By Wade Kinley
All across the province, BC’s Ale Trails crisscross through our communities introducing each intrepid traveller to the wonder and discovery of a craft beer scene unrivalled in the rest of the world.
The latest addition to the map is dubbed North of the Fraser Ale Trail, and comprises breweries in New Westminster, Burnaby, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam in a self-guided itinerary for beer lovers: from the storied history of brewing in BC’s once-capital city of New Westminster, where John Labbatt himself set up shop in 1860, to the burgeoning scene in Port Coquitlam where the craft beer scene is tied into the geography of the city itself, where cyclists and pedestrians can tour its five breweries along the Traboulay PoCo Trail that encircles the community.
North of the Fraser Ale Trail also includes a thorough exploration of the sights, sounds and tastes of each community that fill up the spaces between breweries. Take a casual hike up Burnaby Mountain before coming down for a well-deserved quaff at the base at Dageraad Brewing, BC’s flagship brewery for Belgian style beers. You can be sure to keep your energy up with a visit to Coquitlam’s Glen Drive around the High Street where you’ll find a true smorgasbord of global cuisines before you head over to Mariner Brewing (who boast a fine full kitchen of their own.)
Each community on this newest Ale Trail is bustling with life and is part of one of the fastest growing areas in all of BC. This change and excitement is reflected in the beer being made here, not only in the innovation of their recipes, but also in the way they showcase their creations in beautiful, funky, and inclusive tasting rooms both along the river and nestled up into the beautiful, rolling landscape north of the Fraser.
You can find a detailed list of all there is to do and taste on the North of the Fraser Ale Trail, as well as places to stay to make a weekend out of it, at bcaletrail.ca.