There’s a very good reason why Castlegar, and the West Kootenay region in general, is a hot bed for cold beer. After all, the area is famous for its outdoor activities and what better way to celebrate a fun day of recreating than with a delicious craft beer? There have been many articles written by such websites as BC Ale Trail and Mountain Culture Group about the mountain biking scene here and the excellent breweries to visit after a ride, but there are so many other activities to partake in and then hoist a brew afterwards including skiing, fishing, rock climbing, golfing, paddling, hiking and more.

Below is our list of craft breweries in Castlegar and the surrounding area as well as our favourite pubs where local craft beer is sold.

 

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, considering heading 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.

 

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Angry Hen Brewing

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Brewmaster Shirley Warne established the Angry Hen craft brew pub in 2017 and it’s 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

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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.

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