Expats and future travellers: Find a piece of home at BC Ale Trail craft breweries serving British and European beer styles.
If you’ve ever moved anywhere far, you’ll know the feeling of missing the little things that make a place feel like home. This can also be a common feeling when travelling — as adventurous as one can be, sometimes all one craves is the familiar. Like your favourite beer.
Well, if you’re from the UK or Europe, allow me to reassure you that craft breweries in BC have your back. Several craft breweries in BC have long been making European and British beer styles for locals and visitors to enjoy. All you need to do is look up at the tap list to find at least one European- or British-style offering. Inspired by our Content Manager, Joe Wiebe’s European beercation blog, here’s where expats and travellers from the UK and Europe can find a little piece of brew home at BC craft breweries.
My partner is English, and when he arrived in Canada almost a decade ago, his beverage world was rocked by craft beer. First in Alberta, and then more so in BC. Since we’ve been together, both of our craft beer horizons have widened. But sometimes he just wants a pint of English-style ale. Here’s where to find other British-style beers:
Possibly an understatement, but beer is a big part of British culture. Especially cask-conditioned beer — a.k.a. “warm beer” to the non-British. While cask-conditioned beer is rare-ish in BC, Brits can find proper cask beer at many breweries. And if you want what my father would call “the real McCoy”, be sure to visit the Welton Arms in Kelowna. The Welton Arms is owned by a Brit expat who wanted to bring authentic English ales to his new home.
Other breweries offering cask-conditioned ales include:
- Callister Brewing – In-house cask conditioning program
- Main Street Brewing – Always four casks on tap
- Smugglers Trail Craftworks – Several cask-conditioned ales on tap
- Spinnakers Brewpub – Offers the Mitchell’s ESB (served cask-conditioned at the brewpub) in a great pub atmosphere
- Trading Post Brewing – A new cask is tapped every Saturday at 11:30 am
And moving into other popular British beer styles, I start with my own personal favourite of the bunch: stouts! (Which, yes, more so fall into the Irish and Northern Irish category of beer.)
- The Bakery Brewing Cold Steeped Irish Stout
- Old Yale Brewing Sasquatch Stout
- Persephone Brewing Dry Irish Stout
- Trench Brewing Six Mile Stout
- Fisher Peak Brewing Hell Roaring Scottish Ale
- Mt. Begbie Brewing Brave Liver Scotch Ale
- Wolf Brewing Scotch Ale
Extra Special Bitter
- Driftwood Brewery Naughty Hildegard ESB
- Hoyne Brewing Appleton’s Finest British Ale (named for the late Frank Appleton, a British expat and early brewing pioneer in BC)
- Noble Pig Brewhouse Papa G’s ESB
- Twin City Brewing Tickity Boo
Brown Ale / Porter
- 101 Brewhouse Outboard Motor Oatmeal Porter
- Cannery Brewing Naramata Nut Brown Ale
- Howe Sound Brewing Rail Ale Nut Brown
- Smithers Brewing Bootlegger Brown Ale
That covers the British beers. Let’s get into the European styles!
German-style beers are a popular brew at craft breweries. From Hefeweizen to Kölsch and almost every style in between, here are some breweries offering das Gut brews.
- Helles Lager – Trading Post Brewing, Townsite Brewing
- Hefeweizen – Moon Under Water Brewery
- Dunkel – Field House Brewing, Longwood Brewery
- Kölsch – BREWHALL, Mt. Begbie Brewing
- German Pilsner – Four Winds Brewing Co., LoveShack Libations
- Berliner Weisse/Gose – Ravens Brewing Company, Île Sauvage Brewing
- Amber Lager – Hoyne Brewing, Persephone Brewing
- Bock – Steel & Oak Brewing, Vancouver Island Brewing
Dageraad Brewing is well known for its Belgian-style beers, and Townsite Brewing’s head brewer is actually from Belgium. But many breweries are brewing up Belgian-style beers that give a little je ne sais quoi to anyone’s experience.
- Belgian Ales – Dageraad Brewing, Container Brewing
- Wit – 33 Acres Brewing, Driftwood Brewing
- Saison – Strange Fellows Brewing, Townsite Brewing
- Oud Bruin/Flanders Red – Storm Brewing, Strange Fellows Brewing
- Abbey Ales – Red Collar Brewing, Dageraad Brewing
Pilsner lagers were invented in the Czech Republic, and the beer is cheap and delicious. Czech lager isn’t very common in BC, but Syncopation from House of Funk Brewing and the Czech Dark Lager from Wildeye Brewing will satisfy any and all European beer palates this summer.
Feel like you’re sitting outside at an Italian trattoria with a birra and pizza this summer at Luppolo Brewing. Many breweries in BC make Italian pilsner and other standouts include the Fiume Bianco Italian Pilsner from Slackwater Brewing and Bella Beera at Another Beer Co.
Want to know more? Click here for our comprehensive list of craft breweries making European and British beers styles in BC!
Yasmine Hardcastle is the Social Media Manager for the BC Ale Trail. Originally from Vancouver, she’s a yogini and passionate local tourist who enjoys keeping well and enjoying life. She chronicles her adventures on her blog, westcoastcitygirl.com through which she has worked with both local and international companies and attractions. Yasmine can often be found enjoying a #pintandaflight at a craft tasting room with her Englishman, The Brit. Connect with her on Instagram or on LinkedIn.