Rent a bike and get pedaling—there are lots of small-batch breweries worth visiting in this drink-loving city.
Vancouver is an outdoor-friendly city with a love for craft beer. The city keeps impeccably maintained bicycle trails, and it’s easy to make the ride among Vancouver, North Vancouver, and East Vancouver. These regions are also hubs for local breweries—which means that biking is both a great way to see this side of Canada and an efficient mode of transit for a brewery tasting tour.
Most breweries in the area serve five-ounce samples, but it’s still a good idea to pace yourself. Stop at only a couple breweries in each location and save the others for another day. Here, a packed, 20-mile tour for you to mix and match to create your own perfect breweries-by-bike tasting tour.
Start at Stanley Park, the famous 1,000-acre, densely forested green space that rivals New York City’s Central Park. The best way to explore it is by bicycle, and there are a handful of rental shops near the corner of Denman and W. Georgia streets right by the park’s entrance. (Rates vary by bike type and start around US$20 for six hours.) Ride the Stanley Park Causeway, which has brand-new bike lanes that will take you all the way to Lions Gate Bridge. It’s a slight but steady incline for 1.75 miles and then just over a mile to cross the Burrard Inlet and get into the city of North Vancouver.
Pedal onward toward the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge, which you can cross (on a newly widened bike lane) into East Vancouver. There, a neighborhood often referred to as “Yeast Van” (located between Hastings and Powell streets) has been credited with a brewery revitalization.
Powell Street Craft Brewery, run by husband-and-wife team David Bowkett and Nicole Stefanopoulo, won the Canadian Beer of the Year award for their Old Jalopy Pale Ale in 2013, only six months after they opened. Stop in for a taste of the brew or one of the other seven beers on tap, all made with locally sourced ingredients.
Every brewery biking tour must end with food. There are two great options in the East Vancouver area: Red Truck Beer Company and Granville Island Brewing. Red Truck Beer’s Truck Stop Diner serves up burgers, tacos, and sandwiches daily—along with beer, of course.
Granville Island Brewing is Vancouver’s oldest microbrewery. It’s located on Granville Island, a cultural and entertainment district famous for its large public market selling local fruits, vegetables, and other food.
At this point, you’ve come full circle: Both Red Truck Beer Company and Granville Island Brewing are only about three miles away from the bike rental shops near Stanley Park. Return your bike and hang out in the park to digest an active, beer-packed day.