Years ago, Derrick and Donna Smith began brewing a quartet of ales together, the steaming vats of barley filling their small facility with steam. They quickly gained the attention of beer drinkers and critics and expanded into a 10,000-square-foot space. There, they invite you to check out new craft brews such as Classic Nut Brown Ale, Bold Belgian Pale Ale, and Seasonal Citrus Wit. Rotating seasonal suds fill the recognizable frog-emblazoned bottles with beers whose flavors vary with the season. Derrick and Donna offer clients a peek inside their operation with tours and tastings.
At first blush, Langley Wine Tours seems like a simple tourism booster, drawing attention to the lush vineyards that dot the region's rolling hills. That description is true, of course; the tour grants oenophiles access, tours, and tastings at seven destinations, including Back Yard Vineyards, and Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery. However, that's not where Langley Wine Tours magnanimity ends. Instead of keeping its well-earned money, the company donates 100% of its profits to the Langley Animal Protection Society. The company also gives back to its best customers; travelers can enter to win a variety of prizes by collecting tickets at each of their destinations, with gifts ranging from hotel stays and helicopter rides to cases of wine and singing telegrams delivered by the town crier.
With Langley's picturesque countryside as its backdrop, Neck of the Woods Winery concocts red, white, and sparkling wines using grapes grown primarily in the surrounding Fraser Valley. The facility takes advantage of the area's cool climate–which is similar to that of Northern France and Germany–to oversee the entire production process from pressing to bottling. After spending quality time with their maker or a court-appointed barrel, products migrate to store shelves throughout Fraser Valley and Vancouver, or stay right at home in the winery's tasting room. There, visitors pass through daily to sample the varietals, or hang out in the showroom, warmly stocked with rustic casks and a crackling fireplace.
Almost anyone can bake cookies, because cookbooks and ingredients are plentiful. Wine Kitz wants to lend the same ease to the art of winemaking by packing the cookbook and ingredients into one convenient kit. The franchise equips people with quality beer- and winemaking kits that they can brew at home or in-store over a period of four to nine weeks. The low-sulfite kits are made with grape juices from around the world, including vineyards in Italy, California, Australia, Chile, and on the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. The passion Wine Kitz' staff has for winemaking goes past ingredients to the root of the process; owner Dario Gigliotti aspires to own a vineyard someday and is always happy quick to lend a tip or suggest a food pairing to amateur vintners.