Breweries to visit—Kootenay style!

Spend an afternoon (and your weekly beer allowance) at one of these top breweries

by Zoë Dupley

Visitors enjoy beer on tap at Mt. Begbie Brewing Co. in Revelstoke. — Kirsten Armleder photo

The only thing the Kootenay area has more of than mountains is breweries. Many of these facilities offer tours and tastings, so there’s no better way to spend an afternoon and experience the Kootenay beer culture than visiting these breweries’ ground zero.

Here are some of the top Kootenay breweries to check out:

Angry Hen Brewing Company

Where: 343 Front St., Kaslo, B.C.

When: The brewery is open Tuesday to Sunday from 12 to 10 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.

Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.

Where: 2155 Oak Dr., Revelstoke, B.C.

When: Tours are coming soon to this brewery, but its tasting room is already open Monday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Good to know: Tracey and Bart Larson have won 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). Their new location has a store and tasting room for all 12 of their beers. To learn more about Mt. Begbie Brewing Co., check out this article.

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

Columbia Brewery

Where: 1220 Erickson Rd., Creston, B.C.

When: Tours run Monday to Friday at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The brewery is also open for tour on Saturdays throughout July and August.

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 and Winchester. To learn more about Columbia Brewery, check out this article. Or visit the website.

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

Fernie Brewing Company

Where: 26 Manitou Rd., Fernie, B.C.

When: The tasting room is open 12 to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 12 to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday and holidays.

Good to know: Fernie Brewing Company has a “Cheers to Charity” flight option in its tasting room. For $5 a flight, you get to sample four beers straight from the taps, and all the money goes to worthy local charities in Fernie. 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.

Nelson Brewing Company

Where: 512 Latimer St. Nelson, B.C.

When: The tasting room is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday from 12 to 8 p.m.

Good to know: This eco-friendly brewery creates certified organic beer in addition to a number of other varieties. Its beer is served at 24 different locations throughout the Kootenays, including the Kodiak Lounge (Fernie) and the Thirsty Duck Neighbourhood Pub (Castlegar). To learn more about the Nelson Brewing Company, check out this article.

Torchlight Brewing Company

Where: 125 Hall St. Nelson, B.C.

When: The tasting room is open Sunday to Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Wednesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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. There’s a full-food menu with the same hours as the tasting room. To learn more about the Torchlight Brewing Company, check out this article.

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 to Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 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.

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 10 p.m.

Good to know: The brewery offer three lines of beer. One is “West Coast Influenced,” one is “Belgium Inspired,” and the third is “High Gravity.” To see Whitetooth Brewing Company in action, visit its Instagram page.

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

Arrowhead Brewing Company

Where: 481 Arrow Rd., Invermere, B.C.

When: The tasting room is open Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m., Monday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 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.
To learn more about the Arrowhead Brewing Company, check out this article.

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: The former owners of Trail Brewing, Ryan Arnaud and Petri Raito moved to Rossland and started a new venture known as Rossland Beer Company. It has been very popular, with selections such as Paydirt Pale Ale, Helter Smelter Amber Ale and 7 Summits Milk Stout. To tour the facility, you can contact the brewery to schedule an appointment, or you can view a virtual tour here. To learn more about the Rossland Beer Company, check out this article. To see the brewery in action, visit its Instagram page.

Fisher Peak Brewing Co.

Where: 821 Baker St., Cranbrook, B.C.

When: The Heid Out Restaurant and Brewhouse is open Monday to Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., on Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight, 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. You can take the virtual tour of the location here. To learn more about the company’s menu and beer options, visit its website or Facebook page.

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