Castlegar and the rest of the West Kootenay region has joined forces to offer up a road trip that’s sure to quench your thirst and your sense of adventure. With the help of BC Ale Trail as well as Tourism Rossland and Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism we’re showcasing the best craft breweries in the West Koots and also rewarding you for checking them out. The Grand Prize travel package includes:

  • accommodation for two in Nelson, Castlegar and Rossland
  • Dining gift certificates
  • Gifts from all the breweries including everything from shirts to hats

Here are the details: From January 16 to February 27 visit any of the participating locations listed below and ask for a stamp when you buy a beer. Once you’ve collected 6 stamps on your passport, show it to receive a free branded beer mug. After you’ve filled the entire passport with 9 stamps, hand it in to the brewery where you completed your card and you’ll be entered to win the grand prize.

The 9 participating breweries include:

  • Tailout Brewing
  • Lion’s Head Smoke and Brew Pub
  • Angry Hen Brewing
  • Backroads Brewing
  • Erie Creek Brewing
  • Rossland Beer Co.
  • Torchlight Brewing Co.
  • Trail Beer Refinery

For details about how to download your passport, and for more about the contest, visit kootenayroadtrip.ca/aletrial. And as always, please drink responsibly and don’t drive between locations. Instead, we recommend you stay in each city or town and take in its full flavour, from the beer to the overall scene. Below is more info about the participating locations.

Lions Head Smoke and Brew Pub

There was a time, about thirty years ago, when the only beer to be found in Castlegar was brewed by either Labatt or Molson. Slowly the offerings expanded and then things really shifted in 2009 when the Lion’s Head Smoke and Brew Pub was purchased by Troy Pyett and Carly Hadfield, daughter of the founder of Spinnakers Brewpub on Vancouver Island. Immediately after buying the famous neighbourhood watering hole, which is located a five-minute drive from downtown Castlegar in Robson,  the couple established a funny motto: “Converting Bud drinkers and vegetarians since 2009.” Their plan obviously worked because it’s now listed as one of the 8 best pubs in the province.  There are numerous craft beers and ciders on tap as well as a menu that features a variety of meats smoked on-site. There’s also a a natural rock climbing cliff in the backyard and a boat launch across the road making it the perfect destination post recreation.

  • Location: 2629 Broadwater Rd, Robson
  • Phone: 250-365-2739
  • Website: lionsheadpub.ca
  • Recommended Brew: The pub usually has beers from 15 different BC craft breweries. Take your pick.

Tailout Brewing

Another excellent craft beer establishment in Castlegar that’s easy to access after a day of outdoor fun is Tailout Brewing. In fact, the BC Ale Trail featured it in a story called “Castlegar Bikes & Beer: The best of both worlds” and called attention to the fact you can ride downhill all the way from the popular Merry Creek trail network to the pub’s front door. Opened in late 2019, the brewery offers a spacious, open setting and custom art that reflects the team’s love of fishing.

  • Tailout Brewing: Unit A, 1810-8th Avenue, Castlegar
  • Phone: 250-608-9056
  • Website: tailoutbrewing.com
  • Recommended Brew: Our preferred catch of the day is the Back Eddy Brown

 

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Trail Beer Refinery

Once you’ve visited Tailout and the Lions Head in Castlegar, head 25km down Highway 22 to the city of Trail where you’ll find the Trail Beer Refinery. It’s one of the newest businesses in the heritage city and reflects its historical connection to refining and smelting.

  • Trail Beer Refinery: 1299 Bay Ave, Trail
  • Phone: 778-456-2827
  • Website: trailbeerrefinery.ca
  • Recommended Brew: Silver City Lager is a perfect refresher after a day of hiking or mountain biking the local trails.

Rossland Beer Company

Home to Red Mountain Resort, the community of Rossland is famous for its skiing and mountain biking. It’s also home to the award-winning Rossland Beer Company owned by best friends Ryan Arnaud and Petri Railto. Located in the downtown core, the brewery is a quick 30-minute drive from Castlegar.

  • Rossland Beer Company: 1990f Columbia Ave, Rossland
  • Phone: 250-362-2122
  • Website: rosslandbeer.com
  • Recommended Brew: Seven Summits Milk Stout won a gold medal at the Canadian Brewing Awards.

 

 

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Erie Creek Brewing

Colin and Lynn Hango opened Erie Creek Brewing a year ago because they felt the community of Salmo really needed a hangout spot. Located in an old bank, the brewery boasts an active music scene so you can enjoy plenty of local tunes to wash down your flight.

  • Erie Creek Brewing Company: 117 4th St, Salmo
  • Phone: 250-357-2479
  • Website: eriecreekbrewingco.com
  • Recommended Brew: The Cream Ale has apparently converted a number or lager aficionados.

Angry Hen Brewing

Brewmaster Shirley Warne established the Angry Hen craft brew pub in 2017 and it has since become a de facto hangout in the small mountain town of Kaslo. Although an hour-and-a-half drive from Castlegar, Kaslo is worth the visit for its heritage, quaint main street and beautiful views of Kootenay Lake and the surrounding mountains. It’s also worth visiting just for the Angry Hen beer, all of which have clever names related to chickens, such as Kluckin Kölsch and Tough Old Bird.

  • Angry Hen Brewing: 343 Front St, Kaslo
  • Phone: 250-353-7446
  • Website: angryhenbrewing.com
  • Recommended Brew: Don’t leave without trying the Wild Rooster Hazy Pale Ale. It’ll ruffle your feathers.

 

 

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Nelson Craft Breweries

Located 30 kilometres north on Highway 3A, Nelson has no shortage of craft beer offerings. In fact, there are three small breweries located within an eight-block radius in the city as well as 14 bars and restaurants that serve local brews. The three breweries include the venerable Nelson Brewing Company, which has been in existence since 1991, as well as Backroads, located on the main thoroughfare of Baker Street, and Torchlight, located in the old Sear’s Warehouse building. They’re all within walking distance of one another making it easy to try a few different offerings.

  • Nelson Brewing Company: 512 Latimer St, Nelson
  • Phone: 250-352-3582
  • Website: nelsonbrewing.com
  • Recommended Brew: Whether you’ve been holding ski poles or fishing poles all day, the Bent Pole IPA is a perfect way to follow up.
  • Backroads Brewing: 460 Baker St, Nelson
  • Phone: 778-463-3361
  • Website: backroadsbrewing.com
  • Recommended Brew: It’s always the season for their Saison.
  • Torchlight Brewing: 125 Hall St, Nelson
  • Phone: 250-352-0094
  • Website: torchlightbrewing.com
  • Recommended Brew: Awesome Flavour Hazy IPA. Name says it all.