The craft beer and spirits 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.
Many of those establishments are clustered in the City of North Vancouver’s burgeoning Brewery District, a neighbourhood that now boasts seven breweries within easy walking distance of each other.
It’s not just beer that’s brewing here though. North Vancouver is now also home to five craft distilleries, one winery, and the province’s first-ever urban cidery. Check out the map below for locations of all of North Vancouver’s breweries, distilleries, winderies and cideries, and read on for a description of each establishment.
Beere Brewing Company – Opened in 2017 in the Brewery District by the Beere family (what a coincidence!), this brewery is known for its creative fruity sours like the Pinky Tuscadero Raspberry Lemonade Sour.
Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers – Another early adopter on the North Shore, Deep Cove does double duty as a brewery and distillery. Vodka, whiskey and gin are on the menu alongside a number of beers, as well as a tasty assortment of foods.
Green Leaf Brewing – Green Leaf is known for its patio situated in an absolutely prime location overlooking the plaza at Lonsdale Quay Market with the Vancouver skyline behind. It’s a great spot for people watching on a hot summer day.
House of Funk Brewing – Another early arrival to the Brewery District, House of Funk is known for its unique selection of bold and flavourful beers such as the Juno dry hopped sour with blood orange, guava and vanilla. They’ll also brew you up a pretty mean cup of coffee.
La Cerverceria Astilleros – This is a Mexican-themed joint in the Brewery District, featuring authentic tiles imported from Mexico. The Salted Lime Lager is their signature beer, a pretty nice choice for a day at the beach.
Lonsdale BridgeDeck – No actual beer is brewed here, but it’s a sister establishment to Bridge Brewing’s brewery. Unlike the brewery, which is tucked away in a bit of a light industrial neighbourhood, the BridgeDeck has a prime spot right on Lonsdale Avenue.
Shaketown Brewing – The newest addition to the North Shore craft beer scene, Shaketown in the Brewery District offers some interesting beers such as the Itty Bitty IPA that are high on flavour while being low on alcohol content.
Streetcar Brewing – There’s a cool back-alley vibe to Streetcar Brewing, tucked just off of Lonsdale Avenue on the edge of the Brewery District. Grab some fried chicken and donuts from nearby Cream Pony diner and have yourself a decadent little day out.
Wildeye Brewing – The location isn’t super sexy, particularly when bridge traffic grinds to a halt on Wildeye’s doorstep, but the brewery’s interior is really well done, as are the beers and food on offer.
Copperpenny Distilling – They want to do one thing at Copperpenny: brew up some world-class gin. They’re right in the middle of the Brewery District too, and their patio offers up cool cocktails with a nice little view of the water.
Sons of Vancouver Distillery – The folks at Sons of Vancouver have gained a reputation around the Lower Mainland for their high quality offerings, particularly their vodka and amaretto. They’ve also got a cosy little tasting room boasting some of the best cocktails you’ll ever taste.
Stealth Craft Distillers – Tucked way near Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing, Stealth is here to make high quality vodka at an affordable price.
The Woods Spirit Co. – The folks at Woods combine old-school distilling techniques with some modern technology to make some unique drinks with a very Italian flair, including amaro, limoncello and nocino.
Windfall Cider – Windfall, another new Brewery District establishment, is the first urban cidery in British Columbia. Try the sessionable Hail Mary, a rosé cider with notes of dry apple and berry, or Sweater Weather, which has a bit more body and alcohol content (8 per cent) from aging in Woodinville rye barrels.
Garden of Granite Winery – This urban “Garagiste” winery opened its doors in the Brewery District in 2020, offering wines made right here in North Vancouver. The winery, which offers tastings on site, is run by the same folks behind La Cerveceria Astilleros, a Mexican-style brewery in the same building.
—by Andy Prest, North Shore News