April 16, 2013 – Cannery Brewing
As I’ve gotten to know the talented individuals in British Columbia’s wine industry, I know the kind of hours that they log so I understand completely why after a hard day, they might just want to kick back with a fine and frosty ale. Accordingly, I’m taking latitude in this post to highlight one of B.C.’s rock star craft brewers, Cannery Brewing. Like me, Brad is a member of the Cannery Brewing Growler’s Club, so I’m confident he’ll be okay with this change of pace and that I leveraged his comment.
The Cannery Brewing Company took first breath back in 2000 when Brew Master Terry Schoffer enticed Ron and Patt Dyck to join him in a brewing odyssey. Then owners and operators of the famed Country Squire Restaurant of Naramata, the Dycks were looking for something new after 23 years of operation that would allow them more time with their family. (Rest in Peace, Country Squire. Mark and I made this amazing restaurant part of our pilgrimage each time we visited the Okanagan. When we moved back to the area in 2009 we’d drive by the heritage home that once housed it each time we went to Naramata just to lament its emptiness. We always had hope some other talented folks would give it new life. When we drove by last year to find an empty lot where it once stood, it was a bit like Don McLean’s American Pie when “the levee was dry” except I do remember I cried.)
I digress. Happily, the brewing enthusiasm they shared resulted in the “Small Brewery with Big Flavour.” In the old Aylmer fruit and vegetable cannery in Penticton, they brewed their first batch of beer on April Fools Day 2001. At first, the beer was available in kegs at local restaurants, pubs and clubs, then 8.5-litre Party Pigs and later bottled in litre EZ cap grolsch bottles – which are still available for gifts for such occasions as Christmas. It was 2006 when Cannery Brewing brought canning back to the Aylmer cannery with its Anarchist Amber Ale in 355ml six packs. Then, in 2007, be still my heart, the Naramata Nut Brown Ale hit the canning line.
You’ll notice that Cannery Brewing exhibits a great respect for its beginnings and local sensibilities. Each craft beer and its label tell a story about life in the Okanagan. For example, the Squire Scotch Ale – another of my personal favourites – is a nod to the by-gone restaurant. Lakeboat Lager is a tribute to Penticton’s historical landmark, the S.S. Sicamous – a steam-driven stern-wheeled lake vessel that was operational from 1914 to 1935. Other beer include Paddles Up Pale Ale, Indian Pale Ale, Blackberry Porter, Maple Stout, Apricot Wheat Ale, Wildfire IPA, No Justice Pale and specialty brews periodically.
Visit the website to check out the tasting notes and latest brews. Better still visit the retail store where you can taste what’s on tap and if you call ahead to arrange it, you can tour the brewery. I highly recommend the tour. Once I had the opportunity as part of a media tour and another time in celebration of Cannery Brewing’s 10th Anniversary.
Brewery Tour with Patt Dyck
NOTE: Learn more about craft beers in Craft Beer Revolution, a book about to be launched by
my friend, Joe Wiebe, Thirsty Writer.
The passionate people at Cannery Brewing made the 10th Anniversary celebration as much about the customers – clients, restaurants, liquor store agents, et al – who supported them all along the way. Martin Lewis, Food and Beverage Director, Ramada Inn and Suites, Kettle Valley Station Pub, was invited to participate in tapping the celebratory keg in appreciation of his and the pub’s patronage. Baker/Proprietor Benjamin Manea and wife Sharon Wiener of Walla Foods just down the hall created a Cannery Brewing beer bread and buns, which have become bakery staples. Cannery neighbour Claudio Valentini, Valentini’s Café, added to the musical festivities with an alpenhorn salute. Check out the video shot by Erin Trainer and Erick Thompson of et2media to get in on the fun.
Enticing merchandise or beer gear as Cannery Brewing calls it, awaits in the retail store. Gregarious and gracious staff like Ellie will assist you in selections or fill your growler, if you’re a regular like me!
Growler Fill by Ellie
Just in time to enjoy with the Augusta Masters Coverage
In the store, you can check out Cannery Brewing’s impressive array of awards – the latest is People’s Choice Award for Best Beer at the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale. View et2media’s video to get a glimpse of son Ian Dyck as the brewing legacy evolves.
Located at 112, 1475 Fairview Road, Penticton, BC V2A 7W5
Retail store hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Sundays and Holidays.