Reeling in the local community: Rustic Reel Brewing Co. offers much more than beer
Rustic Reel Brewing Company is literally a one-woman show and in three short months of opening her business, Susi Foerg has become a shining star on the local craft beer scene.
Susi had a clear vision of what she wanted to build.
“I trusted my gut,” she says, and her keen women’s intuition guided in her the construction of this beautiful new brewery in the North end of Kelowna.
Susi's background is in the financial industry, but after visiting Persephone Brewing on the Sunshine Coast, she says she was struck with the passion to create a similar community feel in her own Okanagan project and her new career fate unrolled.
The vibe here is welcoming and the design features the perfect combination of rustic beauty. After all, the building underwent a complete makeover from its original face as a semi-truck garage, to this white-washed vision of beauty. And not without some elbow grease – Susi, her parents and good friends all pitched in to build this dream, making the space truly a labour of love and an extension of her own home. Susi implemented the carefree spirit and comfort of fishing and cabin living, all with a woman’s touch. It was important to her to make the space appealing to females as well as the usual male beer crowd.
The food is delicious, and the menu hits every palate. The shrimp croissant tostada is highly addictive, and I’ve heard the beef brisket is mouth-watering. Love the idea of the sausage flight – a German girl after my own heart-served with house made mustard. The breakfast menu looks heavenly and they bake too! Daily bread and other treats like huge cinnamon buns and perfect chocolate chip cookies are on offer at the front counter.
But Rustic Reel is much more than a brewery and an eatery, this place has a philosophy and a mission to connect humanity and build community.
Susi spent a few months in her family’s town in Germany to observe and reabsorb the Euro-style pub culture which is all about communal tables and socializing with friends and meeting new people. Many go out to congregate with humanity after their meal at home and not sit in front of the TV like North Americans.
This communal table idea was the focus of Susi’s vision. She is all in with this concept, so much so that she chose not to install any televisions and does not offer WiFi. Here, chat is where it's at – the old fashioned live and face-to-face kind of chat. What a refreshing concept. The result? She has been open for three months, has barely done any advertising and she is packed every night.
This is exactly what this town needs and this brewery community has been an instant hit. They are not watering holes; they are culture hubs.
Other things I love about Rustic Reel:
Dogs are allowed on the awesome outdoor patio on one side. Note that you are not allowed food or drink service on that side, but this is progress and I love that she made that move.
There is a Beer it Forward program where you can buy a beer for a friend and write it on the paper scroll behind the bar for them to collect. Love!
The brewer has the cutest dogs – I am obsessed with Roo. A photo of Susi’s own beloved dog Walter who passed away a few months ago sits on the fireplace mantel (I love the cozy fireplace area too.)
The spent grains are recycled in two ways. The bulk is picked up by local farmers to fertilize and feed their livestock. It is also used for baking amazing bread in the kitchen.
The Tackle Box Local Market is at the back of the brewery and offers their beer, house-made preserves, local artisanal products, and lots of fun Rustic Reel merch.
The natural sunlight through the sky-high roll back windows (thanks to the semi-truck garage) is absolutely magical.
There is a private room for meetings and dinners and she caters to people with gluten issues and other dietary restrictions. She even has a gluten free beer in the works.
760 Vaughan Avenue, right beside B.C. Tree Fruits
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