Expedia, the global travel website based in Bellevue, WA, just a little south of the Canadian border, recently named Vancouver, BC, as the Best Beer Town in Canada in a post on its Expedia.ca blog written by Carolyn Albee. Three other BC communities also made the list: Penticton (which placed 2nd), Abbotsford (which placed 6th), and Nelson (which ranked 11th overall). Last year’s list, which was not ranked, also featured Penticton, along with Revelstoke and Victoria.
“It’s hard to dispute that Vancouver is the craft beer capital of Canada.”
This statement begins Albee’s explanation for why it was selected in the top position. She goes on to highlight award-winning breweries such as 33 Acres Brewing, Brassneck Brewing, and Faculty Brewing in the Mount Pleasant/Brewery Creek neighbourhood, as well as Parallel 49 Brewing, Bomber Brewing and Luppolo Brewing in so-called “Yeast Van.”
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg considering there are 30 breweries in Vancouver and another 30 or so in the immediate outskirts. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the Vancouver Ale Trail. You can also listen to several podcasts featuring Vancouver breweries.
In picking number two on the list, Albee cites, “When it comes to small towns with big beer scenes, Penticton still dominates.” We heartily agree. With its mix of older, established microbreweries and younger innovators, this beer town in the middle of wine country is definitely a destination for any craft beer lover. Check out the Penticton Ale Trail to plan your next adventure there.
Abbotsford might just be the surprise pick on this list given that it’s craft beer community is extremely young, dating back only a few years. Located on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail, Abbotsford is the urban centre of this agricultural zone, and home to some very innovative and exciting breweries, including Field House Brewing, Old Abbey Ales and Ravens Brewing. Whether it’s Ravens’ Corvus Lingonberry Sour, which won the top award for Contemporary Gose at the 2018 World Beer Cup, or any number of unique and delicious beers at Field House and Old Abbey, you really can’t go wrong in Abbotsford.
Coming in at 11th is Nelson, home to a trio of great craft breweries, including one of BC’s earliest pioneers, Nelson Brewing, which opened in 1991 and is still going strong today, as well as some newer innovators, Torchlight Brewing, Backroads Brewing, and the Savoy Brewpub. Nelson can be found on the Kootenay Rockies West Ale Trail.