(This article is sponsored by Fernie Brewing Company and Buy Local BC.)
Fernie Brewing Company’s Head Brewer Jeff Demaniuk likes to think that Fernie Brewing Co. has a beer for practically every taste. There’s an easy-drinking and award-winning Project 9 Pilsner. For those looking for something heavier, there are maltier English-style brewskies—including Big Caboose Red Ale and First Trax Brown Ale—as well as a dark and robust Porter. There’s even a fruit beer called What the Huck, as well as the Kickstand Honey Kölsch, among others.
It’s remarkable that a small craft brewery, buried in the heart of the Rocky Mountains could provide such a smorgasbord of choices.
“We definitely have something that everybody would enjoy,” Demaniuk says.
He’s particularly proud of Fernie Brewing Company’s seasonal series, including the new summery Base Camp West Coast Pale Ale. There’s a hint of caramel as a result of the Crystal malts.
“It’s a little malty, but quite hoppy as well,” Demaniuk notes. “It uses Mosaic and Ekuanot hops, which kind of give it a tropical fruit punch flavour.”
Demaniuk has been in the industry for more than a decade after studying biochemistry in university. He worked for several craft breweries before succeeding his father, Gord, as Fernie Brewing’s Headbrewer, after Gord tragically passed away from cancer last September.
Fernie Brewing has a growing lineup of seasonal and limited release beers. Every two months, Fernie Brewing releases a new IPA, whilst seasonally appropriate new brews pop up throughout the year. One winter specialty brew is Java the Hut Coffee Milk Stout. A major hit, thanks to its blend of coffee beans, chocolate, and Black Prinz and Roasted Malts. Its spring seasonal counterpart, Old Barn Saison, is a lighter Belgian-style beer with a dash of peppercorns and orange peel for flavour.
“So many of the seasonals have become year-round beers,” Demaniuk says.
Fernie Brewing’s variety of offerings go along with the vast array of activities in the town. It’s best known as a world-famous skiing, snowboarding and backcountry winter paradise—and that reputation was enhanced last year by 35 feet of snow. But it’s also a major centre in other seasons for mountain biking, fly fishing, hiking, kayaking, trail running and golfing.
It’s a cool town with a great vibe, and a whole lot of history and charm – which is reinforced by the celebrated beers that bear Fernie’s name. Fernie Brewing Company remains a family business, started by the Pask family in 2003, and it can be found just off Highway 3, a couple of minutes east of Fernie. The tasting room was recently renovated, to accommodate the growing number of locals and visitors alike, stopping in to try the latest brews fresh from the source. Elsewhere their beer can be found throughout BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
“We’re all pretty approachable,” Demaniuk says. “We’re all willing to talk and chat about beer and about Fernie—and whatever else comes up!”
(This article is sponsored by Fernie Brewing Company and Buy Local BC.)More