Tree Brewing in Kelowna has opened a second location named the Beer Institute. The beer institute brews all of their own beer on site using the standard recipes while also making a few of their own seasonal beers. One of these Beer Institute seasonals that was created was the “Pumpkin IPA” and was packaged in bombers with a sharpie label and was only available in the retail space on site. The beer pours a brown colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of malts, pumpkin, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and an overall sweetness. The flavour is of a great malt beginning with a fairly big hops bitterness, pine, resin with pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg to finish it off. The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 65. Having drank many pumpkin beers this was a welcome change. Making it an IPA really threw a wrench into what I was expecting with a pumpkin beer. I hope more breweries will try out this as a possible style as hops always make a beer better!
You may know Tree Brewing from Kelowna but you probably do not know of their second (and new) location the Beer Institute.
The Beer Institute is located right downtown near Okanagan Lake and Prospera Place where the Kelowna Rockets play. The beer institute has a small brewery that produces all beer consumed on site. They also have a kitchen that make some great food from a great cheese plate that I had to some amazing looking flat breads. When you walk into the Beer Institute you will find a nice tasting room with a bunch of tables and a great bar area. The brewery itself can be viewed from this tasting room. There is also a great patio upstairs that can be enjoyed all year as they enclose it in the winter.
On one side of the Beer Institute you will find a small retail space where you can possibly buy a seasonal beer in bombers that was brewed on site. I was able to pick up their Pumpkin IPA. They also sell some shirts and other swag if you are interested all with the Beer Institute branding. Finally Tree Brewing has backed off some on their ban on filling growlers from other breweries. If you come with your own bottle they will fill it with one of their standard beer. They will only fill their seasonal beers if you bring one of their $50 metal gowlers. The growlers are very nice but it is hard for me to justify the $45 extra over a glass growler.
Sadly like every other instance with a Tree Brewing location I was not able to have a tour of the actual brewery. This location only does tours during the week. Of course their website does not explain this at all much like their brewery indicates they do tours while almost never doing them. If you would like a tour make sure you either call ahead or email the brewery or you will come out as disappointed as I was again.
Tree Brewing Beer Insitute
1346 Water St. Kelowna