhanced by its dog-friendly patio, making it a must-visit for both locals and visitors alike.

Kelowna Beer Institute

The Kelowna Beer Institute, situated in the Cultural District, is renowned for its tank-to-tap approach. This method ensures that each beer, like the popular Hibiscus Lemonale, is served at its freshest. The brewery's dedication to quality is evident in their beer-inspired menu, where even the pizza dough and sandwich buns incorporate grains from the brewing process. The rooftop patio offers a splendid view, making the Kelowna Beer Institute a top choice for those seeking the freshest brews in a lively urban setting.

Rustic Reel Brewing Company

Rustic Reel Brewing Company embodies the spirit of the Okanagan with its beach and rustic inspired ambience. Founded by the visionary Susi Foerg, this brewery stands out for its commitment to crafting beers that resonate with the region's vibe. With offerings like the Lemon Lime Gose and Amber Ale, Rustic Reel caters to a diverse palate. Its cozy setting, complete with a fire pit, makes it a perfect spot to enjoy the simple pleasures of good beer and great company.

Kettle River Brewing

Kettle River Brewing, located in the burgeoning North-end brewery district, exemplifies the art of small-batch brewing. Their eclectic tasting room and spacious dog-friendly patio provide the ideal backdrop for enjoying their ever-changing lineup of craft beers. The Nuclear Splash Tropical Hazy Pale, a standout in their collection, captures the adventurous spirit of Kelowna's craft beer scene.

Vice & Virtue Brewing Co.

Vice & Virtue Brewing Co. is where creativity meets brewing. They are known for unique concoctions like the The Homewrecker Hazy IPA and Love Potion Raspberry Berliner Vice. This brewery stands as a hub of ingenuity in Kelowna's beer landscape, perfectly pairing their inventive beers with a menu rich in smoked meats. A visit to Vice & Virtue is a journey into the imaginative side of craft brewing.

Copper Brewing Company

Copper Brewing Company, a recent addition to Kelowna's beer scene, has quickly established itself with its inviting atmosphere and diverse beer selection. Affectionately known as “Darla’s Living Room”, the taproom is a cozy spot for beer lovers. Their mascot, a Bernese Mountain Dog named Porter, adds to the welcoming vibe. Beers like the Blackcurrant Sour and Copper Lager showcase their commitment to variety and quality, making Copper Brewing a must-visit for those seeking new and exciting beer experiences.

Freddy’s Brew Pub

Freddy’s Brew Pub combines two great pastimes: beer and bowling. This unique establishment offers a range of in-house brews, with the Lebowski Lager being a standout. Freddy’s is known for its atmosphere, complemented by weekly live music and comedy nights. Freddy's Brew Pub promises an enjoyable experience with great food, entertainment, and, of course, excellent beer.

Red Bird Brewing

Red Bird Brewing's connection to Kelowna's rich history is clear. Named after a historic boat, the brewery keeps the city's stories alive through its rotating selection of small-batch brews. The expansive backyard patio, complemented by live music and food trucks, offers the perfect setting to enjoy their signature Lady of the Lake Lager. Red Bird Brewing is a celebration of Kelowna's heritage and community spirit.

Barn Owl Brewing

Set in a 1921 heritage barn in the Lower Mission area, Barn Owl Brewing is as much about its rustic charm as it is about its beer. Their commitment to sustainability is evident in their brewing process and community initiatives, such as feeding spent grain to local cattle farms. The brewery's inviting atmosphere, complete with antique furniture and board games, makes it an ideal spot for enjoying their notable beers like the Wise Owl Nitro Stout and Don’t Give a Hoot Pale Ale.

Jackknife Brewing

Jackknife Brewing, known for its “Weird Beer. Classic Pizza.” motto, stands out in Kelowna’s North end with its eclectic and adventurous spirit. This brewery prides itself on in-house brewing, ensuring each beer is unique to their location. Beer enthusiasts will be intrigued by their distinctive offerings like the Hair Straight Back Spruce Tip Pale Ale and Hammer of Doom Canadian Imperial Stout. The brewery's atmosphere, coupled with its exceptional pizza, makes Jackknife Brewing an essential stop for those seeking an unconventional yet thoroughly enjoyable beer experience.

Shoreline Brewing Co.

Shoreline Brewing Co. offers an escape, with its stunning location on the shores of Okanagan Lake. The brewery is an example of the beauty of Kelowna, blending local flavours and high-quality ingredients to create beers like the Wakesetter IPA. This idyllic spot is perfect for savouring the views and the brews, reminding visitors to appreciate the simpler things in life. Shoreline Brewing Co. is a destination where the beer is as captivating as the scenery.

Kelowna Brewing Company

Right outside the UBC Okanagan campus, Kelowna Brewing Company has become a favourite hangout for both students and locals. This craft brewpub stands out not only for its diverse beer selection, including the Pony Boy Stay Golden Lager and Passionfruit Summer Ale, but also for its community-oriented approach. Kelowna Brewing Company is the perfect place for those seeking a lively atmosphere and a taste of local university life.

Guided Brewery Tours

For those looking to fully immerse themselves in Kelowna's craft beer scene, guided brewery tours offer an informative and enjoyable way to explore. Companies like Canadian Craft Tours provide a comprehensive experience, including transportation, tasting flights, and behind-the-scenes insights. These tours are an excellent way to discover the diversity of Kelowna's breweries and the stories behind their unique brews.


Kelowna's ale trail is a journey through a world of diverse flavours, innovative brewing techniques, and warm, welcoming atmospheres. Each brewery on this trail offers something unique, from historic settings to stunning lakeside views, making Kelowna a premier destination for craft beer enthusiasts.