Red Collar Brewing celebrates five years of operation in Kamloops

Local brewery welcomes crowds all weekend long to celebrate milestone birthday

Aria (left) and John (right) welcomed crowds in the brewing room for live music and brews, including select casks of seasonal favourites. (Lisa Chernyshova/The Omega)

The Red Collar was opened on Nov. 1, 2014, that’s the birthday of the founders’ dog, Goosey, who is the symbol of Red Collar. It was founded by husband and wife, David and Annamarie Beardsell.

David is in charge of brewing while Annamarie does the organizational and managing part. Their two daughters, Tessa and Lara have worked and helped their parents since childhood.

“This year we did something a little bit more, the concept went very well. Right now, I’m feeling relieved, because I think all the work has paid off. And we had a great event last night, where we did a vertical tasting of our 5 years of the quad, which is your Anniversary beer,” shared co-founder Annamarie.

Annamarie told how brewing started in Kamloops.

“There was a brewery in Kamloops in the early 1990s, after that was closed, the next brewery to open was called ‘Bear Brewing’, and it was opened in 1995 by me and David,” said Annamarie.

But then they sold this Brewery in 2002 and took a break from the brewing industry. After the break, David and Annamarie, with partners, started the Noble Pig in 2010.

“We were with it until the end of 2013 and then we sold the Noble Pig and that’s when we started the Red Collar,” she said.

“Breweries that started in Kamloops from 1995 until 2016, until Iron Road was opened, had been started by David,” she said.

“Craft beer is so much a part of BC’s culture now, but it wasn’t, you know 25 years ago,” she noticed, “When we started ‘Bear Brewing’ in 1995 it was really hard to sell beer in this town. And when we started ‘the Noble Pig’, there were a lot of people who said, ‘you’re crazy, this will not work’,” shared Annamarie about their hard work.

“Bear Brewing was a brewery and that was it. The Noble Pig was a brewed pub. And this is a craft brewery which allows us to have the taproom, so the licensing for each one was different,” she said.

Red Collar was one of the first in the interior of BC to open the brewery that had the taproom attached. 

Before settling in Kamloops, the Beardsells travelled a lot through Europe to get to know more about the brewing processes and culture of beer. David was studying and got his degree in brewing in Munich. They have lived in Europe for two years, lived in England and Munich, travelled around in Belgium and the Czech Republic.

Everywhere they went they were looking for different types of beers and which one they could make themselves.

“For now we have four beers that we make year-round and we have between 25 and 30 beers that are seasonal,” Annamarie told the Omega.

Red Collar was full of guests, who had a chance to taste different beers and enjoy the vibes of beer’ culture, beautiful decorations, and live music from Groceries, At Mission Dolores, Jared Jackel’s Bad Vibrations, and DJs Ronan McGrath and Geezbeats.

The fifth anniversary Bash was a huge success that gathered together all the community members for an evening complete with live music, and enough beer to keep it all going.