After a short hiatus, I’m continuing my Brewery Journeys around the Okanagan. From one of the newest breweries in the Valley to one of the oldest, I made a recent stop at Freddy’s!
With an amazing facelift and a renewed emphasis on craft beer, Freddy’s is changing the idea on what defines the neighbourhood bar. With a lovely patio area and live music thrown in, they have moved beyond just the bowling alley brewery! However, don’t make any mistakes, one of their main focuses is still providing excellent beer and food for the bowling alley’s clientele.
They have a great space, inside and out, and it’s definitely worth a visit! I rolled in on a weekday afternoon and I had the pleasure of speaking with Don McLachlan, the Brewpub Manager. He gave me a little historical rundown of the place (while we were enjoying a few samples!) Their longest running brewer, Jack Clark, retired in the last couple of years and Keith Bennett took over as the head brewer. Along with a refresh of the bar/patio, they also took the time to make some improvements in the brewery.
They raised the roof in the brewery and expanded outward, giving the brewery more space to work. As usual, there’s always slight modifications and improvements to make, but the end result is an excellent layout. The proof is in the beer — Keith is turning out some nice ones — his Sandbagger Brown Ale won a Silver Medal at the 2022 Canadian Beer Awards.
Don drew me up a flight of beers to try while we were chatting!
From Right to Left, I started with the 1) Chill Pill, a Czech-style Pilsner; 2) Triple J, an International-style Amber Lager; 3) the Harkrider, a Red Lager; 4) Night Danger, a Schwarzbier on Nitro; and 5) (not pictured) Funky Brewster, a Farmhouse Saison-style beer.
They have a nice selection of beers on tap — 5 lagers and 8 ales. The Chill Pill had an excellent floral hop nose/flavor and a nice bitter finish. Very clean fermentation character–definitely a winner to me.
The Triple J also had a very nice and clean lager profile. There was a medium level of malt (bready) flavor up front supported quite well by a med-low bitterness into a slightly dry finish.
The Harkrider may be one of their longest running beers. I didn’t know this, but the term “Harkrider” is used in bowling to describe a delivery in which the bowler seems to bounce his ball at the foul line upon release, as in dribbling a basketball. Probably two or three bounces on its way down the lane. They created this beer 15 years ago and it was so popular they left it on the menu. Another clean lager beer with a low bready malt character — medium bodied — a slightly off-dry finish.
Night Danger is a German-style Schwarzbier with a twist–they serve it on Nitro. This roasty/toasty malt-driven beer seems to be full-bodied due to the Nitro but leads to a nice dry finish. Very pleasant to drink!
Funky Brewster, the Saison, was right on target for the style. The nose had floral notes, black pepper and a light coriander character in the background. This hazy, light-orange colored beer was easy drinking. The med body supported the med-low bitterness and the Belgian-style fermentation characteristics. Highly recommend.
Here are the favorite beers (at the moment) of the Bar Manager, the Brewer, and me:
|Don McLachlan: Reason – I have always been a big fan of Pilsners!||Chill Pill (Czech-style Pilsner)|
|Keith Bennett: Reason – Two reasons: 1) because it is light, flavourful and easy drinkin; and 2) because I don’t get out much. 🙂||Night Danger (German-style Schwarzbier)|
|Beer Mentor (me): Reason – Of the ones I tried, I really liked that Schwarzbier character supported with the Nitro. I need to go back to give it another go and to try the others on tap!||Night Danger (German-style Schwarzbier)|
I really like what they are doing at Freddy’s and I look forward to going back and enjoying a few more beverages … and maybe getting in a couple of games of Bowling, too!