Kyle York from Canoe Brewing. (Lia Crowe photo)

Brewing Success

A sit down with Kyle York of Canoe

  • Aug. 5, 2020 10:00 a.m.

~Lisa Crowe~

How long have you been brewmaster at Canoe?

I took over the brewery in May of 2019. Previous to that I had been the assistant brewer since 2016.

Do you have formal training in brewing science or art? If not, how did you learn

the craft?

I have a Diploma in Brewing and Brewery Operations from the inaugural year of the program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley, BC. I was a homebrewer before that, but the two-year program really helped me understand the chemistry, microbiology, and operational requirements of a functioning commercial brewery.

Where else have you brewed?

Between my job as the assistant brewer at Canoe and taking over as head brewer, I worked at Victoria Caledonian Distillery and Brewery, which makes Twa Dogs Beer and Macaloney Whisky. The brewery/distillery was more than twice the size of Canoe and was also 20 years newer. I enjoyed learning about the distillation process but something was always calling me back to Canoe Brewpub.

How many barrels of brew does your brewery produce annually?

We produce just under 1,000 hl or 850 barrels of beer annually. With the exception of a couple of liquor stores in town, 100 per cent of that beer is sold in house here at Canoe.

Can you give a hint if anything might be coming soon (new brew, special brew, etc.)?

I have a few ideas for some fruited kettle sours. They are always a hit on our hot patio during the summer months!

What’s the weirdest ingredient you have ever put in beer?

I made a blueberry beer with butterfly pea flowers last summer which came out with an incredibly bright purple tone to it. That was a lot of fun to experiment with.

Does your brewery have some type of tradition on brew day or at another time?

No traditions that I can think of. I consider myself a very science-based individual and as such I just try to make sure I record as much data as possible such as pH, fermentation time and temperatures, water composition, etc., and then use that to continually improve on our recipes here at Canoe.

Have you travelled outside of Canada to experience another beer culture? If so, what was your impression?

I’ve travelled most of the west coast of North America specifically for beer. Obviously Portland, Oregon is a cultural hub for beer, but surprisingly Bellingham, Washington has a large amount of incredible breweries for the size of the city. I have a bucket list of countries in Europe that I will have to visit soon as well.

If you had to pick a favourite beer from your brewery, which one would it be and why?

My current favourite beer is our IPA. It’s full of Simcoe, Galaxy and Mosaic hops with a crisp malt backbone and only a subtle hop bite, so it doesn’t wear down your palate. My favourite beer I’ve brewed so far was our Juicy Pale Ale from last summer—and it will be making a return as the new West Coast Ale recipe later this year.

Any advice for those aspiring (kitchen/homebrew) future pro brewers out there?

Get experience in the industry before you jump in the deep end! It’s not all 9 am beers and festivals like some people may believe. Ninety per cent of my job is cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning to produce the cleanest and most consistent beers that I can.

Favourite beer and food pairing?

Can I cheat and mention that our new chef, Sam Harris, is going to be including a beer float on the menu this summer? It will be showcasing our Baltic Porter, which is a rich, chocolate-forward lager with notes of vanilla and dark fruit. I mean, what else could go better with house-made vanilla ice cream?

Hobbies?

I’m an avid runner. I have two high-energy dogs at home and I need something to keep off the beer belly.

Anything else you’d like to add?

It’s a tough industry to crack, but once you have, the interpersonal relationships between breweries are unparalleled in any other industry. I’ve met so many great people in breweries all across North America and as soon as you mention you’re also a brewer, you’re instantly part of their family.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Supreme Court hears how Williams Lake arrest leads to addict’s recovery

“I would also like to apologize for any harm I may have done”

BC VOTES 2020: Provincial election will have familiar duo battling in Cariboo North

The two candidates who received the most votes in 2017 will both be running in Cariboo North again

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Second positive COVID-19 test reported at Quesnel Junior School

The exposure dates for this case are Sept. 15-18

Open burning prohibitions to be rescinded Sept. 30

The following activities will be allowed throughout the CFC’s jurisdiction:

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Most Read