Since opening seven months ago, the Trail Beer Refinery’s popularity has quickly grown. The Refinery is the city’s first craft brewery and tap room, and now sells product in local liquor stores, the Trail Smoke Eaters games and in six restaurants and pubs. The group-of-16 investors is upping their game and looking at expanding into more dining establishments. Mike Konkin (left), Sheri Konkin (not pictured) and brewmaster Andrew Anker were up bright and early Wednesday morning preparing new brews.

Raise a glass to B.C. Craft Beer Month

Cheers to beers; October marks the 7th annual B.C. Craft Beer Month

Cheers to beers as the province celebrates October as B.C. Craft Beer Month.

But is brewing specialty suds all it’s cracked up to be?

The Trail Times talked with Mike Konkin from the Trail Beer Refinery, the city’s first craft brewery and tap room, to ask about the group’s first year in business.

“The project has been super hectic,” Konkin said.

“We started off full steam and have been trying to hang on for the ride ever since,” he added.

“We thought our original brand and idea would be accepted by the town but had no idea that it would be this big.”

He says there’s still an occasional lineup for cold ones and every week there seems to be a need to increase production – after all, there’s a whole new group of thirsty fans.

“The partnership with the Trail Smoke Eaters has been a huge success,” Konkin said. “We built a Trail Beer Refinery corner in the arena and it’s super cool when you walk by that area during hockey games and see so many of our cans in the spectators hands.”

Since opening seven months ago, the Refinery is upping its game even more and brand building outside of the tap room.

“We have beer in about six other pubs and restaurants,” he said. “And hope to double that in the next few months.”

Trail Refinery beer is also sold in local liquor stores, and by the end of the year, the aim is to have product available throughout the West Kootenay.

“Our goal was to build a brewery that makes Trail proud and I think we have started to succeed,” Konkin shared.

“Now we just need to constantly improve and keep on growing.”

Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham issued a statement in recognition of British Columbia’s innovative craft brewers, and the seventh-annual B.C. Craft Beer Month:

“I invite British Columbians to toast B.C.’s local craft brewers during B.C. Craft Beer Month,” Popham said.

“B.C. continues to solidify its reputation as the craft beer capital of Canada.”

The craft beer industry has seen rapid growth in the province. Craft brewers are located in 60 B.C. communities, and 54 breweries in 2010 grew to more than 140 today.

Popham says over 20 new B.C. breweries will open their doors this year, which is the fourth year in a row the industry will have accomplished this milestone.

“Each craft brewery is locally owned and operated by our friends and our neighbours, fellow British Columbians,” said Popham.

“Small businesses are the heart and soul of B.C., and the craft beer industry employs over 4,000 British Columbians. The industry also supports our agricultural and tourism sectors, through industry partnerships with hop and grain growers, as well as fruit growers, and food and beverage establishments.”

Just Posted

West Kootenay RCMP charge man with impaired driving in school zone

Sgt. Chad Badry reports on impaired drivers and other high risk offences

Update: Trail house fire under investigation

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Fire Rescue responded early Monday

Fruitvale Firefighters’ Society is Beaver Valley Citizen of the Year

The society was formed in 2009 to help support Beaver Valley families in need

Company granted leave to appeal Lemon Creek charges

Executive Flight Centre won a decision in the BC Court of Appeal

Fruitvale tree planting honours Local Government Week

The event will run from 2-3 p.m. Tuesday, May 21

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

B.C. sends 267 firefighters to help battle Alberta wildfires

Out of control fires have forced evacuations in the province

Most Read