Beer & Wine in BC

"What do you miss most from home" 

During my exchange, I often got this conversation.  While I fell in love with Canada for it's people, it's nature, it's culture,'s culinary achievements didn't strike me too much at that time. I was homesick for our wide range of breakfast pastries, cheeses, charcuterie, ... I wished there were less of "breakfast/ family " type of restaurants and more culinary unique restaurants, which is a bit of an unrealistic wish if living in a small town.

I lived in the countries 2nd most important fruit valley , which was also home of the Columbia Brewery (Kokanee) which had just been bought at that time by AB Inbev   ...ha, the Belgians owned the local beer :p. That was a cool fact, yet I wasn't (allowed to be) very much into beer at that age.

In later years we discovered excellent fresh sea food on Vancouver island on our travels, the wine from the Okanogan and maybe not as much culinary hotspots but very decent yummy food all over.

Yet the beer scene seemed to still be dominated by the global lagers: Bud, Molson Canadian, Kookanee, ... Not too exciting. Maybe I didn't pay enough attention yet.
Several years ago we had already been pleasantly surprised by the abundance of good local breweries in New England, this time we could also experience the rise of craft beers in British Columbia. Most pubs don't only have the mainstream brands on tap anymore but also offer a fun variety of local beers. Whereever we went there seemed to have a local brewery nearby. Some have been there for a while (eg Steamworks brewery in gastown Vancouver and Tree Brewing Co in Kelowna) but they are all stepping up their game and innovating.   The beers are quite hoppy, sometimes a bit too much for my taste (a trend that is also happening in zythology fan groups in Belgium)  . 

It's fun to see the beer culture rise in so many other countries...also weird to see as a Belgian that we are getting competition in good quality specialty beers, yet most specialty beers abroad fortunately are "Belgian style". Saison seems a quite popular style.

Ha, fruit, wine, beer and more and more organic delicious cheese makers (that even dare to create & sell molded blue cheeses...shock oh shock :) ) :  BC is slowly becoming more attractive to culinary tourism. Yeaaaay, way to go!


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