The other week, when Liz and I took off on an MLA (Mark & Liz Adventure), the destination for the end of our first day of travel was Whitewater Brewing Company in Forester’s Falls, Ontario.

The Brew Pub, which is inside of an old renovated barn, is located about 10 minutes off of Highway 17 near Cobden, Ontario (about 90 minutes West of Ottawa). I discovered it when traveling through the area earlier in the summer and just knew that Liz and I would have to return to enjoy it together.

IMG_8972The atmosphere of the pub/restaurant and patio is absolutely down to earth, rustic and fun. (Their patio even has a series of hammocks set up for serious relaxing) And the menu of food is a short but delicious list of items. Whitewater Brewing Company offers a large, comfortable
and relaxed atmosphere for gathering with friends. We settled in on one of the oversized comfy seats in an intimate little corner not far from the bar to enjoy a few beers and items off the menu.

One of the mixed blessings of an MLA adventure is that we’re willing to take tangential paths on a day’s journey, completely open to things we perhaps hadn’t planned. And we had some of those side-explorations on this fun day. Which meant we hadn’t arrived until close to 8 PM and thus ended up having only about an hour to enjoy the brewpub before it closed for the night.

IMG_8973Our plan, since Waterwater Brewing Company makes this available, was to put up our tent in one of the fields adjacent to the main building. They charge a mere $10 per person to set up a tent on the grounds and, after the pub closes, they leave an outside door to the men’s room unlocked so that overnight campers can use the facilities.

It’s not surprising that this brewpub offers this option, particularly when you hear the story about its origin that involved three good friends who bonded over whitewater adventures, good beer and good times. If you want to hear about the story behind the brewery, their website has a great video on the Our Story section where the co-owners (The Thompson Twins – #notrealtwins #notevenrelated) share their fun story of how it all came to be.

So, after enjoying some fun and a few fun beverages (I found myself returning to the very first beer I’d ever had from them: Their Farmer’s Daughter, a light, refreshing and easy-drinking blonde ale that’s perfect for the end of a hot summer day of traveling), we ended up setting up the tent in the dark.

IMG_8976Correction: Liz set the tent up in the dark while I held an electric lantern and a flashlight. (After all, we must each stick to what we’re best at)  There were at least three other couples camping there in the large fields beside the barn, but they were far enough away that it felt like we had the whole field to ourselves (ie, not the “almost on top of one another” experience you sometimes get when camping at certain locations of Ontario Provincial Parks – or when setting up a tent at a place like Woodstock)

After the pub had closed, Liz and I sat in a couple of chairs outside our tent, with just the light from the nearby barn casting a soft pale glow, and looked up at the night stars, losing ourselves to the constellations, the conversation and the beers that we shared. The perfect way to end a fun-filled day of exploration.

When it was finally time to call it a night, we found the setting peaceful, dark and comfortable. We could occasionally hear cows from a nearby field and saw the lights of one of our fellow campers who returned some time during the wee hours. (I won’t share, of course, details regarding the moment I woke suddenly at about 3 in the morning, hearing a rustling from the wind and was convinced, based on the sound and shadows of the tent cover that flitted in the wind, that there was somebody walking around the outside of our tent. I am a writer of horror fiction and true ghost stories, after all, so my mind ALWAYS goes to the darkest places. But let’s not talk about my little over-reaction, shall we?)

A flight from my first visit to Whitewater Brewing Company. Yeah, I know, I couldn’t even wait before taking the picture to drink the Farmer’s Daughter

In all, Whitewater Brewing Company makes some fine beers, has a beautiful destination brewpub location and I adore the fact that there’s an affordable option for those who wish to have a few drinks and then not drive. Brilliant. Comfortable. Fun. You very much get the sense that this is a place that matches their slogan: Brewed by friends, for friends.

Even Barnaby (my horror-author mascot companion) had no bones about the experience.

Barnaby relaxing outside our tent on the Whitewater Brewing Company grounds