KELOWNA - Everyone knows that the best thing after a long, summer bike ride is a glass of cold, local craft beer. Luckily for us beer-lovers, these four Kelowna breweries are all accessible directly from the Okanagan Rail Trail. From the first stop to the fourth, the ride is just under an hour.
First stop is Wild Ambition Brewing at 1-3314 Appaloosa Rd, in the industrial area of Kelowna to the right of Sexmith Road. This is where you will want to park your car, onload your bike and take your first sip.
Wild Ambition is a brand-new mixed fermentation focused brewery with eight brews available for tasting.
They are open Thursday and Friday 3 to 7 p.m. and weekends 12 to 7 p.m., so plan your brewery tour accordingly.
On July 11 Wild Ambitions is doing a Tap Takeover at the Train Station Pub in downtown Kelowna to launch their first flagship beer.
The next stop on your tour is Boundary Brewing Company, located at 455 Neave Court No. 2, just a couple minutes ride away from Wild Ambition. Turn right onto Appaloosa Road, then turn right again. Turn right at Neave Road and follow it straight through until you reach Boundary Brewing.
Boundary Brewing is the only wooden, craft nano-brewery in all of Canada. Nano-breweries are breweries that produce batches of roughly three barrels or smaller at a time. Wooden refers to the wooden barrels used for storage, fermentation and aging of beer.
They specialize in German-style pilsners and ales. Currently they have eight brews on tap.
Boundary Brewing is open Wednesday to Friday from 3 to 7 p.m., Saturday 12 to 7 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m.
From here, you'll hop right onto the rail trail, just a minute around the corner. Bike back out of Neave Court, and turn left down the hill. Turn right onto the Rail Trail towards downtown, and ride. You'll be downtown in about an hour.
Vice and Virtue is the next stop, so you'll want to exit the rail trail at the Clement/Gordon intersection once the pavement runs out. The remainder of the Rail Trail is not paved yet, so it's a pit of a bumpy ride. Follow Clement down to the Richter intersection and turn right. Head down the road until you reach 1033 Richter St.
Vice and Virtue boasts a locally sourced, ever-changing seasonal menu with an emphasis on fermented and smoked goods. Our favourite dish is the Smoked Beef Brisket burger, with a crispy brioche pun, traditional slaw and bbq sauce. Since you’ve worked up an appetite on your ride down, this is the first place you need to go.
The beers are brewed in-house with grains sourced from Gambrinus Malting in Armstrong. Currently, they have 8 brews to choose from, and for those who aren’t keen on beer, they offer wine and a local cider from Scenic Road Cider Co.
Around the corner at 731 Baillie Ave is Kettle River Brewing Co., a small-batch neighbourhood brewery.
They’re open from Wednesday to Sunday 12 to 10 p.m. For any singers out there, you can come down on their open-mic nights and get a free beer if you perform.
This May, Kettle River teamed up with the CrAsian Food Truck to create Provisions, and provide upscale camping-inspired food for its patrons.
The launch date has yet to be announced, but it’s definitely coming this summer.
The last stop on the tour is one of the best, especially if you're a dog lover.
Red Bird Brewing is pet friendly both on the patio and inside the brewery, so that means you can finally sit down and have a beer with your real best-friend.
They are a microbrewery, which essentially means it's a small-scale local operation producing less than 15,000 barrels per year.
Red Bird features live music from local bands like Post-Modern Connection, Windmills, Under the Rocks and many more.
The Surfside California food truck is always out front with fresh tacos and burritos to accompany your beer.
For those wanting to change it up from beer, we recommend the BC Tree Fruits Cider. Not too dry, not too sweet, and it usually hits the spot.
To get back to your car, just ride back the way you came. Or, if you've got some particularly generous friends, getting picked up downtown after all that beer may not be such a bad idea.
Remember, ride responsibly!
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