New Experiences are Brewing Nearby…
As Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan begins, more of the parks and places we know and love are continuing to reopen.
There are a handful of changes coming into effect in cities around the province including expanding patio licensing, allowing public consumption of alcohol in some designated areas, and redesigning pedestrian spaces to allow for physical distancing measures. Government officials have been flexible in certain areas to help businesses adapt and expand in ways that still ensure public health and safety. Many craft breweries have been able to take advantage of these changes, allowing them to brew new experiences (alongside an incredible list of 60+ summer beers), using their outdoor space and surroundings.
Expanded patios, coming to a brewery near you!
Expanded patio licensing has come into effect around the province as the BC government allows restaurants, cafes, and breweries to extend their outdoor space. The change comes in an effort to ensure people can maintain physical distancing, while still enjoying patio season and simultaneously helping small local businesses recover.
A simplified online process will allow licensed businesses to apply for expansion of their service area to meet safety measures and updated public health directives. Local municipalities are moving in tandem with the province’s direction to expedite the approval process for new patio spaces. The possibility to apply for patios will remain active until October 31st, 2020 so that gives breweries some time to work with.
In addition to temporary patio expansions, Vancouver is also extending patio hours for restaurants that already have existing sidewalk patios. Eligible businesses can serve customers on their patio until 1am with this change.
Here’s where to find a sunny patio for a craft beer break while exploring BC and the BC Ale Trail this summer.
The Vancouver Ale Trail has lots of patios to choose from this summer, though the competition for finding seats might be fierce.
33 Acres Brewing and their 33 Brewing Experiment next door is ready for patio season with their sidewalk setup that allows small groups to catch some summer rays while sipping on some fine craft beer. Find them open Mondays through Wednesdays from 2pm to 8pm, Thursdays through Saturdays from 12pm to 9pm, and Sundays from 12pm to 6pm.
Andina Brewing has transformed its production area into an indoor Tiki Bar features lots of room for physical distancing.
R&B Brewing has their setup ready for outdoor sits and sips! Find fresh ale, snacks, and patio rays at this East Vancouver establishment.
In the neighbourhood, Red Truck Beer Company is expanding its outdoor seating options with a newly built lower patio. Once it’s done, they’ll have an upper and lower area outside, with more space inside their diner.
Parallel 49‘s got a new street-side patio extension ready for action too. Container Brewing has also been approved for an expanded service area. Electric Bicycle has approval for two new patios to add to their space and Main Street Brewery is working on their approved outdoor expansion. Callister Brewing recently got provincial approval for their street patio too and is now in the process of getting their City permit. Expect their patio to open in the next couple of weeks!
Vancouver’s North Shore
House of Funk Brewing has extended their patio space with 24 seats on the temporary street patio and another nine seats in front of the taproom. The taproom is open seven days a week and their espresso bar is also open daily from 11am to 5pm. The funky team recently launched their food program, available on Fridays through Sundays from 12pm to 8pm.
Wildeye Brewing has their outdoor space open on Sundays (12pm to 10pm), Mondays through Thursdays (2pm to 10pm), and Fridays and Saturdays (12pm to 12am). Stop by to try their famous nachos and their new Hefeweizen on the patio!
Bridge Brewing Company has patios open at both of their locations, ready to welcome customers for dining and drinks starting at 11am daily. While the brewery location is still in the midst of getting an extension to that patio, Lonsdale BridgeDeck has recently set up their approved extended outside space.
Come for a visit and, while you’re at it, visit the rest of this ever-growing ale trail!
The fine folks over at A-FRAME Brewing are enjoying patio pints again too. Featuring gorgeous mountain views, picnic tables and two fire pits, groups of up to six people can come enjoy some food, flights, and more beery beverages at the brewery.
Howe Sound Brewing has its patio space (and spectacular view) ready for visitors too. The brewery is open for dine-in, takeout, and off-sales at 11am daily.
New Westminster, Delta, Surrey, and Richmond
Steel & Oak Brewing in New Westminster got their patio setup approved and opened recently as well. The S&O team is looking to set up an additional weekend patio behind the brewery so that craft beer lovers can enjoy the outside sunshine all summer long.
And in Delta, Four Winds Brewing has its patio set up and ready for picnicking, packaged beer consumption, and foodservice. Currently open from 11:30am to 7pm daily, the team is working on some changes to the indoor space to allow for physical distancing measures and is planning to extend their hours soon too.
The Steamworks William Street Brewery & Taproom in Burnaby recently opened their patio space. The patio is currently operating on a walk-in basis and allows people to “bring your own grub” (BYOG) to enjoy with their brews. Napkins can be provided, but plates and cutlery will need to be brought from home for more complex snackage. The space is also dog-friendly, as long as the pup’s on-leash and remains with their table. Visit the taproom and patio Mondays through Thursdays from 2pm to 9pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 2pm to 10pm, and Sundays from 12pm to 8pm.
Over in Port Moody, Moody Ales is ready to welcome beer lovers back to their tasting room and patio. A bit further on Murray St., lovingly known as Brewers Row, Parkside Brewery has their two patios ready to go! Find their extra spacious regular patio setup, as well as a new temporary side patio in their parking lot that features wine barrel tables for standing and outdoor beer hall tables for a sip and a sit.
Nearby in the Fraser Valley, Old Yale Brewing has also been approved for an extended patio which is a whopping 5,000 square feet! The “Front Porch” patio space is now in full swing, allowing for physically distanced summer beers. With mostly outside seating, Old Yale’s ready for rainy days too with four big tents providing some cover. The patio features the Old Yale Campfire Kitchen Food Truck that calls a vintage Airstream trailer home, the Old Yale Craft Camper Beer Trailer, and some good ol’ patio games for extra fun.
Field House has their outdoor only service all set up for customers, featuring some classic picnic vibes. Get a seat on the beer lawn on a walk-in basis or make a reservation for a spot on the covered patio. The Field House team has updated their operations so that all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the food and drinks — my kind of picnic.
In Langley, Five Roads Brewing has got an Adirondack chair waiting and a cool beer calling. Just a five-minute walk away from Five Roads is Trading Post Brewing. The team operating a few outdoor patio spaces for safe social distancing around Langley and Abbotsford this summer too. Find their dog-friendly tasting room in Langley with 15 seats fit for all seasons. Their Fort Langley Eatery features a covered all-season patio with 30 seats. Find their newest patio addition here too — an uncovered Parking Lot Patio that has 50 seats, is dog-friendly, and will be open on sunny days only. The Abbotsford Eatery features 30 covered patio seats and a seasonal uncovered patio of 20 seats that’s open on sunny days and will allow pup pals to join in on the fun.
Camp Beer Co. has their summertime beerground ready for campers. Find their patio setup in Langley for more fresh beer.
On the Kootenay Rockies West Ale Trail, patio season has arrived at Backroads Brewing Company too. Take in the weird and wonderful goings-on of downtown Nelson’s Baker Street from the patio or tasting room this summer. On the same ale trail, find Rossland Beer Co.’s recently extended patio space too.
The other side of the Purcell Mountains are home to the Kootenay Rockies East Ale Trail and the likes of Fernie Brewing’s reopened tasting room and storefront. Options for indoor or sunny patio pints are available, as is their online order and pickup service for packaged product and merchandise to go. The brewery and “FlyBy Service” is running seven days a week, starting at 11am.
Over Time Beer Works in Kimberley has their outdoor space up and running as well, adding a bocce pit and use of the special events area to the brewery this summer.
Whitetooth Brewing in Golden has had their patio open since early June with their “new normal” patio guidelines in place. These include physical distancing practices, credit and debit payments only, and asking customers to remain at their assigned tables throughout their visit, among other measures.
And Mt. Begbie Brewing in Revelstoke recently reopened their tasting room with an extended patio! Plan a picnic and visit the space on Thursdays through Sundays from 12pm to 8pm, get a new growler filled, or check out the retail and gift shop (also open during tasting room hours and from 10am to 5pm Mondays through Wednesdays).
Over in Kelowna, Tree Brewing Beer Institute has their temporary patio extension in hand and has very recently opened the outdoor space to guests. Enjoy some Okanagan sunshine with a cold beer in hand.
A few blocks away, BNA Brewing has finally been able to make use of their large tasting room expansion that was completed in November, welcoming visitors back to their 50 seats inside (operating at 50% capacity to ensure safe distancing space). They have an additional 30 seats on the dog-friendly patio that come with spent grain and peanut butter treats for the furry friends! Find 12 taps of freshly made beer and a Vietnamese fusion food truck, called BoxcAr Kitchen, inside this brewery.
Penticton’s Cannery Brewing has two outdoor patios to enjoy this summer too. Join them in their taproom and attached patio for a glass or flight of beer and peruse their rotating selection of local BC wine or cider, coffee, and other non-alcoholic beverages. Meat and cheese boards, nachos, and popcorn can be snacked on as an ideal complement to Cannery’s brews. Cannery’s also recently opened their brand new patio space called “The Backyard.” On the north side of the brewery, find a casual area to hang out in at a safe physical distance from other backyard-ers. Enjoy a different selection of food, including food trucks on the weekends, and keep an eye out for some fun games and live entertainment coming to this backyard soon!
On the Northern BC Ale Trail, Three Ranges Brewing has had their expanded patio approved and is now open to beer lovers. Picnic tables and other lawn furniture is set up to accommodate for plenty of physical distancing and the patio operates like a beer garden, with call-up service for in-house beers and take away products. Although food isn’t available on site, customers are welcome to bring their own food or grab a wood-fired pizza from the pizzeria across the street!
Westward in Terrace, Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse has reopened with sit-in service on their enlarged patio only. Find outside hand washing stations and a walk-up order window for fresh pints at a safe physical distance. Stay dry when those clouds roll in from off the Skeena River under Sherwood’s set-up tents.
In Victoria, Vancouver Island Brewing has opened their new patio space which can be enjoyed Tuesdays through Thursdays from 12pm to 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm to 8pm, and Sundays from 12pm to 5pm.
A little closer to downtown, find Phillips Brewing and Malting’s tasting room and patio, now featuring five picnic tables with room for six guests each. 10oz beers, tasting flights, spirits, and small snacks will be served. Customers are welcome to bring their own food or order delivery straight to the tasting room for more options. The new hours will be Mondays through Thursdays from 3pm to 8pm, Saturdays from 12pm to 10pm, and Sundays from 12pm to 8pm.
Nearby, Canoe Brewpub has their gorgeous outdoor space ready for a socially distant summer season. Take in their beers, bites, and lovely outdoor atmosphere on your next visit.
Lighthouse Brewing Co. has also got their patio open for socially distanced enjoyment of beer from their retail store and will be opening their growler bar back up on Tuesday, June 30th! Keep an eye out for updates to their tasting room service over the next months as exciting things are in the works!
Municipalities like Langford, Sidney, and Nanaimo (on the Vancouver Island Part I Ale Trail), have also approved or are in the process of approving more flexible rules around patios this year. As more breweries reopen with enhanced safety protocols for staff and customers, municipalities around the province are allowing them to take advantage of their surrounding outdoor area.
Heading north from Victoria, find Craig Street Brew Pub’s rooftop patio open for business in the heart of downtown Duncan every day from 11am to 10pm (unless the rain comes). Sunny and shady tables are available.
Longwood Brewery in Nanaimo has their tasting room and patio open on Thursdays and Fridays from 3pm to 6pm and on Saturdays from 12pm to 4pm. They have received approval to expand their patio, which is a 19+ physically distant outdoor space.
Parksville’s Mount Arrowsmith Brewing has their sunny patio ready to go too! Five picnic tables have been added across the parking lot as a temporary extension, along with the fully licensed patio that’s already attached to the brewery.
Further up-island in Courtenay (on the Vancouver Island Part II Ale Trail), a temporary patio area has been approved for Ace Brewing Company and is now open and ready to enjoy. And at the top of the “rock” in Campbell River, Beach Fire Brewing has approvals in hand for an outdoor patio area.
Over on the Sunshine Coast, Persephone Brewing Co. has their two large licensed picnic areas and patio spaces open. Featuring a fire pit, their recently reopened tasting room, and the Farmhand Food Truck, this beer farm has plenty of fresh air, beer, and food to enjoy with your “bubble.” They also go car free every Sunday in the summer to host the Gibsons Farmers Market. Serving as the gateway to the rest of the Sunshine Coast, find bike trails, beaches, and great craft beer here.
Nearby in the centre of Gibsons, Tapworks Brewing Co. has their patio beckoning too! Enjoy this permanent patio this summer and well into the fall.
Further up the coast in Powell River, Townsite Brewing has just received their approval for a patio at the front of their building, hot off the city council presses. Keep an eye out for the build of this patio paradise, coming soon!
Public drinking in parks and designated areas
Some cities are experimenting with being flexible on public drinking laws too. North Vancouver, for example, recently passed a bylaw to allow alcohol consumption in some parks and public spaces during specific hours.
Penticton did the same after a number of the city’s organizations, including its seven craft breweries, wrote letters of support to Penticton City Council. A one-month pilot project that allows alcohol consumption on parks and beaches along Okanagan Lake waterfront was approved and was originally in effect between June 3rd and July 4th. Penticton city council has just extended the project, allowing the changes to continue until October 15.
Port Coquitlam is currently considering a pilot project that would see public consumption of alcohol allowed until October 31 in a number of parks. The final reading and vote is expected to happen mid-July.
Vancouver city council very recently approved drinking in some public spaces, like plazas and at food establishments that don’t have a liquor license. However, the change won’t apply to parks or beaches.
Both Kelowna and Saanich have said “no” to this move for now. And RCMP in Penticton, as well as Interior Health, have expressed concerns about the effects of public alcohol consumption.
Redesigning pedestrian spaces
Another change coming to downtown Victoria will allow more businesses to apply for use of public space such as sidewalks, on-street parking spots, city parks and, in some cases, sections of a street. Restaurants, pubs, and cafes, among other businesses, will be able to make use of these for patio extensions during business hours. Businesses will also be able to host outdoor events like (beer) yoga or fitness classes in designated parks and other public spaces. Market Square, where Whistle Buoy is located, could see more activities held over the summer. The Drake Eatery recently extended onto Market Square with its beer garden set up, making the location a great place to taste your way through summer.
A block of Victoria’s Government St. will be closed to traffic (other than emergency and commercial delivery vehicles), making more space for pedestrians to walk at a safe distance and businesses to make use of. While not allowing alcohol consumption in public parks, Kelowna will be closing off sections of Bernard Ave. in a similar plan to create additional patio or outdoor retail space for its local businesses.
Getting ready for summer
As more of our province reopens and cities and towns across BC find creative ways to cooperate with small business owners, the recovery of our local economies is on its way. Many of these changes will help craft breweries increase the space they have to work with, especially if they are able to extend their patios or apply for new (even if only temporary) ones.
What this means for you, dear craft beer lover, is that your local brewery’s patio might be open for beverage bliss and some summer sunshine sooner rather than later. Connect on social media or give them a shout to double-check if they’ve got a patio open or opening, or if their tasting room is welcoming back craft beer aficionados already.
It also means that, at least in some parks and public spaces, enjoying that craft beer as you toss a Frisbee around or watch the kids play is no longer illegal. (Please do check with your local municipality to confirm what regulations are or aren’t in effect during the pandemic.)
Know Before You Go
For more information about travelling within British Columbia, including to our beautiful provincial parks, make sure to “know before you go.” Do some extra research and planning to book your next great ale-venture.
Please be respectful of others as you explore our beautiful province and only plan trips to communities (and breweries!) that are ready to welcome visitors back. Visit Indigenous BC to see which cultural connections and experiences are open this summer too! Get to know the peoples and history of the land as you explore.
For more information about COVID-19, please consult government resources.