Vancouver Craft Beer Week festival highlights

Wheel around the alleys of East Van and it won’t be long before you stumble upon one of the city’s craft breweries: on par with yoga studios for their popularity. During  Vancouver Craft Beer Week, you can sample more than 300+ different brews (and ciders) from around the world. Check out some of the Vancity breweries that’ll be pulling pints at the festival at the PNE from May 26 to June 4. [Photo via Doan's Craft Brewing]

Brassneck Brewery

2148 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3C5

Just like its name suggests, Brassneck’s brewed offerings are punchy, bold and a little bit cheeky. With 14 fermenters, the Main-street staple constantly rotates its offerings, but – regardless of style or flavour – each brew could be held up as the hipster-explanation of Plato’s forms: they’re the quintessential punch of flavour expected from each beer, from saisons to sours to stouts.

Doan's Craft Brewing Company

1830 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V5L 1H9

Brothers Mike and Evan Doan started home brewing at a young age; today, their intimate Powell Street tasting room regularly attracts lineups out the door. The micro-brewery’s small-batch beers range from a light, easy-drinking Kolsch German ale, to a Rye Stout, a bitter, PNW dark brew with subtle notes of spice and chocolate. Beer labels feature whimsical black and white illustrations from local Vancouver artist Ola Volo, making each bottle something of a keepsake for craft beer buffs.

Strange Fellows Brewing

1345 Clark Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3K9

On every table at Strange Fellows tasting room and brewery, is a reminder of etiquette in the form of small cards placed on each table. Their bottles (and beer names) hark of mythical creatures and long-forgotten times. It’s this combination of old knowledge, new twists, which make their beers so special. In addition to regular taps of IPAs, a pale ale, saison, and – for most of the year – a wit bier, Strange Fellows has a penchant for sour beers. So will you, when you try theirs. Refreshing, sharp and ever so different, they’re worth a stop in.

Dageraad Brewing

114-3191 Thunderbird Cres, Burnaby, BC V5A 3G1

You will find some of the happiest beer aficionados in Dageraad’s tasting room. Based in Burnaby with roots and inspiration in Belgium, the small-batch brewery uses Belgian been traditions when creating their diverse portfolio of pours. Highlights include 8 degrees – a brune ale made with date sugar; De Witte – a sour-fermented wheat ale; and the magical Randonneur Saison – a dry saison, described as “sparkling” by the brewery. And indeed, the bubbles feel more like champagne than lager.

Steel & Oak Brewing Co Ltd

1319 Third Ave, New Westminster, BC V3M 1R2

Steel & Oak’s tasting room is small and intimate and could be your best friend’s hobby shed, if you squint slightly. That is to say that the new kid on the block of Lower Mainland brewing is friendly, unpretentious and quite charming. So are the brews. Their Smoked Hefeweizen balances the light, almost herbal notes of a traditional Hefe with deep, smoky flavours on the aftertaste. The Red Pilsner is irresistible on a hot day (especially if you cycle to the brewery) – sweet and tangy at the same time.

33 Acres Brewing Co

15 8th Avenue W, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1M8

If Vancouver was represented as a brewery, it would probably be 33 Acres. Their branding is clean, minimal and fresh, and beer names tip a hat to the stunning city and its surroundings – Ocean, Sunshine, Life. These beers are typically lighter than some of the others you would find in Vancouver’s alleyways, but balanced with Darkness, Euphoria and Nirvana, which bring more pungent flavours (pine, spices, coffee, smoke) to the menu.

Bomber Brewing

1488 Adanac St, Vancouver, BC V5L 2C3

Bomber describes their origins story as “truly Canadian” – one of hockey, friendship and beer. This, and their retro aesthetics, will warm your insides almost as much as their reliable and scrumptious beer (of which there are many selections.) Their pilsner and ESB honour classic styles and taste profiles. Regularly rotating seasonal taps match what you’re most in the mood for – from grapefruit lager to amber ale.

With its unparalleled views, nearby ocean and reflective glass skyscrapers, Vancouver really shines in summertime. When not on the beaches, much of the city sips a mojito or glass of the Okanagan’s finest on a patio. Here are some of the best summer staples and undiscovered spots for catching up on Vitamin D.
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