In the early 1980s there were no craft breweries in British Columbia, and the Oregon beer explosion was still a decade away.
There were crappy local beers, and rare good ones brought in from Europe. No one could have predicted the craft beer revolution, but as David Beardsell walked home from high school everyday he was pretty sure of one thing: things went better with beer.
In 1987 David found the malt to his hop, and married Annamarie. While studying microbiology and chemistry at UBC he continued to walk home everyday and think about beer. How were these old European breweries making beer that was so much better than what was made here? After much deliberation (and some drinking), he resolved to find out, and he and Annamarie packed up everything to move to Munich. David enrolled in the Doemens Brewing school and learned the art and tradition of brewing.
In between school and jobs they traveled to the iconic beer centres of Europe, visiting Plzen (Pilsen), Bamberg, Dublin, and Scourmont (Chimay!) to taste the world’s great beers. Those traditional styles, the wheat beers in Bavaria, and the Trappiste beers of Belgium were revelations; there was still craft left in brewing– and they wanted to bring that craft back home with them.
After graduation they went to England, where David got a job at the Brewing Research Foundation, immersing himself in science by day and real English ales at night.
The following 2 years were a (sometimes literal) cyclone that took them around the world. David brewed in India, and Western Samoa before returning back to Vancouver.
Over the last 20 years David has been a mainstay of the BC Brewing community. His first brewery was sold when it got too big; later he was instrumental in the start up of a brewpub but after 4 years realized it was a little too small! With Red Collar, David believes he has learned from past experience and now has a brewery that is sized “just right”. The 1800 litre brewhouse and the large conditioning room will allow him 100% creative control over the brewing process; he can now brew the beers he wants, when he wants, how he wants.
Twenty five years after dropping everything to move to Munich, the doors have now opened at Red Collar; a small brewery in the heart of Kamloops designed with a lifetime of experience to bring the best of old world brewing to the heart of British Columbia.
It’s been an extraordinary journey filled with adventures they could have never predicted, but David was right about one thing, life is better with beer.
Red Collar is a craft brewery located in downtown Kamloops, with an 80 seat tasting room.
Why Red Collar? Have you ever had a dog that was like a family member? We do, she’s a black lab named Goosey and she has always worn a red collar.
We expect to brew at least 25 different beers a year and bottle as much as we can. We want to keep it fun and fresh. Our tasting room is set up for conversation and game playing.
There are no TV’s, just people, beer and with some luck, great music from time to time.
We strive to produce the finest beer we can with wholesome ingredients and sell them for a fair price.
Come down and enjoy the fruits of our labor, or take home a bottle of some of BC’s best beer.
In the early 90s when David and Annamarie(with their new family) were deciding where to locate their new microbrewery they had a long list of what they were looking for in a town: a transportation hub, a university, good running trails, a running track and great water. Kamloops won hands down.
The greatest brewing cities in the world all have one thing.
Favourable water for the type of beer that is brewed there.
Burton On Trent has very hard water that is perfect for IPA’s. Dublin’s water works for dry Irish Stouts.
The water in Kamloops is very similar to the water in Pilsen and is well suited to making Pilsner style beers but it is also the perfect base for the beers that David likes to brew- flavourful, well balanced, often high in alcohol yet without harshness. Kamloops water is low in dissolved salts and mineralization as it is sources from the Shuswap water basin via the South Thompson River.
Water is the foundation of beer and it was the water of Kamloops that brought Annamarie and David to town 20 years ago. Today it is what keeps them here and will allow Red Collar to continue to produce great beers into the future.
Over the years David has experimented with and cultivated yeasts that thrive in our local water, allowing Red Collar to brew extraordinary beers that could only be made in Kamloops.