Sept. 15 is the final day to cast your vote for the BC Ale Trail’s Best Brewery Experience award. If you’re looking for inspiration, there’s no place better than the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region, home to a wealth of craft breweries!
There are more than 50 breweries within the Vancouver metropolitan area, including 25 in the city itself. On the BC Ale Trail website and app you’ll find them split between two ale trails: Brewery Creek and Yeast Vancouver. The city’s brewing scene features some breweries that opened in the 1990s and are still going strong today, like R&B Brewing, Yaletown Brewing and the Steamworks Brewpub, alongside some of the province’s freshest, most exciting beer makers, such as Superflex Beer Co. and Electric Bicycle Brewing.
Outside the city of Vancouver, there is no better beer destination than Brewers Row in Port Moody, home to five breweries within a three-block stretch of one street facing Rocky Point Park and the waters of the Burrard Inlet.
Nearby, the communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are celebrated on the Maple Ridge Ale Trail, while recent growth in Burnaby, Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam has fuelled the creation of a new ale trail focused on those regions, which will launch on the BC Ale Trail website and app this fall.
The neighbouring communities of New Westminster, Delta, Richmond and Surrey are home to a diverse assortment of excellent breweries, including Four Winds Brewing, which was named Canadian Brewery of the Year in 2015, and Central City Brewers and Distillers, which grew from a small brewpub into one of BC’s largest craft brewing facilities.
The Fraser Valley’s agricultural history is intertwined with beer. In the 1940s and ‘50s, nearly 2,000 acres of hops were under cultivation there. By the 1970s, the industry had largely dwindled away, but hop farming has been returning to this fertile agricultural region in recent years. This has gone hand-in-hand with the growth of craft brewing in places like Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Langley, which is home to seven breweries and BC’s own brewing school at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Vancouver’s North Shore is a brewing mecca of its own. It was here that craft beer first found a foothold in Canada, when the Horseshoe Bay Brewery began making Bay Ale for the Troller Bay Pub in 1982. Today, North Van hosts 10 breweries, mostly clustered around the Shipyards District close to the waterfront.
Heading north up the Sea-to-Sky will lead beer lovers to Squamish and Whistler, each home to three breweries that offer delicious opportunities for taste explorations. And then there’s the Sunshine Coast where breweries can be found in Gibsons, Sechelt and Powell River, including Townsite Brewing, which won the inaugural Best Brewery Experience Award back in 2018.
Visit the BC Ale Trail to learn more about all of the province’s amazing breweries.