One of the best outcomes from the explosion of craft breweries across Canada is the opportunity to take beer-based vacations, road-trips and rendezvous!
There is a trend of breweries popping up in pockets, forming mini destinations in regions, towns, or even neighbourhoods. Like in Calgary, there is the fast-growing Barley Belt, home to Banded Peak, Born Colorado, Paddy’s Barbeque, Annex Ale Project, Legend 7, Village, and The OT Brewing Company. It is located in the southeast quadrant of the city and is mostly concentrated within the communities of Manchester and Highfield
The BC Ale Trail is not new in that there are long-standing and operating breweries in these areas and across the province, but new in the fact that this is now a solidified, legitimate destination – you know it’s real when they have their own website!
The BC Ale Trail is divided into 17 different geographical areas, including: Kootenay Rockies East (Cranbrook, Fernie, Kimberley, Invermere, Golden, Revelstoke), Sunshine Coast (Gibsons, Powell River), Fraser Valley (Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley), as well as Victoria, Whistler, Penticton, etc…
It isn’t a surprise that breweries are formed in areas where there is already established neighbours. If a community is already accepting of the industry, it makes sense to continue to build upon the existing foundation. Also, breweries are built on comradery and relationships, from their staffing and sourcing, equipment and brewing, these small breweries are family affairs and we often hear of ‘feel good’ stories of ‘competitors’ helping each other.
What are your favourite ale trails, brew tours, or beer-cations? Do you walk them, drive them, bike them? Tell us about your best local or international brewery excursions!