Craft beer, romantic? You better believe it! Hop up your date night in cask style on the BC Ale Trail with these ideas for you and your sweetie!

Taking the brewery tour at Townsite Brewing in Powell River

When my partner started homebrewing a few years ago, little did I know that his new hobby would become one of our favourite ways to go out and about for a date.  Yes, craft beer can be romantic. Our “research” of visiting craft breweries along the Ale Trail has led us to find new places to spend time together at home and when we travel. Whether it’s a first date, regular date night, or a day or night out with friends, craft beer has become a part of BC’s social DNA. Let’s explore some BC Ale Trail themed date night suggestions. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, after all!

Tasting Rooms

The BC Ale Trail’s brewery tasting rooms range from cozy to spacious, all with a unique vibe. They’re an awesome casual option for a first date or as a regular date night option with your honey. Boardgames and tasty snacks like fresh pretzels and charcuterie can be enjoyed while sitting at the bar or at a cozy corner table. And if date night happens to include your little ones, most tasting rooms are kid-friendly — and some even have a designated area for dogs!

33 Acres Brewing

Some excellent tasting rooms along the Ale Trail include:

Brewpubs

Brewhall in Vancouver’s Olympic Village is serving up healthy eats to go with a pint and a flight

Spinnaker’s in Victoria, was the first brewpub in Canada, and Canoe, Steamworks, Trading Post, Cumberland, and Brewhall (just to name a few!) have followed suit in offering unique venues and excellent menus to pair with their craft offerings. Music bingo, quiz nights, and live music are usually on their calendars and are a hoot to attend. The bonus with brewpubs is that you can usually make a reservation — always good if you want to impress. (P.S. You want to impress.)

Pair your craft beer joy with your love’s enjoyment of wine at Postmark Brewing

If one of you is more into wine than beer (it’s okay, no judgment!), most brewpubs and taphouses have some vino on their menu. And in that vein, Postmark Brewing rounds out the trifecta hybrid that includes Vancouver Urban Winery and Belgard Kitchen. Located in the stunning Settlement Building in Vancouver’s Railtown district, they serve up excellent food, beer, and wine — perfect for a date night!

Brewery Tours

For some (this writer, and especially my guy, included), touring the facilities of a brewery is part of the fun of going to a new tasting room. Some offer scheduled tours and tastings, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to try something that is still brewing. Townsite Brewing, Central City Brewers & Distillers, and many others offer incredible tours of their facilities.

The close proximity of breweries in areas such as Vancouver’s ‘Yeast Van’, Port Moody’s Brewers’ Row, or Victoria’s industrial neighbourhoods allow for touring a few brewery tasting rooms in an afternoon.  Check out a paid tour, or take a self-guided walking or cycling tour with our BC Ale Trail guides or app!

Homebrewing

Homebrewing has become all the rage, and if you’re looking for a date night IN, making your own version of your favourite brewery’s IPA is also a penny-saver in the long-run. Not super romantic, but you can make it so by brewing up your sweetie’s favourite beer for him or her. (I say this from personal experience as a recipient.) Bottling your own beer together can also make an excellent party favour for that special day or a milestone birthday.

Festivals & Events

Festivals are a great date or group outing option. Photo Credit: BREWSKI

With craft beer festivals and events happening year-round in BC, there is no shortage of hoppy activity. Weekend-or-week-long,  there’s always something for everyone and the events and workshops offered (like this ‘Beer School’ event coming up at Victoria Beer Week) at the festivals make for a perfect date day or night. Upcoming events on BC’s craft beer calendar are: Brewski Craft Beer, Spirits and Cider Festival (February 9 – Kelowna), Hopwired Festival (February 23 – Vancouver), and Victoria Beer Week (March 1-9 – Victoria). More events on the Ale Trail calendar can be found here.

Staycation or Weekend Away

Swans Hotel and Brewpub Photo Credit: Swans

Turn date night or day into a date weekend. Two breweries in BC’s capital offer the rather convenient and fantastic experience of providing you excellent service as both your craft brewpub and accommodations.  Swans Brewery and Hotel is located in Victoria’s trendy Chinatown, and Spinnakers offers up a cozy bed and breakfast experience on the harbour.  (Which includes beer-infused chocolate truffles waiting for you in your room. Yes, please!)

Date night ideas on the BC Ale Trail.
Enjoy beer-infused truffles at Spinnakers. Photo Credit: Spinnakers

Up the Sea to Sky Highway in Squamish, Howe Sound Brewing offers a series of Beer Pairing Dinners. Enjoy a unique four-course dining experience paired with four of their own beers. Combine that with an overnight stay in their cozy Inn and that’s you’re weekend plans sorter. The next dinner is scheduled for February 22.

Howe Sound Brewing – Hotel, Brewpub, Restaurant. Photo credit: The Province

 

 

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