Journey to this Lakes District brewery for beer with a northern vibe.
This farm-based brewery is based on Little Bear Ranch, a 540-acre cattle farm in the Lakes District of Northern BC about 100km south of the community of Burns Lake. Nathan Nicholas’ parents Harold and Leona developed and operated the ranch for 45 years, but Nathan and his wife Gwyn’s own aspirations led them to lease the ranch land to neighbours and switch their focus to building a brewery. They still operate a smaller part of the farm, raising pigs and growing berries, rhubarb, haskap, juniper and other crops, many of which will make its way into the beers they brew.
The brewery is based in a converted airplane hangar originally built by Nathan’s father who was also an avid pilot. As they were converting the building in the summer of 2018, wildfires forced them to evacuate for three weeks. Luckily, the farm was spared and no one was hurt. Construction was completed with the help of neighbours, friends and family, and the brewery finally opened in 2020.
Getting to Ursa Minor is part of the adventure — it involves a free public ferry that crosses François Lake and some dirt roads so be sure to plan ahead and check the brewery’s hours. It’s a great day trip from Burns Lake or perhaps stay overnight at the nearby Takysie Lake Resort and explore the Ootsa-François Lake Circle Tour.
Fancy a flight? Here are some sampler suggestions for Ursa Minor BrewingView All Beers