Let’s face it, beer just tastes better outside. When the sun is shining down, few things in life are better than a frosty, refreshing pint in your hand. The police are generally pretty cool about turning a blind eye if you’re tipping growlers at the park and not causing a fuss, or if you have a paper bag covering up the evidence (unless you’re at “Beer Island,” apparently). But you’re a grown-up, so maybe you’d prefer somewhere legit to get lit. Besides, the service is terrible at Dude Chilling Park.
Here are our picks for the best places in Vancouver to partake in delicious craft beer, al fresco.
BierCraft Tap and Tapas
1191 Commercial Dr.
If drinking in the park is not your cup of beer, what about drinking next to the park? BierCraft’s narrow patio offers a prime place to people-watch opposite the always entertaining Grandview Park on Commercial Drive. The big draw is BierCraft’s extensive Belgian beer list, and the 64 (!!!) draft beer taps, 40 of which feature local craft beer. It’s easy to lose an entire day to this patio, but it’s time well spent.
Craft Beer Market
85 W. 1st Ave.
There are so many beers on tap at Craft Beer Market that, if you were to have a different pint every day, it would take you almost five months to try every single one. That’s more than 140 draft beers for those keeping track at home. In addition to the best tap list in the city, the patio is pretty sweet, too. Housed in the historic Vancouver Salt Co. warehouse, Craft’s patio opens on to Olympic Village Square, with views of False Creek, Downtown and the North Shore mountains. If you’re looking for a few road pops for the walk home, you’re in luck, because Legacy Liquor Store is right next door, and it might have Vancouver’s best craft beer selection.
Dockside Brewing Company
1253 Johnston St.
No “Best Patio” list would be complete without Dockside. The beer may take a bit of a back seat to the food at this popular Granville Island brewpub, but the patio can’t be denied. The expansive outdoor space has comfy couches for lounging, an outdoor fireplace, and million-dollar views of False Creek and Downtown Vancouver.
Parallel 49 Brewing
1950 Triumph St.
Thankfully, the renovations to P49’s tasting room were completed just in time to take advantage of summer. Gone is the familiar featureless white cell that looked more like a tire showroom than a brewery. In its place is a thoroughly modern tasting room with long metallic communal tables extending out onto the sidewalk patio, allowing punters to soak up some much-needed Vitamin D with their pints. Granted, there isn’t much of a view, but still, what an improvement. One of the most eye-catching aspects of the redesign is the brightly graffitied food truck that sitsinside the tasting room.
The best part? There are 20 draft taps now, all of them (well, most of them) pouring P49 beers. In fact, in order to make enough beer to feed those taps, P49 has installed a separate 10hL brewhouse just for small-batch brews. I imagine they’re brewing 24/7 to keep up.
Red Truck Beer Co.
295 E. 1st Ave.
Tucked away in an industrial area at the foot of Mount Pleasant, Red Truck Beer Co. is an oasis among the bodyshops and grey concrete boxes that surround it. Red Truck’s Truck Stop features a tasting room, restaurant and expansive patio, all of which are open to elements on sunny days. Clearly no expense has been spared here, as is evidenced by the massive branded water tower rising above the brewery or the eponymous red truck that is suspended from the ceiling inside, indeed few craft breweries look this sharp. In addition to Red Truck’s staple brews, you’ll also find one-offs like the Ginger Lemongrass Saison or the Ryzenshein Kettle Sour Gose.
Be sure to check out their weekly live music and their outdoor concert series this summer; Lee Fields and The Expressions and Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer headline Aug. 12.
203 Carrall St.
Six Acres’ patio might be small in size, but score a table and you’re set for the day with front row seats to the non-stop parade of humanity that is Gassy Jack Square. It was also one of the first establishments in this city to support the local craft beer scene, so major props there. The beer list is extensive and varied, with nine local craft taps and dozens of American and European imports, so you’ll have no difficulty finding something you haven’t tried before. The food, whisky and wine offerings are similarly impressive.
Tap and Barrel Convention Centre
1055 Canada Pl.
Sure, it’s a little touristy, but what a view! You have the Olympic Plaza, Coal Harbour, the North Shore mountains, and if that’s not enough, there are 36 taps of local craft beer. If you’re taking a seaplane or riding on the new V2V ferry, it’s worth arriving a little bit early and spending some time soaking in the views and soaking up the sun.