There’s a new brewery in town, and they’re all about diversity.
Kettle River Brewing Company held their grand opening Saturday (July 16), where they were rotating through 16 different types of beers throughout the day.
“We do super tiny batches, but we can ferment a whole bunch of variety,” said Chris Dedinsky, one of the partners of Kettle River Brewing. “Even though the quantity is so small, it gives us a big opportunity to try lots of different types of beer, which is really fun for us.”
The idea for the new business started with Russ Higgs, a long time friend of Dedinsky. Higgs convinced Dedinksy and his girlfriend to move to Kelowna from Vancouver and jump onboard with the idea.
“He really wanted to do something like was in Vancouver and Portland,” Dedinsky said.
Higgs found Brandon Amond, Kettle River Brewing’s brewmaster, through a Castanet classifieds ad. Amond had recently moved to Kelowna from England, where he had worked at Beavertown Brewery, after his wife got a job teaching at UBC Okanagan.
“The three of us built everything in here, top down, including the brew kit and stuff, starting in November and December last year,” Dedinsky said.
Brad Tomlinson, an avid home brewer in Kelowna, rounded out the team.
While the 16 beers on tap at their grand opening might suggest many months of brewing in preparation, Dedinsky says they only started to brew in April or May.
“From here on, we’re looking at … pouring four to six beers, but because it’s our grand opening we’re stockpiling little 20 litre kegs so we could really showcase what our variety is and the styles of beers we’re doing,” Dedinsky said.
In addition to the beers offered Saturday, the brewery is working on several wine- and bourbon-barrelled brews, which won’t be ready for several months.
The brewery will be offering growler fills, and 650-millilitre bomber bottles.
The new operation is on Baillie Avenue, a stone’s throw from the original Tree Brewery location. Despite moving next door to the competition, Dedinsky says they’ve had nothing but encouragement from local craft beer, cider and liquor companies.
“BNA, Tree, BC Tree Fruits, Urban Distillery, they’ve been really welcoming and encouraging,” Dedinsky said. “No hard competition, everyone’s been really nice.”
The grand opening party will continue until 8 p.m. Saturday, although Dedinsky says it could definitely go a bit later.
Several food trucks will be set up in the parking lot throughout the day, and a DJ will be spinning vinyl to keep the energy in the tasting room high.