Fernie Brewing Company
Look out world, beers from the Kootenays and Rockies are acquiring bottling machines and are making frothy, delicious waves in the Northwest beer scene. Although a brewery has existed in Fernie since 2003, it moved to a larger facility in 2008 and purchased a bottler two years ago. They have also revamped their packaging (something Nelson Brewing should do!) and started to distribute sampler packs, like Mill Street Brewing. I haven't tried all of Fernie's products, but I generally enjoy what I have tested. Last week, I bought a six pack of First Trax Brown Ale and a bottle of their summery What the Huck huckleberry wheat beer. First Trax has won a few medals at Canadian beer events, but I prefer Phillips' Ancient Brown and Cannery's Naramata Nut Brown. First Trax leaves no tracks; that is, there is very little lacing evident, and it is a bit watery for a brown ale. What the Huck would be great on tap in the summer. It is basically a rich hefeweizen, and the huckleberry is primarily noticeable during the finish. Perhaps it is due to the fact that they import all of their hops, or perhaps it is due to the immaturity of the brewery, but there is something that interferes with my desire to keep buying this beer. Perhaps I need to try Fernie's silly seltzer fresh from the keg.
Mt Begbie Brewery
What is better than small batch, domestic craft beer? Small batch, domestic craft beer made by an uber nerd! Owner and brewmaster, Bart Larson, has a PhD in Nuclear Physics and he applies his evil genius skills to making beer that will blow your socks off. At least his Powerhouse Pale Ale and Nasty Habit IPA will lick you for a loop...I haven't tried his milder beers yet. The hops used in Nasty Habit leave your palate coated in a pleasant pine and grapefruit patina, and the lacing is evidence of good protein levels and 6% alcohol content. I really like the pale ale too, mainly because the hops are subdued. Some pale ales try hard to convince us that they are of the colonial variety, while they should actually contain the hopping of an amber or APA. Based in Revelstoke, this tiny brewery is another example of small towns in the Selkirk/Kootenay region growing and developing a demand for an alternative to Kokanee.
Keywords: "Alex Dawkins", "BC beers", "Mt. Begbie beer", "Mill Street Brewery"