Top 5 Best Breweries in Kelowna, British Columbia

Kelowna is one of the prettiest cities in British Columbia. It’s also kinda like the Florida of BC. Today, Kelowna has several great breweries.

I have a weak spot for breweries in British Columbia. There’s something about the water that makes beer in western Canada taste better.

When I lived in Kelowna, Tree Brewing was the only brewery in town. Today, Ktown has several excellent breweries.

Looking for the best breweries in Kelowna? Here are my picks.

1) BNA Brewing Co.

BNA Brewing Co. has a buzzing downtown location. They opened in 2017 in the old Flashbacks nightclub location.

BNA serves 5-star food. They brew good beer. There’s even a bowling alley.

Don’t even bother trying to get a big reservation for BNA between November and December. Every company in Kelowna has its Christmas party here.

BNA is a huge, multi-level brewery and restaurant (they officially call themselves an “eatery”). Whether you’re looking for a fancy dinner, craft cocktails, excellent beer, or a trendy spot to see and be seen, BNA Brewing is the busiest bar in Kelowna for a reason.

2) Kettle River Brewing Co.

Kettle River Brewing has a small taproom and patio in downtown Kelowna. They serve surprisingly tasty beer. You even get a view of Knox Mountain from the patio.

Popular beers include the Loose Canoe DIPA, Business in the Front Blonde Ale, Party in the Back Dirty Blonde Ale, and Nuclear Splash Hazy NEIPA.  

Kettle River also has excellent food available on-site. They call it “casual camp inspired food”. Expect seasonal plates and snacks that pair perfectly with a flight.

3) Rustic Reel

Located just around the corner from Kettle River Brewing Co., Rustic Reel is deceptively fancy inside. The small taproom has multiple long tables and several private rooms. There’s also an excellent patio that faces the afternoon sun.

As you may have guessed from the name, Rustic Reel is a fishing themed brewery, although you don’t really notice it.

I really enjoyed Rustic Reel’s beer. Their beer was all over the map when I visited, including a red IPA, blonde ale, and some darker, Christmas-style beers.

Out of all the breweries I’ve visited in Kelowna, Rustic Reel also has the friendliest serving staff.

4) Tree Brewing Beer Institute

Tree Brewing is the oldest brewery in Kelowna. They were making local, craft beer before it was cool.

Today, Tree Brewing has an excellent location near Kelowna’s beautiful waterfront. Rose’s is gone, but Tree Brewing is right around the corner.

Tree Brewing is huge. There are multiple levels. They were hosting an Oktoberfest party when we visited. As part of a bachelor party, we even got featured on Tree Brewing’s Instagram feed.

Tree Brewing serves good beer and food at a surprisingly reasonable price for its location.

Don’t expect anything too crazy on the menu: Tree Brewing focuses on lagers, pale ales, and other easy-drinking beers. However, they’ve recently branched into kettle sours, NEIPAs, and other more adventurous options.

5) Boundary Brewing Company

The top four breweries are all downtown. Boundary Brewing Company is near my old stomping grounds, just down the road from UBCO.

Boundary Brewing Company has one of the smallest taprooms I’ve seen. It’s basically a bar with four stools and a long table. However, they brew good beer. I try to stop here for a growler fill and four-pack when driving through Kelowna. It’s easier to get to than the downtown breweries.

If you like German or European-style beers (I know that’s a vague term), then Boundary Brewing Company is worth a stop.  

Honorable Mentions

I’m amazed how many breweries are springing up around Kelowna.

There are too many good breweries to fit in a top five list. I’ve visited all of the breweries above, but others in Kelowna I have yet to visit include:

Wild Ambition Brewing: Opened in 2019, Wild Ambition Brewing is a new brewery just down the road from Boundary, up near UBCO. The brewery has excellent reviews, and I’m definitely going to visit the next time I drive through Kelowna.

Copper Brewing Company: Yet another new brewery in Kelowna, Copper Brewing Company is a couple blocks down Highway 97 from Orchard Park mall. Like Wild Ambition, Copper Brewing Company has collected some impressive reviews since launch, and I’m excited for my next visit to Kelowna already.

Kelowna Brewing Company: Kelowna Brewing Company, or KBC Public House, may have the best view of any brewery in Kelowna. Located on the hill above UBCO, KBC serves good beer and food in a student bar-style setting. If there was a brewery within walking distance of the dorms when I went to UBCO, I probably would not have graduated.

Lakesider Brewing: Across the bridge in West Kelowna you’ll find Lakesider Brewing, which offers food and beer with an excellent view over the vineyards, Okanagan Lake, and Mount Boucherie. The brewery has 900 square feet of patio space, making it an excellent summer chill spot.

Barn Owl Brewing: If you’re in the fancy side of town, then Barn Owl Brewing is the brewpub to visit. Barn Owl Brewing is in the same parking lot as a church just off Lakeshore Road. It’s in a genuine barn, and the décor and interior is cooler than any other brewery in town (okay, maybe BNA is cooler). I’m sure there are other barn breweries out there, but I’ve never been to one.

Red Bird Brewing: Red Bird Brewing is in Kelowna’s craft beer hotspot downtown, steps away from Kettle River, Rustic Reel, and Vice & Virtue Brewing Co. Red Bird is relatively new, and I haven’t had a chance to visit. However, it has excellent reviews online.

Vice & Virtue Brewing Co: Vice & Virtue Brewing Co. is a well-rated brewpub serving surprisingly fancy food and craft beer. Expect smoke meat, fresh-baked bread, charcuterie, and a variety of lagers, IPAs, sours, gluten-reduced beers, and more.  

Shore Line Brewing Co: Shore Line Brewing Co. is an upcoming brewery across from Gyro Park on Lakeshore Road. Originally scheduled to launch in summer 2019, Shore Line Brewing Co.’s release date is still TBD.

Smile Cycle Tours: Smile Cycle Tours is not a brewery. It’s a party bike that takes you to several great breweries (you can choose which ones you visit, or you can even visit a winery). It’s not cheap, but Smile Cycle Tours was an excellent choice for my recent bachelor party in Kelowna.

Final Word

I lived in Kelowna during my university days, graduating from UBCO in 2012. In my day, Kelowna had one craft brewery: Tree Brewing. Today, the city has nearly a dozen breweries.

Kelowna’s beer scene is thriving. From downtown hotspots like BNA to hidden gems like Boundary Brewing Company, Kelowna’s beer scene is worth a visit. Like I said – there’s something in the water that makes BC beer taste better.

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