Today we were leisurely traveling to our destination and weekend stay at the “Tinhorn Creek Winery’s” guest house. We took the long way, dedicating 8 hours worth of scenic driving to the journey. And our travel brought us through Kamloops in time for dinner.
Here, we were looking for a lively spot to best celebrate my partner’s birthday at. And after a few circles around the city centre, we found ourselves at “Red Collar Brewing Co.”; Having spotted their busy patio from the road. They looked like a hot spot for a Friday night dinner and drink.
But sadly by the time we found parking and got there, all the patio seats were filled. And so were the ones in their outdoor room with a fireplace, couches around coffee tables, and no air conditioning. They had several such pocketed seating, each staged to mimic a well lived-in family room or hosting salon. They work because they looked comfortable and were seated in for extensive periods of time. We however were left seating ourselves indoors, on a spacious table, by the entrance. Here, we were able to keep cool in the concrete tap room, with fridgerated units of cans to go and growlers for filling, adjacent.
Seeing as they were a brewery first, I had to taste a sampling of their brews; and the best way to do this is ordering a flight. The following is in order of the strongest to the smallest ABV percentage.
“Impeachment” is a cloudy wheat beer brewed with peaches, for a slightly tart taste. The menu suggested it as a good starter beer for those trying to get into the world of North American sours.
The “Tripel” is a golden coloured Belgian ale of Trappist origin. The boiled coriander used in this gives the beer a dry and spicy flavour with an aroma of bananas and cloves.
“Alternative facts” is a cloudy IPA with citrus notes and very little bitterness.
“Mild”. This dark British style ale earned its name from its 4.2% ABV. It is a session with grapefruit notes meant to be enjoyed for its flavour and not alcohol content.
And my partner ordered a pint of the “Maibok”, a traditional German lager brewed in celebration of a German spring festival that takes place in April. At 6.4% this is one of their greater ABVs.
For food I went safe and ordered their nacho platter. It is typically hard to hit a miss on chips topped with vegetables and drizzled over with sauces. Tri-coloured tortilla chips topped with tomato, black olives, banana peppers, green onion, roasted peppers, and a chipotle sour cream drizzle. Quick to cool, despite all the spice from the banana peppers and chipotle sauce. Good, but I would have liked more of everything for a better chip to dressing ratio; but this came at a cost, $2-3 more on a $15 plate.
My partner ordered the “Smoked chicken pizza” and was disappointed. House smoked chicken, spinach, tomatoes, and mozzarella. It also comes with roasted red peppers, but due to preference he ordered it without. And in doing so removed a necessary fresh component from the 12 inch artisan pizza. The pizza needed something light to cut through all the heavy flavours. The smokey and sharp hickory of the chicken over powered, and we found the pizza better without it. My partner went so far as to pick all the chicken out. But as a whole he didn’t like the pizza and ended up only eating the crusts and avoiding the actual build of the pizza.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
A great place for a drink, a great stop for the traveling beer enthusiast, and the ideal setting for catching up in large groups. Although I would stick with the drinks and maybe order finger snacks peanuts and pepperoni sticks at most. For the price, the time it took, and the taste I wouldn’t recommend ordering their hot food. This is your happy hour stop or your after dinner drink. Don’t deny your cravings.
RED COLLAR BREWING
355 Lansdowne Street, Kamloops BC, V2C 1X9