It’s been a long time since the only local craft beer you could find in Vancouver was Granville Island Brewing’s Island Lager. These days, there are more than 100 different craft beers made in the province by dozens of craft breweries based everywhere from Victoria to Nelson. With so many choices, the problem isn’t finding a craft beer, it’s deciding which ones to try.
Truth be told, it’s hard to go wrong with BC beers. But, if you’d like a guided introduction to the world of craft beer – plus some great food and a tour of downtown – there’s a new option out there.
The Gastown Craft Beer ‘n Bites Tour is a three-hour, in-depth exploration of the city’s beer, bars and gastropub culture. At $80 a person, it’s not exactly cheap. But it goes way beyond the typical pub crawl.
The Beer ‘n Bites Tour debuted late last month and has been getting positive reviews. Starting from downtown’s Waterfront Station, small groups head out on foot to explore four different gastropubs in Gastown, which is arguably the heart of contemporary pub culture in Vancouver.
With a helpful “beer educator” as guide, groups cozy up to the bar for tastings of local craft beers, accompanied by food pairings from the kitchen (This being Vancouver, expect anything but the typical chicken wings and nachos). Meanwhile, the guide fills in the details on suds culture in the city: beer history, brewing styles, modern gastropub fare, even the mysterious world of beer cocktails.
Tours tend to be small and intimate. And over the course of three hours of tasting and sipping through historic Gastown, you’ll probably make a new friend or two along the way. While this tour might be overkill for local beer fans, it’s a good way for newbies to get a quick introduction to Vancouver’s beer scene, while also getting to know one of the city’s best neighbourhoods . . . or should I say neighbeerhoods.
For more information, check out the Vancouver Food Tour website. According to the site, the beer tour began as a pilot program during Dine Out, departing once every evening at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. I’d suggest calling to find out regular dates and hours: 1-866-736-6343.
Has anyone been on the Gastown Craft Beer ‘n Bites Tour? What did you think?