Niagara Beer TrailMay 17, 2018
You're on the trail - the long, long trail with several stops still to come.
It's hot outside, and you could sure use a tall, cold one.
No problem. The route you're following is the Niagara Beer Trail. And now matter where you are on the map, that tall, cold one is just a little farther on up ahead.
Starting from Niagara Falls, the route is a little more than 70 km so you'll want your vehicle (or bicycle if you're up to it. Remember, there's beer ahead!).
An online map at NiagaraGreenBelt.com describes the entire route, depending on where you start.
Today, of course, you are starting from the Howard Johnson's By The Falls here on Victoria Avenue in Niagara Falls so we'll take it from there.
First stop: the Merchant Ale House and Restaurant on St. Paul Street in St. Catharines, which offers a comfortable setting downtown to start your trek. Try a taste of the Murray Street Brewing Co. beer, which is the Ale House's own brand brewed on site.
Just remember to save some room, because there are five more stops to go.
After that you're going to the Silversmith Brewing Co. in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This venue opened in 2012, right in the heart of wine country when there were numerous wineries to visit but fewer beer spots.
Next up, the Oast House Brewers, also in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Look for its red barn-style location; all the ingredients for the beer it brews are locally sourced in Niagara.
Following that, you're off to the Niagara College Teaching Brewery - Canada's first teaching brewery - to experience some fresh takes on beer from students still learning all the ins and outs of creating lagers, ales, wheat beers, seasonal and specialty beers.
Then turn back to Niagara Falls for the final two stops. First stop is Taps on Queen Street Brewhouse and Grill.
This venue offers a wide range of brews, some in-house and others more famous brands. Another comfortable, 140-seat setting to enjoy a meal with your drink.
Finally, pull into the Syndicate Restaurant and Brewery on Lundy's Lane to sample its wide array of beers. The stated mindset here is "from farm to table," and the Syndicate offers a range of beer styles from gentle pale ales, smooth caramel cream ales to heavier, black wheat porters.
The on-site restaurant offers a menu packed with great meal options.
Then when you get back to base at the Howard Johnson's, kick back and take a little rest from your excursion.
Enough of that - you've still got a lot to see in Niagara Falls. And since HoJo's is well located on Victoria Avenue, you're already in the heart of the tourist district.
Forget the car, you've had enough of that today. It's an easy walk from the hotel to Clifton Hill or to Queen Victoria Park to look over the falls.