From Oregon to British Columbia, bars in the Pacific Northwest have lately been focused on beer, beer and more beer. Vancouver, of course, is no exception. Our local experts sipped their way through the city to explore the trend, and find the best beer bars around. Some of these popular spots have been brewing for years, while others are industry newbies. Either way, these nine breweries and pubs are great for sampling some of BC’s best suds.
Bitter Tasting Room
This Vancouver beer bar pairs excellent suds with the ultimate gastropub menu—pretzels, devilled eggs and sausage. Choose between eight rotating taps, served by the glass or growler, or from the 60+ bottle list.
• Bitter Tasting Room, 16 W. Hastings St., 604-558-4658, bittertastingroom.com
Steamworks Brewing Co.
This multi-level pub on the edge of Vancouver’s Gastown uses steam to fire up the brewery kettles—the same steam line that powers the nearby Gastown Steam Clock. Go for the Lions Gate Lager or Coal Porter, and ask about the seasonal beer selections including the Great Pumpkin Ale or the Sour Cherry Ale.
• Steamworks Brewing Co., 375 Water St., 604-689-2739, steamworks.com
St. Augustine’s Pub
Commercial Drive’s go-to bar for locals offers some of the best selection in Vancouver—40 rotating taps—and a beer menu broadcasted live so customers can keep an eye on just how much of their favourite brew is left.
• St. Augustine’s Pub, 2360 Commercial Dr., 604-569-1911, staugustinesvancouver.com
The bar at Vancouver’s Alibi Room packs in beer aficionados night after night, thanks to 50+ taps of local and imported craft brews. This is one of the hottest spots on the eastern side of Gastown, but the menu—both food and drink—is worth the wait.
• Alibi Room, 157 Alexander St., 604-623-3383, alibi.ca
Granville Island Brewing Taproom
Tourists and locals head to this bar and brewery, just across the bridge from downtown Vancouver, for tours and tasters. Order a glass of beer or a sampler round, and then stop by the store to purchase GIB–emblazoned merchandise and bottles.
• Granville Island Brewing, 1441 Cartwright St., 604-687-2739, gib.ca
Yaletown Brewing Company
Just southeast of downtown Vancouver, this beer bar is actually a glammed-up warehouse that serves up perfect pints in a large brick room. Order a pizza, then wash it down with the Warehouse Stout or Brick and Beam IPA. Ask about seasonal brews, as the bar frequently has new rotating beer brands that are worth tasting.
• Yaletown Brewing Company, 1111 Mainland St., 604-681-2739, website
Tap & Barrel
A walk around Vancouver’s Olympic Village on the False Creek waterfront isn’t complete without a stop at the Tap & Barrel, a two-storey bar and restaurant that focuses on all things tapped, including tons of regional beer and wine.
• Tap & Barrel, 1 Athlete’s Way, 604-685-2223, tapandbarrel.com
Dockside Restaurant and Brewing Co.
Before departing Granville Island, stop by Dockside Restaurant and Brewing Co. for views of False Creek and fresh pours of Cartwright Pale Ale or Alder Bay Honey Lager. In summer, grab a spot on the chic patio.
• Dockside Restaurant and Brewing Co., 1253 Johnston St., 604-685-7070, docksidevancouver.com
Howe Sound Brewing
Rent a car and head 45 minutes outside of Vancouver to picturesque Squamish, home to the Howe Sound Brewing. This gorgeous inn and brew bar offers ample indoor and outdoor seating with prime views of the surrounding mountains. Locals love all the beer varieties here, but especially the White Cap Wheat and the Howe Sound Lager.
• Howe Sound Brewing, 37801 Cleveland Ave., Squamish, 604-892-2603, howesound.com