Tiering the Breweries of Vancouver and Sea to Sky

I am going to get shit on for this…

But that’s OK, I write to start conversations and lists and rankings start conversations. So here we go.

A little about the rankings… This is about QUALITY of beer… nothing more nothing less. A bad beer diminishes overall quality in my eyes. That said this is my Monolithic view of the quality of beer coming from a brewery… no math.

Breweries within tiers are equal in my eyes.

Not all Breweries are listed, but rest assured I would never say no to a brewery that is listed, as for the others…

These are my personal opinions, they won’t match yours, feel free to be angry anyways

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.43.56 PM

Tier 4 (Solid Lagers & Ales)

Doan’s Craft Brewing

The Beer Farmers

Strathcona Brewing

Coast Mountain Brewing

Howe Sound Brewing

Trading Post Brewing

Central City Brewing

Ravens Brewing

Storm Brewing

R and B Brewing

Hearthstone Brewing

Coal Harbour Brewing


Main Street Brewing

33 Acres Brewing

Britannia Brewing

Bomber Brewing

Bridge Brewing

Callister Brewing

Tier 3 (Breweries who I can count on to crush it often)

Parallel 49

The Parkside Brewing

Steamworks Brewing

Taylight Brewing

Northpaw Brewing

Field house Brewing

Silver Valley Brewing

Demi-God Tier (breweries I’ll always make a point of visiting)


Beere Brewing

Strange Fellows

Steel and Oak

Brassneck Brewing

Yellow Dog Brewing

Luppolo Brewing

God Tier (Breweries I get stoked to go to)

Twin Sails Brewing

Boombox Brewing


Backcountry Brewing

Temporal Brewing

Four Winds




Brew Street Craft – Kitchen First Impressions

A new craft beer bar has entered the arena and its fighting out of the ‘burbs, with a claimed tap list of 50 beers!

First Impressions

SO GOOD… Wow thats a lot of beers! Its a nice selection of local Vancouver Beers to boot with very few macro offerings. Highlights include BC beer awards best in show Yellow Dog “Shake a Paw Smoked Porter”, Four Winds Wildflower Saison, and Canadian Beer awards Beer of the year Old Yale Sasquatch Stout.

Not so good… NOT 50 BEERS! by my count there are 45 of which some are ciders, and no prices or serving sizes. Most importantly there are very few hard to get beers here. Nothing jumps out at me here, are any of these seasonals? With 50 taps it would be nice to see belgians, doubles, triples, quads, imperials, barrel aged… anything that i couldn’t normally get at the liquor store or my other local.

In any case lets give them time, this is only the opening weekend and i’m sure much will change in the coming weeks.

What Craft Beer Bars Should Be Like-According to Me

Whereas Craft Beer Bars have been a thing for years in the city, they have only recently started to take hold in the suburbs where I live. More often than not suburban dives have simply added another 5-10 taps with craft and claimed to be part of craftom. Thats fine with me, but what is also starting to happen is full on redesigns closing for months and starting from anew. Well if you are going to do that i have some basic demands!

Demand 1

You Must Have Local Craft before any Other Craft.

Craft beer bars in the city can get away with this because there are 5 different breweries within cycling distance, but out in the ‘burbs you have one maybe 2, tops 3, and god dammit if you don’t have at minimum at least 1 staple beer from that (or those) brewery(ies), and 1 seasonal you will be dropping the ball, and I won’t be dropping any as much money.

Note: after chatting briefly with mike of mikes craft beer I want to make it clear I also want to see out of region stuff from my local suburban craft pub, But priority one is a local option… then priority two is getting the good out of town stuff/

Demand 2

You Must Have Reasonably Priced Decent Food.

Look the star here is the beer, not some korean-kosher fusion. Make simple food well and I’ll be happy! Poutine, Burgers, steak, some traditional british food like gammon steak would be good too. But here’s the kicker… PRICE IT REASONABLY! I come to spend money on beer, and ill continue to sit and buy beer longer if you have reasonably priced food. If you decide to get elitist and add truffle to that poutine and make it 20 dollars I’m going to stop buying and go home… Fact.

Note: a great example here is the alibi room menu, short, to the point, well produced and well priced.

Demand 3

Have an up-to-date Beer Menu and Post it Online.

Heres a thing that happens all too often these days, wine lists online… no beer list. If you consider yourself a purveyor of craft beer tell me what you have.

Demand 4


I don’t go to bars to drink from cans or bottles… I can do that anywhere anytime. I go to bars for draught, because I like to pretend its special, it isn’t really but i like to pretend. So if I’m spending 7 bucks a beer it sure as shit must come from a pipe.

Demand 5

All Taps Must Rotate

If you want regular customers (you do) you need to keep me interested. To keep me interested you need to change your beer’s regularly, sure keep steady accounts with breweries but change the beer, cause i can only enjoy a good brown ale so many time before my tongue begins to wander.

Abide by these simple demands and i will patronize your establishment, deal? DEAL!