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This week’s beer column will look a little different, as the focus will be on a pair of breweries and not a specific beer.
Since today is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, we’d be remiss if we didn’t feature a pair of Indigenous-owned British Columbians breweries that are just a 25-minute drive apart.
The first is Ravens Brewing in Abbotsford, a family-owned brewery under the watchful eye of Paul and Jocelyn Sweeting.
Sitting on the traditional ancestral territory of the Sumas and Matsqui First Nations, Ravens is an Indigenous Corporation that produces both beers and spirits.
Established in 2015, Ravens has steadily grown in its near-decade in existence and has taken home multiple awards along the way, including a gold medal at the 2018 World Beer Cup for its Corvus Lingonberry Lime Gose.
Other notable beers that are produced at the Abbotsford brewery include the Mosaic Dutchman Hazy IPA, Allfather German Pilsner, Southern Key Lime Sour and Tropical Pineapple Habanero Sour.
“In creating our beers and spirits, we strive to source as local as possible,” explains the brewery’s website.
“Sourcing Abbotsford grown hops, fruit and herbs, and grains from Peace River, to use consistently in our beers and gins. Also partnering with chocolate, tea, and coffee suppliers in Abbotsford for collaborative products and projects.”
Not far away from Ravens is Locality Brewing, a Métis-owned “Land to Glass” craft brewery in Langley, found on the traditional ancestral territory of the Kwantlen, Matsqui, Katzie and Semiahmoo First Nations.
Melanie MacInnes is the entrepreneur behind Locality, which is on a 96-acre farm that has been in her family for generations.
“The MacInnes farm grows all the barley and most of the hops that go into the beer, along with other ingredients like wheat, rye, berries, and honey that are used in certain recipes,” notes the BC Ale Trail website.
“The farm also malts its own barley, which means Locality controls virtually every aspect of producing its beer from planting the seeds to pouring it into the glass for you.”
It’s a one of a kind venue that is home to some delicious beers, including the La Tayr Saskatoon Berry and Kelp Gose, which comes in a gorgeous can designed by Métis artist Erin Stagg.
While La Tayr is one of their many rotating seasonals, the brewery’s core beer menu includes the Keep It Simple Blonde Ale, Lost Hazy Pale Ale, Black Tea Lager and West Coast IPA.
While you might have a more difficult time finding Locality beers in liquor stores around BC, Ravens beers are more widely available around the province.
Better yet, you could stop in at both spots and check them out for yourself the next time you’re travelling on Hwy 1 through the Fraser Valley.
Josh Duncan is the NowMedia news director and a craft beer lover. Reach him at email@example.com. His beer column appears every Saturday afternoon in this space.