Jill Jarrett, spokesperson for Nixon Hospitality, says the team behind Kelowna-based BNA Brewing Co. genuinely cares about authentically warm hospitality. She adds great beer just happens to be one of the ways in which they communicate that to the world.
A boutique bowling alley and Airstream trailer, which has been converted into a bar on the second floor, also welcome guests to this family-friendly (until 10 p.m.) brewery.
As part of The Growler’s ongoing “Five Questions With…” series, Jill offered some other insights into BNA Brewery.
What’s the inspiration behind the name?
When we were in the early stages of planning our brewery, we had a couple of names kicking around, none of which ended up being used for various reasons. We also spent some time at the Public Archives here in Kelowna and found the address we were moving into was commonly referred to as the “BNA building.” “And it just kind of stuck.”
It refers to the “British North American Tobacco Company,” for which 1250 Ellis St. was originally constructed. We’re definitely not the “British North American Brewery,” but kept the letters in recognition of the love we have for the beautiful brick and beam structure we get to call home.
Of course, we’re fortunate to be on the land of the Syilx people, whose history long pre-dates any sort of establishment of “British North America” and whose community was and continues to be negatively impacted by it, so we always want to be mindful of that when discussing our name.
How did BNA come to be?
We are a group of people who had worked together previously, wanted to continue to do so, and had a dream! Much of our core management team has worked together for well over a decade, each of us bringing to the table a unique skill set, but all working toward a common goal.
We genuinely care about authentically warm hospitality, and great beer just happens to be one of the ways in which we communicate that to the world. When people choose to join us at the brewery for a pint, take a growler home, or bring a six-pack on their adventures, we’re truly grateful that folks give us the opportunity to share who we are in that way and allow us to live our dreams in the place we call home with our families and friends.
What would you consider the hidden gem of your brewery or taproom?
Depending on who you ask, it’s not hidden, but we have a boutique bowling alley above the brewhouse on the second floor. The six-lanes are surprisingly low-key and often people on the first floor have no idea what’s above. It’s definitely not a secret, but it’s certainly a gem.
Actually, the whole place is full of this kind of stuff. For example, the wooden bleachers from the Saskatchewan high school where owner Kyle’s parents met and fell in love. Or the vintage pinball games tucked into a quiet corner. Or the bar inside of a converted Airstream trailer.
How and why is BNA a part of your local community?
Well, BNA doesn’t exist without our local community. We’re part of it and it is part of us. We all live and work here; many of us are raising families here. We choose to be here and want to be a part of providing something valuable to the city — from a great first job to a fulfilling career. A place to gather with friends and/or make new ones. BNA is so many things to so many people. We give to our community, but the people in it give us infinitely more. We’ve been fortunate to be able to donate our time and money to various organizations and events, and feel very grateful our community is home to some of the most incredible people and their important work.
What five words would you use to describe BNA
Fun. Timeless. Uncommon. Authentic. Indescribable.