Enjoying a picnic outside is one of the great pleasures of warmer weather—even more so if you’re able to include a craft beer or two in the picnic basket. 

People who have travelled in Europe may have had the experience of enjoying wine or beer as part of a picnic in a public space like a park or city square. Here in British Columbia, however, this is typically only permitted at campsites.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, though, some municipalities have decided to allow for the consumption of alcohol in certain public places. Plus, as of March 2021, the government is also allowing us to meet up with a “top 10” group of friends and family in outdoor spaces like parks, beaches, and backyards. Yay! Just be sure to stay within your regional zone.

If you don’t live in a municipality that allows public consumption of alcohol, you can still visit your local craft breweries that have awesome outdoor spaces or patios (indoor-dining is currently banned), and 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. 

But, please note: The new 10-person rule does not apply to brewery patios or outdoor spaces. The household only rule (or core bubble if you live alone) still applies there. So, if you decide to enjoy bevvies and bites at a brewery (inside or out), please don’t arrive with anyone outside of your household or core bubble.  Due to travel restrictions in B.C. effective April 23, 2021, people are not allowed to travel outside of their regional zone until May 25, 2021.

Celebrating the return of warmer weather, here are several excellent picnic options on the BC Ale Trail.

Enjoying beer on the beach in Penticton - BC Ale Trail
Enjoying beer on the beach in Penticton, BC (credit: Chris Stenberg)

Penticton Beach

The beaches and waterfront parks along the Okanagan Lake waterfront are some of the great pleasures of Penticton life so when Penticton City Council voted to allow alcohol consumption there, many locals and potential visitors rejoiced. The beach is within walking distance of a few of the city’s breweries, including Bad Tattoo Brewing, Cannery Brewing and Slackwater Brewing. Recently, Penticton also expanded this to include Skaha Lake Beach. 

For more information, check out the Penticton Ale Trail.

Patina Brewing on the BC Ale Trail
Patina Brewing is one of Port Coquitlam’s breweries.

Port Coquitlam

Last month, the City of Port Coquitlam officially announced that it will allow alcohol consumption in seven of its parks. This decision comes after what the city said was a successful pilot project last summer and “strong approval” in public feedback.

The seven parks to allow alcohol consumption are Castle, Settlers, Gates, Lions, Aggie, Evergreen, and Cedar Drive.

Breweries in Port Coquitlam include Patina Brewing, Taylight Brewing, Tinhouse Brewing, and Northpaw Brewing. There are also several great options in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.

Shipbuilders Square in North Vancouver
Shipbuilders Square is one of the alcohol-approved zones in North Vancouver, BC

North Vancouver

The City of North Vancouver passed a bylaw allowing alcohol consumption at specific public locations as part of their commitment to make life in the City during COVID-19 a little easier. The locations include several parks, the civic plaza, Cates Deck by Lonsdale Quay, home to Green Leaf Brewing, and Shipbuilders Square in the Shipyards district close to where several new breweries have recently opened: Streetcar Brewing, North Point Brewing, House of Funk Brewing, and Beere Brewing.
For more information, check out the Vancouver’s North Shore Ale Trail.

Whistle Buoy Brewing on the BC Ale Trail
WhistleBuoy Brewing’s expanded patio in historic Market Square in Victoria BC

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).

Please only enjoy this picnic spot with your household (or core bubble if you live alone).

Whistle Buoy Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.

Parkside Brewery
Enjoying the patio at Parkside Brewery in Port Moody, BC. (Credit JJosuePhotography)

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. Brewer Row includes: The Bakery Brewing, Moody Ales, Parkside Brewery, Twin Sails Brewing, and Yellow Dog Brewing.

Please only enjoy this picnic spot with your household (or core bubble if you live alone).

For more information, check out the Port Moody Ale Trail.

Fraser Valley 

Old Yale Brewing
Old Yale Brewing in Chilliwack. BC

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. 

Please only enjoy this picnic spot with your household (or core bubble if you live alone).

Camp Beer Co. on the BC Ale Trail.
Camp Beer Co. in Langley, BC.

Most of Langley’s breweries have outdoor spaces, including two of its newest operations, Five Roads Brewing and Camp Beer Co., which has the picnic vibe down perfectly on its patio.

Please only enjoy this picnic spot with your household (or core bubble if you live alone).

For more information, visit the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.

Picnic at Persephone Brewing on the BC Ale Trail
Picnic perfection at Persephone Brewing in Gibsons, BC

Persephone Brewing

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.

Please only enjoy this picnic spot with your household (or core bubble if you live alone).

For more information, visit the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail.

Mt. Begbie Brewing on the BC Ale Trail.
Mt. Begbie Brewing in Revelstoke, BC


Other Possibilities

Throughout British Columbia, many craft breweries have been allowed to expand their patio spaces or open new patios so that customers can stay outside. 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 picnic with your household!


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.

The BC Ale Trail mobile app enables you to find breweries near you and earn rewards for enjoying their beer! (Credit JJosuePhotography)

Support Local, Stay Local:

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions: Like you, we’re passionate about exploring BC on the #BCAleTrail. But now is the time to stay local and support local businesses with just your immediate household or core bubble.⁠ Due to travel restrictions in B.C. effective April 23, 2021, people are not allowed to travel outside of their regional zone until May 25, 2021. To learn more about British Columbia’s travel restrictions, essential travel inclusions, and identify which health area you currently reside in visit www.gov.bc.ca/covidtravel.

BC’s breweries are strictly adhering to recommended COVID-19 safety protocols to keep both guests and staff safe. They are ready to welcome you for on-site tasting or pick up your favourites to go.

For now, please remember to stick close to home and be a Considerate Craft Beer Consumer. Let us each do our part now, so we can explore BC again, soon. We’re all in this together.

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