Recently I had the pleasure of touring through Kelowna and lo and behold, right as I was passing through a new brewery was opening its doors. BNA Brewing, named after the British North American Tobacco Company which brought the tobacco industry to the valley in the early 1900’s from this very location, opened its doors on June 1st and they are making an epically good first impression.
Not only have they decided to start with some creative beers from the get-go (see below), they have brought in some of the best from around BC to compliment their own. Pair that with a high-end pub fair menu and vintage furniture with indoor lawn bowling and shuffleboard and you have a recipe for success. You can clearly see this has been a passion project for owners Kyle and Caroline Nixon, and it’s that kind of love and commitment that I think will help establish BNA as a landmark brewery in the Okanagan. I only wish they were closer to Vancouver!
So what does a new kid on the block serve right out of the gate? Well they aren’t taking the safe route, and have four distinct flavours right from the start:
Kolsch – Slow Night, So Long
ABV: 5 IBU: 23
This beer is the traditional working man’s beer of Germany. Brewed as a light, golden ale, Kolsch beers present as crisp, dry and thirst quenching. Not a fancy beer, but a great one to drink any day of the week.
Pale Ale – Earl
ABV: 5.5 IBU: 45
Pale ales have classically been heavy, malty, low in bitterness and high in malt sweetness. BNA Pale Ale uses Centennial hops both in the kettle and in the fermenters during aging to bring out its natural bright citrus and spice flavours. This beer was done in collaboration with Chai Baba Tea company on Ellis Street, where they aged the beer with an infusion of tea leaves to present a perfume on the beer that gives this Pale Ale its distinct flavour and aroma.
IPA – Blood, Sugar, Hops, Magic
ABV: 6 IBU: 60
By now anyone that drinks beer knows that an IPA is big on hop character, both in bitterness and aroma. Skirting the traditional Cascade hops, BNA IPA uses Australian Hops that are high in citrus (grapefruit, orange, mandarin, blood orange) flavours, and offer a crisp clean bitterness. The beer is infused with pureed Blood Oranges. The flavours give that rich, tart citrus kick while balancing the bitterness of the hops with the sweetness of the fruit.
Red Ale – Red Rothchild
ABV: 5.5 IBU: 25
This beer is a classic, old fashioned beer designed after Western European styles of low carbonation, amber ales. The blend of Munich and caramel Aromatic malts gives it a bready note, while the dark red colour comes from a dash of deep Roasted malts. The defining flavour comes from Kyle’s father Jim’s backyard: chips from his Maple tree were soaked in maple syrup and smoked out back to give the beer a rich smoked woodsy finish with a hint of Maple.