For those of you who are in the midst of the holi-daze, you’re probably looking for something to do to fill your time. Whether you’re with family, friends, or need to get away from the holiday hullabaloo, trying some limited edition winter brews is the perfect remedy.
We’ve checked in with breweries from around the Thompson-Okanagan and have found some of the best beers and ciders fit for the festive season. Check in with your favourite brewery for their holiday hours.
Red Collar Brewing is well-known for its fun atmosphere and flagship beers, but this holiday season there’s a bit more. They’re now pouring a Spiced Apple Cider and the rich and dark Double Dubbel, which is sure to help carry on the jolly mood. While you’re visiting them at 355 Lansdowne St., check out their new pinball machines, vintage video games and photo booth.
Iron Road Brewing is another Kamloops brewery that is well-known around town and beyond. For the winter season, they’re offering a new bottled creation, the Barrel Aged Northern King. The brewers poured their Russian Imperial Stout into recently emptied Four Roses bourbon barrels and aged the beer for a year. With the final product now ready, brewers say it’s made with smoked, pale chocolate and coffee malts, and has taken in the wood, bourbon and vanilla flavour from the barrels. Get the goods at 980 Camosun Cres.
The Noble Pig Brewhouse at 650 Victoria St. is recognized as one of the river city’s best places to go for chef-designed meals and house-made beers. Over the holidays, they’re offering rotating taps such as The Muffin Man Belgium Peppered Ale Infusion and the Harvest Pilsner Collab Brew, which was made in partnership with Iron Road Brewing.
Bright Eye Brewing, the newest brewery in Kamloops, has already created a strong following of foodies and beer lovers who are curious to try their ever-changing food and drink menu. One of their current beers is an homage to a homemade peach cobbler, and aims to hit all the right holiday notes. This pale ale is has notes of vanilla beans, cinnamon and fresh peaches and is rightfully dubbed the Pale Ale with Peach, Vanilla and Cinnamon. Try it out at 292 Tranquille Rd.
In one of the busiest cities for craft breweries, you’re sure to find the perfect creation to complement the relaxing holiday season.
BNA Brewing in Kelowna is a popular spot to eat, drink, be merry, and play some bowling or arcade games. Stop by 1250 Ellis St. to try one of their winter beers like the Tennessee, a dark imperial stout, which they say has a nice oaky finish. For those who have late holiday parties to attend, you can get last-minute gifts from here. The brewery is offering candles like bergamot lavender, smoked birch, and peppermint, which are all poured inside of beer glasses, so even after the flame goes out, the gift can be used for years to come.
For those wanting to get away from rich, dark beers, you can get your hands on a fruity sour at Boundary Brewing Company at 455 Neave Court #2. The brewery is offering ‘Winter Sour #1’ which has notes of cranberry, hibiscus, and cinnamon. They have also partnered with another Kelowna Brewery, Wild Ambition Brewing, on the ‘Kveik Gruit Sour.’ According to their Facebook page, it is a Norwegian Viking style beer fermented with Kveik yeast and flavoured with juniper and wormwood.
After getting a little taste of Wild Ambition Brewing at Boundary, head to Wild Ambition’s own location at 1-3314 Appaloosa Road to try their ‘Ulpia Severina,’ a sour ale made to celebrate one year of being in business. The sour ale is aged in French oak wine barrels and the complex brewing process starts with plums that come from Jobst-Hoff orchards just north of the brewery.
New beer release this weekend to celebrate one year since we opened our doors at the brewery! Ulpia Severina is a sour ale produced by blending together three French oak wine barrels of mixed-fermentation beer that matured for seven months with a blend of saccharomyces, brettanomyces, and lactic acid bacteria with 500lbs of whole Empress plums grown in Oyama at Jobst-Hoff orchards just a short hop north of the brewery. The already complex and tart barrel-aged beer picked up a ton of colour and flavour from a 7 week long re-fermentation on the whole fruit prior to bottle conditioning for natural carbonation. The namesake of the beer is Ulpia Severina, a 3rd century roman empress and wife of Aurelian who is believed to have ruled after Aurelian's death, making her the only woman to have governed over the entire classical Roman Empire in her own right. During the eight months of her rule before the election of the next emperor, there were a number of coins produced depicting her (similar to the one found on the label for this beer) and it is through these coins we know she attained the titles of Augusta (Empress), Pia (Pious), and Mater Castrorum et Senatus et Patriae (Mother of the Barracks, Senate, and Country). Like all our beers released over this past year, this was brewed, fermented, barrel aged, fruited, packaged, naturally carbonated in the bottle or keg, etc from grain to glass on-site at our brewery at 3314 Appaloosa Rd.
If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family, check out Freddy’s Brewery, which partners with McCurdy Bowling Center. They’ve got two seasonal beers right now, the Hazelnut Numb Nuts Porter, which has chocolate and - you guessed it - hazelnut flavours. For the fruit fans, try their blueberry forward Grand Poobah Blueberry Stout. They say this beer is perfect for the winter months, as it carries the traditional stout characteristics like a rich feel from earthy and spicy hops, and caramel and chocolate notes. Enjoy it all at 948 McCurdy Road.
Copper Brewing Co. in Kelowna has a couple of beers perfect for a holiday from your holiday. The Three Cheers Belgian Trippel is a strong Trappist style ale which offers spicy, floral and orange citrus aromas with smooth and strong honey malt. You can also try their German-inspired ‘Schwarzbier,’ a dark beer which they say has a clean malt flavour and roasted notes. Visit them at #102 1851 Kirschner Rd.
Rustic Reel Brewing Co. is one of the city’s newer breweries and has already made quite a splash. They offer a mega-festive Gingerbread Cookie Ale which is made with fresh ginger, molasses and a blend of spices. Earlier this month, they released a Black IPA which they state on their website was made with a ‘mosaic of flavours.’ They also have a flagship Chocolate Imperial Stout which is perfect for those with a sweet tooth. The stout is made with chocolate from Kelowna’s Knights Fine Chocolates and has light coffee and raisin notes. You can find them at 760 Vaughan Avenue.
The Tree Brewing Beer Institute is offering mulled hot apple cider made from Duke’s cider, as well as their Vertical Winter Ale which is an amber ale with vanilla notes. Try them out at 1346 Water Street.
Try the Celt Irish Stout (NITRO) at Vice and Virtue Brewing at 1033 Richter Street. The company has brought back this fan favourite and has added more boldness to the beer, which is made with oats like chocolate rye and roasted barley.
Bad Tattoo Brewing has added a Nordic Nights Winter Ale to their fleet of beers. The winter ale is a lighter beer served with lemon, but if you want something hearty, try their flagship Peanut Butter and Chocolate Porter which would go great with their brownie and gelato dessert. Check them out at 169 Estabrook Avenue.
Slackwater Brewing has created a few winter brews to help keep you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Whether you want to enjoy it alone or surrounded by pals, their Solitude saison will offer you a mouthful of flavours like a spicy French saison would. They also offer the Mandarina dry-hopped lager. The brew was dry-hopped with Bavarian Mandarina, a German hop which gives the beer an aroma of mandarin oranges and brings a light ponderosa-like pine flavour. You can visit them at 218 Martin Street.
Marten Brewing in Vernon at 2933a 30th Ave. offers a few seasonal brews such as the Fresh Hopped IPA and Export Lager, and some more winter-focused brews like the Nitro Cream Ale, a full-bodied beer with a full-bodied cream and silky finish. Marten Brewing has also brought back their Cookie Monster Stout, which is a dark black beer with chocolate flavours and toasted notes.
If there’s a perfect beer to pair with the holiday season that you think we missed, let us know in the comments.
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