This week, I decided to write about something near and dear to my heart...BEER.
If you travel around Vancouver, it's not hard to notice that you can easily find an abundance of Pubs, Bars, and Liquor Stores to assist you in wetting your lips with a pint of the hoppy stuff. And if you are any measure of a Craft Beer connoiseur, such as myself, you are probably pleased to see that there is no shortage of Local and otherwise Craft-Brewed beer on tap or on the shelf at many of these fine establishments.
But what areas of Vancouver are the best areas to live in if you are hoppily inclinated like myself? I've compiled a list of what are (in my opinion) the best Beer-borhoods in the city:
I'm aware that there are few beer lovers in the city that would consider Marpole a hotbed for Craft Beer or desirable real estate, but in addition to new condo developments by Westband Projects and Intracorp, Marpole also harbours a small Liquor Store with a Craft Beer selection that rivals any of the bigger ones in the City. Value On Liquor Store is managed by Lundy Dale, of CAMRA Vancouver fame, and she keeps the place stocked with a hefty selection of our favorites, as well as a number of rotating obscure brews, just in case you are looking for something new.
4. Commercial Drive
This one is less of a stretch (some folks might even be mad at me for placing it so low in my list), but The Drive is a fantastic are a for beer lovers. If you are looking for a vast selection on tap, head down to St. Augustine's Pub for your choice of more than 60 tasty pints. Or, if you prefer to play a game of Settlers of Katan while you drink, check out the Storm Crow Tavern, where previously local folk metal band Scythia filmed their latest music video. One more classy little establishment on the drive with a decent tap selection and an astounding European Bottle selection is Biercraft at Commercial Dr. and William St.
There are a number of beer-friendly establishments I could gush about in Gastown...I could tell you how the wings at Lamplighter are some of the best in the city; or how Chill Winston is the perfect date spot if you want to impress that special someone and get your pint on at the same time (get two birds stoned at once, as they say). However, the number one beer-flavored attraction in Gastown is The Alibi Room. This place is dark, has a wood aesthetic, terrific staff with extensive beer knowledge, and a tap selection that is rivaled by no other establishment in the city. Why is it unrivaled, you ask? Because a) their beer menu changes every day, and b) popular Craft Beer makers from all over the province brew special one-off batches to be featured as guest taps at The Alibi Room...so you are able to try beer here that you literally will not find anywhere else.
2. False Creek
There are thousands of new condos being built in the False Creek community currently, and it's no wonder...it's a beer drinker's dream community! A long-time favorite pint-pushing, patio-packing pub experience, right in the heart of Olympic Village, is the Tap and Barrell. Depending on the time of year/day you visit, the crowd here might be comprised of sun-loving beer enthusiasts, or it might be filled with the obnoxiously loud and drunk spill-out from the latest sporting event one Skytrain stop away, but the beer menu is always consistently favorable in the Craft Beer domain...and as a bonus, they serve 20oz pints! A new fixture to the neighborhood, but certainly not one to be forgotten, is the Craft Beer Market...the name says it all. This newly opened establishment in the Salt Building boasts an impressive 100+ beers on tap and they use some sort of beer in every single food recipe they make. Lastly, if you are the stay-at-home sud-sipping type, you'll appreciate my favorite cold beer store in the city, Legacy Liquor Store. This place holds daily tastings, brings in at least 5 new craft beers a week, and has a points system in place to encourage and reward your hoppy little habit! Impressive selection of wine and spirits as well...
1. Main St
Finally, we get to the cream of the Craft Beer crop: the Main Street corridor. If you take a walk up Main Street from East 2nd Ave, all the way up to East 22nd Ave, that 20 minute walk will take you nine hours and a trip to the hospital if you are planning on hitting every pint-peddler along the way. Some notable favorites of mine along that stretch are:
-The Narrow - at 3rd - this seemingly locals-only hallway style pub is tucked away and quite hard to find if you don't know where it is
-Brassneck Brewery - at 5th - Nigel from The Alibi Room started this one and it has one of the best pub atmospheres in town and they make stunningly good beer. If the pub is full, come back with your Growler and make your own party!
-The Whip - at 6th - good tap selection and AMAZING food...come for the beer, stay for the poutine!
-Rumpus Room - at 12th - great atmosphere, limited but tasty beer selection, and noteworthy daily deals make this place an affordable pub-style dinner location
-The Five Point - at 16th - for a sports bar, this place does alright for itself. Cheap and delicious wings (on wing night) and reasonably prices pitchers of Fat Tug? Yes please.
-Portland Craft - at 22nd - it's a bit far up there, but worth the walk...featuring a number of Oregon's finest brews, Portland Craft is not a place for the beer drinker who is faint of hop. An ever-evolving beer selection and modern cabin-like atmosphere will more than impress you.
One other little gem on Main St that is worth mentioning is Brewery Creek Cold Beer and Wine Store at 14th. It's a touch on the pricey side, but their Craft Beer selection, for a smaller store, is mind-blowing and worth checking out.
Century 21 In Town Realty
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