Bowen Island Brewing opened for business on Bowen Island in 1986 but quickly found brewing on the island difficult, due to high production costs and complex logistics. So, less than a year later, Bowen moved to brew beer on a barge under the Second Narrows Bridge; to better supply the Vancouver beer market.
As you might guess, brewing on a barge also wasn’t very practical and so the owners arranged for the brand to be sub-contract brewed in Whistler. That continued until the company met severe financial difficulties and the Bowen Island Brewing brand was acquired by the Big Rock Brewery, based in Calgary, Alberta.
After brewing in Alberta for almost five years and selling successfully across Alberta and BC, a group of British Columbians negotiated with Big Rock to purchase all their BC-based brewing assets in 2005. The purchase included a brewery in Kamloops and the Bowen Island beer brand.
The Bowen Island Brewing Company brand was revitalized with new packaging and some new beer styles, along with some of the original recipes. To this day, BIB remains brewed in Kamloops, 100% BC owned and 100% BC brewed, naturally, with no additives and no preservatives.