Updated: Mar 17, 2020
Did you miss it? You couldn't possibly...could you?! Kamloops has a NEW brewer on the block, and with a swanky space and a chill North Shore location, you can't help but fall in love with her!
At least once a week I make the trek from the Shuswap to Kamloops to get some face time in, do some networking, hold some meetings and work out of the Kamloops Innovation Centre. Their coworking space is awesome, and I've been so lucky as to tap into some amazing coaching from their Entrepreneur In Residence...but I digress. My time at KIC means I am over on the North Shore, and for those of you who haven't visited lately, it is undergoing a transformation! With hip coffee shops like 5 Bean, eclectic bistros like Red Beard, thrift shopping, the iconic Surplus Herby's and new development happening all of the time, it really is becoming a destination of its own.
You can imagine my sheer delight when I heard last year that a new brewery was going to be opening up! I was like a kid before Christmas...this was going to change my life. A new brewery in the 'hood I head to do business: the universe was surely conspiring in my favour. And then to hear it was being opened by some of the folks that generously donated time to me (Mitch and Richard you guys rock!) when we were researching the development of the truck, I was absolutely giddy.
Ok, enough of the lead-in, as the star of Letterkenney would say "Pitter Patter let's get at 'er!"
Situated in a new building at the corner of Tranquille and Clapperton, Bright Eye is easy to spot with chic signage overhanging the sidewalk. Enter, and if you're like me, you're gonna fall in love with the wide-open space, high ceilings, huge windows and brightness of it all (turns out it's not just a clever name). This is a space that was built to invite you in and to stay awhile.
Look straight ahead and you're going to see tanks. Right there in the open, directly behind the bar. Why not in a brew room, you ask? 'Cause these guys specialize in small-batch brews and serve 'em straight from the tank. It doesn't get any fresher than this!
From hazy juicy IPAs to imaginative blends using locally sourced wine crush and tall dark n creamy porters, you can't help but feel like you're in some adult Disney version of a brew-lab. It feels playful, innovative and just plain magical. And honestly, the Bright Eye story echoes this feeling. Brewers Bryan & Tyler are engineers by trade with a knack for home brewing. Their talent snagged them recognition in some local competitions, and long story short, Bright Eye was founded. Get it? Bry-Ty...Bright Eye. Even the name is thoughtfully orchestrated.
And the food! Don't even get me started! The menu changes almost as frequently
as the beers: designed to embrace the seasonality of our pallets, food availability and most certainly the beer rotation. And any place that serves great pizza is gonna find a fond spot in my heart...err belly...forever and ever.
If you haven't caught the hint: I'm there a lot. Well, not as much as some I'm sure, but I'm a frequent patron. And get this: I have not yet been there and seen the same beer list twice. When I say small batch, I mean it. So if you sip on something you absolutely adore, invest in a growler. Take some home. Sip it slow. Savor it. Who knows if it'll be back.
*Photo cred: @exploringtheokanagan
As far as recommendations? Given their heavy rotation, I'd be remiss to recommend something only to get your hearts broke that it wasn't on tap. So here's my recommendation: carve out some time. Go sit down for a while. Oggle over the space, look up and notice a car hanging out of the wall. Sip on a beer (or 3). Enjoy the company. Snag that growler...and then bring me one to the Shuswap! ;)
Have you been to Bright Eye yet? Do you have a favourite?
Have a brewery or beer you'd like featured on Thirsty Thursday? Email us at email@example.com