So you think you know what it takes to enjoy a dreamy picnic? This spring, get out to explore BC and find your new favourite craft beer picnic spot. Thanks to a variety of lovely patios and parks where alcohol consumption is allowed, the picnic possibilities are plentiful!
Over the last couple years, some municipalities have rolled out rules allowing alcohol consumption in certain areas. This means you’re able to enjoy a delicious craft beer with your homemade snacks or favourite takeout as you soak up the sun in a beautiful park.
If you don’t live in a municipality that allows public consumption of alcohol, you can still visit local craft breweries that have picnic-esque outdoor spaces. Many either offer great food along with their beer or encourage folks to bring their own food. We’ve rounded up a few noteworthy spots in this post. So get creative!
Read on for picnic-perfect spots and take this as inspiration to discover something new this spring!
As of May last year, residents and visitors of New Westminster can enjoy an alcoholic beverage in certain designated areas of select parks. Scope out one of the parks below, pick up some craft beer, and bring along a picnic to enjoy with your pals!
- Pier Park: On the grass picnic field and the grass knoll beside it
- Moody Park: On the mixed-use grass fields north of the multi-use path (not on the paved areas or sports courts)
- Hume Park: Upper Hume Park south of the off-leash dog and forested areas
- Sapperton Park: Open field portion of the park facing East Columbia Street
- Port Royal Park: By the crescent field and the picnic shelters, north of the restrooms
- Grimston Park: At the open field and picnic area north of the wading pool
Discover craft breweries on the South of the Fraser Ale Trail.
Last year, the City of North Vancouver passed a bylaw allowing alcohol consumption at specific public locations. The locations include several parks, the civic plaza, and Cates Deck by Lonsdale Quay, home to Green Leaf Brewing. It also includes Shipbuilders Square in the Shipyards district which is close to several newer breweries: Streetcar Brewing, North Point Brewing, House of Funk Brewing, and Beere Brewing.
For more information, check out the Vancouver’s North Shore Ale Trail.
Celebrate Picnic-ton in Penticton
Okanagan Beach, Okanagan Lake is one of the greatest pleasures of Penticton life. So, in 2020, when Penticton City Council voted to allow alcohol consumption there, many locals and visitors rejoiced. The beach is within walking distance of a few of the city’s breweries, including Bad Tattoo Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Neighbourhood Brewing, Highway 97 Brewing, and Slackwater Brewing. Recently, Penticton also expanded this to include Skaha Lake Beach which is within walking distance of Tin Whistle Brewing and Barley Mill Brew Pub & Bistro.
Penticton is so into picnics, they’ve created a whole event to celebrate them. Picnic-ton is an initiative to celebrate picnic culture and support local restaurants, breweries, and wineries. This year’s Picnic-ton will feature pop-up events on city streets so people can gather, eat outdoors, and enjoy free entertainment. You’re encouraged to order a takeout meal or beer (or purchase food at the Penticton Farmers’ Market) and head down to Pop-up Picnic-ton.
For more information, check out the Penticton Ale Trail.
The City of Port Coquitlam allows alcohol consumption in seven of its parks. This decision comes after what the city said was a successful pilot project in the summer of 2020 and “strong approval” in public feedback.
The seven parks to allow alcohol consumption are:
- Castle Park
- Settlers Park
- Gates Park
- Lions Park
- Aggie Park
- Evergreen Park
- Cedar Drive Park
- Peace Park
- McLean Park
- Dominion Park
Victoria’s Historic Market Square
While public alcohol consumption is still not allowed in Victoria, historic Market Square’s inner courtyard area has become an ideal urban picnic-with-beer spot, thanks to resident brewery Whistle Buoy Brewing’s tented patio, which it was allowed to expand under COVID-19 provisions. You are allowed to bring your own food or order it from one of the nearby restaurants, including Green Cuisine, which has been serving up vegetarian fare there for as long as there have been vegetarians (or just about).
Whistle Buoy Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Port Moody’s Brewers Row
The five breweries on Brewers Row in Port Moody all have patio spaces and they all welcome patrons to bring food with them or order it from food trucks, which tend to park right in front of the breweries for obvious reasons. The breweries all face Rocky Point Park along the shore of the Burrard Inlet so you can plan a hike or kayaking adventure while enjoying your picnic meal and sipping a beer. Brewers Row includes: The Bakery Brewing, Moody Ales & Co., Parkside Brewery, Twin Sails Brewing, and Yellow Dog Brewing.
For more information, check out the Port Moody Ale Trail.
The Fraser Valley is agricultural heaven, and several of the breweries there have ideal outdoor spaces that are perfect for picnicking. It’s hard to beat Field House Brewing’s Beer Lawn out front of their Abbotsford brewery, and Old Yale Brewing in Chilliwack also has a big new Front Porch space along with its Campfire Kitchen in a converted Airstream Trailer. Most of Langley’s breweries also have gorgeous picnic spaces, including Locality Brewing, Five Roads Brewing and Camp Beer Co.
For more information, check out the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Farm-based Persephone Brewing has a fantastic space for picnicking, including wooden benches, tables, and grassy areas where you can spread a blanket. Bring your own food or enjoy something from the Farmhand Food Truck.
For more information, visit the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail.
Throughout British Columbia, many craft breweries have excellent patio spaces. So check with your local brewery about their food options or to see if they are okay with you bringing your own food. Presto: a patio craft beer picnic!
BC Ale Trail App
Don’t forget to download the free BC Ale Trail app before you go! Check-in at each brewery you visit to collect points and earn rewards (at participating locations). You’ll also find a selection of liquor stores, taphouses and visitor centres in the app.