Labour Day seemed to bring summer to an abrupt halt with sudden gray skies and a brisk drop in temperature. It’s always tough to say good-bye to sunny Vancouver and the abundance of outdoor activities that our city offers. But over the long weekend, I discovered an indoor activity unique to Vancity that definitely brightened up a gloomy day. Vancouver Brewery Tours offers a trip around town to the best craft breweries, with behind-the-scenes access, VIP treatment, lots of insider info, and lots and lots of beer. What better way to spend a rainy autumn day?
The tour begins in Gastown and once everybody has gathered and loaded into the van, the tour guide will drive off to one of nine craft breweries that the company has partnered with for the first stop of the day.
On my tour, I got to visit Bomber Brewing in East Vancouver, Storm Brewing on Commercial Drive, and finally Steamworks Brewery in Burnaby. Each tour matches up contrasting breweries so that guests can get a good sense of the burgeoning yet eclectic craft beer scene in Vancouver.
At Bomber we took a look at the brewing process and some raw ingredients before tasting a flight of four very different beers. At Storm we huddled amidst the homemade equipment constructed of scrap yard material while sipping on a couple of the owner’s favourites, including a sour beer. And at Steamworks we toured the 30,000 square foot facility before settling down at a long table in their tasting room with yet another flight before us.
Along the way the tour guide dishes out fun facts about craft beer and its presence in Vancouver, as well as giving some background about our city in general. There is lots of time to get to know your fellow tourists, a group made up of out-of-towners exploring Vancouver, beer enthusiasts and home-brewers, and people who simply want a constructive excuse to drink mid-afternoon.
I highly recommend this tour to anybody who finds themselves with a spare afternoon this fall. I walked away from mine with a strong appreciation for craft brewing, a lot of information about beer, some new friends, and a slight 3pm buzz. Oh, and a growler of Storm’s Vanilla Whiskey Stout (I couldn’t resist).
Vancouver Brewery Tours’ public tours run $69 a head and book up fast. Learn more here.
For all information about tours, guides, breweries, prices, and so on, visit Vancouver Brewery Tours website.
Last modified: September 4, 2014