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Build a beer, or wine with Kamloops BA Brewmaster

Marketing manager Laura Wilkes and manager Shannon Rex of BA Brewmaster hold their recently released hard seltzer, the first in-house seltzer in Kamloops.
Marketing manager Laura Wilkes and manager Shannon Rex of BA Brewmaster hold their recently released hard seltzer, the first in-house seltzer in Kamloops.

It's like build-a-bear for adults.

Kamloops's largest on-site brewery, BA Brewmaster and BA Winexpert, is inviting customers to get creative and build their own wine, beer, ciders, seltzers and coolers this spring and summer.

"The main thing that sets us apart is the customer is involved in making the final product," said manager Shannon Rex. "Because everything is made in-house with us, we can tailor it to your exact taste."

Brew your own beer at this Kamloops brewery'

"We love to experiment and we want to find that customized brew that works for you."

The brewery falls under the ferment-on-premise regulations with the B.C. Liquor Board, meaning customers help create the wine and beer by the batch. Customers can select from more than 50 varietals of wine or more than 200 varieties of beer or work with the experts to create their own and see it added to an ever-growing list of options.

A full batch of beer is 48 litres, which makes roughly 135 (355ml) bottles. A half batch is 24 litres, which makes about 67 (355ml) bottles. Wines are created in 30-bottle batches.

Try BA Brewmaster
Try BA Brewmaster's newest creation, the hard seltzer, now.

"When you make your own with BA you save approximately 40-50% off liquor store prices," Rex said.

After the customer selects their type of beer, it's brewed in 50-litre copper kettles. The next day, the customer is invited to add the yeast, an important legal step in the process of beer and winemaking.

"Neither of us pay liquor tax. You don't have to worry about sanitizing and fermentation and storage, we take care of that. The day you pitch the yeast is when you pay for it," Rex said.

Then, the customer will wait for two weeks for the beer to be ready and five to eight weeks for wine, coming back to the brewery to seal it themselves before they take it home.

It's an incredibly low-risk way to try something new in bulk. If customers don't like their creation, they can take it back to BA Brewmaster where it will be refunded or exchanged, Rex said.

Homebrewers of the Kamloops area can also rejoice as BA Brewmaster also has all the homebrewing equipment and ingredients available and have a partnership with Gambrinus Malting Corporation in Armstrong. They offer wholesale prices for enthusiasts who enjoy creating their own batches at home.

"We want to support not only the people who come in and brew with us, but we also want to support the people who brew wine and beer at home," Rex said. "It's become such an explosive hobby and it's becoming more and more popular."

The brewery experts are also expanding the already many options of alcohol available this season with a recently introduced low-sugar hard seltzer, a first in Kamloops for an on-site brewery. The seltzers currently come in three different flavours: pink grapefruit, lime and blackberry and are created with less than 1% residual sugar.

"The reviews so far have been awesome," she said, adding they're the perfect drink for summer time.

BA Brewmaster is a family-run operation full of passionate individuals. Owned by Kevin and Jeff Rex, the business started in 1993 when the brothers learned of creating their own beer and wine while living in Ontario. When they moved to B.C. they established BA in Kamloops. Since then, it's become a whole family affair.

"It's awesome to be a part of a family business, I've had a great life thanks to the hard work of my dad and my uncle. I'm excited to show the younger generation a fun experience that can save them some money," Rex said.

To learn more about the on-site brewery and how to brew your own alcoholic beverage, call 250-372-2739 or visit their website.

The outside of BA Brewmaster.
The outside of BA Brewmaster.

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