The 31st craft brewery opened up in Metro Vancouver a few weeks ago in the dry and thirsty suburb of Port Moody. This area of Metro Vancouver seriously lacked a craft beer scene, but recently pubs have started embracing the trend, and by the end of the year the seaside community will have two breweries, as Moody Ales is still under construction.
Yellow Dog Brewery is situated among several industrial buildings on Murray Street. Its large garage door sits open, inviting the thirsty inside to the brewery. The first thing that gets me right away is the amazing open concept with little production value — and I mean that in the best way possible.
A few tables are scattered in front of the bar, which houses the taps and growler filling stations. At $5.00 for a sleeve or a set of tasters, the reasonably priced main-stays include Play Dead IPA, Chase My Tail Pale Ale, and Take a Walk Wit. There was also a fourth — a smoked porter — available.
Before I get into the beer, there is one feature that this brewery has that isn’t found in any other Vancouver brewery: a backyard. Some call it a patio, but it feels like a yard; complete with picnic tables and large green trees, it feels more like you’re drinking in a proper beer garden in Germany.
The route to the backyard is a treat in itself. Yes this brewery is open concept, but Yellow Dog takes it a step further. To reach the backyard, you are able to walk right through the brewing floor. While likely frowned upon, it’s possible to reach out and touch the bags of malt sitting outside of the mill room. Now that is the type of “hands on” experience still lacking in Vancouver’s beer scene.
Now onto the beer — brewmaster Liam Murphy, formerly from Parallel 49, has crafted some delicious ales. Personally, the star is their Play Dead IPA. It’s a refreshing and very well-balanced IPA — definitely one I would go back again and again for. If this is what they open with, I am expecting this brewery to be a favourite among the now 31 Vancouver breweries.
So let’s recap: the beer is delicious, and on top of that, the experience they provide is not found anywhere in Vancouver. If you’ve been to the Lost Abbey Brewery just north of San Diego, you’ll know what I am talking about. It’s a raw warehouse feel that allows you to get as close to the brewing floor as possible. Anything closer will have the patrons up on the brewing equipment.
Overall, highly recommend for a great brewery experience.