By Ariane Fleischmann

Hillcrest Bakery is serving up something a little different these days. Owner David Moyer had to think outside the box when the 45-year-old bakery relocated due to construction in the burgeoning uptown White Rock area. What started as casual conversations with local breweries White Rock Beach Beer Company and 3 Dogs Brewing soon became a new business model: using spent grain from the brewing process at the bakery to create unique and tasty eats.

Canada’s West Coast is known for many things: scenic ocean and mountain views, hiking, biking, kayaking–pretty much every outdoorsy activity you can imagine–and craft beer. Yes, after a day on the water or in the woods, people love to grab a bite to eat and a craft beer to wash it all down with. So, is it really a surprise that a bakery would team up with some breweries to combine the two?

What is spent grain? In the brewing process, grains are added to simmering water to steep. After that step is complete, the grains are discarded, hence the term “spent grain”. Many breweries send their spent grain to farms, where it’s used to feed livestock. But this high fibre, high protein, low-carb grain can be used in other ways.

Spent grain munchie mix | Image courtesy of Hillcrest Bakery

White Rock Beach Beer Company and 3 Dogs Brewing first approached Moyer to have Hillcrest provide some nibbles for their tasting rooms. “In two separate conversations with both owners over a beer,” Moyer says the brewers asked: “You know, we’ve got all these spent grains. Do you think there’s something you could do with it?”

Intrigued, Moyer did some research, found a few recipes, but then didn’t think much more of it. Before the move, Hillcrest Bakery was busy preparing, so diversifying his business was not Moyer’s priority. Fast forward a few months, however, and he realized the immense opportunity in front of him. What goes best with beer? Tasty snacks.

A little more research and Moyer was in the spent grain business. He’s now partnered with three breweries (Fuggles & Warlock is the most recent), providing food like nuts and bolts and pretzels made with spent grain. The nuts and bolts are based off of Moyer’s grandmother’s recipe. They swapped out the almonds for a spent grain chip, and voila, the perfect snack.

Before joining Hillcrest Bakery in 1988, Moyer apprenticed with a German-style bakery, so pretzels are dear to his heart. “These are spectacular pretzels,” Moyer says. “You’ve never had a pretzel that tasted this good. I guarantee it.”

Spent grain pretzel | Image courtesy of Hillcrest Bakery

Moyer receives wet grains from the three breweries. While he does use some of the grain in this format–in pizza dough, for example–he dehydrates the rest, and then mills a portion of that into flour. A question that came up early in the research and recipe development period was whether or not Moyer should be separating the grains into different beer types (like IPA, lager, and ale). Ultimately, Moyer and the brewers decided it would make most sense to separate the grain into three categories: light, medium, and dark. He uses mostly light and medium in his baking, as they provide the easiest-to-work-with flavour for pairing. Through experimentation, Moyer has found most recipes can tolerate between 10 and 20 percent spent grain flour in replacement of regular flour to create something that works–scientifically, that is.

While the brewery snacks are truly delicious, Moyer has also been using the spent grain in a variety of other products, including waffles, pizza dough, cheese sticks, chips, cookies, clusters, and three kinds of bread. The clusters come in several flavours, like hot chocolate with jalapeno, salt and pepper peanut, maple cranberry, and hazelnut with coriander and cumin. Four flavours with four beers, anyone? It’s the perfect flight.

Look for Hillcrest Bakery’s spent grain products at farmers markets, beer festivals, and the following locations:

Hillcrest Bakery / The Spent Grain Baker
3 Dogs Brewing
White Rock Beach Beer Company
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks
Jan’s on the Beach


By Brittany Tiplady

Giddy-up for the inaugural Clover Valley Beer Festival, happening August 11  in the heart of Cloverdale!

This first-time festival— hosted by the powerhouse team that also produces the Whistler Village Beer Festival and the Great Okanagan Beer Festival—promises an afternoon of coveted craft beer, food truck favourites, live music, and event support from local sponsorship. Clover Valley’s festival team has also partnered with Twins Cancer Fundraising as their charitable partner, who will receive proceeds from ticket sales to support their efforts on raising money for cancer-fighting charities.

Over 40 craft breweries are expected to set up camp at the fest, including Langley’s Trading Post Brewing, Central City Brewing, and Port Moody’s Yellow Dog Brewing and Parkside Brewery. “We really want to highlight BC craft beers and ciders but we also have some international brews joining us,” explains events manager Tara Myers.

Image courtesy of Clover Valley Beer Festival

For cider lovers, this festival has you covered: you’ll find craft cider mills like No Boats on Sunday, and Rock Creek ready to quench your thirst.

Keeping festival goers well-fed is an array of local food vendors. Snack on some grub from Mike’s Perfect Perogy’s, Vancouver’s Urban Woodfired Pizza, Mediterranean cuisine from Meet2Eat, and ooey gooey gourmet grilled cheese from Sammy J’s Grill & Bar.

While your sip and sample, the Clover Valley Beer Festival team has arranged a fantastic line-up of local performers. Headlining the festival is rock-band Red Chair (they headlined the Great Okanagan Beer Festival earlier this year), and to follow, R&B ensemble JennaMae & The Groove Section, and rock-alt band Mood Therapy.

“Between bands a DJ from JR FM will be joining us to play some music as well!” adds Myers.

For those interested in attending (and why wouldn’t you be?) the damage is slim. A $45 general admission ticket includes entry to the festival and three beer tokens. An express pass will run you $60 but includes entry and 10 beer tokens and a chance to skip the lines.

Image courtesy of Clover Valley Beer Festival

“Cloverdale is such a great fit for [our events]. It could potentially become our biggest festival, yet! We also know that there is a ton of craft beer in the Fraser Valley that deserves to be celebrated, and there’s such a large local audience supporting the craft beer industry.”

The Clover Valley Beer Festival takes place from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM, with last entry at 4:00 PM. Grab your tickets early online now.

By Joyce Chua, Vancouver Foodie Tours

Funky, fruity, estery, tart, dry, and sour; these beer flavours can be under-appreciated but, this July, the fourth annual Farmhouse Festival returned to Vancouver to tease some diversity into a sold-out romp of discerning palates. If you didn’t make it to the festival, not to worry, we’re here to help you find some of the featured flavours.


Over 50 breweries and cider makers were invited to the UBC Farm, bringing their most innovative concoctions with them. From mouth-puckering to thirst-quenching, it was a field day (quite literally) for beer enthusiasts. While the majority of recipes were created specifically for the event, a handful of items are will be available for British Columbia locals. Here are 5 locals Farmhouse Festival beers to look out for:

Hailing from Burnaby, Dageraad Brewing was the proud supplier of this year’s official Farmhouse Fest beer. The Genever – a gin barrel aged saison – was a collaboration with Steel & Oak Brewing and Odd Society Spirits. You’ll now be able to get your hands on it in Dageraad’s Burnaby tasting room, while supplies last.

Vancouver’s Parallel 49 will have their Late Bloomer (barrel aged sour with cherry) and Blue Shift (barrel aged sour finished on blueberries) at their tasting room only, typically on Saturdays. Because these two beers have a fruity profile that’s quite subtle, they are a good introduction for those new to saisons and sours.

Luppolo, one of Vancouver’s breweries that’s regularly known for their farmhouse ales, sours, and saisons, will have their Albicocchina (barrel aged apricot sour) in their East Van tasting room.

The brewmasters from Vancouver’s Powell Brewery were on site at Farmhouse Fest, noting that La Belle, a gin barrel aged sour farmhouse ale, is now available in bottles at their shop, select liquor stores, and restaurants around the city. The Super Sexy Flanders, a barrel-fermented flanders red, was a crowd favourite from the event and is said to be available in 6 months at the tasting room.

Funky and fruity beers were in abundance at Farmhouse Fest, but there were several cider companies sharing the spotlight. We were blown away by Windfall Cider, Vancouver-based cider-makers that blew our tastebuds away with their Jackpot cider. Made with 100% BC dessert apples, it’s a light, sweet cider that would pair perfectly with a sunny West Coast day. Keep your eye out for Jackpot at local Vancouver restaurants like Bells and Whistles, and Liberty Wine Merchants.

See the full details on Farmhouse Fest here.

Vancouver Foodie Tours is locally-owned, walking food tour company run by passionate beer, wine and food lovers! You can experience Vancouver’s vibrant food scene through their four Foodie Tours and their online food blog at foodietours.ca.

By Catherine Dunwoody

If you have ever spent time in BC’s charming Fort Langley then you know that hosting an annual food and beer festival just seems like a natural fit. Be sure and mark your calendars for for May 19th, 2018!

Fort Langley’s old-timey streets are a mix of pleasant restaurants, quaint shops and there is a cozy neighbourhood feel that’s hard to capture unless it just comes about organically.

The Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival returns for it’s second year for a celebration of craft beer, local food and old-fashioned fun. The festival is the dreamchild of Fort Langley’s own Trading Post Brewing Company and local is the name of the game. So local in fact, that of the 24 breweries participating, the farthest is Mission’s Mission Springs Brewery at 34 km (21 m) and the food is grown and produced in the Fraser Valley.

Image courtesy of Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival

Proceeds will, once again, benefit the Brewing Lab scholarship at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The scholarship was created by Trading Post and named after John Mitchell, who is considered the grandfather of craft beer in Canada.

Admission to the Fort Langley National Historic Site is included in the ticket price and fest-goers will have an opportunity to learn about the lives of the First Nations communities, international fur traders, gold miners, and even Hawaiians who converged on this spot 190 years ago, and where British Columbia was established in 1858.

For more information visit www.fortlangley.beer

Langley National Historic Site
23433 Mavis Ave.
Langley, BC

By Kristi Alexandra

With sprawling greenery, idyllic farmland, and wild brambles flourishing in the sub-rural town of Langley, it’s no wonder it’s is home to so many winery vineyards — and a couple breweries, too.

Spring is in the air to thaw the frost of winter, and with that comes new berries, new grapes, and new spirits. Enter a new season of sipping.

From mead to wine to beer, here’s where you can find fresh new bottles to imbibe in Langley.

Festina Lente Estate Winery

21113 16th Avenue

From King Arthur’s court to Game of Thrones, the ancient art of mead has always been a tasty one. Festina Lente Estate Winery brings traditional honey wine to the present day with their “modern, sophisticated twist.” This year, they’re introducing two new wines whose names harken back (perhaps) to when mead was a dinnertime staple.

Venus Melomel is aptly named after the Goddess of Love, and the heart of a melomel is adding fruit to honey wine; in this case it’s blackberries right off the bramble. It’s a floral and fruity mead fit to be poured into a goblet or wine glass –  drinker’s choice.

Minerva Metheglin is named for the goddess of knowledge and medicine, and this spicy wine is just what the doctor ordered. With a spicy, crisp ginger taste keeping you alert, this metheglin (a spiced variety of mead) is the zingy pick-me-up that’ll wake you out of your winter funk.

Image courtesy of Festina Lente

Trading Post Brewing

20120 64th Avenue

This relatively young brewery comes with an old soul. Setting up shop in one of BC’s most historic communities, Trading Post Brewery gives a nod to Fort Langley’s original fur trade post. This year, the brewery celebrates its second birthday and we’re in for a surprise.

At the brewery’s birthday party in February they released Hoppy Birthday Bock to celebrate! You’ll have to visit to find out just what this tastes like, but you bet it’ll be fresh.

After the birthday lines run dry, keep sipping on their Dear James SMASH Saison. In keeping with the town’s roots, this is a farmhouse-style saison that recalls orchards of apricots, and the zingy taste of citrus and spice. It’s a golden straw-coloured refresher fit for taking a break at the farm.

Trading Post Brewery | Image by Ashley Lockyer
Trading Post Brewery | Image by Ashley Lockyer


21152 16th Avenue

Small batches of top-flight wines are what Township7 is known best for. The family-owned winery creates complex, flavourful and well-balanced wines for the sophisticated palate – and plays host to wine tours, pairings and painting on plein air in the late spring and summertime.

Don’t miss their Seven Stars Sparkling wine, just released.

Image courtesy of Township7

Dead Frog Brewery

27272 Gloucester Way (Aldergrove, BC)

When this brewery hit the scene in 2007, a few years before the big craft beer boom, they boasted the slogan “nothing goes down like a cold, dead frog.” While it may not have been the most appetizing of slogans, it somehow begged to be challenged. Here are a couple beers from the brewery you can expect in spring that are guaranteed to taste better than your backyard pond or amphibian’s terrarium.

The Obsidian Dagger is an IPA Noire made from tropical hops and a deep, dark roasted malt. Complex and strong, this beer is made for only the most daring of palates and is available in April.

Tropic Vice, on the other hand, is an easygoing tropical fruit ale. Made of golden white wheat and a juicy mango and passionfruit taste, this spring and summer beer hits shelves and taps in March and sticks around until the end of September.

By Brittany Tiplady

Spring, so close yet so far. We recommend hibernating for the remaining winter months with a cold beer and a whole lot of Netflix. Or, hang out in one of the tap rooms listed below and take advantage of the rich, wintery beers they have to offer.

Dageraad Brewing

3191 Thunderbird Crescent #114, Burnaby

Londen, 7.0%

Dageraad is the purveyor of classy and full-bodied craft beer. Recently released on January 19th, is Dageraad’s latest winter sipper called Londen; an English porter that is brewed with Belgian and Canadian influence and the “fruity, spicy mystery of a Belgian fermentation.” Try this on tap or in bottles at the Dageraad tasting room.

Image courtesy of Dageraad Brewing

10°, 10.5%

Hold onto your hats, this one is not for the faint of heart (or the lightweight)! The new Dageraad 10°, a 2016 bronze medalist at the 2016 BC Beer Awards, is an exotic winter brew quadruple brewed with unrefined sugars. 10° pays homage to the “strong, dark ales brewed by Trappist monks in Belgium,” a true testament to Dageraad’s Belgian roots and inspiration.

Image courtesy of Dageraad Brewing

Steamworks Brewery & Taproom

845 William St, Burnaby

Salted Chocolate Porter, 6%

This decadent brew is the first release of Steamworks’ illumination series. Find the Salted Chocolate Porter available in 650 ml bottles, boasting rich chocolate and vanilla aromas and flavours, brewed with hand-harvested Pacific Ocean Fleur de Sel from Vancouver Island Salt Co.

Winter Lager, 5.4%

Different than your average golden lager, the Steamworks Winter Lager pours a deep copper colour, with a fine balance of hops and rich malt flavour. Enjoy this easy drinking treat in 473 ml tall cans!


Image courtesy of Steamworks Brewery

Blitzen, 9%
You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen! This daring winter beer is an ode to the beloved Belgian Trippel. Strong citrus aromas, and toasted malt.

East Van Brewing Company

1675 Venables St, Vancouver

When it Rains it Porters, 5%

A jet black American porter, easy on the alcohol content but rich with cocoa aromas. Brewed with Columbus and EKG hops. A delightful rainy-day treat.

Want more winter craft beer? Check out the seasonal winter beer in Vancouver’s North Shore, Surrey & Coquitlam, New Westminster & Richmond and Vancouver.

By Kristi Alexandra

Winter’s far from over, but the Christmas rush has many of our local craft breweries drying up their stores of limited release selections. If you’ve got a hankering to bring back the holiday season with a few sips of the suds just north of the Fraser, here’s where you can still pour some pints in New Westminster and Richmond.

Steel and Oak

1319 3rd Ave, New Westminster

This Third Street brewery is still going strong with its limited release, Windrose. This four-grain porter will bring you back to Christmas morning by the fire with the rich taste of chocolate, caramel and toffee fit for overindulging.

Sadly, you won’t find it on tap but there are still a few cases of the Zusammen Cardamom Fig Stout floating around Metro Vancouver liquor store shelves. This spicy beverage was brewed by the women of Steel and Oak along with Head Brewer Eric. Partial proceeds from this beer goes to support WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women)’s Rape Crisis Centre. Cheers to that!

Instead of reminiscing, you could move onto to the future with their latest: Simple Things. This fluffy German Pilsner is “crisp, clean, with notes of honey, graham cracker, biscuit, and a refreshing and lengthy bitterness.”

Brittania Brewing

250-12240 Second Ave, Richmond

This Steveston-based brewery has beer flowing as fast as the river it sits on – so don’t miss a pour of The Sirens Chai Saison. Made up of ingredients one knows to relish in their mulled wine recipe, this farmhouse ale combines a local chai-tea blend including rooibos, orange, star anise, clove and pepper. Bottoms up!

The Sirens Chai Saison | Britannia Brewing
The Sirens Chai Saison | Image courtesy of Britannia Brewing

Fuggles & Warlock

103 – 11220 Horseshoe Way, Richmond

There’s nothing that really ushers in the excitement of spring like a fresh plum blossom, which is perhaps what the Fuggles & Warlock Kiwami Plum Sour aims to do. This tart kettle sour made with fresh plums is light and sweet, with prickles lactic acidity for the tongue. Spring’s not here yet – but a sip of this beer will transport you a few months into the future.

Want more winter craft beer? Check out the seasonal winter beer in Vancouver’s North Shore, Surrey & Coquitlam, and Vancouver.

By Brittany Tiplady

Beer can be romanticized in so many ways but the great Charles Bukowski nailed it: “stay with the beer,” he penned “beer is continuous blood. A continuous lover.” The holidays have come and gone, but Metro Vancouver’s mild winter weather is here to stay, at least for a few months. Curl up with these seasonal winter brews found in Surrey, White Rock and Coquitlam.

Russell Brewing Company

13018 80 Ave, Surrey

Winter Stout, 6.5%

The name says it all. Available now in 650ml at private liquor stores, Russell Brewing’s Winter Stout is chock-full of chocolate and black malts and roasted barley.

Black Death Porter, 6.5%

Buckle up for this one! The Black Death Porter, part of Russell Brewing’s Brewmaster Seasonal Series, is a heavy porter brewed with Canadian and Scottish malted barley. Find it on tap or on the shelves at private liquor stores but buyer beware: Russell warns that the Black Death Porter may result in some quirky behaviour.



Central City Brewers and Distillers

11411 Bridgeview Dr, Surrey

Thor’s Hammer-Limited Release, 11.5%

If barley wine is your palate pleaser, try the award-winning Thor’s Hammer -aptly depicted as a big flavoured and big bodied winter sipper. Crafted from fine barley malt, boasting deep and rich notes of dried fruit, plum and candy with a walnut finish. Find it on draught or in 650ml bottles.


White Rock Brewing

#13 – 3033 King George Blvd. Surrey

White Rock Mountain Ale, 5%

White Rock Brewing is an under-the-radar nano brewery that’s passionate about pouring fresh, chemical-free beer brewed onsite. Keeping it hyper-local, White Rock Brewing gets their hops from Chilliwack Hop Farms. Seasonals rotate every week, but we encourage you to head down quick and give the Mountain Ale a try-molasses, roasted barley grain, golding hops and a mild English finish.

Mariner Brewing

H-1100 Lansdowne Drive, Coquitlam

Night Sky Mocha Stout, 4.85%

It’s no secret that we are big fans of Mariner Brewing over here and we encourage you to pop into their sleek tasting room for a fresh, unique, and quality pint any time of year. This winter season, head into Mariner for the Night Sky Mocha Stout-a bold flavoured stout brewed with Creekside Coffee Factory coffee. Try this one in cans, on draught, or take a growler home with you!






Want more winter craft beer? Check out the seasonal winter beer in Vancouver’s North Shore, Vancouver, and New Westminster & Richmond.

By Brittany Tiplady

Vancouver’s North Shore winters may be chilly and long, but there is always beer- and Kinky Friedman said it best: “Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.”

We know the holidays are long over (thank goodness!) but if seasonal beers are your jam, you’re in luck! There’s still a bevy of winter-themed brews stocked by beloved craft breweries on Vancouver’s North Shore to keep yourself warm for the winter months to come.


Green Leaf Brewing

123 Carrie Cates Court, Lonsdale Quay Market, North Vancouver

LoLo Stout 5.5%
Named after Green Leaf’s Lower Lonsdale neighborhood, LoLo is a dark and hearty stout that boasts rich and delicious chocolate and coffee flavours. Perfect for the endless North Shore winters.


Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers

2270 Dollarton Hwy #170, North Vancouver

Deep Cove Brewers Winter Craft Beer
Image Courtesy of Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers

Dog Mountain Extra Stout, 7.5% (Cans only)
Deep Cove Brewers lovingly describes the Dog Mountain Extra Stout as a “big wool sweater, but for your tummy,” and boy, is that an accurate description. Bundle up and sip on this stout apres ski and enjoy the rich notes of chocolate and espresso.


Beere Brewing Company

312 Esplanade E, North Vancouver

Alpine Start beer | Image courtesy of Beere Brewing
Alpine Start | Image courtesy of Beere Brewing

Alpine Start, 6.5%
A loaded IPA dryhopped with plenty of Mosaic and Chinook. Tropical, smooth, with a piney flavour and a resinous mouthfeel.


Bridge Brewing Company

1448 Charlotte Rd, North Vancouver

Bridge Brewing Winter Beer
Image courtesy of Bridge Brewing

The Grinch- Winter Ale, 6.50%
Bridge Brewing is current pouring this winter treat until the supply runs out! This delightful ale has aromas of caramelized malt and dried fruit, but not too overkill on the typical holiday flavours and spices.

Santa’s Sack- Belgian Golden Strong Ale, 10%
This hazy strong ale is not for the faint of heart-you might want to try this one with some food in your belly! Enjoy the classic Belgian yeast flavours of Santa’s Sac with some notes of banana and pear and a dry, floral, and hoppy, finish.

Sleigh booster – Imperial Red, 9%
This bold, bitter, and deep amber beer would be paired well with a hearty feast. Expect flavours of toffee and thick malt, and a delightfully hoppy aroma.

Want more winter craft beer? Check out the seasonal winter beer in Surrey & Coquitlam, Vancouver, and New Westminster & Richmond.

By Kristi Alexandra

Upon stepping into North Vancouver’s Bridge Brewing Company, just a shot up Mountain Highway, light streams through the windows, illuminating a quaint tasting room and bottles of amber liquid housed in the cooler.

Craft beer culture in the lower mainland has always lauded locality, but head brewer Kerry Dyson’s newest creations take on a whole new light in this hyper-local haunt, whose tasting room is adjacent to a garage-style brewery.

Brewmaster Kerry Dyson

His latest seasonal offerings are the Quaywi Sour–a collaboration beer with Tap and Barrel–the Pear Cardamom Milkshake IPA, and the seasonably apt Pumpkin Porter–all of which use locally-sourced ingredients to perfect their taste.

“If we can, we’ll try to source it as locally as possible,” Dyson tell WestcoastFood of his brewery’s zero-waste, local, and sustainable ethos.

“We get our hops from Chilliwack hops farms out in the valley… it depends on what we’re looking for. We just did a maple porter [because] up in the Okanagan, someone sent us a barrel of fresh maple syrup and we were like, ‘yeah we can make that a beer.’”

As for the Quaywi collaboration beer and his latest Pumpkin Porter, Dyson attests that even if some ingredients aren’t sourced locally, they’re inspired by local harvests, flavours, and landmarks. Quaywi, of course, being a play on the famous North Vancouver marketplace, the Lonsdale Quay, and kiwi, the furry fruit that happens to grow well in the local climate.

“Our Quaywi is a kettle sour… with a nice yogurt-y tang, and kiwi plays really nicely with that light, fruity acidity. We had that for late summer, and now we’re moving into our next seasonal which is a 4.5% Pumpkin Porter. It has a ton of rye malt in that, and it has some spices but it’s very subdued and it’s mostly coming from the malt rather than throwing a bunch of pumpkin pie mix at it. I like to make something that’s easy-drinking and enjoyable, and not a big spice bomb in your face,” he says.

The small brewery was Vancouver’s first-ever nano-brewery, but in five short years, Bridge Brewing Company beers can be found in private liquor stores, government-designated BC Liquor Stores, and select shops across Canada.

And though you can pick up a six-pack of Bridge Brewing Company’s bottles in liquor stores in BC and across the country, Dyson makes a point of saying that his beers are community-focused. Geography buffs might even notice the beers’ labels boast topographically accurate designs of North Vancouver areas.

“We try to make them as approachable as possible,” he says, “I want all that feedback from as many people as possible because people taste things differently and I know how I taste and what I pick up when I’m drinking a beer, but other people will pick up different things. You just want to make sure that everybody’s happy when you’re brewing something for other people, because I know what I like and I can make those beers, but it’s about making something that other people want as well.”

Find Bridge Brewing Company beers at Tap and Barrel, in liquor stores across BC, and at their North Vancouver tasting room and brewery.

Bridge Brewing Company
1448 Charlotte Road
North Vancouver, BC

By Brittany Tiplady

It’s risky to open a craft brewery in such a saturated local market. With tasting rooms lining the streets of Vancouver, and Port Moody’s beloved Brewery Row, how does one launch a new craft brewery that we haven’t already seen, and sipped, so many times before?

Mariner Brewing found the recipe to do just that.

26-year-old Byron Vallis brought his love of craft beer to his hometown of Coquitlam, just a few blocks from his childhood home. The vision he and his team shared was to bring a unique element to the craft beer scene in the untapped market of Coquitlam, so that folks like him (and girlfriend Lauren Ang, Chief Consumption Officer of Mariner Brewing,) could enjoy doing what they love most, right at home.

Mariner Brewing opened their chic and nautical-themed tasting room on August 30th 2017 with four brews on tap, and has been busy serving local customers ever since. And, in offering an eclectic selection of gourmet hot dogs (Vietnamese, perogy, donair, and the classic dog), they don’t let their patrons go hungry. If you’re not a hot dog fan, chow down on the spinach dip – it promises to be like none other.

The current lineup of Mariner beers may seem ordinary to the untrained eye, but that is the farthest from the truth. The Northeast IPA is a delight for the senses: tropical, robust, and hoppy but without the notorious IPA bitter aftertaste. The Cream Ale is deceptively golden and pale, paying homage to a traditional lager, but met with a truly creamy finish. The Amber Ale and Sour Weisse also do not disappoint: boasting flavours that could appeal to all beer-drinking palates and preferences.

Adorning the main wall reads a poignant quote: “Set no path, never be lost.”  WestCoastFood sat down with Vallis and Ang to learn more about the newborn brewery and what they have to offer.

WestCoastFood: You are so new! How has your opening been going so far?

Byron Vallis: Good, it’s been going really well. We’ve been really busy for the most part and had lots of people coming through the tasting room. We also have two of our beers in cans and we are being served in a bunch of bars and restaurants.

WCF: Who is your brewmaster?

Vallis: Kevin Wilson is our brewmaster. He was formerly the head brewer at Russell Brewing Co, and we are so lucky to have him here.

WCF: Why did you choose to open in Coquitlam?

I grew in Coquitlam, just up Mariner Hill, and this has always been my neighbourhood.

I was looking at my home brew equipment and really thinking about what it takes to make good beer, and around that time Coquitlam city council was just starting to debate a bylaw amendment that would allow craft breweries, because before that there wasn’t any in the city. So I started looking at the area, and thinking about how my friends and I are going to Vancouver, or Brewery Row, every weekend and it was obvious that there was a loophole in the market.

The community response has been great! People have been so excited after getting familiar with the breweries in Port Moody that they finally have one in their own area.

WCF: The design concept is gorgeous. Who did you work with?

Vallis: Glasfurd & Walker – they did the signage, and all of the merchandise and cans. We spent a lot of time working on the cans, and we are so happy with them.

When we were figuring out names, Mariner was on the list because of Mariner Way here in Coquitlam. But we started looking into what exactly a Mariner is, and what would that name mean if we picked that. The name resonated a lot with what we want to do with the brewery. A Mariner is someone who navigates the ship, and explores new areas in uncharted territory and that’s what craft beer is all about for a lot of people. It comes across in a lot of the beer styles we have done, for example, the cream ale, there are only two others in B.C. right now and we wanted at least one of the beers on our lineup to be something unique. 

WCF: The food looks awesome! Let’s talk more about your menu.

The kitchen is an in-house prep-style kitchen. We keep things simple, and there are a lot of good restaurants in the area so we didn’t want to be another pub. For our food lineup, our focus is on the gourmet hot dogs. We are really stoked on them! We have gotten a lot of positive feedback.  We worked with [Taryn Wa] of The Savoury Chef to build our menu concept and put together the recipes which was fantastic.

The Beers

Northeast IPA, available on tap and in cans

ABV: 7.5 FG: 1.014
IBU: 67 SRM: 7

“This is by far the most popular beer we have. Northeast IPA’s are also something just catching on, as new IPA’s are coming out, and this is something that really drives our business development. It’s really hazy, and blasted with hops. There are about 10-20 times more hops than usual, so this beer has a really nice tropical fruit aroma. It’s dry-hopped twice and you also get a lot of hops towards the end of the boil of the beer. It’s fairly strong, at about 7.5% – it’s a northeast style, so a bit less better and a smoother finish with more focus on the aroma.”

Image courtesy of Mariner Brewing

Sour Weisse, available on tap and in cans soon

ABV: 4.5 FG: 1.009
IBU: 5 SRM: 4

“It’s a traditional berliner weisse style. Definitely tarte, but too overpowering. Being in Coquitlam, and introducing our first set of beers we wanted something that was fairly approachable but still unique in flavour and style.

Cream Ale, available on tap and in cans

ABV: 4.8 FG: 1.01
IBU: 12 SRM: 3

“Second most popular beer. It’s based on an ale but modelled after a lager. It’s quite light and refreshing, aged gold for about a month, same as a lager, to make it really crisp. We use a variety of hops to create a snappy flavour. “

Amber ale, available on tap and in cans soon

ABV: 5.1 FG: 1.01
IBU: 30 SRM: 12

“It’s our malt-forward beer. We use multi-Canadian malt, and some German specialty malt to get the caramel flavour and colour.”

Mariner Brewing
H-1100 Lansdowne Drive
Coquitlam, BC V3B 5E2

by Catherine Dunwoody

Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism Association has partnered with the five (soon to be seven!) microbreweries to host their first-ever craft beer festival, running from October 6-13, 2017.

Vancouver’s North Shore goes from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay, and participating breweries are offering everything from cask nights to craft brewery crawls, to Brewmaster’s Dinners, and more.

Black Kettle Brewing Company | Image courtesy of Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism Association

Who’s in on the fun? Beere Brewing Company, Black Kettle Brewing Company, Bridge Brewing Company, Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers, and Hearthstone Brewery. Serious about beer? Get your very own Vancouver’s North Shore Craft Beer Week Passport and get stamped as you sip your way to the opportunity to win a prize draw. Think hotel stays, Capilano Suspension Bridge passes, filled growlers, and much more.

The passport is your guide to beer and your ticket to the prize draw.

“We are delighted to introduce this festival, and our craft breweries, to new and old friends alike”, said Jennifer Belak, Executive Director at Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism Association. “There is so much to see and do on Vancouver’s North Shore and our breweries are as varied as our attractions.”

For more information and to download the passport, visit vancouversnorthshore.com/craftbeerweek.

There’s never been a better time to be a beer drinker on Canada’s West Coast. The region is undergoing a craft brewing renaissance and it seems that there is a new craft brewery popping up every week.

Let WestCoastFood and our transportation partner, Burnaby Tours, be your host as we guide you to some of the best craft breweries in the region.

Enjoy an in-depth look at the art of beer making with a behind-the-scenes tour at one of the breweries, and get a full sampling of the breweries’ finest beers. (If you left beer fans at home, be sure to pick up a growler or two!)

On this tour, you’ll visit:  

Mariner Brewing, Coquitlam

One of the new kids on the block, Mariner Brewing opened recently to much fanfare. Beer enthusiasts can expect their first offerings to include a sour weisse, a dry-hopped cream ale and a Northeastern IPA, which is billed as less-bitter than a traditional IPA.

Dageraad Brewing, Burnaby

Dageraad Brewing is named after the Dageraadplaats, a neighbourhood square on the east side of Antwerp, Belgium and in keeping true to their name they brew only Belgian style beers, like the Burnabarian, a Belgian session ale, brewed with oats and lightly spiced with coriander.

Steel & Oak, New Westminster

This brewery in Western Canada’s oldest city uses a mix of North American, English and German brewing styles, techniques and ingredients. Try the Royal City Pale Ale, the Roggen-weizen, Red Pilsner, Dry Hopped IPA or their made-to-order Radler.


Your ticket includes transportation, a brewery tour, 3 flights or pints of beer (1 at each brewery), and gratuities for the brewery staff. Price does not include tax (5% gst), driver/guide gratuity, or food and additional liquor purchases.

Must be 19 years of age to partake.

If you are interested in booking a group of 10 or more and would like to customize your own Craft Brewery Tour, please contact Burnaby Tours for alternate breweries and pricing.

Header image by Jackie Dives

There’s never been a better time to be a beer drinker on Canada’s West Coast. The region is undergoing a craft brewing renaissance and it seems that there is a new craft brewery popping up every week.

Let WestCoastFood and our transportation partner, Burnaby Tours, be your host as we guide you to some of the best craft breweries in the region.

Enjoy an in-depth look at the art of beer making with a behind-the-scenes tour at one of the breweries, and get a full sampling of the breweries’ finest beers. (If you left beer fans at home, be sure to pick up a growler or two!)

On this tour, you’ll visit:  

Central City Brewing and Distillery, Surrey

Known for their line of Red Racer beers, including their signature Red Racer IPA, Central City also produces offer a variety of craft beverages including specialty beers, ciders and both brown and white spirits.

Trading Post Brewery, Langley

Beer connoisseurs will appreciate the variety available at Trading Post. From traditional English-style ales, American IPA’s and stouts, to contemporary sour and barrel-aged beers. There is something to please all palates.

Dead Frog Brewery, Langley

Go behind the scenes with a tour at Dead Frog Brewery and learn about the brewing process and taste samples of unique brews like Classic Nut Brown Ale (the beer that started it all), Seasonal Citrus Wit or the award-winning Nutty Uncle (a peanut-butter stout).


Your ticket includes transportation, a brewery tour, 3 flights or pints of beer (1 at each brewery), and gratuities for the brewery staff. Price does not include tax (5% gst), driver/guide gratuity, or food and additional liquor purchases.

Must be 19 years of age to partake.

If you are interested in booking a group of 10 or more and would like to customize your own Craft Brewery Tour, please contact Burnaby Tours for alternate breweries and pricing.

Header image by Ashley Lockyer

By Jackie Dives 

Our first stop in New Westminster along the Central Valley Greenway on our bike ride from Vancouver was Old Crow Café for a much-needed caffeine dose, where I ordered a flat white and Dan got an americano.

Old Crow Coffee in New Westminster.
Pour-over coffee in the works.

Snacks and such also available at Old Crow Café.

You can enjoy coffee and breakfast here, watching the trains go by, or grab a croissant to-go and head to the water.

The River Market is a great place to visit, especially on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month during the summer when there are crafters and artisans selling their goods.

There are lots of places to stroll and sit along the river.

Make sure to stop by the Nuevo coffee stand and try these locally roasted, small batch beans.

The Nuevo coffee stand.

When you’re ready for lunch you can check out the variety of eats inside the market, or hit up Wild Rice. Alternatively, if you’re up for a good work out, slightly off the bike path, and up a bit of a hill, there’s a tiny spot, Wild Thyme, which has delicious Lebanese food. The aromas will lure you there. We could literally smell the food from two blocks away.

Cozy outdoor dining at Wild Thyme.
The Lebanese feast arrives…
…complete with fresh-made pita.

The food is cooked in a huge stone oven at Wild Thyme.
Back on the bicycles!

If you’re not up for the ride up the hill, and are planning on taking the easy way back to Vancouver via the New Westminster SkyTrain station, Spud Shack is the way to go for a variety of burgers and a ton of poutine options, both for omnivores and vegetarians.

A Spud Shack stop.

A New West must for refreshment is Steel & Oak. The beers are delicious, and the staff are super friendly. It’s a bright, clean, and welcoming atmosphere.

Steel & Oak is a great spot for a post-ride beer.

I encourage you to sit at the bar and ask the employees about their stories of shot-gunning Guinness. We ordered two flights, which covered all the beers they had on tap. I highly recommend trying their radler option. They mix homemade lemonade with any beer of your choice!

Flights of Steel & Oaks many beers on tap.
And they even have snacks.

The relatively flat path of the Greeway makes it a great two-way tasting tour on your bicycle, or you can take your bike back on the SkyTrain – for information on when bicycles are allowed on the Skytrain, visit the Translink website.

This is the final installment of a 3-part series. 

Part 1: Vancouver Olympic Village
Part 2: Vancouver to Burnaby

By Catherine Dunwoody

If you have ever spent time in BC’s charming Fort Langley then you know that hosting an annual food and beer festival just seems like a natural fit. Be sure and mark your calendars for May 20tt, 2017!

Fort Langley’s old-timey streets are a mix of pleasant restaurants, quaint shops and there is a cozy neighbourhood feel that’s hard to capture unless it just comes about organically.

The Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival is the dreamchild of Fort Langley’s own Trading Post  Brewing Company, and the aptly put slogan, “tap into the local” says it all. This first-time festival will feature fabulous local food and craft beer from the Vancouver area and the Fraser Valley, plus live music and more.

Image courtesy of Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival

At the Fort Langley National Historic Site, fest-goers will have an opportunity to learn about the lives of the First Nations communities, international fur traders, gold miners, and even Hawaiians who converged on this spot 190 years ago, and where British Columbia was established in 1858.

Some 20 breweries and 20 food vendors are expected to participate, and proceeds will benefit the Brewing Lab scholarship at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The scholarship was created by Trading Post and named after John Mitchell, who is considered the grandfather of craft beer in Canada.

For more information visit www.fortlangley.beer

Langley National Historic Site
23433 Mavis Ave.
Langley, BC

By Catherine Dunwoody

There’s a new offering from Vancouver’s vibrant east side – a self-guided tasting tour and passport program, featuring some of the best breweries in the city.

Image by Food Gays Media Inc.

Yep, seven of Vancouver’s favourite artisanal breweries and one small-batch distillery have come together to make it easy, and rewarding, to sip and sample the best in craft beer and spirits.

Odd Society Spirits | Image by RD Cane
Storm brewers | Image by Rachel Garrick

Here’s how it works. Just pick up your passport and map at any of the participating breweries and distilleries listed below. Self guide yourself through the tour, learning all about what you are tasting as you go, and collect a stamp at each stop. And, it’s no coincidence that some of the hippest eateries are also located in this ‘hood, meaning stopping mid-way for a bite just makes for a fantastic way to spend some time here.

A tasting flight at Bomber Brewing

Have all your seven stamps in the passport now? Well done. You’ll be rewarded with an East Village branded growler to take home.

Participating Businesses:

For more information visit the website.

By Anna Black

When you’re looking to enjoy the finest lagers and ales and superior seasonal and specialty beers down at your friendly neighbourhood pub, Big Ridge Brewing Co. in Surrey is the place to go. Not only do they have an impressive array of beverages to choose from, their menu offers up a fine selection of comfort food and wok-prepared dishes using only the freshest ingredients. And the best part? You don’t have to be a beer snob to enjoy any of it.

Located at 5580 152nd Street, Big Ridge Brewing Co. is Surrey’s original brewpub, serving patrons their time honored, handcrafted lagers, ales, and beers since 1999.  Part of the Mark James Group, British Columbia’s premiere collection of craft brewery restaurants, Big Ridge Brewing Co. keeps good company with six other West Coast area breweries and distilleries including Vancouver’s Yaletown Brewing Co. and the Brewhouse Brewing Co. in Whistler.

The brewpub was recently named as a Vancouver Craft Beer International Awards winner for 2016 in the Light Standard Lager category for their 152 Lager, noted for its subtle fruit flavor with a unique cotton candy flavor.

Image via the Big Ridge Brewing Facebook page

Unlike a microbrewery which has an annual brewing capacity of less than 17,600 (or 100 litres) and the ability to sell its products in bottles at beer and wine stores and through provincial liquor distribution outlets, a brewpub must operate in concert with a pub and must sell one hundred percent of its production on site. This means that when you’re enjoying a cool one at Big Ridge Brewing Co., it’s a brew that can’t be obtained anywhere else. It also means you’re enjoying a beer that’s made with nothing but the basics: water, hops, malted barley and yeast; Big Ridge Brewing Co. beer is never pasteurized and does not use modifiers.

The pub regularly hosts and participates in community and fundraising events so there’s always something exciting going on a Big Ridge Brewing Company.

Big Ridge Brewing Company is open Sunday – Thursday from 11:30 AM – 12 AM and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 AM until late. They can be reached at 604-574-2739.

Need to grab a quick cold one on the go? Big Ridge Brewing Co. has its own 3200 square foot Cold Beer & Wine Store, located at 103 15250 Highway 10, also in Surrey. The store offers customers a large selection of craft beers, spirits, and wine from around the world, including local BC offerings.

Big Ridge Brewing Co.
5580 152 St, Surrey, BC

By Catherine Dunwoody

“Put a bit of class in your glass,” so say the creators of Ascot Beer Cocktail Company – a unique new collection of beer cocktails using fresh, natural ingredients that offer the sophistication of a cocktail – as easy as cracking a cold beer.

Image courtesy of Ascot Beer Cocktail Company
Image courtesy of Ascot Beer Cocktail Company

Well known in Vancouver’s bar scene, Nick Devine is the creator of the brand; starting out behind the bar in the famous horseracing town of Ascot (hence the name), then on to tend bars in London and San Francisco, until settling in Vancouver. Here he won Vancouver Magazine’s Bartender of the Year.

A partner in Vancouver’s Cascade Company, which owns The Cascade Room, El Camino’s, The Union, Charlie’s Little Italian, as well as Main Street Brewing, Devine, is skilled in designing cocktails for a variety of tastes. “I set out to try bottling liquor-based cocktails years ago, but stalled after encountering logistical problems,” says Devine. “When we opened Main Street Brewing two years ago, my focus shifted to using beer as the base instead of spirits, and was so taken with the results, that I never looked back.”

Image courtesy of Ascot Beer Cocktail Company
Image courtesy of Ascot Beer Cocktail Company

Ascot Beer Cocktail Co. offers two varieties to kick it off –

No. 1 Mojito has Vancouver’s own fresh mint leaves muddled with cane sugar and fresh lime juice, then blended with premium craft beer. Yep. No rum here. And we’re delighted with this fresh, fizzy alterative.

No. 2 Paloma blends fresh pink grapefruit and lime juice, organic blue agave syrup and a pinch of salt, with premium craft beer. So pleasing to sip on your summer patio.

New flavours are on the horizon? Watch for the No. 3 Dark ‘n’ Stormy soon being added to the mix.

Here’s a tip from Devine: Ascot Beer Cocktails are designed to be enjoyed over ice, with the slight dilution creating the perfect balance.

Currently available exclusively at Main Street Brewing, both in the tasting room and retail store, located at 261 East 7th Avenue, Vancouver, BC.

By Old Yale Brewing Co. in the Fraser Valley

Looking for the perfect beer cupcake recipe? Well, look no further! Introducing Screaming Banshee Beer Cupcakes. These little guys are quick and easy to make, and taste like heaven on earth.


Screaming Banshee Irish Cream Stout (1 cup)
Butter (1/2 cup)
Cocoa (3/4 cup)
Sugar (2 cups)
Sour cream (3/4 cup)
Eggs (2)
Vanilla (1 tbsp.)
Flour (2 cups)
Baking soda (2 1/2 tsp.)


1. Melt Screaming Banshee + butter in a saucepan over medium/low heat


2. Whisk in cocoa + sugar and remove from heat

3. In a separate bowl, beat sour cream, eggs and vanilla

4. Pour step 3 mixture into Screaming Banshee / butter mixture from step 1

5. Whisk in flour + baking soda


6. Fill muffin tin with cupcake liners & fill each liner 3/4 full with cupcake mixture

7. Bake for 15 mins at 350°F

8. Add your favorite icing, sprinkles, and all the fixin’s. And of course, enjoy!

By Alexis Baran

Meandering up and down the hilly riverside streets of New Westminster is a great way to work up an appetite and a thirst. If you are down to hunt for the perfect local food to pair with locally brewed beer, the walk from restaurants to the neighbourhood brewery with your take-out feast in-hand is a great way to explore the streets on a nice day.

Here are pairing suggestions from the crew at Steel & Oak Brewing:

Restauraunt: Rivers Reach
Food: New West Deli Pizza
Beer: Smoked Hefeweizen

Daniel Johnston, front of house manager, recommends that the “rich, meaty and savoury pizza is balanced perfectly by our smoky and subtle Hefeweizen. Great pizza and great beer, how could you go wrong?” With all of the meat piled on this pizza – salami, pepperoni, ham, ground beef, and Italian sausage, a smoked Hef is both complementary and refreshing.

Walking distance: 15 minutes

Restauraunt: Longtail Kitchen
Food: Pad Thai
Beer: ESB

Sweet, savoury, and spicy fresh Thai food is a great complement to a bit of a bitter sip. “Nothing like fresh and bright Pad Thai to offset with the crisp, understated bitterness of our delicious ESB,” says Steel & Oak owner, Jorden Foss, “always a winner.”

Walking distance: 18 minutes

Pad Thai at Longtail Kitchen
Pad Thai at Longtail Kitchen

Restauraunt: El Santo
Food: Al Pastor Tacos
Beer: Red Pilsner

Tacos and beer, a classic North American love story: “The Al Pastor tacos are sweet and spicy which makes for a great match with the thirst-quenching Red Pilsner,” articulates Jay Schreiber, beer sales guy, “so refreshing!” El Pastor tacos are piled with 12-hour braised Fraser Valley pork, grilled pineapple, onion and cilantro.

Walking distance: 18 minutes

 El Santo launch party, December 2015
El Santo launch party, December 2015

Restauraunt: Old Terminal Pub
Food: Pochachos
Beer: Royal City Ale

Brian Chow, operations manager, is pretty spot on – “who doesn’t like nachos made with waffle fries?! The Royal City Ale is an easy drinking, satisfying pairing for any day of the week.” And yes, waffle fries’ nachos are good any and every day of the week as well.

Walking distance: 5 minutes

Royal City Ale
Royal City Ale

Want to stay planted while you munch? Some of these beers may be featured in these restaurants – call ahead to make sure, bottles and taps have been known to change!

Steel & Oak Brewing Co.
1319 Third Ave.
New Westminster, BC

Rivers Reach
320 Sixth St.
New Westminster, BC

Longtail Kitchen
810 Quayside Dr #116
New Westminster, BC

El Santo
680 Columbia St.
New Westminster, BC

Old Terminal Pub
115 12th St.
New Westminster, BC

By Tim Pawsey

The craft beer revolution has made itself at home along the Fraser River, down from the hills in New Westminster. Steel and Oak Brewing Co. is a delightful discovery, tucked away in a still fairly industrial part of town, cheek by jowl beside automotive repair shops and train tracks – yet a short walk away from the bustling River Market and the rest of Downtown New West.

Steel & Oak arrived with a bit of a bang upon their arrival into the scene in the summer of 2014 by quickly scooping first place in the 2015 BC Beer Awards Amber / Dark Ale category with its gently bitter and quite floral Flagship Royal City Ale.

Step inside and chances are you won’t be alone, as the word is out on S&O, which has already built a strong following. Open for just over a year, this compact, wood-trimmed tasting room sports smart metal chairs, foundry-style tables and a polished long bar. Cozy lighting and co-owner Jorden Foss’s photography complements the very west coast décor. The service is laid-back and friendly, with no shortage of beers to sample, as well as a range of bottles and growlers for sale.

The brewery (right behind the tasting room) makes a wide range of styles using English, American and German techniques. Firm favourites made by brewmaster Peter Schulz range from the easy drinking Red Pilsner, with a subtle sweet note, to a chocolate and malt toned Dark Lager, a Dry Hopped ESB to keep discerning hopheads happy, an extraordinary Smoked Dunkelweizen and more.

Kids are welcome: There’s lemonade on tap, which also means those less inclined to drink straight beer can quaff a radler, which is half lemonade and half beer. It’s the perfect summertime thirst quencher, especially when made with pilsner or weizen. While grounded firmly in the classics, there’s no shortage of modern expression, with everything produced unfiltered and unpasteurized.


If you’re feeling peckish after a few tasters, there’s excellent jerky and popcorn on hand or, on busier days, an obliging food truck parked outside.

With its solid-to-the-core industrial setting and artful blend of old and new furnishings Steel & Oak revels in having one foot in the past and one in the future. And there’s no better proof of that than the turntable that’s always playing a selection from the truly impressive library of vinyl—within easy reach of the taps.

To discover this mildly hoppy haven, take Skytrain to New Westminster station, cross over to the River Market and walk west for 15 minutes along the shores of the mighty Fraser to the foot of 3rd. Avenue. You’ll be well rewarded.

Steel & Oak Brewing Co.
1319 Third Ave.
New Westminster, BC

By Sheliza Mitha

for the City of Coquitlam

Craft beers and tasty twists on traditional pub grub seem to be a specialty in Coquitlam, where you’ll find plenty of spots to quench your thirst and satisfy your appetite – from cozy pubs to bustling bars.

What’s the meaning of craft beer anyways? It’s best defined as being produced by independent brewers that are considerably smaller than major corporate breweries and are generally known for their emphasis on quality, flavour and brewing techniques. You’ll find some ardent fans of this brew in some of Coquitlam’s most popular local hangouts.


Boasting more than 50 types of craft beer, the John B. Pub in the city’s south-western section is where you’ll want to kick start your self-styled tour of Coquitlam’s craft beer scene. The drink menu here changes quickly and often, with a fast-rotating list of unique craft beers at any given time. Each brew is sure to be the perfect accompaniment to John B. Pub’s eclectic menu that touches on nearly every corner of the world – from comforting bowls of Vietnamese pho and spicy Mexican chicken wraps to saucy pasta, fresh salads, savoury Pad Thai and more.

Moving southward, you’ll find the popular Town Hall – a well-known local haunt with nearly 40 different types of craft beer, all ready for the tasting. Here, the menu is equally diverse. Pair your robust beer with a “street taco” (only $4 each) or indulge in some comfort food like baked mac and cheese, homemade cream of mushroom soup, beef dip or poutine (or try the brunch version topped with breakfast sausage and a soft-poached egg).


Just down the street – about a two-minute walk away – is Woody’s, a Coquitlam institution since 1932. Now more than 80 years old, this popular neighbourhood joint serves up a slew of craft beers – and is particularly known for its generous portions and traditional pub food with a twist. Or head northwest for a short drive and you’ll hit the Foggy Dew Irish Pub tucked into the corner of the Executive Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre. Enjoy some Irish spirit, hospitality and delicious fare then watch as the place fills up – most notably on weekends – turning into an urban nightclub with contemporary, dance-worthy music.

From light brews to robust steins, Coquitlam’s pubs have you covered when it comes to sampling specially-crafted beer and satisfying your appetite. All you have to do is figure out where to start.

By Kathy Mak

Baby, it’s cold outside! The best thing you can do is hoist a few wintry beers and cheers to chase the chill away. Winter beers, affectionately called “winter warmers”, are typically stouts and porters that are more robust – richer, bolder, creamier, and hoppier in style with a deeper hue appearance. They also tend to be higher in alcohol by volume (ABV) to keep you warm! Comforting flavours can range from hints of toffee, caramel, chocolate and molasses to smokiness. Some winter beers have spicy or sweet notes, while the more serious brews are barrel-aged. Unlike their summery counterparts, winter beers are sipped, not guzzled, and taste better around 7-10o C instead of icy-cold.

In Vancouver and the valley, microbrewers have been busy crafting some of the most innovative seasonal specialities. Touted as the craft beer mecca of Canada, with over 50 artisanal breweries, there is an abundant of choices to warm and wet your whistle! To get you started, although it’s only the tip of the iceberg, here are five of the buzziest microbreweries that offer tastings and West Coast crafted winter suds…all within easy beer hopping distance of each other in East Vancouver, better known as Yeast Van!

Storm Brewing
310 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

For over 20 years, James Walton (founder and Brewmaster) has been unstoppable in brewing up a storm of unpretentious and innovative craft beers. It’s not unusual to find him experimenting with 6-7 new beers every week! Since 2013 alone, James has masterminded over 90 impressive tasty brews in small batches. All Storm Brewing beers are unfiltered and free of additives. Although they don’t have a formal tasting lounge, visitors are always welcome to drop by and sample beers. Winter warmers include the smooth, rich and roasty Black Plague Stout (8.5% ABV) and the Eye of the Storm Barley Wine (12% ABV), which is fresh and complex with residual sweetness.

For this winter, James has big news! He has launched a one-of-a-kind beer of mammoth proportion, aptly named Glacial Mammoth Extinction (25% ABV). It’s made by freezing sour beer to -30oC in two stages within a month. The sweet alcoholic liquid that separated from the ice was then aged in French oak barrels for two years. The outcome is a sweet, rich, dark, and viscous 100% malt drink that is more Port-like than beer. You’ll be rewarded with a taste profile that is initially sweet, followed by flavours like prunes and muscatel grapes. Glacial Mammoth Extinction is thought to be the first beer of its type in the world and has already been named Canada’s most expensive 1L bottle of beer. The price tag is a cool $1000, because the bottles are hand blown glass and adorned with a pendant of ivory from the tusk of a prehistoric mammoth estimated to be 35,000 years old. Two East Vancouver artists (Brad Turner and Richard Marcus) were responsible for designing and creating the limited edition artisan bottles and ivory pendants. Only 10 are available. The unique beer can be purchased separately in growler fills or in 1oz tasters at the brewery; but available in limited quantities.


Powell Street Craft Brewery
1357 Powell Street, Vancouver

This small independent microbrewery, focused on handcrafted beers using all natural ingredients, is owned and operated by husband and wife team – David Bowkett and Nicole Stefanopoulos. After opening in 2012, they stunned the beer world by winning a Beer of the Year award in the Canadian Brewing Awards and the gold medal in the North American Style Pale Ale category (2013) for their Old Jalopy Pale Ale. They quickly expanded to accommodate the demand following their overnight success. Powell Street’s new and larger brewery offers a cozy tasting room with eight fantastic beers for growler fills and on tap for tasting as a sampler, by the glass or in a flight (4). For winter, the Enigma Stout (6% ABV) was released in a single batch and expected to last until February. Liken to an American-style stout, its dark, rich, malty body with firm bitterness and bright roast flavours (espresso and chocolate) make this a truly unique beer.

Off The Rail Brewing
1351 Adanac Street, Vancouver

While the brewery is fairly new, the owner, Steve Forsyth, is no stranger to the beer market. After running the Railway Club (a popular music venue) for 25 years, Steve trained in hop farming and brewing before opening Off The Rail in Feb 2015. In a short period, the microbrewery has established an impressive reputation and range of hand crafted beers, of which some are made from organic hops. Five beers are the backbone of the brewery, but visitors can taste and buy about 15 rotating beer varieties on tap in their tasting lounge.

Bringing comfort in the colder months, their Old Winston Smoked Porter (5.4-5.6% ABV) is like a winter sweater in a glass! It has a balance of mild smoked flavour with smooth rich coffee and chocolate notes. But possibly cozier is the Black Oat Stout (4.2% ABV), a heavier, creamier and nutter winter warmer that gives off a touch of sweetness along with a mild hop bitterness. Then, there’s the new Eastbound and Brown (5.5% ABV), a dark ale with a kick of chocolate malt and a tinge of sweetness.


Bomber Brewing
1388 Adanac Street, Vancouver

Bomber Brewing was founded on a shared love of hockey by three close friends. Don Farion, Dean Mallel and Cam Andrews are now at the helm of one of the city’s newest and more notable microbreweries, named after their recreational hockey team. A roster of eight beers is on tap in their inviting tasting room. Within the expanding repertoire of beers, be sure to sample their Gold Medal winning Pilsner and Absolute Horizon CDA. But, in this season of mitts and toques, it is their winter warmers that will charm you, these are – the Choqlette Porter (5.5% ABV) and the Old Fat Heater Winter Ale (8% ABV). Bolder chocolaty flavours and rich roasted malts meet in this porter. The Ale, on the other hand, has notes of caramel, dates and figs shining through. With 8% alcohol content, it will most certainly heat you up from the inside!

Strange Fellows Brewing
1345 Clark Drive, Vancouver

Celebrating the strange and creating products that are far from the ordinary are what makes this microbrewery stand out from the others. The co-founding fellows are Iain Hill and Aaron Jonckheere, strangers who became brewing partners with a common love for creating unique and inspiring beer. Their boutique brewery includes a stylish tasting lounge/art gallery with rotating works of art exhibits and eight beers on tap. Once a month they organize a strange or special event.

For their beers, Strange Fellows is known for their sour style of beers and the use of wood in their beer making process (eg oak barrels and tanks) which provides a natural way for micro-oxygenation but can also help to smooth the texture of the beer and add flavour. Two of their winter delights may appeal to cold-weather fans, these are the Blackmail Milk Stout (4.5% ABV) and the Krampusnacht (9% ABV). The former is a dry Irish-style milk stout with added lactose for a creamier beer. It also has touches of dark chocolate and coffee tones. On the much darker side, the Krampusnacht is a Belgium abbey dubbel. It’s a stronger style of beer and its complexity comes from the double brewing. The dubbel is more malty than hoppy in nature because Belgian dark malts and candy sugar are used. Expect rich, dark stone fruit flavours and a slightly sweet finish. As the owners are not afraid to celebrate strangeness in each of us, the name was inspired by a scary folklore figure, Krampus, who kidnaps and punishes naughty children during the Christmas season. With an alcohol content of 9%, and other beer tastings under your belt, you’ll likely be merrier than stranger after this visit!


The above is a teaser of all the possible winter warmers available in Vancouver and the Valley during the chiller months between November and March. You can find a larger listing of breweries from the BC Craft Brewers Guild, The Ultimate Vancouver Craft Beer Brewery List (BC Magazine), or The Growler (a craft beer handbook). Instead of hibernating this winter, try sampling winter beers to warm your soul during the cooler days and longer nights!

Images courtesy of Storm Brewing, Powell Street Craft Brewery, Off The Rail Brewing, Bomber Brewing, and Strange Fellows Brewing.

Circa 1900, “Brewery Creek” was moniker for a stretch of stream in what is today Mount Pleasant. Centered on what’s now known as Main Street, the trickling water supply powered water wheels for area beer and soda producers. Decades of urban development saw the stream closed over and the prohibition years resulted in the breweries closing down – until now. Thanks to the recent change in liquor laws and new crop of breweries are popping up in Mount Pleasant and the area is reclaiming the name Brewery Creek.


Take yourself on a tour, strolling around brewery creek until you can stroll no more.

Red Truck Brewery
295 East 1st Avenue

Begin the tour at the brand new Red Truck brewery diner. Fill up on food and delicious beer before you begin to ingest even more beer!

Brassneck Brewery
2148 Main St, Vancouver

Head south on Main Street up the hill to 6th Avenue and enter Brassneck – one of Vancouver’s premiere tasting rooms serving up some of the best beer. Make sure to try everything – it’s all good! While you’re there, try one of the locally-made game pepperoni sticks at the growler counter; elk, bison, boar – it’s all local and delicious.

Main Street Brewery
259 East 7th Ave, Vancouver

Stroll up one block and hang a left on 7th to find Main Street Brewery. Prop yourself up at a table and try the beers produced right next to where the city’s first brewery sat.

33 Acres Brewery
15 W 8th Ave, Vancouver

Head up one block to 8th and back west to Ontario Street to find 33 Acres. Make sure to try 33 Acres of Ocean as well – as a tasting board of meats and breads.

Steel Toad Brewpub
97 East 2nd Ave, Vancouver

Head north seven blocks and find the Steel Toad Brewpub. Roll inside to try their beers – maybe even a wheat beer with syrup for dessert.