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

AdvantageHOPE is working with Boston Pizza to find a franchisee for a Hope location. (Facebook/AdvantageHOPE photo)
Boston Pizza eyeing Hope for new location

With over 395 locations Canada-wide, company is looking to expand to Hope

Left to right: Sardis Kiwanis Club President Bruce Oakley with nominator Peter Somers, Sovereign’s Medal recipient Brian Cleaver, nominator Derek Fryer and nominator Peter Brown. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack’s Brian Cleaver wins Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

Cleaver is a long-time member of the Sardis Kiwanis Club and a strong advocate for Special Olympics

New Chilliwack restaurant moving into supposedly haunted Nowell Street location

Many restaurants have come and gone, Twisted Thistle the most recent, at Nowell and Princess Ave

Hope’s first chainsaw carving of John Rambo is removed from in front of district hall, to save the carving from winter weather. (Rambo ‘First Blood’ Tourism/Facebook photo)
Hope’s Rambo carving tucked away for the winter

Not to worry, the $10,000 statue has not been carted away by thieves

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Stock photo
Pair’s lawsuit dismissed against Fraser Valley soccer association and churches

Judge in Abbotsford calls claims against 14 defendants ‘an abuse of the court’s process’

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Sex offender who viewed underage girls as slaves has prohibitions cut from 20 to 10 years

Appeal court reviewed the case of Kyler Bryan David Williams, 29

Most Read