Let’s get brewing! The best in craft-beer Vancouver has to offer.
The craft beer industry is a gold rush. Or at least, that is the way it surely looks to an outsider looking in. But what is it that makes the best breweries in Vancouver and the trip actually worth the pilgrimage? Be it from six stops down the sky train or from halfway around the world, each blend has its own stay.
Vancouver’s craft breweries are not bound by tradition and are keen to experiment with hops, style and flavour. The latest trend is bar crawling a slew of contemporary micro tasting lounges and neighbourhood pubs. They are characterized by their scruffy warehouses on gritty streets catering to devotees who return regularly to refill their growlers.
While that is “how the locals do it,” there is no denying that some of the best breweries who have become household names, rose from being one of these small-scale nano breweries at one point.
They were passionate about their craft and wanted to deliver more than what could fit in a wizen. They are led by crazy craft beer fanatics, who may look like sophisticated creatives. But are super friendly and ready to launch into a passionate discussion with anyone who is interested.
These are the ones who brought the authentic, quality-ingredient brews on the table. With, of course, the signature library burger and sea salted French fries. A match made by the Beer Gods in fermented heaven.
It is easy to get overwhelmed by the gazillion options. Every new brewery, pub or restaurant around the corner claiming to have revolutionary flights of the sought-after wheat ale. Now you are wondering, which one should I trust. Surely, one cannot try all the hundreds of options but can make the most of their time. However, with another hundred options of beer within each brewery, it is just a tough task!
Are trials and tribulations the only way??
No, you do not have to try them all. Beer is not Pokémon.
Lucky for you, we have taken a shot (literally) to ease your quest to scavenge the best bars which are blessed by the beer Gods. You can also Check 5 Best Places to Eat in Vancouver
Best Breweries in Vancouver
First things first, let us understand that in a nutshell, there are clusters of craft breweries in two primary neighbourhoods, which the locals call:
- Mount Pleasant (Olympic Village/Brewery Creek – 10-minute taxi from downtown, accessible by SkyTrain)
- East Van (“Yeast Van” – 15-minute taxi from downtown Vancouver)
- Pomo (Port Moody – this is for the troopers who are willing to commute ~1 hour on transit from Vancouver to Port Moody)
Within these neighbourhoods, the breweries are walkable to each other. They will have tasting rooms with good vibes, craft beer flights, and pints!
Here’s what we think are the best breweries in Vancouver, offering the perfect recipe for love at first flight.
1. Parallel 49
With a graffitied food truck inside the Parallel 49 on Triumph Street,
this place is now an industrial-hip indoor-outdoor tasting room, and street food restaurant in one. The Tasting Room has a whopping 40 different taps to choose from and the Street Kitchen inside serves up tacos to burgers and daily doughnuts to pair with your beer of choice.
Not only do they have some fun with making the beer, they take it to the next level with their naming. Hoparazzi, Gypsy Tears and Lord of the Hops are just some of the fun labels they make.
Must Try: Jerkface 9000, Gypsy Tears and Filthy Dirty.
Family-owned, West Coast-vibe 33 Acres Brewing Company is comfy, lively, and conversational, aided by long-table seating and a welcoming attitude. They brew all of their own beer and cider and there is a healthy variety to choose from.
33 Acres Brewing Co opens pretty early and closes late so check them out throughout the day. They’re brunch is pretty great!
Must Try: 33 Acres of Life, Ocean and Sunshine (which is a hazy blonde with citrus, coriander and black liquorice) – oh, and don’t forget their cider!
You might be tempted to tilt your glass(es) to this offbeat brewery, that will certainly derail your taste buds on a different track. The brewers dabble in different styles to craft15 small-batch beers with a focus on high-quality lagers and pilsners.
Must-Try: Raj Mahal India Ale, Psycle Path Lager, Crazy Train IPA
‘The freshest Beer on four wheels,’ Red Truck is one of Vancouver’s original craft pioneers and a multiple award winner. There, you will find a summer cabin-esque room, a glorious patio, and a full menu of creative bar food! Match a soft pretzel and mustard with a German-style lager and play a board game.
Most popular beer: Classic Lager is heaven in a bottle
Always a favourite stop for thirsty cyclists that have been biking on the Adanac and Mosaic routes that intersect, Bomber Brewing is one of several great Vancouver breweries in East Van, clustered around Commercial Drive (a great place to eat, before or after). It feels approachable, like your buddy’s basement crash pad.
Try: Wyldwood Pale Ale, Russian porter, Prairie Baard
A restaurant, brewery and winery all under one roof. They brew their beer in small batches and use quality ingredients. The food comes from Belgard Kitchen and includes dishes like pizzettes, dips, share plates, and desserts. If you want to beat the crowds, head their mid-afternoon for a snack and sip.
Must-Try: Postmark Stout and the Awesome Pacific IPA
Haul your beer belly to Brassneck Brewery, which offers great sample paddles and has knowledgeable staff. You will not find any cans or bottles here. On some nights you can grab something to eat from a food truck outside of the brewery and bring it back inside. Otherwise, you can order something from their selection bar snacks. These guys like to experiment! They are always making new beer so if you are a fan of surprises, check these guys out.
Must-Try: Umlaut, The Yabba and the Magic Beans.
Now for the fun part..
Should I prefer going to any beer festivals instead of bar hopping my way around Vancouver?
Beer expert Ben Johnson stated,
“There is no more unnatural way to consume beer than to line up for a fistful of sweaty tokens only to line up again —and again and again— in order to exchange those tokens for frustratingly small portions of beer, and then line up for the privilege of urinating, and then line up for overpriced food served in a paper dish with a too-small wooden fork. Sure, I am getting a little older and less patient, but I loathe both line ups and the gamification of drinking so the concept of having to pay someone to do both is less inviting than giving you six bucks to take a meat hammer to my own skull. I do not want to drink beer in a muddy field with a throng of people clutching a list of must-drink beers in one hand and the Untappd app in the other.”
Is drinking warm beer better than cold beer?
“Beer temperature for drinking is a personal preference. In general recommendations it is considered best to consume your beer cold. Lagers are supposed to be consumed at lower temperatures than ales and stouts.
However, if sipped too cold, most craft beer is a shadow of what its maker intends, with layers of flavour lost to a palate-chilling cold. It is best recommended to have your beer at four degree Celsius, and no less, to not loose the aroma and original flavour to the temperate controls”
Where can I find the breweries on map to trace my path for a smooth bar crawling night?
Since most breweries in Olympic Village and Yeast Van are a walkable distance to each other, the designated navigator in your group, who grumpily had to settle for two pints for the night since he had the misfortune of picking the smallest straw, can refer to this link to locate all breweries in Vancouver.
Find me on the map – https://www.ratebeer.com/beermap?z=14<=4927108&ln=-12312038
Here was our take on experiencing the finest craft beer offered by the best breweries in Vancouver, along with some tips to look out for. Let us know in the comments below if you found another hidden gem!
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