Raise a glass to Bonnie Henry: North Okanagan brewpub names an ale after B.C.'s top doc | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Raise a glass to Bonnie Henry: North Okanagan brewpub names an ale after B.C.'s top doc

The Bonnie Henry Blonde Ale from Marten Brewpub in Vernon.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Clint Bialas
July 15, 2020 - 2:47 PM

She has Fluevog shoes named after her, T-shirts emblazoned with her image, a giant octopus named after her at a Vancouver Island aquarium and is the face of Science World's new fundraising campaign.

She's provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, and now she has a beer named after her too.

Marten Brewpub in Vernon renamed one of their popular blonde ales as a tribute B.C.'s top doctor, in honour of her calm demeanour and tireless efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

"With the communications, the protocols that she came up with, she had kind of a soothing effect," manager Clinton Bialas said. "We spoke highly of her, and so did our customers as we opened up (following the pandemic restrictions lifting)."

READ MORE: B.C. aquarium's giant octopus to be named after Dr. Bonnie Henry

At the time, they were starting to release their summer beers and wanted to rename their blonde ale.

"It just kind of came out of my mouth," Bialas said. "What about a Bonnie Henry Blonde Ale?"

The more the staff mulled it over, the more it made sense.

"It seemed like the beer was very calm, there was no hoppiness, no jumping out notes," he said. "A lot of people would like this beer, it’s a very fan-friendly beer… It was made for everybody."

The Bonnie Henry Blonde Ale was quietly released in June, but now that word has gotten out, it has become Marten's most popular beer.

"We’re getting calls from everywhere, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver… Alberta, asking us to send them cases," he said. "We’re unable to do it though. We’re not set up for it, and that wasn’t the purpose."

READ MORE: Photo of 7-year-old Dr. Bonnie Henry featured in Science World's latest campaign

He said renaming the beer isn't about making money, it's about sending a message.

"It wasn’t about sales, it wasn’t about exposure," he said. "It was actually just a complete salute and homage to Bonnie Henry."

Marten Brewpub is a small operation, and all their beer is bottled and labeled by hand. They're doing their best to keep up with the new demand, and will continue serving the Bonnie Henry Blonde Ale for the rest of the summer.

"I feel good about it, just that element of ‘cheers,'" Bialas said. "Every one that is opened, hopefully somebody does say ‘Here’s to Bonnie Henry.'"


To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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