BC Ale Trail

Quench your thirst all over the kootenays

the bc Ale trail

A wide array of world-class breweries are waiting to be discovered amid British Columbia’s spectacular wilderness and scenery, along with a wide range of outdoor activities and urban experiences. Arrive thirsty, leave inspired.

West kootenays

The Trail Beer Refinery embraces that city’s mining history. Rossland Beer Co.’s comfortable vibe makes it a favourite with locals and visitors alike. The Lion’s Head Smoke & Brew Pub in Robson is an oasis of craft beer in the wilderness, with its own brewery in the works, and Castlegar’s Tailout Brewing celebrates the region’s love of fly fishing. Erie Creek Brewing acts as a community hub in Salmo.

Nelson, the “Queen City” that is essentially the capital of the region, is home to 10,000 people, some gorgeous architecture, and three breweries, including the region’s oldest, Nelson Brewing, which has been a local favourite since it opened in 1991, along with Torchlight Brewing and Backroads Brewing. Nearby, Kaslo’s Angry Hen Brewing is a brewery with a view of beautiful Kootenay Lake.

The Breweries

Tailout Brewing

Founded by friends with a shared love of outdoor activities, especially fly-fishing, Tailout Brewing has a comfortable tasting room that features its stylish fish logo prominently. Indeed, the name “Tailout” refers to a shallow part of a river where fish tend to gather — in other words, a great place to cast a fly.  The idea for the brewery came to some Alberta friends while they were sitting in a Banff brewery four years ago. They decided

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Lions Head Pub

Not to be missed! A mandatory stop if you’re anywhere near Robson… The historical Lion’s Head focuses on quality food and beer. All the food is fresh and from scratch! The taps are reserved for BC Craft Beers. All of that in a warm and friendly traditional Tudor style pub. Situated right on the Columbia river; we have 2 outdoor patios for your enjoyment. THE BBQ SMOKER Our meats are specially prepared in our huge smoker. They

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Trail Beer Refinery

With a name that reflects Trail’s historic connection to mining, refining, and smelting, this brewery has a strong community focus. For the 13 local business partners who joined together to open Trail’s first craft brewery, it was an obvious choice to link its name to the city’s main industry. Trail is home to one of the world’s largest lead-zinc smelting and refining complexes, which has been a major employer in the region for more than 100 years.

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Rossland Beer Company

An award-winning nano-brewery tucked away in the Southwest kootenays. While Ryan Arnaud and Petri Raito ran a local U-Brew company called Trail Brewing they realized there was great demand for craft beer in their area. So the two best friends purchased a small nanobrewery system from a brewery in North Vancouver that was expanding and opened Rossland Beer Company. Since then they were able to expand to a bigger system built for them by Specific Mechanical. It’s

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Erie Creek Brewing

Kootenay crafted been in a small town Brewery. An old adage says that every town should have its own brewery, and that was certainly one of the incentives behind opening Erie Creek Brewing. When Colin and Lynn Hango moved their family from Nelson to an acreage in Salmo, they saw the need for a community hangout, a place for people to get together and enjoy a craft beer.  Colin had been home brewing for several years, so

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Angry Hen Brewing

In the heart of Historic Kaslo, the angry Hen offers tasty beers with a spectacular view of Kootenays lake. Kaslo’s “Angry Hen” ferments her years of brewing experience with passion and outrage to bring you the finest of beers. Tradition mixed with innovation creates unique beers renowned for their solid good taste, seasonal inspirations, and queer sensibilities. Co-owner and brewer Shirley Warne has been part of British Columbia’s craft beer scene for a long time. After starting

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Torchlight Brewing

Nelson was a one-brewery town for more than 20 years before Torchlight Brewing opened in 2014. It started as an idea that two friends, Josh and Craig, had while enjoying some craft beer on a patio in Halifax. Inspired to open their own brewery back in their home town of Nelson, the friends set out on a path that changed their lives. First, they opened a nano-brewery in June of 2014, but found demand for their beer was

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Nelson Brewing Company

Visit the in-brewery tasting room! NBC opened in 1991 in a historic building that housed the original Nelson Brewing and Ice Company back in 1897. The modern-day operation was a pioneer microbrewery in the Kootenays, BC’s first craft operation east of the Okanagan, and played a big role in introducing craft beer to the region. In 2006, the brewery blazed another trail by going all organic, a move that reflected the healthy lifestyle choices pursued by many

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Backroads Brewing

Occupying a prime, central location on Baker Street, Backroads has fit in seamlessly beside the many cafes, restaurants and crystal-selling stores of downtown Nelson, the counter-culture capital of BC’s Interior. Without its name emblazoned on the tall windows, you’d have no idea there was a brewery tucked into the back of this century-old building. It’s here that Mike Kelly, formerly the long-serving brewmaster at Nelson Brewing Company up the hill, is pushing forward the Kootenay beer scene

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east kootenays

Spread throughout is a network of thirst-quenching craft breweries. Fernie Brewing is nestled in the Canadian Rockies. From there, travel to Cranbrook, home of Fisher Peak Brewing at the Heid-Out restaurant, and then continue on to Over Time Beer Works in Kimberley. The beautiful Columbia River Valley opens up in front of you as you drive north to Invermere. Nearby is Fairmont Hot Springs where the East Kootenay Beer Festival is held each June. Finally, head north to check out Whitetooth Brewing in Golden and Mt. Begbie Brewing and Rumpus Beer Co in Revelstoke.

Fisher Peak Brewing

The Heid Out serves its own craft beers produced by Fisher Peak Brewing on-site. Heidi’s Restaurant was already a popular Cranbrook establishment for years and then the Romichs chose to renovate and update the restaurant, adding a brewery to the facility in 2013. The result is a welcoming and comfortable restaurant that has a kitchen focused on seasonally produced local ingredients and serves delicious, fresh and award-winning craft beer. Fisher Peak’s Scottish Ale won Gold at the

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Over Time Beer Works

Over Time was founded by Kenny Dodd, an entrepreneur who grew up in the area, moved away and then returned to Kimberley in his 30s because he felt that “No self-respecting mountain town should be without a brewery.” The brewery is based in downtown Kimberley, a mountain town themed after a Bavarian village. No visit is complete without putting a coin in the world’s largest cuckoo clock and then witnessing the emergence of Happy Hans, a yodelling,

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Fernie Brewing Co.

When Fernie Brewing opened in 2003 it was based in a barn on the Pask family farm. At first, thanks to all the ski hills around Fernie, it was busier in the winter than it was in the summer, which is usually a brewery’s busiest season. Before long it was popular enough to be busy year-round, and in 2007 the brewery moved into its own purpose-built facility on the highway just outside the town centre. Since then,

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