One of the definitive websites dedicated to beer in British Columbia has featured Castlegar. In a story that ran September 2, BC Ale Trail details the Tailout Brewery, the Lion’s Head Pub and the mountain biking on the Merry Creek trail system, located just outside of city limits. Called “Castlegar Bike & Beer: The Best Of Both Worlds,” the story is written and photographed by Gina Bégin and she says of the region, “If true downhill biking and local craft beer are the combo you’re looking for (along with some more recent flowy trails to cruise on), welcome to the West Kootenay area. Here, locals talk about trails and technical features like others talk about the intricacies of business — it’s a serious part of the lifestyle. And when you ‘work’ this hard, you need a good watering hole to wind down in, too.”

Castlegar has definitely found its way onto the international mountain biking map thanks to recent developments. As of this writing, there are almost 50 mountain biking trails near the city that offer 73 kilometres worth of riding for every level, from easy to expert. The trail that’s most featured in the article by Bégin mostly revolves around the new Wings of Merry trail which she describes as, “Steep, rock slab, a bit old school. And it was loamy.”

All images by Gina Bégin:


This site has featured the Merry Creek trails before in such articles as “The Top Mountain Bike Trails in Castlegar” and “PinkBike Features Castlegar Mountain Biking” but it wasn’t until the BC Ale Trail article that someone bothered to mention that it’s a fun ride from that trail network to the Tailout Brewing. “From Merry Creek parking lot to craft beer parking lot, the ride is all downhill,” Bégin writes. “Most of the crew decided to ditch the truck for a breezy coast to one of West Kootenay’s newest craft breweries, Tailout Brewing….The doors to the brewery were thrown open, letting lots of fresh air into the open space which was decorated with custom art paying tribute to the Tailout team’s love of fishing — very appropriate for a town lined up on the banks of the Columbia River.”

While most of the BC Ale Trail story showcases Merry Creek and Tailout, Bégin also mentions an alternative network and beer-swilling spot. She writes, “Looking for more of that classic Kootenay style? In Castlegar, there’s no better bikes and beers combo than the perfectly paired offerings of Rialto riding and the Lion’s Head Pub. Though the trail selection may be limited, what Rialto lacks in options it makes up for in length and Type II fun….Also keeping it simple is the classic pub, Lion’s Head, an eight-minute straight shot drive from Rialto. Head here to cool off with a few of the many Kootenay breweries featured on tap.”

To read the article in its entirety, log on to the story on BC Ale Trail at: “Castlegar Bikes & Beer: The Best Of Both Worlds.”