16 thirst-quenching Kootenay craft-beer breweries to check out

You don’t have to travel far to find good beer in the Kootenays

by Julie Matchett
Couple sitting in Backroads Brewing Company.

Specializing in lesser-known and forgotten styles of beer, the Backroads Brewing Co. in Nelson also offers traditional tastes for the less adventurous. — Photo courtesy Backroads Brewing Company Facebook page

The only thing the Kootenay area has more of than mountains is breweries. The area’s craft beer culture is hip and happening and brimming with award-winning brews. Head out for an adventure, and on the way, make sure to stop at one of these top Kootenay breweries for a cold one. Local liquor stores across the region also carry many of these top craft brews.

East Kootenay

Cranbrook

Fisher Peak Brewing Co.
Where: 821 Baker St., Cranbrook, B.C.
When: The Heid Out Restaurant and Brewhouse is open Monday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m, and Sunday from 3 to 9 p.m.
Good to know: The Fisher Peak Brewing Co. is the sister company to The Heid Out Restaurant and Brewhouse. All beer is brewed inside the restaurant, allowing customers to get the freshest taste available. The brewery’s Hellroaring Scottish Ale took home gold at the Canadian Brewing Awards in 2018, along with first place at the British Columbia Beer Awards. To learn more about Fisher Peak Brewing Co. and their beer options, visit their website or Facebook page.

Creston

Columbia Brewery
Where: 1220 Erickson Rd., Creston, B.C.
When: The store and tours at Columbia Brewery are currently closed due to COVID-19.
Good to know: This larger brewery, owned by Labatt's Canada, is where the famous Kokanee beer is made, but it also produces other favourites, such as Alexander Keith's, Busch, Budweiser, Winchester and their new craft beer, Goose Island.

Group in front of Columbia Brewery.

Staff of the Columbia Brewery stand in front of the Kokanee Sasquatch in Creston, B.C. — Photo courtesy Columbia Brewery

Fernie

Fernie Brewing Company
Where: 26 Manitou Rd., Fernie, B.C.
When: The tasting room and store is open Sunday to Thursday from 12 to 7 p.m., and 12 to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. They also offer FBC Flyby, an easy way to order beer and merchandise for safe pick-up outside their storefront.
Good to know: Fernie Brewing Company has a “Cheers to Charity” tap in its tasting room, with all money going to worthy local charities in Fernie and area. The brewery started out as a pet project in the Pask family’s barn in 2003. It has now become one of the most recognizable Kootenay brands with its colour-blocking label and all-around great taste. To learn more about Fernie Brewing Company, check out this article.

Golden

Whitetooth Brewing Company
Where: 623 - 8th Ave. North, Golden, B.C.
When: Whitetooth’s tasting room is open seven days a week from 2 to 8 p.m.
Good to know: The Whitetooth Brewing Company scored in five different categories at the 2020 Canadian Brewing Awards, in addition to snagging a Marketing Campaign of the Year Award from the Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce’s recent Community Excellence Awards. They offer three lines of beer, all celebrating Golden’s mountain culture: West Coast Influenced, the popular Belgium Inspired and the High Gravity series. To see Whitetooth Brewing Company in action, visit their Instagram page.

Owners of Whitetooth Brewery.

Kenton Donaldson and Mark Nagao are the owners of the Whitetooth Brewery Company in Golden, B.C. — Claire Dibble photo

Invermere

Arrowhead Brewing Company
Where: 481 Arrow Rd., Invermere, B.C.
When: The tasting room is open Monday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 6 p.m.
Good to know: Making craft beer with mountain spring water and other top-quality ingredients, Shawn and Leanne Tegart have embraced success since opening Arrowhead Brewing Company. The honey for some of their darker beers is sourced from their own beehives. As a Top 40 under 40 winner in 2017, read more about Leanne Tegart here.

Kimberley

Over Time Beer Works
Where: 136A Wallinger Ave., Kimberley, B.C.
When: The tasting room is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, 12 to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 12 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m Friday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.
Good to know: Over Time Beer Works advises to drink its beer while it’s fresh. Each batch is made by hand, meaning that each will have a slightly unique flavour. To learn more about its beer and where you can get it, visit Over Time’s Facebook page.

West Kootenay

Castlegar

Tailout Brewing
Where: Unit A, 1810 - 8th Ave., Castlegar, B.C.
When: The tasting room is open Tuesday to Thursday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and closed on Monday. Online orders and local delivery are also available in the Castlegar area.
Good to know: Opened in the fall of 2019, Tailout Brewing is an ode to the outdoors. The rustic design of the tasting room reflects the owners’ love of recreational activities such as fishing and hunting. Tailout Brewing is currently producing a number of different brews, including a rotating list of seasonal beers on tap.

Kaslo

Angry Hen Brewing Company
Where: 343 Front St., Kaslo, B.C.
When: The brewery is open Monday to Wednesday 12 to 8 p.m., Thursday 12 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Good to know: The Angry Hen Brewery Company has a tasting room and patio, with the option of eight different beers on tap. There is more information and many great reviews on its Facebook page.

Close up of Angry Hen beer in glasses.

Get your calm on at the Angry Hen Brewing Company. — Photo courtesy Angry Hen Brewing Company Facebook page

Nelson

Backroads Brewing Co.
Where: 460 Baker St., Nelson, B.C.
When: Backroads Brewing Co. is open Sunday and Monday 12 to 8 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday 12 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 12 to 10:30 p.m.
Good to know: Backroads Brewing Co. likes to keep its patrons on their toes by offering lesser-known and forgotten styles of beer. It also has a constant selection of old favourites on tap for those feeling less adventurous. To learn more about the company and the great flavours it has brewing, visit the Backroads Brewing Co. website or their Instagram page.

Nelson Brewing Company
Where: 512 Latimer St., Nelson, B.C.
When: The Tasting Room is currently closed, but have no fear—pick-up is available. Beer-to-go is available Tuesday to Friday 12 to 6 p.m., closed Sunday and Monday.
Good to know: This eco-friendly brewery creates certified organic beer in addition to a number of other varieties. They offer 10 taps of craft beer that rotate regularly between small-batch one-of-a-kind brews and their classic lineup. To learn more about the Nelson Brewing Company, check out this article.

Mountains and close-up of beer can.

Majestic scenery combined with tasty brews from the Nelson Brewing Company—can't get much better than that! — Photo courtesy Nelson Brewing Company Facebook page

Torchlight Brewing Company
Where: 125 Hall St., Nelson, B.C.
When: The tasting room is open Sunday to Wednesday from 12 to 8 p.m., and Thursday to Saturday from 12 to 9 p.m. Home delivery is also available in the local area.
Good to know: As a nano-brewery, Torchlight Brewing Company has produced a range of craft beers with natural ingredients through environmentally conscious processes. It also brews sodas and ginger beer, both of which are served in the Torchlight Lounge. KootenayBiz chatted with Torchlight co-owner and brewmaster Craig Swendson about the challenges COVID-19 has brought to the industry.

Revelstoke

Mt. Begbie beers.

Wet your whistle with one of these Mt. Begbie beers. — Glynis Fediuk photo

Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.
Where: 2155 Oak Dr., Revelstoke, B.C.
When: The Mt. Begbie Brewing Co. tasting room is open Thursday to Sunday 12 to 8 p.m. Their retail store, offering cold beer and cool merchandise, is open Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday to Sunday 12 to 8 p.m. Both the tasting room and store are closed holidays.
Good to know: The Mt. Begbie Brewing Co. was named the Canadian Craft Brewery of the Year in 2017. Tracey and Bart Larson are no strangers to awards for their Revelstoke brewery and take pride in embracing the science and artistry that are needed to create the perfect all-natural beer (Bart has a PhD in nuclear physics after all). To learn more about Mt. Begbie Brewing Co., check out this article.

Rumpus Beer Company
Where: 208 - 1st St. E, Revelstoke, B.C.
When: The Rumpus Beer Company is open Wednesday to Friday and Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m. On Saturdays, you can find them at the LFI Revelstoke Farmers Market until 1 p.m and their store from 2 p.m until 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays they are closed.
Good to know: Opened in June 2019, the Rumpus Beer Company is a small brewery and lounge, specializing in small-batch brewing. Their beer matches the Revelstoke vibe—fun, funky and full of adventure. Check out their Facebook page for more information about the brewery.

Rumpus beer cans.

Fun and funky are at the heart of Revelstoke's Rumpus Beer Company. — Photo courtesy Rumpus Beer Facebook page

Rossland

Rossland Beer Company
Where: 1990F Columbia Ave., Rossland, B.C.
When: The Rossland Beer Company’s tasting room is open Sunday to Wednesday from 1 to 8 p.m., and Thursday to Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m.
Good to know: At the Rossland Beer Company, it’s all about good times. The award-winning brewery is a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike and features hand-crafted beer at a fair price. Selections such as Paydirt Pale Ale, Helter Smelter Amber Ale and 7 Summits Milk Stout will have you coming back time and time again.

Salmo

Erie Creek Brewing Company
Where: 117 - 4th Street , Salmo, B.C.
When: The brewery and music lounge is open Monday to Thursday 12:30 to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12:30 to 10 p.m., and Sunday 12:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Good to know: A hip and happening venue featuring live music and Kootenay-crafted beer, the Erie Creek Brewing Company guarantees a fun time will be had by all. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for upcoming events.

Close up of Erie Creek beer in glass.

Live music and great suds is part of the experience at Erie Creek Brewing Company in Salmo. — Photo courtesy Erie Creek Brewing Company Facebook page

Trail

Trail Beer Refinery
Where: 1299 Bay Ave., Trail, B.C.
When: The Trail Beer Refinery is open from Wednesday to Saturday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Good to know: High-quality craft beer combined with tasty eats makes for a fantastic meeting place for friends and family. The Refinery mixes industrial, reclaimed elements with a modern twist and offers up craft beer, radlers and vodka sodas brewed and refined by brewmaster Sheri.

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