It is time, Vancouver. Time for us to leave our caves, pale and pasty, and shake off the mildew and rust that has accumulated over the seemingly endless months of cold, wet misery. We emerge, staring confusedly at the heavens, hissing at the glowing orb in the sky. Is this the end times? Has God forsaken us?
But as the first warm rays of sunshine strike our face, the mental fog lifts and the memories come flooding back.
It is time. Time for this city’s greatest season and all that it promises: camping, hiking, trips to the cabin, swimming at the lake.
Of course, you’re never going to do any of those things—that’s for tourists and people with cars. No, summer in Vancouver means one thing for Vancouverites: drinking outside!
Since it’s probably been months since you last stepped on a patio, we here at Growler HQ have you covered with all the latest info on where to get your Vitamin D fix while sipping some fine local craft beer. Unfortunately, due to archaic municipal bylaws requiring breweries to have a full kitchen in order to have a patio (which makes no sense), there are not a lot of craft beer patios in Vancouver. But there are options!
Now get out there, stop complaining about the rain, and start complaining about the heat!
Dockside Brewing Co.
1253 Johnson St.
Dockside has always been known more for its incredible Granville Island patio with its sweeping views of downtown across False Creek than for its rather pedestrian beer list. That’s changing thanks to new brewmaster Craig Ludtke, who has reformulated the recipes for Dockside’s mainstays and added his own seasonals, like the Smoked Honey Lager and Strawberry Blonde. If it’s been years since your last visit, now’s the perfect time to get reacquainted.
Parallel 49 Brewing
1950 Triumph St.
P49’s much-needed tasting room renovation last year was one of the best things to happen to Hastings-Sunrise. The old space was pretty bleak, but thankfully the linoleum floors, drop ceiling and fluorescent lights are gone, and in their place, a graffitied indoor food truck, funky industrial décor, and long communal tables that spill out onto the street-side patio. Oh, and 40 taps of craft beer and cider—so many taps, they had to build a second brewhouse just to feed them.
Red Truck Beer Co.
295 East 1st Ave.
Tucked away on an industrial side street, not far from Main Street SkyTrain station, Red Truck is an oasis of craft beer and one of the few purpose-built breweries in the province. It’s also really friggin’ big, on a scale not usually seen in the Vancouver craft beer scene. These are all good things, because, instead of being crammed into a corner or some makeshift, jerry-rigged outdoor space, the patio at the Truck Stop tasting room is open, airy and awesome. Make sure to check out the lineup of live music events every Friday and Saturday, as well as the Truck Stop Concert Series, when the brewery parking lot is turned into an outdoor music festival (June 16, July 14, and Aug. 11).
R&B Brewing Co.
54 East 4th Ave.
It might only be a few feet wide, built out of scaffolding and lined with AstroTurf, but it’s technically a patio, which not a lot of other craft breweries have. It’s the perfect outdoor extension of R&B’s funky, unpretentious vibe, and a great place for award-winning beers and fantastic pizza. Popular with the afterwork crowd, it can be difficult to find a seat when the weather’s nice, so try to get there early and hunker down.
Yaletown Brewing Co.
1111 Mainland St.
A Vancouver classic, this sunny patio is perfect for watching the parade of N-plated Lamborghinis and Ferraris attempting to reverse angle-park on Mainland (and failing miserably). There’s a good reason Yaletown Brewing has been around as long as it has—good beer, good food and a great location. And if the patio is full, there’s always The Distillery Bar + Kitchen next door.
Literally any Tap & Barrel
Tap & Barrel does two things, and they do them really, really well: B.C. craft beer and bonkers gorgeous patios. Take your pick of T&B’s three Vancouver locations: Olympic Village, Vancouver Convention Centre or Shipyards in Lower Lonsdale. Yes, technically it’s not a craft brewery (for now), but you’re guaranteed to get an obscene amount of local craft beer options, and absolutely stunning views of this jaw-droppingly gorgeous city of ours.