Looking for a refreshing way to cool down? Beer is the answer! And here in Vancouver, we our home to several breweries to help. Today we were in Granville Island checking out one of the city’s more popular labels. It is a large grey stucco building flagged with their various brews: lagers, IPAs, and ales. We would soon try one of each.
Try not to trip on the sandwich board doling out “beer science”. It made sense to me.
Given the steady traffic and the bodies in the door way, we were surprised to be able to get a seat with no wait, but not surprised to have to rush through our time with it. Our server would be ending her shift and asked that we settle up prematurely. We did to accommodate, but only to be forced out sooner than we anticipated. The general feeling is that when you have paid you are done and should free the table for someone waiting. We were not impressed.
Their taproom was sandwiched between the brewery and their gift shop. It was set up like your standard bar. High tops, share tables, and a physical bar with all beverages on tap. Naturally they only serve Granville island brewery products.
It’s popularity has earned them tourist attraction status with regularly scheduled tours. The spotless glass wall that separated brewery from bar allowed those dining in to watch the day to day operations in beer making. Large metal vats, yards of tubing, and pipes snaking above. Their transparency forced them to be clean and up to code. Something I appreciate when considering what is to go inside of me. Today a tour group was being taken through their process from hop to beer. You could see the flash of their cameras bounce off the vanished metal. Their gift shop was located on the opposite end. In it they stocked their beer and other keepsakes. Trinkets to help you remember your time here, in true tourist attraction fashion. Being local we didn’t find the need to visit.
The drink menu was in the form of a tasting map, with the option to try it all as “tasters”. Four 5oz glasses for $7. We went for two rounds to try them all, adding on a couple of dollars to also get today’s special micro batch. The miniature pints were served on the placemat as a way to mark one from the other.
Here are all the beers on the menu in a glorious assembly. Tasters of everything on tap: Island Lager, Hey Day hefeweizen, English Bay pale ale, False Creek raspberry ale, small batch beer of the day, Two tides India session ale, Maple Shack cream ale, Swing Span amber ale, and their infamous IPA.
There wasn’t too much on the food menu. Light snacks and limited handhelds. Nuts, chicken wings, soup, and vegetables with dip to snack on. And if you are looking for something more filling choose between their poutine, the one salad option, their only sandwich, the one burger, or their only vegetarian option.
Salty snacks are best paired with beer so we went with the meat and cheese plate. The “Farmer’s plate” included Benton brothers tomme de savoie and aged goat Gouda with oyama rosette de Lyon and Okanagan red wine prosciutto. Served with green apple, artisan mustards, bacon shallot jam and assorted breads. It was a great companion to the beers. We would eat and drink all the above in an assorted fashion. Though we’re disappointed that, given the area they didn’t include more artisan breads. Something hand made from one of the many bakeries nearby. It is what the area is known for after all.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this for someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
The setting is unique, and the concept of doing your own taste test is always fun. Why commit to one when you can try them all? The food can be missed, but you are here to fill up on beer anyways. Don’t deny your cravings.