Alright, so Vancouver. First off, I don't think one can visit without commenting on how beautiful it is. Not just the mountains and ocean, but the city itself is so vibrant, urban and walkable. It's very conducive to brewery touring as there are often lots of stops close by to each other. It's certainly a better planned city than Toronto, which by comparison feels like a sprawling hellscape.
Now the less-than-glowing commentary - and I'll say that obviously I can't try every beer/brewery in a weekend - but nothing I had particularly blew me away, at least in the sense that our second tier stuff would be top tier over there. Certainly lots of great spots, but we really are spoiled in Ontario, which I'd say rivals almost anywhere in North America for quality of beer.
33 Acres seemed to be the most recommended here and it was a great spot. Nice space, good variety. Their IPAs wouldn't necessarily stand out back home but were solid. They had some nice experimental stuff, including a dry-hopped French saison that I liked. After 33 Acres we stopped in at Brew Hall which is definitely more of a touristy space. Ok beers but a good spot if you have a group with some less adventurous or casual drinkers. Families seemed to like it with the arcade games, lots of TVs for sports fans, huge patio; something for everyone. We didn't make it to Superflux, but I've had a few of their beers before and would say that's probably Vancouver's bets spot for trendier styles and hazy IPAs. I tried a few other beers from places like Stanley Park, Russell, Project Pandemonium and more. Never had a bad beer, I'd say most of what I tried was typically solid and well-executed.
Now, like I mentioned earlier, we spent most of our time in North Vancouver and there's a fantastic little strip of breweries and spots near the Shipyards. Several breweries, gin distillery, cidery and even meadery can all be found pretty much in a row. The highlight here is obviously House of Funk; I'd tried them before and they are very good to excellent, but would say places like Small Pony or Reverence are still a step ahead. I didn't get a chance to try Beere, but it's generally considered near the top of North Van breweries. The gin spot, Copper Kettle, was very nice, as was the cidery if you have any non beer fans in the group. Either way, you can make quite the afternoon/evening there. While we didn't visit Wildeye, I drank a bunch of their Czech pils and it was good enough I'd be sure to add it to a future visit.
Overall, Vancouver is a fantastic city and you'll be able to find lots of great spots. As a tl;dr for anyone, I'd say highlights are 33 Acres, House of Funk, Superflux which generally seems to be the consensus online and whatnot.
Provost Drunk wrote: ↑Tue Oct 11, 2022 4:10 pm
Not a brewery, but if you have any interest in gin, amaro or cocktails, then I would say that The Woods Spirit Co. is a must try. All of their products are excellent and their Chiaro Amaro is truly unqiue and special. It is now a permanent fixture in my home bar. Just a block over from Woods is another distillery, Sons of Vancouver. SOV gets more local hype than Woods and while both are worth a visit, Woods would be my priority if I could visit one.
Just wanted to say, your Woods suggestion wasn't ignored, but rather we stupidly didn't check hours and missed our chance to stop in. Next time, I was looking forward to trying their stuff.