Anyone who knows us, knows we love great beer. In Edinburgh, if we weren’t at work or at home, we were in The Hanging Bat.
Since our arrival we have tried a whole host of beer bars and liquor stores in our search for the best beer Canada has to offer. The good thing is that getting a hopped up “American” style IPA is easy out here, with almost every place we’ve been offering one of the local IPA’s on tap (Red Racer IPA and Driftwood’s Fat Tug IPA being our favourites so far). However whilst this wide availability of solid craft beer is great, we have been looking for a place to go and indulge in the more extreme beer styles and flavours.
The Alibi Room has quenched that thirst, and then some. It has 50 taps of mainly keg, but also has a couple of casks on as well (which is less common out here). Their selection definitely leans towards Canadian beer, with some US stuff thrown in for good measure. The taps rotate quite a bit (which always makes a bar more exciting), but from what they had on that night they seem to try to keep some balance over the styles – with a lean more towards paler beers. They offer “frat bats” of any four beers (no caveats) for $11 (~£7) which is an awesome way to indulge the wide selection on offer. Some of the more interesting things Ilona and I tried included Red Racer Bourbon Barrel aged IPA, Phillips Twisted Oak Rum Barrel-Aged Red Ale and Howe Sound Brewing’s Whiskey Aged Pothole Filler Imperial Stout. So yeah, lots of barrel aged beer = happy campers. Also worth noting that the only cask beer we tried was Red Racer IPA, dry hopped with Tettnang in the cask. It was nice, but our feelings on cask IPA’s will probably remain the same…
So far Alibi Room is definitely the best beer bar we have found but there are certainly plenty of others worth mentioning! So lets do a little, best of the rest section to indulge my love of talking about beer all the time.
The Steamworks brewpub which we talked about in an earlier post is a pretty cool place with a decent selection of house beer. Their beers are all pretty good, but don’t expect anything too extreme. Its all pretty safe and inoffensive – its just a shame they aren’t a bit more experimental.
Rogue Wetbar and Kitchen has a pretty good selection of Canadian/American beers and even stocks Brewdog Punk IPA… but thats a rant for another day. Overall the selection is interesting and they have a good amount of guest taps, which means you can be sure of something different every time you visit. Also, as we have mentioned before, their food is amazing.
As far as liquor stores (off-licenses) are concerned, we have found the BC Liquor Stores to have an excellent selection of local stuff at quite reasonable prices. The good thing is that these places are all over town and have uniform prices. Private liquor stores buy from them at a 16% discount and then put their own mark up on. You can buy Driftwood beer which is super fresh (one week old) in bombers (650ml) for around $5. It has some American and European stuff also, but its mainly macro-breweries.
The only private liquor store we have found to be worth a visit is Brewery Creek Cold Beer & Wine Store. This place has a good selection of local beer mixed in with a fine selection of American, British, German and Belgian beer. We managed to get a few American things from there which we had wanted to try for a while, so we will definitely make an effort to go there again!
So overall we are enjoying the beer scene over here and with talk of lots more breweries opening over the next year its certainly an exciting time to be in Vancouver for a beer lover.