Derek Hyde winner of the Okanagan Home Brewers Club competition producing his cherry Belgian beer at Bad Tattoo Brewing Co.

Derek Hyde winner of the Okanagan Home Brewers Club competition producing his cherry Belgian beer at Bad Tattoo Brewing Co.

Western Brews: Home brew captures the flavour of the Okanagan

Reporter Dale Boyd reviews home brew contest winner R&B Cherry Wit.

It is fitting that the winner of the Okanagan Home Brewers Club year-long competition was launched on Canada Day with the sun shining.

Created out of the Kelowna home of Derek Hyde, R&B Cherry Wit tastes like an Okanagan summer day in a bottle.

Right off the bat, the colour pops as the light pink-ish hue stands out when drinking outof a glass.

The colour foreshadows the flavour as the freshness of Okanagan cherries seeps in just enough to make it the perfect light, drinkable summer brew.

The Belgian witbier is made with 100 litres of fresh-pressed cherry juice from CC Orchards in Naramata, and the fruity taste delicately dances on the palette.

As the competition winner, beating out 14 other home brew creations, Hyde was able to make his first large-scale commercial brew at the Bad Tattoo Brewing Co. facilities working closely with head brewer Robert Theroux.

I regaled curious friends, as we all shared a taste, by literally pointing to where the cherries were grown and where R&B was brewed, only blocks away.  There is an intangible but positive connection to drinking a beer knowing you could walk over to where it was brewed or where the flavour-infusing cherries were grown.

“Sometimes when I tell people I make my own beer, they think I’m brewing bathtub gin. Brewing with Bad Tattoo legitimizes my hobby,” Hyde told me back in April. Legitimized indeed, the home brew creation could hang with the best of them.

R&B Cherry Wit is available to the public on tap at Bad Tattoo, and will be sold in select liqour stores for $7.50 per 650 ml bottle.

For more information visit www.badtattoobrewing.com.