2013 has been a wondrous time for craft beer in Vancouver. Obviously the scene has been around for a long time, but this past year was the best yet. From the massive coverage Vancouver Craft Beer Week got in mainstream media, to the thriving craft beer businesses that opened up shop, craft beer awareness skyrocketed in Vancouver in 2013.
Let’s look at some of those key businesses that opened:
Craft Beer Market
When they opened in November of 2013, they brought a massive craft beer draft list (the largest in Canada) to the general public. Located in the heart of the Olympic Village in the iconic Salt Building, the place is packed every night, with queues of two to three hours on weekend nights. This (along with mainstream media attention) is a perfect example of how craft beer is going mainstream in Vancouver. We did it — we finally reached Portland of 5 years ago.
Vancouver Brewery Tours
Owner and operator, Ryan Mackey, has been very busy in 2013. You may have seen his van ripping around town packed with thirsty, tipsy beer tourists.
Since starting up this year, the tours are selling out fast, and the partnerships are building. These include:
- Craft Beer Experience package with the St. Regis Hotel
- East Van Craft Brew and Culinary Tour with Off the Eaten Track
- Coming soon: the Cascadian Brewery Tour. This is a partnership with Road Dogs Seattle Brewery Tours and Brewvana Portland Brewery Tours to cross-promote each other and grow Cascadian beer tourism together.
Breweries Est. 2013
How can we forget about all of those amazing breweries that opened up in 2013? And thanks to the changed laws allowing tasting lounges to exist, the brewery scene is booming.
In 2013 we had the following breweries (and their tasting rooms) open to the public:
- Deep Cove Brewers + Distillers
- 33 Acres Brewing Company
- Four Winds Brewing Co.
- Brassneck Brewery
- Central City Brewing Co. (new facility and tasting room)
- Greenleaf Brewing Co. (Opening December 20, 2013)
Bring on the class of 2014
Then we have the ones currently under construction and slated to open later in the New Year — things are looking positive for 2014:
According to Tourism Vancouver, the craft beer scene has been a hot topic for incoming media to Vancouver. Journalists are being sent by their publishers to cover the craft beer boom — specifically to answer what the hell is going on here? To many outside of Vancouver, it’s not until now that people are realizing Vancouver has a massive craft beer scene. Suddenly Vancouver is getting mentioned all over North America, gaining usage in the lexicon of beer destinations. It’s easy to think how maybe a year or two ago that wouldn’t be possible — that just goes to show how well 2013 was for Vancouver’s craft beer campaign.
So what will 2014 hold for craft beer in Vancouver? Well, looking at the way 2013 is ending — with multiple brewery openings and worldwide attention — something tells me it’ll only get better. With a new batch of breweries coming to be, more beer festivals proposed, new liquor laws benefitting the industry, and the gaining support of mainstream society, I’d say Vancouver is about to take craft beer obsession a notch higher.