Who doesn’t love a happy accident? Well, my weekend experience wasn’t exactly an accident, but it was very happy. In pursuit of places I can take my dog along, I headed to West Avenue Cider House at Somerset Orchards in Freelton, Ontario, (84 Concession 8 East, Freelton), a short drive from Hamilton – and dog-friendly cidery.
West Avenue Cider House is where rustic meets swank in the combination store, bar, and seating area. Long wooden tables for family-style seating run perpendicular to the bar serving hard cider on tap, of course, along with tasting flights. The bar was busy during pet festival time on October 29, 2022.
Bark at the Moon Howl-o-ween Spectacular 2022
Dog-friendly West Avenue Cider House was uber dog-friendly on Halloween weekend when it hosted the outdoor Howl-o-ween Spectacular fundraiser for Bark at the Moon animal rescue. Leashed dogs, even enthusiastic ones like mine, had the run of the outdoors, especially the picnic table-dotted grassy lot behind the main building.
If you’ve got an active dog on the end of your leash, a necessary activity is a brisk sniff walk through the rows of Heritage Apple trees planted by West Avenue Cider. These heritage apples will eventually make their way into the award-winning small batch heritage ciders the company proudly boasts.
Also outdoors during the Bark at the Moon event were games, vendors, photo opportunities, a Halloween custom contest, and firepits a blaze sending the fragrant scent of burning embers into the air.
Firepits are a feature at West Avenue Cider House and beginning in mid-October, you can reserve during weekends a 90-minute fire for your group of up to six people, and a dog or three, of course. Bring blankets for both you and the pup.
West Avenue Dog-friendly Cidery
Dogs are welcome with enthusiasm at this dog-friendly cidery, just not inside, and of course on leash. If you’re not with the dog, you can sit inside West Avenue Cider House enjoying one of the amazing looking wood-fired oven pizzas with crusts like puff pastry.
Definitely pair it with a cider flight allowing you to try several fruit-infused hard cider flavours. Note: Cherriosity with hints of cherry was my favourite and went home with me.
If you are with the dog, you do the same, sitting outdoors at a picnic table or around a blazing fire.
Reservations are required for the outdoor firepit, otherwise the indoor and outdoor picnic tables are first come first serve. West Avenue Cider House is open from mid-May to mid-October, Tuesday to Sunday, 12 to 6pm. From October to May through the winter months, the cidery is open Friday to Sunday, 12 to 6 pm.
Dog-friendly Somerset Cottage Rental
If you head out to this pastoral dog-friendly winery, minutes from the stop-and-go traffic of the 403, and think, ‘if only I can spend days here,’ you’re in luck. West Avenue Cider House recently updated the Somerset Cottage – a three-bedroom rental on this 75-acre rural property.
Decorated in contemporary crisp white with a view of the orchard and private patio, the cottage is available for rental through Air B&B. It sleeps up to six people and … you guessed it, your dog too. The Somerset Cottage is pet-friendly, and the dog-friendly cidery is a short leash-walk away.
Sip & Shop Holiday Event
If you missed the Halloween Spectacular, West Avenue Cider House is hosting a Sip & Shop holiday event with vendors and additional food trucks, December 3, 2022, 11 am to 5 pm. It’s not a specific pet-event, but you can bring a well-behaved leashed dog (which might rule out mine) and stroll the grounds while shopping.
One More Thing …
Prior to heading to the Halloween Spectacular at the West Avenue Cider House, we’ll be heading back to often, we spent the morning at Bring Your Dog Café in Hamilton, Ontario. Thanks to Bow Wow Photography – who set up for the afternoon in the backroom – for the great pumpkin dog pics of my two-year-old Sprocker. These are the first of many to come this holiday season.
If you go….
West Avenue Cider House, 84 Concession 8 East, Freelton, Ontario. Open May to October, Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 6 pm. October to May, Friday to Sunday, noon to 6 pm. The three-bedroom Somerset Cottage is available for rent year-round through Air B&B.
Bring Your Dog Café, 9 Richwill Road, Hamilton, open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, noon to 8 pm, Saturday, 11 am to 7 pm and Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm.
Writer bio: Sherri Telenko has been a professional writer for decades and travel writer for the last two. She’s a member of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) and Dog Writers Association of America, and travels almost weekly with her canine companion, Victoria.
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