First Impressions, Part 4: Vancouver’s Beer

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Hello again, Vancouver.

In case you missed the last installment of this series, my name is Tom. I’m new in Town.

I just moved here from my hometown of Ottawa. It was a bit of leap of faith because I’d never been to BC before, but it’s all paid off. You see, I’ve already fallen in love with your city.

Vancouver has a lot going for it: Stanley Park, the SkyTrain, Science World, and more. But as I clumsily learn my way through its neighbourhoods—all unfamiliar to me—I’m learning that there is so much more to this city than the obvious. As a Vancouver newbie, I’m finding that even the city’s ordinary is excellent. Even the mundane is thrilling. Yes, Vancouver, with my fresh set of eyes, I’m here to remind you to appreciate the little things—the lovely little things—because your city is full of them.

Case in point? Your beer.

I should preface what follows by admitting that I’m no beer expert. I won’t ramble on about “hints” of this or that, or “whispers” of whatever in the aftertaste of a given beer. I’m no connoisseur. I am, however, a devoted beer drinker. I love the stuff. And when I say “stuff”, I don’t mean Budweiser and Coors Lite. Like most people, I will always opt for something local when the choice is available. And in Vancouver, that choice is always available— in droves.

Yes, Vancouver is home to a host of hoppy options, a deluge of delicious drinks. For the beer drinker, this is excellent news. Regardless of your tastes— whether you prefer stouts or blondes, IPAs or reds— in Vancouver, there is something for you. Each of the city’s breweries boasts a bevy of choices. Let’s take a quick tour.

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There’s Parallel 49. Their Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale was the first beer I drank after touching down in Vancouver. For those who have tasted this brew, perhaps it goes without saying, but I was tremendously impressed. After polishing off a few pints, I couldn’t have been happier at the success of my first foray into this city’s spectacular beer scene. And as I quickly learned, it was more than beginner’s luck.  Vancouver is overflowing with great beer.

There’s Granville Island Brewing. I haven’t had the chance to sample all of their choices yet (I’m a bit of a lightweight, and I do have writing work to do) but their Brockton IPA is delicious. Their False Creek Raspberry Ale, a seasonal selection, was also a toothsome treat.

Then there’s Steam Works. Based in Gastown, they truly have something for everyone. There’s their Imperial Red, a punchy option with 8.5% alcohol content and flavour to match. Their historic location is also home to a delicious pale ale, and an Oatmeal Stout that recently kept me warm on one of Vancouver’s famous rainy evenings. And these are just a few of the city’s staples. In Vancouver, you never have to look far for a good pint.

It would take a person years to sample everything Vancouver’s breweries have to offer. But that, Vancouverites, is a good thing. So drink up and be merry. There’s so much to celebrate in this coastal city. Not just beautiful weather and delicious restaurants, but all the little things that make your city so wonderfully unique. Every day, I’m overwhelmed by the small, but splendid details of this wonderful city. I may have just arrived, but I’m already thrilled to be able to call Vancouver home.

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