Its summer 2017 and I am on a roll baby! I’m here to talk about a few of my favourite things – summer, Vancouver and BEER! Yes, crisp, cold and local craft beer. In the last couple of years, Vancouver and the surrounding area has become this beer mecca with craft breweries popping up on every corner. Gone are the days of a basic lager, pale ale or IPA. Now we have milkshake IPAs, chipotle ales and strawberry wits. I work part time in a liquor store and it’s nearly impossible to carry them all.
These are in no particular order and are breweries that I have either visited or beers that I have tried through work. As a bonus, I’m also going to include my favourite breweries from areas surrounding Vancouver. I live in the suburbs about 30km outside of Vancouver and local breweries out my way are starting to make a solid name for themselves as well.
- Storm Brewing – 310 Commercial Drive
This is hands down my favourite brewery in the city! The first time I visited the brewery they didn’t have a sign. It was a piece of sheet metal with sharpie on it. It’s located in a questionable and rather industrial part of the city but is well worth the visit. The brew master is quite literally a mad scientist. There is no tasting room to speak of, you walk right into the midst of the brewery and can try up to 6 samples purely by donation. They offer some mainstay options but have a forever changing menu of incredibly unique options that can literally change day-by-day.
My Pick: Vanilla Whiskey Stout
- Brassneck Brewery – 2148 Main Street
Located in the bustling Mt. Pleasant area, Brassnecks has a small tasting room, the occasional sausage to serve but a forever changing chalkboard of options. The tasting room itself is very small and have rotating food trucks outside to fulfill your foodie needs.
My Pick: Viognier Changeling
- Off The Rail Brewing – 1351 Adanac Street
As they say, “bike the trail to Off the Rail”. Situated on the Adanac bike route, Off the Rail Brewing is the new brain child to come from the previous owners of a popular Vancouver bar. The tasting room is small but very open and child friendly. With 15 taps they also have 3 nitro taps that serve beers only available at the tasting room.
My Pick: Olde Winston Smoked Porter
- Callister Brewing Co. – 1338 Franklin Street
Canada’s first co-working brewery. What does that mean? Brewing on a smaller scale, these independent breweries share the same brewing space allowing for quality product without spending an exorbitant amount of money on rental space. Their tasting room is very warehouse/loft inspired with open spaces and lots of natural light. Local art is often featured on the walls and you can watch the brewing process in this very open concept space. The menu is incredibly unique, forever changing and extensive so come with an open mind.
My Pick: “Hastings Sunrise” Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat Ale
5. Parallel 49 Brewing Company – 1950 Triumph Street
Arguably one of the most well-known and widely available brewery in Vancouver, Parallel 49 continue to put out recognizable beers. Their beers have very unique names and eye catching labels. They have also recently renovated their tasting room which is now open for business. Parallel 49 was my first love back when I first started working in the industry and trying local beers.
My Pick: Russian Imperial Stout: Barrel Aged Series
BONUS: A few of these breweries also carry food options from East Side Beer Food. They make these AH-MAZING cheese and pastry snacks that are actually to die for! You had me at cheese just take my money already!!!
And now, in no particular order – My favourite lower mainland breweries. These are all located outside of the city of Vancouver. It is no surprise that breweries are starting to pop up in the suburbs and in smaller cities away from the city of Vancouver. Housing and commercial property rental prices are through the roof and it’s likely a lot more affordable for these up-and-coming breweries to make a name for themselves without going broke renting in Vancouver.
- Fieldhouse Brewing Company – 2281 West Railway Street, Abbotsford
When I think about a warm and inviting space that is focused on the local community, Fieldhouse definitely comes to mind. An up-and-coming brewery based in East Abbotsford, they offer uniquely handcrafted beers which are forever evolving, local artisan menu items and a lovely tasting room equipped with a beautiful green space outside to soak up the summer rays. This summer they are featuring a rotating radler menu, blending their beers with fresh fruit from local farmers markets and fresh pressed juices from The Habitat Project.
My Pick: Dutch Sour Wit
- Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – 11220 Horseshoe Way, Richmond
They truly are “keeping beer weird” as their motto says. Unique beer concoctions with a heavy focus on “Geek Culture” that is directly reflected in their labeling and marketing. Their tasting room offers a tasty food menu, growler fills and merchandise perfectly tailored to embrace your inner geek.
My Pick: Bean Me Up Espresso Milk Stout
- Trading Post Brewing – 20120 64 Avenue, Langley
Trading Post is a uniquely local brewery. They do a great deal to be a part of the local Langley community. I live in Langley so this is the brewery that I frequent the most. They offer a two-story tasting room with a loft area overlooking the brewing area. They also have an Eatery in the historic Fort Langley area that offers an incredible local menu, fantastic brunch options and beermosas made from their saison. They also recently spearheaded and hosted the first Fort Langley Beer Festival in the spring of 2017 that celebrated local breweries from other parts of the lower mainland and local artisan foods.
My Pick: Three Bears Breakfast Stout
- Four Winds Brewing Company – 7355 72 Street, Delta
Not only do they offer award winning beers, they also have house made tacos! Located in Delta, just outside of Vancouver their tasting room offers a wide variety of uniquely west coast inspired beers.
My Pick: Nectarous Dry Hopped Sour
- Twin Sails Brewing – 2821 Murray Street, Port Moody
An up-and-coming brewery and a new addition to “Brewers Row” in Port Moody. Twin Sails creates modern style beers with a heavy focus on IPAs and other hop-heavy beers. They offer a kid friendly tasting room with a few snack options, or you can bring your own. Make a day of it and sample all 4 breweries in the up-and-coming community.
My Pick: Frooty Call Milkshake IPA
And don’t forget…
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