If you’re interested in beer, wine and spirits in Vancouver, there is a growing number of microbreweries, distilleries and urban wineries throughout the area. There are 15 breweries, distilleries and a cidery just in the East Vancouver Brewery District, mostly found in the Hastings-Sunrise neighborhood. Make sure to check out the Vancouver Ale Trail for all of the local brewery and tasting room locations.
Granville Island Brewing Company: This is a large microbrewery, on Granville Island, that features 10 of their local brews. I thought their Maple Shack Cream Ale was really outstanding. Love the smoothness with a hint of Canadian maple syrup.
The Liberty Distillery: Located at 1494 Old Bridge Street on Granville Island, this is a local distillery making a line of vodka, gin and whiskey. Started in 2010, it was started making Vancouver’s first hand-crafted, premium spirits made from 100% BC organic grain. I thought the Burgundy Trust Whiskey, aged in Burgundy wine barrels, was particularly good and very smooth!
Artisan SakeMaker: Also on Granville Island is the tasting room for this Osake Premium Sake at 1339 Railspur Alley. Opened in 2007, it is Canada’s first locally produced premium sake.
Postmark Brewing / Vancouver Urban Winery: At 55 Dunlevy Ave. in the the Settlement Building, Postmark is a craft brewery that makes a number of ales, stouts, IPAs and lagers. It also shares the space with the Vancouver Urban Winery and Scratch Kitchen restaurant. It is a fun space to visit. You can try a number of their wines. On a warm July afternoon I really enjoyed tasting their rosé.
Tap & Barrel and Tap Shack are a fun group of waterfront bars/restaurants that feature local craft beer, local wines and menu items that, according to them, are “seasonally inspired and locally sourced”. The Tap & Barrel at the Convention Center, 76-1055 Canada Place and the TapShack at Coal Harbour at 1199 W. Cordova have great views of the water and the distant mountains and are near many of the downtown hotels.
Oenophiles or wine lovers will enjoy the province’s wine country in the Okanagan Valley. It is a four hour drive or short flight from Vancouver. With approximately 9,000 acres of vineyards and more than 170 wineries, you will find many varieties of grapes including chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and pinot gris that grow in the south, while pinot noir, pinot blanc, riesling and gewürztraminer are found north in the slightly cooler climates. The best reds are Bordeaux-style blends. If you can’t make it to this area, you can try the local wines, as many are featured in the restaurants in Vancouver