The following was experienced and contributed by John Biehler exclusively for Miss604.com
Last week I was invited as a guest of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) to experience the region and see what the area has to offer. In this post, I’ll focus on one of my favorite things, beer.
Considering the region is world renowned for it’s wine, touring a number of beer related locales was a pleasant surprise.
Our first beer-related stop was the Tree Brewing Company in the heart of downtown Kelowna. The public is welcome to drop by the brewery for tours (check the website for tour schedules) and to sample some of the uniquely Kelowna craft beers made on the premises.
Their ‘Vertical Winter Ale’ is possibly the best winter seasonal beer I’ve ever had. Fortunately, you can get Tree beer in the lower mainland in BC Liquor Stores as well as on tap:
Our next beer stop was in Kamloops to visit The Noble Pig brewpub.
We met with brewmaster David Beardsell who gave us a tour of onsite brewery which he completely built from scratch after over 15 years in the business.
He was extremely passionate about his beer making and the attention to detail was unmistakeable…including all the custom made (and patented) brewing equipment, built to his specifications. If you’ve never done a brewery tour, I highly recommend it as there is nothing better than fresh beer.
We were also treated to something kind of new in the beer realm which is common for wine tastings – the food pairing. The Noble Pig’s chef had worked with David to create a unique menu of food that paired perfectly with one of the 6 brews made there.
Not being much of a seafood person in the past, I threw caution into the wind and dove into the mussles with chorizo sausage…I ended up having a second serving.
Also on the menu is a personal favorite: deep fried pickles which I first discovered in Austin, Texas.
Easily my favourite beer at the Noble Pig was Dave’s Peppered Belgian Ale – sadly only available on tap in Kamloops but worthy enough for a road trip.
Our final beer stop was the Frick & Frack Taphouse, conveniently located across the street from the Noble Pig – Kamloops is a bar hopping delight.
With well over 106 different types of beer available, the Frick & Frack is a tasters dream. Sourced from all over the world, there are some truly unique beers to be found here.
My favorite beer at the Frick & Frack was Flying Monkey’s Hoptical Illusion…which was fabulous.
Stay tuned for the next dispatch from the Thompson Okanagan tour featuring wine later this week.
John is an avid photographer, gadget geek and traveller. You can find him on Twitter and at johnbiehler.com where he discusses photography and all sorts of technology. All photos in this post were taken by John.