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Meet the owner

In fact, when craft beer enthusiast group CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) doles out its annual awards, two medals are automatic: the Alibi Room wins Gold for best taphouse, and co-owner Nigel Springthorpe wins Gold for best bartender. Every year.

None of this could have been predicted when Nigel and his sister-in-law Raya Audet took over ownership of the Alibi Room in 2006. Initially they didn’t plan for much of an overhaul, but Nigel was intrigued by what he saw down the street at Six Acres restaurant. “They had a really impressive beer menu. But it was all bottles and mostly European. So I thought, let’s do draught and BC."

Those were the days before the craft beer boom, however, so Nigel’s options were limited. To supplement the handful of local breweries, he also approached local brewpubs, but they weren’t set up for keg sales and were anxious about an outside vendor handling their product and presenting it to consumers. Undeterred, Nigel prevailed by going directly to the facilities and befriending the brewers themselves.

“I still remember the first brewpub to come on board.” he reminisces fondly. "Mission Springs.” Next were the Vancouver Island brewpubs. “Once a month, I’d do my milk run. First Longwood in Nanaimo, then Craig Street in Duncan, then into Victoria for Swans and Spinnakers. I’d barely be able to see over my hood on the drive home because the back of my truck was so loaded down with kegs."

Read the story of Alibi Room

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    Appears in 3 local lists

    Vancouver bars for a classic Pimm’s Cup cocktail

    Vancouver bars for a classic Pimm’s Cup cocktail

    While Alibi is best known for its plethora of beer offerings, their cocktail list is equally impressive, with a range of sweet, bitter and downright dangerous – not least because of the attention to detail given to every drink. Ask for a Pimm’s Cup as part of the restaurant-bar’s summer menu and sip on their patio, should you be lucky enough to get a seat.

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    Vancouver’s best veggie burgers

    Vancouver’s best veggie burgers

    You can see the Alibi’s veggie burger coming from across the room. The eye-catching house-made patty is full of pulses, beans and wholesomeness, which offsets the mound of fries that accompany it. Each burger is served with chili mayo, lettuce, zucchini and coleslaw. Be warned: you might need two people to finish off this monstrous meal.

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    Vancouver bars and restaurants for weeknight revelry

    Vancouver bars and restaurants for weeknight revelry

    Long wooden banquet-style tables make for a communal atmosphere at the Alibi Room. Head to this Railtown favourite and saddle up to the bar with your crew to enjoy a plethora of beers on tap, rotating casks, and a select few ciders mostly from all over B.C. If beer’s not your thing, the folks behind the bar can craft you a cocktail from the well-tailored list or pour a pretty great glass of wine.

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