Say cheers to the changing colours of autumn and head to Kamloops at harvest time to work up a thirst by hiking, biking, climbing or paddling among the fall foliage. Cooler nights follow the warm days, so cozy up at a local brewery, dig into your dinner, and try one of these seasonal craft brews.
Red Collar Brewing Co.
Inspired by old-world brewing techniques, Red Collar Brewing Co.’s European-influenced brews draw on owner David Beardsell’s extensive knowledge, which he gained while studying ales around the world in Germany, England, and India. Named after the neck adornment that the family’s black labrador (Goosey) always wore, Red Collar recently released A Dog Aquatic Pale Ale and there will be more canine-themed beverages coming up this fall, including Rocket Dog Dark Session IPA. Other seasonal brews due for release in September include Squash Gourdon (a squash ale brewed with sugar pumpkins from Thistle Farms), Hop Comet Fresh Hopped Pale Ale, and an Oktoberfest Lager.
Iron Road Brewing
Geologists Jared Tarswell and Richard Phillips opened Iron Road Brewing on August 2017, after convincing their wives that their ‘hair-brained’ idea to start a microbrewery (conceived over several pints of beer while considering a move from Vancouver to the interior) was a very good one. Research into brewing and their chosen location near Thompson Rivers University proved them right; the brewery celebrated its second birthday this summer. Say cheers with their new Belge Dubbel, which is a traditional Belgian beer named after the country’s first steam locomotive. Using European ingredients to form a darker malt profile, the brewers have created a malty, slightly complex fall beer with notes of nuts, bread, dark candy, and figs.
Noble Pig Brewhouse
‘The Pig’ (as locals call it) pioneered microbrewing in Kamloops when it opened in 2010. Now a firm favourite, the Noble Pig Brewhouse has sunny spots outside on the ‘piggy patio’ sitting under hops on a mild fall day, or visitors can head inside to warm up with made-from-scratch food, which often includes beer as an ingredient. Amber in appearance with a fruity-savoury spice aroma, the Stone House Mocha Porter is their chocolate and coffee flavoured crowd-pleaser. Look out for a maple porter and dry-hopped pale ale coming this fall.
Alchemy Brewing Company
Inspired by the craft beer movement and fun street food scenes in West Coast cities such as Portland and Seattle, Shantel and Al Renner decided to bring innovative flavours to Kamloops at Alchemy Brewing Company, which opened December 2018. Pushing boundaries in their brews and on their homemade-food menus (try the ‘glazed and confused’ burger with a donut bun), the duo spent many years experimenting with recipes for their signature ales, IPAs, and lagers. Due to be released in late September, their as-yet-unnamed porter will be dark and rich with hints of chocolate and toasted coconut (think delicious macaroons by the fireplace).
Bright Eye Brewing
Focusing on fun and experimental ales, Bright Eye Brewing is due to open later this fall. Owners Tyler Windsor and Bryan Craig began homebrewing five years ago sharing their ales with friends and neighbours. After a few years, their friend Mitch Forgie, of Red Beard Cafe, approached them to open a brewery/restaurant with him and his friend Richard Marken, who was an original founder of The Noble Pig. Dedicated to brewing small batches designed to be drunk fresh, the ever-changing tap list will forgo flagship beers in lieu of crowd favourites that will return every few months. Focusing on bringing out the natural flavour and aroma of specific hop breeds, there will always be a few hop-forward ales, as well as a farmhouse-style ale that utilizes local seasonal fruits, and something dark on tap such as a milk stout, porter, or coffee stout.
Home to experimental brewers and passionate craft beer enthusiasts, Kamloops is the perfect place to put down the pumpkin spice lattes and pick up a warming porter or an innovative hopped ale this autumn.