June 2015

Thanks to recently relaxed liquor laws and an explosion in craft brewing and distilling, Vancouver is poised to become a West Coast hotbed of craft beer, spirits and wine tourism.  

Craft beer boom. Vancouver's booming craft beer scene has gone from underground to mainstream in only a couple of years. Beer aficionados and newbies alike can dive into the city's best craft beer on brewery tours (like Vancouver Brewery Tours, which offers tours and tastings for groups of up to 12) or at tasting rooms like Brassneck Brewery and Alibi Room. Be sure to take a self-guided stroll around the historic Brewery Creek district in East Vancouver, named for the original concentration of breweries clustered around along the creek 125 years ago.  

Distillery wave. Nearly half a dozen craft distilleries are now operating (or will soon be opening) around Vancouver making locally made spirits like gin, vodka, whisky, sake and aquavit. One of the latest to open was Liberty Distillery on Granville Island focussing on authentic and artisanal spirits made from 100-percent B.C. grain.

The Settlement Building brings winemaking and craft brewing downtown. Formerly known as Vancouver Urban Winery, The Settlement Building is a 7,700-square-foot heritage building located in Vancouver's gritty Railtown neighbourhood (at the edge of Gastown). There you'll find the 65-seat restaurant Belgard Kitchen (which features more than 30 BC wines on tap), Postmark Brewing (a craft brewery) as well as a boutique wine production under the Roaring 20s lable. They have also announced a forthcoming distillery. http://www.thesettlementbuilding.com/