Street food has become a worldwide phenomenon, with food truck vendors taking over the summer avenues, attracting crowds eagerly waiting their turn to try something they can only get from a restaurant on wheels.
Mix this street food craze with craft beer and you’ve got Alchemy Brewing as a result. Science experiment? No. Kamloops’ newest brewpub is the work of local owner, Al Renner, who’s been crafting his own beer at home for years, deciding one day that it was time to join the Kamloops craft beer community and open a brewery.
Renner credited much of the inspiration for Alchemy to the street food scenes down in Seattle and Portland just south of the border as well as British Columbia’s ale trail.
“We’re all just trying to develop the culture in B.C. It’s all about creating great craft beer and sharing that with our communities,” said Renner.
And the distinction from other Kamloops breweries is clear, while you may find a more Mexican-themed food selection at Iron Road, or the brewhouse fine-dining of Noble Pig, Alchemy brings a year-round food truck experience to the river city.
The menu features everything from corn dogs to pork belly burnt ends, parm fries and pulled pork pizza baked in their brick pizza oven. A notable highlight to the menu is a burger titled “Glazed and Confused,” a traditional locally-sourced burger housed between a glazed doughnut bun that will leave your taste buds pleasantly surprised and waiting for the next bite.
“A lot of it is just stuff I’ve been doing at home for years. Being a home brewer I was really into processing my own meats, making my own sausage, my own pizzas, barbequing my own meats and smoking food,” said Renner on the inspiration behind the food.
Despite Alchemy’s proximity to the Noble Pig, the team isn’t worried about the competition. In fact, the two brewpubs have been friendly neighbours with one another sharing street traffic.
As for brewery production, you won’t be seeing Alchemy bottles in the liquor store anytime soon, Renner joking that they can barely keep their IPA on tap as business carries on.
“At any given time we’re basically doing two batches a week,” commented Renner on his production. With no immediate expansion planned for their already small location, the team was happy with just keeping a constant supply in production.
For Renner, opening the doors to his brewery was “absolutely surreal.” You can find the Alchemy Brewing Company Tuesday to Sunday at 650 Victoria Street, just down from the Noble Pig.
UPDATE: Some of the terminology in the article was changed to reflect that Alchemy brews all their beers in house and not at home, as the term “home brews” would imply.