6 new breweries on the way

Kelowna's beer scene will be getting some new faces, just in time for summer.

The city has a long history with craft beer, with Tree Brewing opening its doors way back in 1996, when B.C.'s now-booming craft beer scene was still in its infancy.

Now, with the opening of Wild Ambition last December, the city boasts eight breweries. Another six are on the way, many of which are scheduled to open before summer.

Kelowna Brewing Company, located on Academy way near UBC Okanagan, is almost complete, and they're looking at an opening date in early May.

“Basically all the parts are there, it's just hooking up all the parts now,” said Bill Irvin, president of the new brewery. “We'e been working on it for close to a year now.”

Construction on the Lower Mission's first brewery is underway off Lakeshore Road, a stone's throw from the new DunnEnzies location. Barn Owl Brewing, located inside a big red barn, is expected to open in June.

Adding to the budding brewer's row in the city's North End, Rustic Reel Brewing Co. is hoping to open its doors on Vaughan Avenue at the end of June. The 100-person tasting room and bar area, located in between Sandhill Wines and BC Tree Fruits, will be accompanied by a 60-person, pet-friendly patio.

Barn Owl and Rustic Reel have both received approval by Kelowna city council, and they've received their liquor licence from the province “in principal.” That provincial licence is still pending a final inspection though.

Just north of Rustic Reel, the former head brewer at Kettle River Brewing, Brad Tomlinson, will be opening Jackknife Brewing directly beside the existing Kettle River facility. The brewery will include an 86-person indoor area, along with a 24-person patio.

In his proposal to the city, Tomlinson says the brewery will offer “inventive beer made from surprising combinations of local ingredients, old world processes and new world styles,” along with house-made pizza.

Tomlinson says he hopes to have the doors open in August or September.

Along with Vice & Virtue and Red Bird Brewing, Kelowna's North End is turning into the place to go to for carbonated beverages.

In Kelowna's Landmark area, Copper Brewing is expecting to open its doors in July. The brewery, with room for 70 people inside and 40 people on the patio, says it will produce “approachable beer styles that will have a focus on drinkability.”

“We are hoping to have all of our approvals in place by the end of May so we can start brewing in June,” said Sean White, Copper Brewing brewhouse manager.

Meanwhile, Shoreline Brewing is set to open in the new Shore Development across from Gyro Beach. While it's unclear when the brewery is expected to open, rental units above the ground-floor commercial space are expected to be move-in ready by September. 

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