For The Hop-Heads
Calgary, of course, is known for the best micro-breweries in Canada, but the Fraser Valley’s no slouch either. The Fraser Valley Ale Trail highlights 12 local breweries making for a great alternative to the wine-tour for those who prefer brews to Bacchus. We stopped at Old Yale Brewing and enjoyed a flight of small-batch brews. Try the 2014 Canada Brewing Awards beer of the year Sasquatch Stout or one of their popular tea radlers. Locations in Chilliwack and Abbotsford.
Field House Brewing is a great stop for dinner, particularly on a Thursday evening. Field Sessions live local music, enjoyed on lawn chairs in what feels like your friend’s backyard, comes complete with pet pooches. The thin-crust pizza is great and order a flight so you can pick and choose from a huge selection of beer, barrel-aged cocktails, ciders and more. Locations in Chilliwack and Abbotsford.
Fraser Valley Ale Trail | bcaletrail.ca
And the Oenophiles
With its first winery opening in 1994, the Fraser Valley wine region is still in its infancy, relatively speaking. Having said that, the offering is plentiful with 37 licensed grape wineries in the region.
We sat down for a picnic at a gorgeous former ranch, Whispering Horse Winery. A family business since the ’60s, Whispering Horse was Chilliwack’s first winery. The most successful variety has been l’Acadie blanc from Nova Scotia, which thrives in the local terroir. They’re also experimenting with their WILD line, which uses a natural winemaking approach with spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeast, no additives, no fining, no filtration, and minimal use of sulfites. These wines are offered in limited quantities and are intended for the adventurous tasters.
Whispering Horse Winery | whisperinghorsewinery.com