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By Kristi Alexandra

With sprawling greenery, idyllic farmland, and wild brambles flourishing in the sub-rural town of Langley, it’s no wonder it’s is home to so many winery vineyards — and a couple breweries, too.

Spring is in the air to thaw the frost of winter, and with that comes new berries, new grapes, and new spirits. Enter a new season of sipping.

From mead to wine to beer, here’s where you can find fresh new bottles to imbibe in Langley.

Festina Lente Estate Winery

21113 16th Avenue

From King Arthur’s court to Game of Thrones, the ancient art of mead has always been a tasty one. Festina Lente Estate Winery brings traditional honey wine to the present day with their “modern, sophisticated twist.” This year, they’re introducing two new wines whose names harken back (perhaps) to when mead was a dinnertime staple.

Venus Melomel is aptly named after the Goddess of Love, and the heart of a melomel is adding fruit to honey wine; in this case it’s blackberries right off the bramble. It’s a floral and fruity mead fit to be poured into a goblet or wine glass –  drinker’s choice.

Minerva Metheglin is named for the goddess of knowledge and medicine, and this spicy wine is just what the doctor ordered. With a spicy, crisp ginger taste keeping you alert, this metheglin (a spiced variety of mead) is the zingy pick-me-up that’ll wake you out of your winter funk.

Image courtesy of Festina Lente

Trading Post Brewing

20120 64th Avenue

This relatively young brewery comes with an old soul. Setting up shop in one of BC’s most historic communities, Trading Post Brewery gives a nod to Fort Langley’s original fur trade post. This year, the brewery celebrates its second birthday and we’re in for a surprise.

At the brewery’s birthday party in February they released Hoppy Birthday Bock to celebrate! You’ll have to visit to find out just what this tastes like, but you bet it’ll be fresh.

After the birthday lines run dry, keep sipping on their Dear James SMASH Saison. In keeping with the town’s roots, this is a farmhouse-style saison that recalls orchards of apricots, and the zingy taste of citrus and spice. It’s a golden straw-coloured refresher fit for taking a break at the farm.

Trading Post Brewery | Image by Ashley Lockyer
Trading Post Brewery | Image by Ashley Lockyer

Township7

21152 16th Avenue

Small batches of top-flight wines are what Township7 is known best for. The family-owned winery creates complex, flavourful and well-balanced wines for the sophisticated palate – and plays host to wine tours, pairings and painting on plein air in the late spring and summertime.

Don’t miss their Seven Stars Sparkling wine, just released.

Township7
Image courtesy of Township7

Dead Frog Brewery

27272 Gloucester Way (Aldergrove, BC)

When this brewery hit the scene in 2007, a few years before the big craft beer boom, they boasted the slogan “nothing goes down like a cold, dead frog.” While it may not have been the most appetizing of slogans, it somehow begged to be challenged. Here are a couple beers from the brewery you can expect in spring that are guaranteed to taste better than your backyard pond or amphibian’s terrarium.

The Obsidian Dagger is an IPA Noire made from tropical hops and a deep, dark roasted malt. Complex and strong, this beer is made for only the most daring of palates and is available in April.

Tropic Vice, on the other hand, is an easygoing tropical fruit ale. Made of golden white wheat and a juicy mango and passionfruit taste, this spring and summer beer hits shelves and taps in March and sticks around until the end of September.

Images by Michele Mateus
Words by Alexis Baran

Seven years ago, Teresa Townsley and her husband Bill bought a 5-acre hobby farm in Langley, and got to work on delighting the palettes of wine lovers in BC and any visitor lucky enough to find them. From an unfenced grown-over lot next door to Campbell Valley Regional Park, the two of them have cultivated the land to mind horses; chickens; and best of all (for the rest of us), colonies of honey bees, which happen to help make some of the region’s most delicious varieties of mead.

The tasting room welcomes guests daily May – November

Festina Lente’s specialty is mead, or honey wine. Although it’s made by fermenting honey, the end result is not necessarily sweet. Varieties are smooth and crisp, some with herbal and fruit infusions.

The unique coffee-infused mead, “Zephyr” and the lavender-infused “Flora” are absolute must-try flavours. Far from novelty, these meads are as sophisticated as their most traditional variety (which is the “Nectaris Deorum” mead, which translates to “nectar of the gods”).

The nectar of the gods that goes into this mead is produced on site by thousands of honey bees.

A visit to Festina Lente can also mean a visit to meet their lively horses and their chickens who are dressed up in black and gold feathers.

Herbs grown on-site are used to infuse the mead, such as the fresh ginger in “Minerva Metheglin” which pairs deliciously with many South Asian dishes, such as pad Thai.

Teresa and Bill Townsley, owners

Festina Lente Estate Winery
21113 16th Ave, Langley BC
festinalente.ca