Beer News travel

British Columbia’s Best Breweries

The breweries that you absolutely can't miss in BC.

BC is full of amazing breweries, so many that it’s hard to keep track of what’s new and whose pouring the best stouts, IPAs, sours, etc.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the breweries around the province pouring the most interesting beer. This list covers a broad scope of the province, so no matter where you are, you should be able to visit at least one of the breweries on this list. Don’t see your favourite brewery on the list? Let us know in the comments why it should be included!

Vancouver & Surrounding Area

Beere Brewing

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Location: North Vancouver

North Vancouver has started to see a full brewery row develop, and Beere is one of the best options in the area. Not only does this small brewery produce some of the best IPAs in town, they are also constantly experimenting, meaning there’s a very good chance you’ll try something new every time.

Try: Mental Floss Double Dry Hopped IPA

Brassneck

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Location: Vancouver

Brassneck is the kind of experience that is synonymous with craft brewing. With a reclaimed wood interior and a constantly rotating tap menu, it’s hard to keep track of all the experiments coming out of here.

Try: One Trick Pony IPA; Hibscus wit

Dageraad

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Location: Burnaby

One of the very few breweries in the province specializing in Belgian style beers, Dageraad has consistently been producing extremely high quality beer since inception. If you’re a fan of Belgians, then Dageraad is an absolute must.

Try: Burnabarian; Dageraad Blonde

Field House

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Location: Abbotsford

Honestly Abbotsford should not have a brewery this cool. From the front lawn hangout, to the food truck, to the live concert series, Field House is the place to hangout. The brewery also doesn’t shy away from experimental beers, which have proven to impress time and time again.

Try: Sour Wheat Gose; Dark Sour

Four Winds

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Location: Delta

One of the most awarded and celebrated breweries in the province, Four Winds has been instrumental in solidifying BC as a powerhouse in the craft beer scene. They may be a little out of the way, but it’s very much worth the trip.

Try: Nectarous; Saison; IPA

Luppolo

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Location: Vancouver

Italian inspired in both decor and brewing, Luppolo is a fantastic addition to the Vancouver brewery scene. They were the first in the city to start pouring “slow pour” pilsners, and that alone is worth the visits. Add in some excellent sours and you’ve got a winner.

Try: Slow pour pilsner and the New World Sour.

Steel & Oak

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Location: New Westminster 

Having been around for just over five years now, Steel and Oak has shown that great craft beer can be made just about anywhere; as a result they’ve attracted the attention of other breweries to the New West area, which benefits everyone.

Try: Dark Lager; Roselle

Strange Fellows

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Location: Vancouver

Strange Fellows is all about embracing the weird, and to that end, they’ve taken a dedicated focus on beers with wild yeast, sours and barrel aging. Many of their best beers come around once/twice a year.

Try: Roxanne sour; Jongleur wit

Vancouver Island

Category 12

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Location: Victoria

Category 12 is what happens when you let a home brewer with a microbiology and biochemistry degree open a brewery. Category 12’s head brewer and founder, Michael Kuzyk, has been brewing beer for more than 20 years, and his obsession with great beer, recipe optimization, and meticulous record keeping practices make him a brewer to be reckoned with.

Try: Disruption Black IPA; anything that is currently on tap as experimental or seasonal

Ile Sauvage

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Location: Victoria

Île Sauvage can still be considered one of the newest breweries in Victoria but it has already started to make its mark. Île Sauvage is French for “Wild Island” and is a dual reference to the wilderness of Vancouver Island and their main focus on Belgian-style wild ales and sour beers. Expect a lot of experimentation due to being new, and the very nature of the brewery itself.

Try: Automne Brett Saison, a mixed yeast beer that is fantastic.

Land & Sea

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Location: Comox

Land & Sea is a brewery that could easily fit into a much larger city like Vancouver or Victoria, but feels right at home in Comox. The decor is simple but well put together, the beer is excellent and the food is well above the standard fair you’d usually find at a brewery.

Try: Comexico Pale Ale; Glacier Cream Ale

Mount Arrowsmith

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Location: Parksville

Mount Arrowsmith may be a tiny brewery, but its made a significant impression on the BC beer scene. Within their first year of operation, the brewery already had some serious accolades under its belt, including BC Brewery of the year!

Try: Blonde ale; Jagged Face IPA

Spinnakers Brewpub

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Location: Victoria

Spinnakers is the grandad of beer, not just for Victoria but for Canada. Spinnakers was Canada’s first brewpub when it opened in 1984, and many of the recipes have remained the same in 30 years. That’s not to say they aren’t innovating, they have cutting-edge styles such as sours and barrel-aged beers, daily casks and ciders made on-site.

Try: Juice Monkey IPA; Chocoholic Chocolate Milk Stout

Tofino Brewing

Tofino Brewing

Location: Tofino

Nestled on the far western shore lines of Vancouver Island, Tofino is world renowned for its surfing and storm watching. Thankfully, Tofino Brewing also exists to help keep drinkers satisfied after a long day in the outdoors. At this point they are an institution in the community and it’s a must-do for anyone that’s visiting Tofino.

Try: The very unique Kelp Stout; Blonde Ale

Coastal BC

Backcountry Brewing

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Location: Squamish

Halfway between Vancouver and Whistler, Squamish is the perfect place for a quick pit stop, and Backcountry Brewing is the answer to that problem. Creative and bold, the beers from Backcountry tend to be big and juicy, something that is very on trend.

Try: Widowmaker IPA; Trailbreaker Pale Ale

Persephone

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Location: Gibsons

Located on a gorgeous little farm in Gibsons, Persephone is the epitome of the coastal lifestyle. It doesn’t hurt that they make some incredibly good beers as well.

Try: Black Lager; Dry-Hopped Cider

Townsite Brewing

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Location: Powell River

Another one of those speciality breweries that focuses on Belgian styles, but what they have over Dageraad is the head brewmaster at Townsite is himself Belgian born. Powell River is blessed to have a brewery of this calibre in their midst.

Try: Zunga Golden Blonde Ale; Bière d’Hiver Winter Ale

Interior

Crannog Ales

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Location: Sorrento

There’s a likelihood that you’ve never heard of Crannog, and that’s because they have this annoying habit of not packaging their products. So you’re only likely to find them on tap or direct from the source. It’s most definitely worth the effort to seek them out.

Try: Back Hand of God Stout; Gael’s Blood Potato Ale

Mt. Begbie

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Location: Revelstoke

Mt. Begbie has been around for a long time, but even still, we’re strong advocates that they don’t get the credit they deserve. They may not make the “sexy” beers, but they are so consistently good with the traditional styles, that they should be a go to choice and will often be found in our fridges.

Try: Begbie Cream Ale; Brave Liver Scotch Ale

6 comments

  1. This is http://www.craftbeerandwilderness.com responding. I think you have been reading my mail. We host the finest 5 day/4 night beer based foodie retreat at Nootka Sound Resort. We have hosted it 2 years, and we invite brewers from 3 breweries and their plus ones to the event each year. There’s a long story that involves my daughter, cancer, medicine and mostly my passion for beer. Year one had Brent Mills, Michael Kuzyk and Cedric Dauchot attend. Check, check, check on your list. Year two had Kent Courtice, Brian McIsaac and Tristan Stewart (in place of Ryan Parfitt). Missed, check, check. Year three – June 6-10, will have Iain Hill, Julia Hanlon and ? (I’m working on Ben Love). I could not agree more with your list of breweries to visit (maybe I’ll have discussion about Arrowsmith). Tessa Gabiniewiecz and I have had several beers together – for CBW2 we gathered our guests at the Comox Airport and headed straight to Land and Sea for refreshments prior to heading to Nootka Sound Resort. My favourite beer on tap at the retreat was Party Platter DDH IPA collab between Beere and Brassneck. My FB feed has me trying beers in Abbotsford at Fieldhouse – because they’re that good. A colleague of mine is childhood best friends with the CFO of Persephone. Your list, is my list. You should add Sooke Brewery to that. John Adair makes great beer. I get along with him, I might be the only one on this planet who does LOL. I cannot believe that you came up with this list by yourself. It’s my list. We had Back Hand of God and Gael’s Blood Potato Ale on tap. We featured Ile Sauvage at the sour beer tasting. I’m hoping to have Stephan Turcotte as one of our 2 cicerones next year. I’m blown away. We have the same palate. We should connect our Wonder Twin powers.

    Like

    1. This is such a great comment! There’s plenty of amazing craft beer in the province it’s hard to go wrong, but to be that specifically close is both weird and oddly satisfying!

      Like

  2. I think that Twin City Brewing in Port Alberni would be a great addition to the list! Great selection of stellar beers (including top notch sours), mouth watering food, and the winner of “Best in Show” at last years BC Beer awards!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been to all the breweries on your list except Mt Begbie. All serve great brews and have created very enjoyable spaces to enjoy ones drink. I would also include, Old Yale in Chilliwack, Three Ranges in Valemount, Smithers Brewing and how could you not include
    Storm in Vancouver,

    Like

  4. Would love to have you guys come visit our brewery in Kelowna. Hopefully we can convince you to add us to this list next time. Either way, great article. Thanks for writing it.

    yours, James Windsor
    brewmaker at vice & virtue brewing co.

    Like

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