BEER OR WINE? Have Both in Niagara Falls

One of the best things about exploring a new destination is the chance to explore the region’s food and drink. Every place in the world has their own distinct culture surrounding its cuisine, and this is even true for countries like the United States and Canada, where visitors might mistakenly think that the food and drink options don’t really vary from region to region.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

Not only does the type of food vary from place to place, but the drink options do as well. Wine and beer are both very popular all over both the U.S. and Canada, but it’s not often that you can find locally produced wine and beer in the same place. Niagara Falls is one exception.

759px-Niagara-Falls-Horseshoe-Falls-viewWith a gorgeous climate, stunning scenery, and the iconic Falls, Niagara is a very popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Add to that list the fact that this little cross section of the U.S. and Canada is prime agricultural country and you have the perfect location for both local vineyards and locally produced beer.

If you’re planning a visit to the Niagara area, try some of the best wine and beer the region has to offer with this handy guide to winery tours and more.

It’s Always Time for Wine

Due to its geographic location, the Niagara area is prime wine country, and this is evident everywhere you look. You’ll see local wines on the shelves of the markets, and ads for wine tours at every visitor kiosk. While not yet as popular as wines from other parts of the US and the world, Niagara wineries are slowly making a name for themselves in the world market.

The best way to experience the wonder that is Niagara wine is through a winery tour. You can easily plan a tour on your own, but it’s much more convenient to let someone else do that for you. That way you can visit several wineries in one day and you don’t have to worry about driving afterward.

Your options for a winery tour of Niagara vary widely, but most include transportation, a stop at three or four wineries, up to 16 tastings per person, and lunch or dinner. Private tours for special occasions are also very popular, and can be easily customized.

If you want to plan your own tour, be sure to include a stop at Flat Rock Cellars which welcomes walk in visitors, and Stratus Winery, the world’s first LEED-certified winery. Please note that appointments are required for a visit to Stratus.

Local Beer Is on the Rise

As the practice of craft brewing continues to explode in Niagara, this year saw the second annual Buffalo-Niagara Brewers Festival, and local brewing companies are popping up all over the area. At the beginning of the 20th century this area was home to a thriving culture of local brewers. As craft beers have recently seen a resurgence of popularity, the Niagara area and its craft beer are following suit.

True to current trend of sustainability in the trade, Niagara area brewers are committed to sourcing their ingredients from local vendors as often as possible. They also have some of the best in the brewing business at the helm. The Niagara Brewing Company sources its hops from local farms, and has a Molson alum as their brewmaster. Local experts also predict a future trend in farm breweries, where the ingredients and the final product are both produced onsite.

Brewery tours are available, either on your own or through the newly minted tours offered by local companies. These tours visit several breweries and usually throw in a stop at a winery, just for good measure.  If you want to strike out on your own it’s no problem; some breweries are located right in the hotel zone and just a few steps from the Falls.

Learning more about a destination through its food and drink is a fantastic way to get to the heart of a place. When you next visit Niagara Falls, be sure to learn more about its thriving wineries and craft breweries. Not only do you get to support some incredible local and sustainable businesses, but you might also discover a new favorite beverage along the way.

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