Love craft beer? So does Vancouver. There are over 40 breweries in the city with more to come!
Much like the craft beer aficionados in Portland and Washington State, Vancouver’s craft breweries aren’t bound by tradition and are keen to experiment with hops, style and flavour.
If you travel for craft beer, you should know that Vancouver likes it hoppy, and you’ll want to keep an eye out for the “Hazy IPAs.”
It’s fun, easy, and walkable to check out Vancouver’s best craft breweries.
In a nutshell, there are clusters of craft breweries in two primary neighbourhoods, which the locals will 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)
Within these neighbourhoods, the breweries are walkable to each other. They will have tasting rooms with good vibes, craft beer flights, and pints!
If you’re strapped for time but keen to try Vancouver’s craft beer, you can still keep your eye out for local beers on tap at restaurants. Or, you can join a food and drink tour – the Gastronomic Gastown Tour and Best of Downtown Tour will do nicely!
We’ve also listed a few of our favourite pubs and beer halls where you can enjoy Vancouver’s craft beer in a single stop. Cheers!
In Mount Pleasant/Olympic Village aka. “Brewery Creek”
With exception to Granville Island Brewery, these are all within a 15 minute walking radius of each other. Like a Vancouver Foodie Tour, they’re arranged from high elevation to low elevation, so you’ll never have to walk uphill!
Main St Brewing
Most Popular Beer: Naked Fox IPA
An open space with a lot of communal tables. We like to start here because it’s at the top of the hill and the menu isn’t ever too crazy.
261 East 7th Ave
Most Popular Beer: Passive Aggressive
Brassneck would have it its own cult following, if beer people were into things like cults. Instead, you’ll hear people (like us) passionately vouch for their beers and lively tasting room. Snacks are pretty limited here, but they’re usually well stocked with sausage snacks from our friends at Oyama Sausage Company, so we’re good.
2148 Main St
Most Popular Beer: Dude Chilling Pale Ale
Like a spruced up garage complete with books, vinyls and old-school speakers, R&B is ideal for grabbing a flight and kicking back. Also, they make delicious pizzas.
54 East 4th Ave
Most popular beers: 33 Acres of Ocean – West Coast Pale Ale and 33 Acres of Sunshine – French Blanchè (featured on the Gastronomic Gastown Tour)
Minimal and chic, 33 Acres is one-of-a-kind with the all-white design of their tasting room. You’ll see hipsters on laptops working here in the day, but the place is packed on weekend nights. Naturally, they’ve also got an Instagrammable menu of snacks and a food truck (usually pizza) out front.
Photo Credit: sprudge.com
15 West 8th Ave
Most popular beers: Citra Pale Ale, IPA
It’s pretty simple inside Faculty and we like it that way. It’s intimate with a laid-back, cozy, neighbourhood feel. The Citra Pale Ale is a classic, but they’ve been known for a few crazy varieties (like the peppermint “Mintzeweizen”) too!
Photo Credit: straight.com
1830 Ontario St
Red Truck Brewery
Most popular beer: Classic Lager
You can get a Red Truck beer at most Vancouver restaurants, but we still love visiting the brewery. You’ve got to walk for about 200m along an industrial road, and then lo and behold, the Red Truck sign emerges like a beacon of hope. There, you’ll find a summer cabin-esque room, a glorious patio, and a full menu of creative bar food!
Photo Credit: beermebc.com
295 East 1st Ave
Brewhall (Olympic Village)
Brewhall is the new kid on the block in Olympic Village. Created by the folks behind Tap and Barrel, this sprawling space is a unique spot for craft beer, arcade games, and a “backyard” style patio.
97 East 2nd Ave
Craft Beer Market
This isn’t a brewery, but there are over 100 international beers on tap and a full menu of bar eats. If nothing else, the atmosphere of the massive beer hall is one-of-a-kind in Vancouver.
85 West 1st Ave
Tap & Barrel (Olympic Village)
Again, not a brewery, but a place with a decent selection of Vancouver craft beers. The patio – with the ocean, the skyline, the beer – is a picture-perfect Vancouver scene! Tip: There’s also a Tap & Barrel (with a waterfront view) by the Convention Centre in downtown Vancouver.
Photo Credit: tourismvancouver.com
1 Athletes Way
Granville Island Brewery
Most Popular Beer: English Bay Pale Ale
You won’t be walking to Granville Island from Olympic Village, but you’ve got to pay tribute to Canada’s original craft brewery. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find Granville Island beers at local restaurants, but the actual brewery produces seasonal, small-batch beers on site, available in limited quantities.
Photo credit: kimokran.ca
Granville Island – 1441 Cartwright Street
In East Van aka. “Yeast Van”
“East Van” is a sweeping term that locals use to describe the (rather large) geographical area East of Main St.
In the context of the craft breweries, East Van (Yeast Van) is mostly walkable. But, if a friend tells you they live in East Van, don’t assume that’s close by.
What we love about the East Van beer scene is that it’s currently a little more chill (and more economical) than the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. There are also a lot of unashamed beer nerds working the tasting rooms and they’re usually down to have a friendly conversation.
Most Popular Beers: Sours, Saisons and IPA – they’re often experimenting!
We’re told that Luppolo, pronounced “loop-o-low” means ‘hops’ in Italian. They’re probably the most well known Vancouver brewery when it comes to sour beers, but there’s a friendly beer community that’s increasingly keen to follow suit.
Photo Credit: ronhart.ca
1123 Venables St
Powell St Brewery
Most Popular Beers: Ode to Citra Pale Ale, Old Jalopy Pale Ale, Lazy D’Haze IPA
We really like that every time we’ve been to Powell, there’s been a dog sitting at the front door. We’ve also had some of our favourite beers ever here. It’s a friendly space, but there’s not too much seating, so it’s a good short stop along the way.
Photo Credit: bccraftbeer.com
1357 Powell Street
Callister is Canada’s first collaborative brewery; there are four head brewers under one roof! This means a rotating selection of 12 small-batch beers are always on tap.
Photo Credit: art-bc.com
1338 Franklin St
Most Popular Beer: Monita Blonde IPA
“Vancouver’s big yellow brewery” fuses their South American roots with Canada’s craft beer scene. The results are filled with head-tilting flavours!
Photo Credit: beermebc.com
1507 Powell St
Strathcona Beer Company
Most Popular Beer: New England IPA (Hazy IPA), Oat Cream IPA
Strathcona is coined Vancouver’s oldest and most diverse neighbourhood. Strathcona Beer Company hopes to provide a place to bring communities together over beer. We’ll drink to that!
Photo Credit: rickchung.com
895 East Hastings St
Most Popular Beer: Craft Lager
It’s definitely memorable when the food truck is inside the tasting room. Parallel 49, much like Red Truck, has beers on tap in lots of Vancouver restaurants. However, they’re also boldly experimenting – we’ve had to do a double take on a few of their beers!
Photo Credit: metronews.ca
1950 Triumph St
Regardless as one of the pioneers of craft beer in Vancouver, Storm is nothing like the other breweries on this list. It’s called a nitty gritty brewery and…that’s pretty accurate. There’s no tasting room, no tables and no chairs; you’re walking right into the working space. You’re welcome to sample up to 6 beers (cash only) and take it all in.
310 Commercial Dr
Most Popular Beer: Talisman – West Coast Pale Ale
People often criticize Vancouver’s nightlife (or lack thereof), and for the most part, they’re mostly right. We don’t have any Vegas-style clubs, but we do have places like Strange Fellows to hang at on a Friday night. Art gallery, beer tasting room, and cheesy bread on the counter? We’ll take that over hi-balls and cover charge any day.
Photo Credit: vogue.com
1345 Clark Dr
Off the Rail
Most Popular Beer: Raj Mahal India Ale, Classic Pale Ale
There’s something very cozy and likeable about Off the Rail. It’s a bit off the beaten track, so you might feel as if you’re “really in the neighbourhood” when you pop in for a flight.
1351 Adanac St
Most Popular Beer: American IPA, Czech Pilsner
Staring up at the bar with the backdrop of the big brewing tanks is enough to quickly whet your appetite! A snug space invites you to accompany your beer with a board game!
Photo Credit: bccraftbeer.com
1488 Adanac St
If you don’t have the time or energy to check out Vancouver’s craft breweries, check out Alibi Room. It’s not a brewery and, truth be told, it’s technically not even in East Van. But, Alibi always has a fantastic selection of local beers on tap and is easily our best recommendation for a one-stop beer shop. The chicken wings are also 100%.
Photo Credit: vanpours.com
Gastown – 157 Alexander St
This article was written in collaboration by: Joyce Chua and Cecilia Ryan