It’s not difficult to find evidence of Vancouver’s thriving craft beer scene — just walk into any nearby brewpub and see what’s on tap. You’re likely to find an abundance of locally made beers, many of which are small-batch, seasonal varieties. Here are a few of the city’s best brews for each season (plus a couple that are good any time of year). So go ahead and get to know Vancouver in a whole new way — one pint at a time.
Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV
Head over to Cinema Public House for a pitcher of this easy-drinking, unpasteurized Bohemian lager. Its light body and crisp, dry finish make it a refreshing choice for the gentle warmth of springtime.
Dockside Brewing Company, 4.8% ABV
Available only on tap, this hazy wheat brew is made in-house and touts a light body and flavors of tart lemon, banana and subtle spices. Enjoy this beer on the patio, and add a slice of lemon for an extra dose of citrus flavor.
False Creek Raspberry Ale
Granville Island Brewing, 4.5% ABV
Pull up a barstool at this neighborhood brewpub, or pick up a six-pack at your nearby liquor store — no matter which way you enjoy this beer, you’re in for a burst of crisp, refreshing flavor. Combining Fraser Valley raspberries with premium malt and hops, this newly released pink drink pairs exceptionally well with food, making it a no-brainer for backyard barbecues and summertime picnics in Vancouver.
Ipanema Summer White
Steamworks Brewing Company, unknown ABV
This pale, cloudy summer brew has all the hallmarks of a refreshing Witbier: light body, slight yeastiness, flavors of citrus and coriander, and an impeccable ability for quenching thirst.
Chambar Belgian Restaurant, 5.0% ABV
When a restaurant creates a beer to complement its food, you know you’re in for a pleasurable experience. Enter Chambar Ale, an amber coloured beer with European and Moroccan spices, toffee and caramel malt aromas, and a well-balanced presence of hops. Pair it with Chef Nico Schuermans’ hearty cuisine for a delightful autumn experience.
Black Plague Stout
Storm Brewing Ltd., 8.0% ABV
Brewed only in the fall and winter, this intense Irish-style stout has a nearly black colour and complex flavors of chocolate, dark fruits and roasted malt.
Blitzen Christmas Ale
Steamworks Brewing Company, 8.5% ABV
There are plenty of reasons to enjoy Vancouver in the winter, and this high-octane Belgian-style Tripel is one of them. Reminiscent of the strong beers brewed by Trappist monks, this golden coloured beer touts intense flavors of honey, yeast, citrus and spices.
Auld Nick Winter Ale
R&B Brewing Co., 4.6% ABV
When the snow starts falling, keep warm with this rich, spicy brew. Its thick, dark appearance matches its dense flavors of molasses, dark malts, prunes and a subtle underlay of black licorice.
Brick & Beam IPA
Yaletown Brewing Company, 5.8% ABV
This award-winning beer has a pleasant blend of hops, tropical fruit aromas and floral notes, making it both refreshing and satisfying.
English Bay Pale Ale
Granville Island Brewing, 5.0% ABV
Available in bottles, cans and on tap, this gold-medal winner at the World Beer Championships can be poured at the pub or pulled out of your cooler, ready for instant enjoyment at any time of the year. The light bitterness and mild caramel malt flavors make it a great complement to meat dishes.