SILVER – Best New Brewery
When Melanie MacInnes was young, her family’s farm was a dairy operation. Later, they boarded horses and hosted movie shoots (fans of the Hallmark TV series, When Calls the Heart might recognize the location), but always wondered what the future held.
Then, in 2016, MacInnes and her husband Andy Hamer had a “crazy idea” that maybe they should open a brewery there. First, they planted a test crop of barley, which they harvested with hand scythes. It proved to be brewing quality, so the next year they planted five acres and bought a 70-year-old thresher from Alberta. Hamer, who is an engineer by training, built a malthouse so they can malt their own grains—they even offer custom malting to other local farms.
All of this work culminated in Locality Brewing’s grand opening in the summer of 2021. Visitors can tour the working farm and sip tasty beers to pair with cheese and meat baskets at picnic areas spread around the “brewbarn” overlooking the ponds or nestled among the hop bines. It’s all family-and pet-friendly, which makes it a fantastic destination for a weekend ride or a Sunday hike.
Best of all is the feeling you’ll get when you taste the terroir—the locality—of this farm in each and every glass you savour. You’ll realize that the malty backbone of the beer in your hand was planted, raised, harvested and malted right there, along with the bitter hops and other ingredients like honey and berries. It just doesn’t get much better than that.