Ski Northern BC this Winter
For a dusting of powder and charm.
Beer and Fernie go hand in hand. It began with the town’s foundation in 1898, when beer was served to the thirsty miners striving to make a life in the Elk Valley. Built up on the riches of the valley and the coal that has sustained here throughout the last 100 + years, you know there will be a few decent establishments here to sample a hard-earned beer.
While mining is still a dominant force in this mountain town, you are just as likely to find adventure-seekers sampling the local craft brew. Present day Fernie is a year-round adventure playground. In summer the patios and bars are full of hikers and bikers, while winter sees the powder hounds toasting another legendary Fernie powder day. Here’s where to grab a brew in Fernie:
The Northern is a Fernie institution dating back to the early days of settlement in the town. Today, the Northern is a rowdy and inviting place to sink a few beers while watching one of the many live acts they host throughout the year. With two pool tables, a large stage and numerous booths, the Northern is always a great night out.
Best time to visit the Northern Bar and Stage: On a Tuesday for Beer & Burger night. Enjoy cheap food topped with a lush pint of Red Caboose, brewed by the Fernie Brewing Company.
When I first moved to Fernie, after a decade of chasing winters around the world, I stayed at the Raging Elk Hostel. It’s safe to say nothing has been the same for me since.
The Hopgood (an IPA brewed using New Zealand hops) is a delicious beer that is not too overpowering. Also served on tap is the Honey Ale and the Hemp Ale, both superb lagers made from organic ingredients.
Best time to visit the Kodiak Lounge: Monday Night Jam Night, a lively evening of live music and a great chance to meet new friends from around the world.
The Pub can be found just off Highway 3; it is part of the Park Place Lodge. It is a strong favourite among locals and visitors alike, thanks to its huge array of food and excellent selection of beers and wines. Be sure to try Fernie Brewing Company’s excellent Lone Wolf IPA, made using four select malts in combination with four hop varieties. This exceptional golden ale IPA with beautiful flavour is brewed using traditional techniques, including dry hopping. With two pool tables, the Pub is often buzzing no matter what time of the day you visit.
Best time to visit the Pub: Wing Night! Try the Pub’s tasty chicken wings in a range of different flavours.
The Brickhouse is one the most iconic buildings in Fernie, situated on the corner of Second Avenue (main street) and Ninth Street. This brick building strikes an impressive pose. With comfortable booths and dining tables, the Brickhouse also offers a range of beers and an excellent food menu.
Try local favourite Ol’ Willy Wit from Fernie Brewing Company as you dance the night away. Ol’ Willy Wit is a Belgian white ale with light and spicy citrus flavours. The beer is unfiltered and brewed with a dash of coriander and orange peel, giving it a slightly cloudy look. It is served with a slice of orange to bring out the natural spices and fruit flavour.
Best time to visit the Brickhouse: Thursday Night Jam Night. Watch a host of musicians, both local and international, get their jam on.
The Fernie Hotel, like the Northern, is a classic old-school Fernie bar. Occupying the ground floor of the Fernie Hotel, the bar is best experienced with friends, whether you are watching sports on one of the many televisions, or enjoying a meal. The Fernie Hotel has a mix of locals and newcomers enjoying the vibrant atmosphere.
Try one of the most popular beers in Fernie, Project 9 by Fernie Brewing Company. Project 9 was named after the infamous mountain bike trail in Fernie, and is a Bavarian Pilsner of the truest kind. Brewed with Munich, Pilsner and Pale western Canadian malts using time-honoured brewing techniques, Project 9 is a clean, crisp Bavarian Pilsner.
Best time to visit the Fernie Hotel: Friday night is the Fernie Hotel’s world famous Member’s Draw and Meat Raffle!
So the next time you find yourself in this gorgeous part of the province – and you are thirsty – you have several enticing options to quench your thirst. Cheers!
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