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From the driveway to the rail trail: Railside Brewing is Kelowna’s newest brewery

“We both love drinking beer, that’s always a good start”
Rob Leinemann and Matt Grieve, owners of Kelowna’s newest brewery, Railside Brewing (Photo - @railsidebrewingkelowna/Instagram)

Kelowna’s newest brewery opened last week - and it all started from a driveway.

Railside Brewing opened on Friday, Aug.5, making it the city’s 16th brewery.

While it only took owners Rob Leinemann and Matt Grieve eight months to put everything together, it all started in Rob’s front yard.

“We both love drinking beer, that’s always a good start,” said Leinemann. “I’ve been a home brewer for the last three years, just brewing beer in my driveway.”

Leinemann had been thinking of getting into the brewing industry for eight years, before starting to brew beer at home. When it started to become more of a reality, he already had his sights set on the location.

“I’ve had my eye on this building for quite a few years with that in the back of my mind in potentially doing something,” said Leinemann.

About two years ago, Grieve asked Leinemann if he needed a business partner and they immediately started looking into putting the brewery together. With their backgrounds, they were able to put together the majority of the place themselves.

‘I was a carpenter, and Matt’s an electrician so we build like 95 per cent of this place ourselves,” said Leinemann.

It took them eight months to build their dream together, as they got possession of the building on Jan. 5.

As for the name, with the location being beside the Okanagan Rail Trail just off of Clement Avenue, Leinemann had an idea in his mind for it before the dream became a reality.

“We wanted rail-something; it was going to be railway, rail-line and then Matt came up with Railside and we loved it,” said Leinemann.

To start, Railside has seven beers on the menu, with their favourite being the Summer Ale.

“We have small batch beer here and my homebrew system is smaller than what we have here so I had scale them up but I took my favourites from what I was brewing at home,” said Leinemann. “Our Summer Ale, which is my favorite beer to brew at home, we scaled that up to a thousand-litre batch. Our other (beers), we’ve been working with a brewing consultant who’s been helping us out just to develop some of our other recipes.”

Railside Brewing is located at 1186 High Road.

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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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