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YYCTOURS - Calgary Brewery Tours 
Best of Kin Brewing Review - Oct 28, 2023 

Teh front entrance at Best of kin brewing Calgary beer tours

We like to consider ourselves as being somewhat in-the-know when it comes to identifying good beer. Lately, as we continue learning about beer and its history, we find ourselves gravitating toward some of the styles that started it all, or to offshoots from classic styles. Sure, everyone knows Hazy IPA and Sour, but to us, there is more to beer than just consuming popular styles. We believe knowing the story behind every beer makes it a little more enjoyable. Luckily for us, when we popped into Best of Kin Brewing at 1059 14th St. SW, we got exactly what we were looking for. 

Best of Kin is not a large brewery compared to some in town. It uses a very small brewing system for single batch beers, while outsource brewing its core brands.  This is music to our ears as single batch beers are always the most fun to drink. They allow the brewer to get creative, and to experiment, while also guaranteeing absolutely the freshest possible product. We think every beer should be small batch!  

 

Best of Kin "BOK" is a relatively newer brewery in Calgary that opened its doors in the fall of 2022. Located in Sunalta, BOK is one of the three breweries in the area that make up the Sunalta Brewing district, a very walkable brewery area that we covered here

On our stop we were fortunate enough to run into brewer Zach, with whom we had a lengthy and enjoyable chat about beer. Not just BOK beer, but about Zack's brewing history and his likes and dislikes. Once again, luckily for us, we were on the same page. 

The kitchen at Best of kin brewing in calgary- YYC tours

At the time of our visit, BOK was nearly packed with guests.  Clientele of all ages and demographics filled the room and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. To us, (not interior designers) the decor appeared to be a mixture of a French cafe, meets bbq joint, meets brewery. This blend of styles is something that we came to discover is a common thread across the BOK philosophy which shows in its design, food menu, beer choices and its wide variety of community events. The overall vibe we took in is that it really felt like BOK is a place for EVERYONE. They have a tasty and diverse food menu (including the city's best kids menu at a brewery) with meals and snacks all prepared from its shipping container kitchen. Appies from wings, hummus and corn dogs, to main courses of fish and chips, 'Pete-za" and BBQ burgers and sandwiches are available, and BOK even offers a very tasty looking brunch

One of BOK's most famous beers is it's Sailor's Delight Coffee Kelp Stout which recently picked up an Alberta Beverage Award (as did Summer Crush Radler) . This style of beer is unique to BOK and not many venues brew this one. As we have had the stout a few times before, on this visit, and in chatting we Zach, we excitedly went with 3 beers that are considered small batch and are not on the beer menu full time. Cherry Berliner, a Belgian Tripel, and a Dark IPA. This is probably a good time to mention that we got so deep into conversation with the BOK brewer, that we kind of forgot to take pictures before we got into our flight. 

a flight of beer at Best of Kin brewing in calgary on a beer tour of calgary

Beer #1 - Kirsch Weisse, Sour Cherry Berliner. Right away based on the name, we know what we are getting into. In German, kirsche is cherry, weisse is wheat, and Berliner means from Berlin. The Berliner Weisse is a very old style of beer with roots dating back to the 1600's. It is also the beer style which is often referred to as the most refreshing beer in the world and one that Napoleon called 'Champagne of the North". Today, this beer style is brewed with Lactobacillus yeast which provides the sour quality, and in the case of BOK's version, a lactic yeast from Guelph, Ontario. Years ago however, that wasn't the case. Instead, due to a brewing technique which included not boiling the wort, lactic bacteria (found in the malt) and other heat resistant organisms would survive, and provide an acidic and sour quality to the beer. Back to modern times, and here at BOK, we are glad brewing procedures have advanced. We really enjoyed this take that was super refreshing, lightly acidic and featuring enjoyable tart notes of cherry pie or pastry. Zach also let us know the cherries are fermented in house and a little touch of smoked malt is used. This was a very tasty beer and we are picking it as our Beer of the Week. 

#2 Drop the Beet- Belgian Tripel. Made with golden beet sugar, this sneaky 7.5% ABV Belgian was amazing, despite not being made in a Monastery. Historically, and by definition, a Belgian Tripel is considered a 'Trappist' beer, which is a protected appellation, and which means it can only be called Trappist if it is made in the monastery. We don't recall seeing any monks, but we will let this one slide for the sake of sampling a famous style. Tripels can be considered a strong, pale, somewhat spicy ale with a pleasant rounded malt flavor, firm bitterness, and dry finish. They are nicely aromatic, with spicy, fruity, and 'light' alcohol notes that combine with the supportive clean malt character to produce a surprisingly drinkable beverage considering the high alcohol content.  Here the use of noble hops and winter spices worked amazingly well together and this beer left us wanting a full pint. 

#3 Dark Vader- Dark IPA. A Dark IPA is exactly what it sounds like. An IPA,  but with darker malts. These malts not only bring the colour to beer, but also more roasted/toasty/caramel and even chocolate or coffee notes. Here the use of a malt that has been de-husked/de-bittered removes any astringency that is common with dark malts. This resulted in a very smooth malty sweetness with a coffee and roast backbone. The use of southern hemisphere hops adds a nice tropical punch to the beer, making sure you know it is still an IPA.

the bar at best of kin brewing in Calgary by calgary brewery tours.

Given our admiration for historical beer styles, small batches and good beer, we highly suggest BOK as a spot you should be checking out. If BOK sounds like the kind of brewery you would like to visit on a Calgary Brewery Tour , which stops at several different venues across the city, please let us know below. 

YYCTOURS offers Calgary Charters if you want to plan your own event and just need a van or shuttle. 

To see more Calgary Brewery reviews, click here

Cheers, 

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