Can you imagine working with your parent and/or child day in and day out? John and Nick Kapusty of Highway 97 Brewery can and do, but in all fairness they seem to actually enjoy it.
The father-son team like to have fun with their work of creating new brews for beer lovers to enjoy, and they gave the Western News a peek ‘Behind the Label’ to prove it. John noted that it’s nice to have someone younger like his son helping to manage the brewery to offer a different perspective.
“The young guy and the old guy don’t always see eye to eye (on beers), but that’s okay because that’s what makes it good,” said John, discussing the brewery’s newest creation, Bad Gas IPA, which will launch at the Okanagan Fest of Ale next week.
“My favourite beer that we serve is our Dirt Road Double IPA,” said Nick. “It’s our best seller.
“My favourite beer to drink, and therefore to serve because I like to tell people about it, is our Red IPA,” said John.
John argues his selection is a “more complex beer” and jokingly added he might just have a more complex palette than his son. Both agree though that the double IPA is a phenomenal brew, noting that they have a lot of pubs carrying it on tap.
The two said their brewery, located at 954 Eckhardt Ave West, is getting ready to increase production with the purchase of two more fermentation tanks. John said this is necessary because the tanks they currently have were purchased to “satisfy what they thought the market demand would be” when they first opened the brewery.
“The market demand is far out-stripping our capacity right now,” said John. “So we’re at a point where we need to ramp up our production and more than double what we have going.”
The team at Highway 97 is small but efficient, with a handful of taproom staff and others helping track paperwork. Nick said their day-to-day operations change frequently based on what needs done.
Both are excited for the brewery’s future, saying they plan to eventually expand their venue and offer more entertainment for Penticton locals. Is there a winery or brewery in the South Okanagan that you’d like to see ‘Behind the Label’? Email us your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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