Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Meet Stefan Buhl: Tree Brewing Co.

Meet Stefan Buhl, brewmaster for the award winning Tree Brewery in Kelowna, British Columbia. By all accounts Buhl is a dedicated brewer who is proud of his work, which is terrific by the way. So grab a beer, sit back, and get to know a west coast brewer.

Where is the Tree Brewery and what beers do you currently produce?
We are located in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, BC.

We produce Kelowna Pilsner, Rebel Original, Thirsty Beaver Amber Ale, Cutthroat Pale Ale, Hophead IPA and Spy Porter as our year round beers.

We have our regular seasonals Midwinter Spiced Ale, Hefeweizen and Raspberry Porter. We will also release 2 or 3 limited edition beers every year starting in December 2008.

Describe the history behind the brewery.
Tree Brewing started in 1996. We are located in the original location on Richter Street in Kelowna. I have been with Tree since the fall of 2000.

What is your best selling beer?
Hophead IPA

What's new at the brewery? Events, new beers, milestones, awards?
We won Gold for our Hefeweizen and Silver for Hophead IPA at the 2008 Canadian Brewing Awards. We will release our first new specialty in the beginning of December. The brewing staff is very excited and we hope our customers will be happy with the style we picked. Stay tuned!

Why did you get into the brewing industry and describe your passion for it.
I was looking for a career in 1989 and brewing sounded interesting and it worked out great so far. I did an apprenticeship in a brewery in Germany and love my job ever since.

What is the best aspect of working in the Canadian craft brewery industry?
For me the best aspect is to be able to live and work in Canada. Working in a job I love and living in Kelowna is a bonus.

Describe the relationship between the West Coast breweries.
We are a member of the BC Craft Brewers Association, and have good relationships with many other breweries. We all share the same passion for growing the appreciation and awareness of BC craft beer. We are the only craft brewery in Kelowna, so we don’t have the same proximity that many others have on the island and lower mainland.

Where can someone find your products?
British Columbia and Alberta liquor stores, as well as many restaurants and pubs.

What advantages do smaller breweries have over the big guys?
We are very flexible and have the chance to create each beer as we see it brewed best.

Best time for a pint?
When you ever you feel like one.

What is the highlight of your brewing career?
19 years of living a good life in a great industry and no end in sight.

Cold clean lager or big hoppy pale ale?
I go for hoppy, ale and lager’s.

Name your favourite non Tree produced beer.
Meckatzer Loewenbraeu Weiss Gold Export Lager

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