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Kelowna, a city nestled in the Okanagan Valley famous for its wine and cider, has been steadily gaining notoriety for a new kind of fermentation brew. In the last quarter of a century, this city has hitched itself to the ever-growing craft brewery scene. Originating with Tree Brewing in 1966, it has since grown into a vibrant grove of eclectic and unique breweries in the North End of Kelowna and beyond.
The biggest problem about gearing up to visit the breweries in Kelowna…is deciding which brewery to hit first! Luckily, Kelowna’s craft brewery scene is made up of so many unique locations and brews, you can choose the one that’s best for you.
Try bowling and a brew at BNA, try the Don’t Give a Hoot Ale at an authentic 1920’s barn at Barn Owl, or clock off for the day and grab a Nine-to-Five Pale Ale at The Office (the kind of office where beers ARE the agenda).
Craft beer lovers, hold onto your pints, as we dive into 13 of the best in this ever-growing thicket of breweries in Kelowna.
13 BEST Breweries in Kelowna
1. Red Bird Brewing
- Location: North End (1086 Richter St)
- Serves Food: Yes. The onsite food truck serves cheap and tasty dishes.
- Come here for: Live local music
Red Bird Brewing is a small intimate craft brewery, easily spotted from the street with its red and white bird mural, is home to a vibrant live music scene. They are proud supporters of musicians and the power of live music (which we can’t contend with!)
Pair their German-style Lady of the Lake Lager (5% abv) with a twist of the classic hot dog from the food truck menu or the Irish Tomb Stout (4.5% abv) with the mac and cheese paninis. They like keeping things simple with all items on the food menu being $13 CAD each.
Red Bird Brewing is a local favorite brewery in Kelowna, and when I was last there, not only was the place full (on a Tuesday!) but locals were pulling up and grabbing beer-to-go too. The outdoor patio area is the perfect place to people-watch on the street.
*Hot Tip: Located in the North End Brewery District, Red Bird Brewing makes a great stop on any self-guided walking beer “tour” in the area. Many of the breweries on this list are within a five-minute walk so you can easily check out a few breweries all at once!
2. BNA Brewing Co. and Eatery
- Location: Central City (1250 Ellis St)
- Serves Food: Yes. A full menu that is raved about! This might just be the best brewery in Kelowna when it comes to food.
- Come here for: Brew and a Bowl
Rated in the top ten of all restaurants in Kelowna on Tripadvisor and travelers choice 2021, BNA Brewing is a definite contender for anyone looking to check out Kelowna’s craft brewery and food scene.
Cozy up in the tasting room with its eclectic decor with sofas and chairs that make it feel like it’s taken from the set of Friends. Known best for their variety of sours and lagers, be sure to check out the Regatta Beach Sour Club (4.2%abv) and the 76 Wolverine Lager (4.8%abv).
If you’re looking to grab a bite, you can enjoy the Asian street food-themed nibbles at BoxcAr in the tasting room or head next door to the eatery for a full menu and service (prices range $3-$30 CAD).
Not ready to go home? finish the day with bowling next door. That’s right, a brew and bowl – what a great combination! In fact, many consider this to be one of the best things to do in Kelowna and I couldn’t agree more.
BNA really is a one-stop-shop when it comes to beer, food, and entertainment!
Related Read: Are you a foodie? If you’re heading to Vancouver be sure to join a Vancouver food tour for the ultimate cusine experience!
3. Kelowna Beer Institute
- Location: Cultural District (1346 Water St in downtown Kelowna)
- Serves Food: Yes. The pizza here is delicious!
- Come here for: View of the water
Kelowna Beer Institute, formerly known as Tree Brewing Institute, has recently rebranded but still holds its original location in the grassroots spot down by the water. Known for its tank-to-tap lineup of experimental beer that is on constant rotation, expect to be surprised.
Sit indoors or take a seat on their patio seating. They serve a mean perogy pizza or you make your own, with dishes ranging from $9-$16 CAD.
I personally love visiting Kelowna Beer Institute for its convenient location downtown and variety of new beers to try. They always have a selection of “fruity” beers to try as well as IPAs (my fav!) I usually get a tasting paddle when I visit consisting of four different beers so I can see which one I like the best. Then, buy it to-go at their attached storefront. You can also buy some cool-looking merch here.
4. Kelowna Brewing Company
- Location: 122-975 Academy Way
- Serves Food: Yes. Burgers, nachos and other pub-style food.
- Come here for: relaxed patio views of Kelowna
Kelowna Brewing Company is a welcomed break from the busy downtown North End, and a great place to relax and enjoy the patio views of Kelowna. This is one of the only breweries in Kelowna with a scenic location, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Kelowna Brewing Company is known for their staple Two Five Oh Common (5.1% abv) – this California Commons style lager ferments at a higher temperature to offer a more complex flavor and is equally great by itself or paired with food.
Enjoy your beer with the local favorite KBC Burger or one of the wide selection of burgers, nachos, and other meals from between $13-19 CAD.
5. Vice & Virtue Brewing Co.
- Location: North End (1033 Richter St)
- Serves Food: Yes. Snacks, sandwiches, and the crowd favorite, charcuterie boards.
- Come here for: Unique beer with a creative flair
Creativity at the seat of everything at Vice & Virtue Brewing Co. They love partnering up with local artists and companies to create unique offerings like the recent Aww Shucks Oyster Stout (5.6% abv) – a dark heavy beer with a semi-sweet taste.
Other crowd favorites include the Raspberry Love Potion “Berliner Vice” (4% abv), which has become one of Okanagan’s favorite sour beers. Pair it with a charcuterie or cheese board for $25 CAD and sit back and enjoy the ambiance in this modern-styled interior.
For real beer connoisseurs, this is easily one of the best breweries in Kelowna that you need to check out!
6. The Office
Location: North End (#301 – 890 Clement Ave)
Serves Food: Yes. Their light bites are the most popular and great for sharing.
Come here for: Casual craft beers and a modern indoor-ambiance
The Office, with its colorful sheik interior and post-it note theme, brings together work and play to be “your best meeting of the week”. Try their staple Nine-to-Five Pale Ale (5.5% abv) or their Paper Jam Lime Passionfruit Sour (5% abv) and unwind for the day. All of their beers have an office-themes name – great conversation starters or just for a laugh.
Enjoy an assortment of gourmet light bites or choose from their short but sweet selection of mains like their mac and cheese and their house-made pasta and duck ranging from $5-24 CAD.
Note: The Office is one of Kelowna’s newest breweries!
7. Jackknife Brewing
- Location: North End (727 Baillie Ave)
- Serves Food: Yes. Pizza, pizza, and more PIZZA!
- Come here for: Pizza and unique Kveik style brews
Their slogan “Weird beer. Classic pizza” is exactly what you can expect when it comes to Jackknife Brewing. In addition to being a self-proclaimed safe space for BIPOC LQBTQ2S+, they are one of the few places in Kelowna using Kveik (a series of centuries-old strains of yeasts) and traditional brewing techniques – which gives their beer a uniquely Nordic taste.
Try their Wizard Sticks Nordic IPA or Hammer of Doom, a Canadian imperial stout infused with maple syrup. You can also grab a horror movie-themed pizza like The Crippler and The Impaler for $16-$18 CAD. Bring your weird self and enjoy this eccentric pub! It’s unique and unlike any other brewery you’ll find in Kelowna.
8. Barn Owl Brewing
- Location: Lower Mission of Kelowna (102-4629 Lakeshore Rd)
- Serves Food: Yes. A variety of food trucks.
- Come here for: Quaint barn vibes and food trucks
Barn Owl Brewing is located in a 1921 heritage barn. Not only is the building unique, but the brewery is owned by a doctor, a teacher, and a church worker who just happen to love craft beer and followed their tastebuds to create this iconic Kelowna brewery. Try the local favorites, Don’t Give a Hoot pale ale (5.5% abv), or their Wise Owl Nitro stout (4% abv) and you’re sure to be impressed.
They like to keep it fresh, with each night of the week offering a different food truck cuisine and can include anything from tacos to ramen. They also have been known to offer yoga classes in the loft; where guests can get their zen on and finish with a post-practice flight for $25 CAD.
9. Unleashed Brewing Co.
- Location: North End (207-880 Clement Ave)
- Serves Food: No
- Come here for: Enjoy a beer with your furry friends
Kelowna and its aptly named and pun-tastic breweries does not stop with Unleashed Brewing. One of the newest additions to Kelowna breweries offers a canine-inspired selection of craft beers that are designed to leave you drooling just like our favorite furry friends. Try their Fuggley Dog red ale (5.6% abv), a beer dedicated to the dogs that are so ugly they are cute.
Of course, it is also canine-friendly! Dogs are currently welcome on the patio and eventually will be welcomed indoors pending council approval. What’s better is that they also aim to provide support to local animal shelters and homes for rescue dogs.
10. Copper Brewing Co.
- Location: Landmark District (#102-1851 Kirschner Rd)
- Serves Food: Yes. Unique hot dogs including the Tace Dog and Pizza Dog!
- Come here for: Video games and a beer with friends (and cuddles with Porter, the Bernese mountain dog!)
Copper Brewing is a classic pub with a modern twist – its timber table-tops and copper accents come with a video game area! Try a wide range of craft beers from The Porter brewed with a heavy dose of crystal malts (6%abv) to the Strawberries and Cream Wheat Ale (5%abv).
Enjoy a beer, a gourmet hotdog for $12C AD, and play a game or two.
Don’t be alarmed if you see a pup wandering around either! This pub was named after the family dog Copper, who sadly passed away prior to the brewery opening. However, since then Porter, another Bernese, has become the resident brewery dog!
Since this brewery is located outside of downtown, you’ll find parking easily. It is a popular local hangout.
Related Read: If you love craft beer be sure to head over to Vancouver too. Visiting breweries is one of the best things to do in Vancouver – and there is even one really special one on Granville Island!
11. Wild Ambition Brewing
- Location: 3314 Appaloosa Rd
- Serves Food: No
- Come here for: Creative craft beer made with mostly local ingredients
As the only brewery in the interior of BC that has a focus on bottle-conditioned mixed fermentation ales, it’s no wonder they are wildly ambitious! Wild Ambition Brewing combines historical brewing methods with modern locally sourced ingredients to create their “Wildly Creative Craft Beer”.
Try one of their barrel-aged beers like A Suggestion of Dark Places, their barrel-aged merlot sour (5.8%abv); or their Ulpia Severina, barrel-aged sour with empress plums (6% abv).
Note: They are currently selling online only as the tasting room is under renovations! I’m excited to see if they get as “wildly creative” with this space as they do with their craft beer. Be sure to check their website for updates on the opening date.
12. Rustic Reel Brewing Company
- Location: North End (760 Vaughan Ave)
- Serves Food: Yes. A large menu catering to those with dietary requirements.
- Come here for: Rustic vibes and inclusive dietary requirements
This rustic brewery with its tin paneling and wooden decor, tall ceilings, and huge patio gives the feeling that you have retreated to a farm lodge without having to take a step out of the city. Rustic Reel Brewing Company is an IPA fans’ dream with their robust range including their Black (7% abv), West coast (6.5%abv), Easy (4.5% abv), and Hazy (6% abv).
Looking to eat? The sausage flight is a crowd favorite but if that’s not your jam, they also offer a range of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. They also offer gluten-reduced beers such as their pale ale (4.3%) and easy IPA (4.5%) which are suitable for those with minor gluten intolerances.
Rustic Rell Brewing Company is located in a large building with a wrap-around patio – perfect for summer beers in the sun! Even if you’re visiting Kelowna in the winter the large indoor seating area makes this the perfect brewery to visit. The location on the North End also makes it easy to visit along with many other Kelowna breweries on this list.
13. Bad Tattoo
- Location: North End (740 Clement Ave)
- Serves Food: Yes. The pizzas are delicious!
- Come here for: Unique seasonal beers and limited releases
This Penticton business has recently opened its second location as part of the ever-growing craft beer scene in Kelowna. Bad Tatoo a dynamic range of craft beers ranging from their year-round Mexican inspired Los Muertos (5%abv) and Counterflow Citrus Circus Hazy IPA (6.8%abv) as well as their range of seasonals like their Patio Pink Lemonade (4.8%), Mango Chilli Lime (4.5%abv), and their Peanut Butter Chocolate Porter (6%abv).
You can also grab a bite from their range of Italian and Canadian starters, salads, and pizzas ranging from $8-25 CAD.
Enjoy the beer so much you want to take it home with you? Well, luckily you can sign up for their beer club where every two weeks they create a limited release that you can purchase to be delivered to you at home! A superb addition to Kelowna’s craft brewery district.
Bad Tatoo is arguably one of the most popular breweries in Kelowna. The large venue and outdoor patio is always buzzing and it is a popular spot for lunch and dinner too with an extensive menu that features gourmet pizzas.
Related Read: Heading to Banff? Check out all of the different breweries in Banff and area!
How to Best Visit Breweries in Kelowna
Many of the breweries in Kelowna are based in the North End and are within easy walking distance from one another. If you want to treat yourself to a weekend getaway of beer tasting, try booking in at the Sunset Waterfront Resort only a short walk to the North End breweries. However, as so many are springing up all around town, those in other parts of town are only accessible by car.
The other option is to join a tour! One tour worth checking out is this Kelowna brewery tour. This guided tour lasts 3 hours and spans across three breweries (BNA, Kelowna Beer Institute, and Kettle River). This comes with a local guide, transport, and a tasting flight at each stop for $90 CAD per person.
Where to Stay in Kelowna, BC
Good value accommodation can be hard to come by in Canada. However, we have been traveling long enough to know where to look and who to trust. Here are some of the best-rated places to stay in Kelowna for all budgets!
Kelowna International Hostel – This is easily your best budget option. This hostel is centrally located and although it not fancy, it’s only $80 for a double room that includes a highly rated continental breakfast. It’s also reviewed as a clean hostel with friendly staff.
Samesun Kelowna – The last decent budget hotel around the $100 mark is this place. The reviews are really good and the property is quite modern. The location is perfect if you want to be close to downtown and they include a free breakfast.
Dilworth Inn – I personally stayed at the Dilworth Inn. This place is a great medium-budget option that’s a little out of the city center but very close to the farmers market and other great amenities. They also have an indoor pool, spa, and sauna!
Hillcrest Farm Market – If you don’t mind staying a little out of the city then you may just fall in love with the Hillcrest. Its located 8km from the city center but is beautifully located. It’s around $250 per night but includes an awesome breakfast!
Delta hotels – This is the best high-budget hotel in Kelowna. It does come at a hefty price of $420 a night but it’s superbly located. It has both an indoor and outdoor pool as well as an onsite casino! If you can afford it, treat yourself!
For more info, check out our blog about where to stay in Kelowna, BC!
Before you go…
All in all, whether you prefer the simple joys of an outdoor patio with a view or seek out the quirky and unique craft beers, tasting rooms, and experiences, Kelowna is a great addition to any craft beer lover’s Okanagan Ale Trail itinerary.
Hopefully, this blog about the best breweries in Kelowna helps you narrow down your favorites so you can spend your time in Kelowna doing what’s most important: enjoying the very best of Kelowna craft beer!