The craft spirits and beer scene is now booming in North Vancouver, particularly in the burgeoning Brewery District in Lower Lonsdale.
The North Shore will forever hold a piece of Canadian brewing history, as West Vancouver holds the distinction as the site of the country’s first ever microbrewery.
Horseshoe Bay Brewery started brewing beer for the nearby Troller Bay Pub in 1982, long before the craft beer boom exploded on the West Coast decades later.
Horseshoe Bay Brewery is no longer pumping out the suds on the North Shore – although it spawned some other B.C. breweries that are still very much alive – but in its place are now a dozen North Vancouver breweries, a number that seemingly rises each year.
12 great places to get a drink in the Vancouver Island city
You could say that Matt Cooke has distilled the spirit of Victoria into his cocktails. The general manager at OLO Restaurant transforms Vancouver Island spirits and local produce into the kind of creatively food-friendly sippers that complement chef-owner Brad Holmes’ fresh comfort food so well. There’s often whisky or gin—Victorians love the smoky and botanical flavours of the British Isles—and a subtle nod to the classics. At the same time, Cooke conjures flavours that are completely new, and often made from scratch.
And he’s not alone. Despite its relatively small size, with a population about an eighth of Vancouver’s, Victoria has a vibrant cocktail scene that makes it truly a great place to get a drink, especially at these 12 watering holes.
Think about Whistler drinking and images of craft beers on sunny patios and fragrant steaming mugs of après ski Glühwein inevitably come to mind. But for some reason, Whistler has never traditionally conjured up much in the way of cocktail culture. Fortunately, the wave of thoughtfully crafted drinks and micro-distilled spirits has finally made its way up the Sea-to-Sky, and bars across town are shaking and stirring up some decidedly delicious creations.