Craft & Canapés at The Barley Merchant

Celebrating the Inaugural Langley Craft Beverage Week

A small portion of the bar-long charcuterie board provided by Bosa Foods. Kristina Mameli photos

Perhaps it’s the dichotomy between hidden gems in strip malls like Farm Country and the field to glass oasis that is Locality, but there is something truly special about Langley’s craft beverage community. So naturally, when the The Barley Merchant and Tourism Langley invite you to a sold out event celebrating the local scene, you head right over!

At Barley Merchant, even the cocktail sauce is homemade! Kristina Mameli photo

The Barley Merchant took home 2022 Growlie Gold for Best Craft Beer/ Cider Bar in B.C., in spite of having just opened in July 2021. Recently tapping its 1025th keg, the walls of the warm and bright tap house are covered in little details that read as a love letter to craft beer. Priding itself on providing locally sourced, scratch-made culinary offerings, alongside 50 constantly rotating taps, the meteoric rise just makes sense.

Banditry Cider’s delicious Bramble & Bine. Kristina Mameli photo

The community hub is the brainchild of owner/operator Tim LaHay, who you may know better as beloved Beerstagrammer @crafttourist. And it’s his rich history and devotion to craft that you not only feel in the room, but that literally papers the walls of the The Barley Merchant’s restrooms. Incidentally, where the live music also happens to be crystal clear.

Barley Merchant boasts 50 rotating taps, and has tapped an impressive 1025 different brews to date! Kristina Mameli photo

Greeted at the door with tasters of Citrus Merchant – Grapefruit and Limoncello Cream Ale, a special collab between KPU students and Barley Merchant staff brewed for the evening, the open house style event was a refreshing twist on a traditional tasting, meant not only to showcase the offerings of local beverage makers, but the skills of the culinary team that creates the dishes that compliment them.

Chef Rachel, the architect of my personal favourote dish, the ceviche. Kristina Mameli photo

“What I told my service team today,” said LaHay proudly, “is that 364 days of the year (we’re closed on Christmas day), they’re the stars of the show; they’re the ones at the tables interacting, creating the experience, but today is about the culinary team and them having an opportunity to get out front, interact with guests, and actually see people enjoying the items that they put time and passion and love into creating.”

Fire at the hand pressed sushi station. Kristina Mameli photo

And shine they did.

Under the guidance of Executive Chef Hiran Perera, the team, which includes culinary students from Walnut Grove Secondary School, developed 20 brand new items specifically for the event, some of which LaHay says could realistically end up on the menu.

Owner-Operation Tim LaHay. Kristina Mameli photo

“This is the biggest R&D session we’ve ever had,” he joked. Sort of.

Pure happiness. Kristina Mameli photo

Langley Craft Beverage Week is on until Sunday, May 21st.

The Growler in its natural habitat. Kristina Mameli photo

For a complete list of remaining events, participating businesses and all the details of the 2023 Brewhalla Langley Loop Collab beer benefitting Watersheds BC, head to Tourism Langley’s site:

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