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Down Kelowna Way

June 14, 2010

Friday night I decided that I’ll drive on down to Kelowna on Saturday and try my hand at finding a lonesome Serendipity no. 2 bottle waiting to be adopted by me. I also wanted to do some “research” for my city guide of Kelowna and maybe, just maybe update my wardrobe.

I was only successful on one of the third goals. The trip was well worth it. On a sunny day it’s hard to pick a place better than the Okanagan Valley. Sweeping landscapes, shimmering water and some beer surprises. Sadly, Serendipity no. 2 was not included in those beer surprises.

I had some fortuitous discoveries while searching for Serendipity. They were two new entries in Kelowna’s beer guide, three bottles of beer and a stop off at a brewpub named after Fred Flintstone (seriously).

In a calamity of foresight I scheduled the trip during the England v USA World Cup match. What this required was a stop in a pub for an hour or two. I’ve heard that Doc Willoughby’s, in Kelowna’s downtown core, was starting to get in to craft beer and sold a few Tree products. They also do a monthly cask night, on a Thursday, with the cask being supplied by Tree. I never realized what a good beer Tree’s Hophead is. I guess the bottles I’ve drunk from weren’t the freshest of examples. England drew 1-1.

Kelowna is a local native term for grizzly bear.

I thought about stopping at Kelowna’s one brewpub, Freddy’s. I was told not to bother by a friend. On the way out-of-town, after a quick stop at the BCL Signature store where I picked up Granville Island’s Ginger Beer, Fischer Blond, and Fernie’s newly bottled What The Huck, I had an urge to stop by and at least try one beer. I was glad I did.

I had initially drove past it. I was expecting… something more, something inviting. What I wasn’t expecting was a bowling alley attached. I guess that makes two brewpubs in BC attached to a bowling alley.

The first thing that struck me was that it was named Freddy’s. Who is the most famous bowler you know? That’s right Fred Flintstone. Turns out it is named after Fred Flintstone. There was a Flintstone amusement park of some kind there for about 30 years, it included a 40′ statue of Fred himself. A fitting memory for old Fred, a brewpub and bowling alley.

I sat down and asked if they had a sample platter of their beers, a pretty typical thing to find in a brewpub. I was presented with six shots of beer, luckily the samples are free. Back Country Lager, Red Head Lager, Honey Ridge Ale, Lord Nelson’s Pale Ale, Brownstone Ale, Sunset Ale. I settled on the Lord Nelson’s Pale Ale. Admittedly the Brownstone Ale was really good. I quite surprised with it, however I wasn’t in the mood for southern-style brown ale.

Lord Nelson’s Pale Ale was nice, as it warmed up the malt started to show itself. Caramel, toffee, nut, with a mild hops to back it up.

Despite two of my six samples being served with fruit, which completely dominated the flavour of them, I may have to sneak back there for a pint of the Brownstone Ale.

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