My journey continues into the Lower Mission Neighborhood in Kelowna–I stopped in at Shore Line Brewing for a visit. They are located in Southeast Kelowna on, not surprisingly, Lakeshore Drive.
Situated directly across from a big park (Boyce-Gyro Beach Park), they have a lovely patio and inside seating that invites you in for a visit!
The owners had a dream and a vision to open a brewery here in Kelowna. Taking the plunge, they hired Dylan Stus as their Head Brewery and started working on this location. Dylan arrived in Sept 2019 to supervise the brewery installation and start the brewing process.
They launched with 3 beers the May long weekend in 2020: The Dead Calm Stout, the Wakesetter IPA, and a Golden Ale. Shortly after they added the Lochy Lager and the Peach Wheat. They brewed what they could for opening weekend as the mandates lifted, but by July they had a full line up of beers. Dylan, a graduate of the Brewmaster Program at Olds College in Alberta, has a focus on classic styles with a few experimental and seasonal options to spice it up!
As with most of the craft breweries in Kelowna, space is at a premium, and with Shore Line even more so. With a good eye for space utilization, they have fit a 20-hectoliter brew system on their hot side and wedged their fermenters in nicely on the other side. Some beautiful stainless steel pipe work ties it all together. If you look closely at the boil kettle, you will see a red pipe with a black flex tube running to the ground. This is a special, purpose-built condenser to vent off and collect the steam as water in the brewery … this was necessitated by the location of the brewery inside this particular building. In that same image you can see the pipe feeding the grain to the mash tun from their mill room. As I mentioned above, great use of the space available.
The keg room is wonderfully laid out. This well-designed room makes it easy to swap out kegs or clean the lines–everything you want in an efficient operation.
As he continues developing his recipes and portfolio of beers, Dylan would like to branch off into cask-aging a few beers. Space limitations have him innovatively using regular kegs to blend and mix some of his seasonal and experimental beers for now. His recent seasonal, the Winter Ale, is just such a blend — two different brews mixed with just the right seasoning produced a pleasantly drinkable Holiday-spice beer!
Obviously, the first time I stopped in, I had a sampler of the standard beers on tap. Here’s my rundown of those (with my BJCP (Beer Judge’s) Hat on):
Lochy Lager (German Lager) (score: 36/50) — This German-style Lager has a medium bready malt aroma with low corn notes in the background. There are also low floral hop notes. It is brilliant gold, with a persistent white head (nice stream of bubbles). For the taste, I got initially a medium corn malt flavor and light bread character. There’s a medium bitterness with a balance to the bitter. It has a dry finish, with a slight carbonic bite into the aftertaste. There was an early impression of diacetyl–but that dissipated, and I wondered if it was my imagination.
Smoke Show (Hazy IPA) (score: 39/50) — This IPA had a medium high grapefruit hop aroma, as well as tropical fruit (bubblegum) and a very low bready malt nose. It was a dark gold hazy beer with a big, white head that lingered. It had medium high tropical fruit flavor (with a low grassiness). A very crisp malt character in support. With a medium low bitterness, the balance is to the hop flavor. It has a dry finish, and the tropical fruit lingers in the aftertaste. This medium bodied, high carbonation beer is an excellent example of the style!
Wakesetter IPA (Northwest-style IPA) (Score: 30/50) — I expected a bigger aroma on this beer — it had a very low hop nose. I got pine and low grapefruit, but all very light. I didn’t pick up any malt in the nose either. A clear dark gold color with a low white head. Pretty decent carbonation–when roused, the head lingers. There are strong tropical fruit hop flavors in the taste, but there seems to be a medium diacetyl in the background. Pine/Grapefruit hop flavor lingers into the finish. Medium bitterness. Slickness on the tongue and impression of sweetness in the finish seems to indicate diacetyl, which appears late in the aftertaste. With four different hops in this beer (Mosaic/Simcoe/Citra/Azzaca), I could be confusing the diacetyl with the aroma/flavor of hop material in suspension. I need to give this one another go!
Dead Calm (Oatmeal Stout) (Score: 38/50) — The flagship beer is an excellent example of this style. The medium low bready note is followed closely by a light nuttiness. There are also light roast notes — low diacetyl. The big tan head lingers … gazing at the beer, you see a clear, dark brown color with Ruby highlights. The flavor is a standout, with a clear chocolate, nutty taste followed by medium-low roast. The malt balances well with a med-low hop bitterness. Light diacetyl in the flavor too. The finish is medium dry with the malt flavor lingering into the aftertaste. Rounding out the evaluation–it has a medium low body with a smooth creaminess supported by a medium high carbonation.
Here are the favorite beers of the owners, the head brewer, and me.
|Dallas (Owner): Reason – Each one of our beers is unique for an occasion or mood so I can’t say I have a core favourite. Beers I think standout are the seasonal Brut IPA and the Watermelon Kolsch. The Brut IPA is a lighter and refreshing IPA that isn’t too bitter, and the watermelon Kolsch is absolutely perfect for that Okanagan sun.”||No one favorite, but two standouts: Brut IPA (seasonal)|
|Valerie (Owner): Reason – “Refreshing, very tasty and not too tart, but just enough. This beer has so much fruit (antioxidants), it’s almost good for you!”||Bombshell Berry Sour|
|Dylan Stus: Reason – “This beer is fresh and forward. It’s very approachable.”||Wake Setter |
|Beer Mentor (me): Reason – “I love a good dark beer, and this one really hits all the buttons for me. The nuttiness and roast in the aroma and flavor really stand out.”||Dead Calm |
Dylan is making some great beers here at Shore Line. The venue is well laid out, the folks are very pleasant, and you can’t go wrong with a visit to this brewery. They have a few more beers on tap yet that I haven’t tried … Seems like time for another visit.