Journey North, a homegrown cidery a few miles outside of Bonnyville, has opened its doors and is ready to serve up a crisp good time.
The venture is the brainchild of two couples, Kelly and Brian Fieger and their friends Jeremy and Amber Bourboing.
“Kelly likes to joke and say it was a love of drinking that got us rolling on the idea,” said Jeremy.
“But what happened was that Amber and I were looking into opening our own winery, and at the same time Kelly and Brian were telling us how they wanted to open a brewery, so between the four of us we decided to meet in the middle and got started on Journey North.”
Plans for the cidery began in earnest after the couples returned from a trip to Hawaii, with a five-year plan being drawn up.
That quickly became a one-year plan after a 3D render of the location energized construction, with the rapid construction being thanks in part to Jeremy and Amber’s background as schedulers.
The location itself is much larger than is typical for most brewery operations, featuring a downstairs restaurant, patio, upstairs conference room available for rent, and a deck alongside its production floor.
“Originally we were just focusing on cider production, but Amber really want a tap room where we could have tastings,” said Kelly. “Legalities were saying that if we were going to be serving alcohol, we needed to serve food too.
“That got us thinking of what would be the thing that brings people back after the initial tasting, so we incorporated a kitchen and brought on some quality staff to help run it.”
Journey North’s menu is another factor that’s helping it stand out for dining options–instead of the usual selection of steak, pizza, and wings, there will be items such as baked pretzels and apple-based pastries for sale.
“We wanted to be weird, just not too weird,” said Jeremy.
Customers will be able to buy Journey North’s signature ciders in-house and in stores across the province once their delivery train gets moving, though certain craft brews will remain exclusive to the cidery itself.
Journey North is currently open for business and is accepting bookings for its conference room.
The co-owners plan on having a grand opening celebration sometime soon.