Firehall Brewery located in Oliver BC concentrates on producing beer for growlers and kegs only. It was only recently that the brewery started producing small amounts of beers in bottles to various Okanagan suppliers. Firehall came about as a result of a family partnership that was centered on the head brewer Sid Ruhland. Firehall supplies restaurants and bars with on demand kegs that can be filled. Alternatively, it also has a successful growler program that has gained momentum with the locals.
So far, the partners involved in the day to day running of the brewery consist of Emma Hutton, Léo Ruhland, Marie-Eve Ruhland, Dermott Hutton Noah Ruhland, Sid Ruhland, Caela Hutton, Declan Hutton and Danielle Hutton. The Firehall Brewery is unique from all other breweries situated in the Okanagan because it fuses craft beer and music, which is a fusion that has existed since time in memorial.
The ales that are produced are rhythm conditioned, which means that the flavor of the beers is enhanced by audio and video recordings that are played constantly. The recordings are made locally, by a network of musicians known as the Music Brigade, which speaks to Firehall Brewery’s connection to the community. All the music that is played by the Brigade is also sold onsite at the brewery as well as online and sometimes is given away with every purchase of beer.
Aside from fusing music with beer, Firehall Brewery has also changed how other craft breweries can expand their production process. When Sid needed the funds to expand the brewery, he relied on a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, which raised almost $16,891. The money will be directed to the opening of a brand new tasting room that will have new furniture and décor. The money will also be used for the installation of a new draught system.
In the almost five years that Firehall has been in business, the brewery has grown in leaps and bounds from a single employee craft beer production facility to a multifaceted business enterprise that has paved the way for other small breweries to open in the area. The focus in Firehall has always been to create amazing, world class beer. The brewery sources its barley from Canada Malting, which imports specialty malts that help to create specific flavors, colors, and body for the brews.
The brewery also sources caramelized malts from a company in the United States, and their smoked barley is acquired from Germany. The smoke barely that arrived from Germany is a vital component for producing Firehall’s Holy Smoke Stout. With this stout, smoked barley is utilized instead of simply adding liquid smoke for the process of flavoring the brew.
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