One of the best things about working on our upcoming guidebook is having the chance to do something we absolutely love: Beer Travel. We’ve had the opportunity to explore places long on our list, but some of the best trails and ales we’ve checked out recently were in places we never expected.
To kick-off this holiday season, we’d love to give you a little peek into one of the hike-brewery pairings that will be featured in our book!
From that first breath-catching sight of the snow-dusted peaks surrounding the Fraser Valley, we felt like we’d discovered a secret getaway. The town of Chilliwack has a long history with beer, as the region used to be home to 2,000 acres of hop fields. And the best part about it? Chilliwack is a quick hop over the border (even closer than Vancouver) from Bellingham, making this close-to-home escape all the more enticing.
The Hike: Teapot Hill
Cultus Lake is just outside of Chilliwack, and a veritable paradise for family fun — home to an amusement park, water park, and several campgrounds. A network of trails flank the lake, including one of the most charming hikes we’ve been on lately: Teapot Hill.
This easy-going hike (there are a few steeper sections) offers nice views over Cultus Lake, the Columbia Valley, and surrounding mountains. But the best part? An enchanting forest full of moss-hung trees, colorful mushrooms, and whimsical teapots. You read correctly, actual teapots are scattered along this hike, as if waiting for a band of furry forest creatures to sit down for a tea party. Make a game of it and keep track of how many you spot along on the way. Estimates vary from 0-50; our count was right in between at 27 teapots.
After an afternoon on the trail, we rolled into Chillwack grubby, peckish, and of course thirsty. We hit the town on a Friday night, checking out the new brewery on the block and finishing with a cocktail in a pub that used to be a bank! Fortunately, both bars were within stumbling distance of our hotel.
The Beer: Chaos & Solace Craft Brewing Company
A new brewery in Chilliwack, Chaos & Solace Craft Brewing Company is already full of history. The brewery was built in the original Safeway store building, its historic structure on display with exposed brick walls and taproom tables made from reclaimed wood. The brewery’s beers are also named after Chilliwack landmarks and locations like Paramount Porter (named for the historic theater) and Five Corners IPA. The brewery plans to use locally grown and foraged ingredients in their beers, brewing by the credo, “Passion for the craft in every glass.”
Literally just around the Corner from Chaos & Solace, The Royal Hotel is a unique heritage hotel to fit all your beer travel needs. We reveled in the hotel’s antique furniture, cozy rooms, and the ensuite clawfoot tub. Established in 1908, the Royal’s charm and hospitality are seemingly timeless. An adjoining cafe and the welcoming Wilde Oscar’s Pub make it easy to grab a bite after your hike — or a nightcap.
If all this sounds like just the trip for you: good news! The Royal Hotel is partnering with Chaos & Solace for a special hotel package perfect for Beer Traveler. This beer-ific add-on includes:
Stay tuned for more Beer Travel Stories in the Pacific Northwest. Cheers!