Vancouver Brewery Tours Inc. - Vancouver Brewery Tours Owner Ryan Mackey

VBT Owner Ryan Featured in the Georgia Straight

Industry expert: Brewery tour master Ryan Mackey picks his favourite beer-related haunts in Vancouver

by Amanda Siebert

The following interview was featured in the Georgia Straight’s Best of Vancouver 2016 edition on September 22nd, 2016. To read the entire article, check out the Georgia Straight article here:

Vancouver Brewery Tours Inc. - Vancouver Brewery Tours Owner Ryan MackeyWith no end in sight to Vancouver’s obsession with craft beer, Ryan Mackey is glad he hopped on the wagon early. Growing up brewing in his basement with his dad, Mackey developed an insatiable passion for craft beer at a young (but legal) age. Now the owner of a company that shares the best of the city’s local breweries with thousands of thirsty clients on an annual basis, Mackey’s love for beer is unwavering.

Opening Vancouver Brewery Tours in June 2013, his venture into the world of craft beer began out of admiration for local breweries and the people who work in them. Organizing three-hour tours of some of the city’s most brewery-dense neighbourhoods, Mackey has led locals and out-of-towners alike through tasting adventures, introducing them to styles and brews that are inherently West Coast.

With a fleet of three vans and a staff of seven guides, his company offers multi-brewery visits seven days of the week and often hosts special events that are specific to styles, for those who might want to delve deeper into sours or IPAs. (This year, the company even hosted a Big Lebowski–themed bowling tour. There were no White Russians, but we’re sure the Dude would have approved.)

With his next-level knowledge of the local industry, Mackey was happy to share his picks for the best of Vancouver’s craft beer scene.

Best brewery for beer selection

Brassneck Brewery
2148 Main Street

“This is a tough question, as there are so many great breweries to choose from. It’s hard to beat Brassneck for the quality and ever-changing beer selection. I always look forward to the understated Mr. Personality Amber Ale when it’s released and usually pick up a growler fill of the always available Passive Aggressive Dry Hopped Pale Ale. They nail it every time.”

Bar with the best selection of beer on tap

The Alibi Room
157 Alexander Street

The Storm Crow Alehouse
1619 West Broadway

“I’m a big believer in drinking locally, so I look for somewhere that focuses primarily on beers from Vancouver and B.C. For that reason, I love the Alibi Room, because of the selection and rare local releases—and with the option of ordering beer flights, you can try many at once. I also really enjoy the new Storm Crow Alehouse on Broadway. They have a solid local selection and I feel right at home with the sci-fi/nerd bar theme they’ve created.”

Best beer-related event in the city

“I’ve missed it two years in a row, but I really want to check out Farmhouse Fest at UBC. A few friends have said it’s the most unique festival of the year, as it focuses on some of my favourite styles, like wild ales and sour beers. Other than that, the main festival for Vancouver Craft Beer Week in June is super fun, and the PNE is perfect for a festival: lots of shade and places to hang.”

Best out-of-the-box beer released by a local brewery

“That would have to be Glacial Mammoth Extinction by James Walton at Storm Brewing—$1,000 a bottle, 25 percent ABV, and adorned with a 35,000-year-old piece of mammoth tusk—say what?!”

Best easy-drinking beer from a local brewery

“Some of my go-to beers this summer were the Guardian White IPA from Strange Fellows and the La Maison Wild Saison from Four Winds.”

Best liquor store

Legacy Liquor Store
1633 Manitoba Street

Brewery Creek Cold Beer & Wine Store
3045 Main Street

“I love the great selection for craft beer at Legacy Liquor and Brewery Creek.”

Best park to illegally enjoy a beer in

“Your sippy-cup game has to be strong, but I love a beer at Kits beach on a warm, sunny evening.”

Best tasting room for feel/decor

Strange Fellows Brewing Company
1345 Clark Drive

Strathcona Beer Company
895 East Hastings Street

Faculty Brewing Co.
1830 Ontario Street

“Really, any tasting room designed by the folks at Simcic & Uhrich Architects. They’ve done the tasting rooms for Brassneck, Strange Fellows, Strathcona, Faculty, and more.”

Best thing you’ve heard someone say after a couple too many pints

“ ‘Are you running another tour after this? Because if so, let’s do it again!’ I may have heard that a few times over the years.”

Best patio for crushing a pint

Tap & Barrel
1 Athletes Way

Darby’s Public House
2001 Macdonald Street

“Tap & Barrel in Olympic Village has a killer patio and a great view of the water. I also like Darby’s in Kits for the beer list, and because it’s stumbling distance from the beach, which makes for a great day.”

Best bottled beer in the city

“I tip my hat to the team at Strathcona for making craft beer available in 40-ounce bottles; they even serve them in a paper bag!”

Best thing to do in the city after a couple of beers

“Find another tasting room and drink another couple of beers.”

Best growler design

“I’m probably biased, but the folks at Sigil and Growler made a custom “Dude Abides” growler for our Big Lebowski Bowling Tour this year, and it was a hit!”

Vancouver Brewery Tours Inc - Faculty Brewing outside the brewery

Our Newest Partner – Faculty Brewing!

Vancouver Brewery Tours Inc - Faculty Brewing StaffThe Vancouver craft beer community continues to grow in 2016 and Vancouver Brewery Tours is pleased to announce we’re partnering with the city’s newest brewery, Faculty Brewing for tours. Located in the Brewery Creek district near Olympic Village, Faculty is owned by Mauricio and Alicia Lozano, a husband and wife team who aims to make craft beer accessible to the masses.

The name Faculty comes from Mauricio’s experience as a professor, and his desire to create a space for education and collaboration with the beer community. Mauricio is also their head brewer, and has numbered all beers like university courses with the lower numbers being the most easy drinking beers and higher number representing more complex and flavourful beers.

Faculty Brewing is also Vancouver’s first open source brewery meaning they make their recipes available to the public for input by the brewing community in Vancouver. Have a suggestion about one of their beers? Send them a note!

We’re looking forward to introducing our guests to Faculty and think you’re going to love their beers, and the super friendly and welcoming environment they’re created. Faculty is available by request for private brewery tours at this time.


The Vancouver Brewery Tours team

Vancouver Brewery Tours Inc. - Darby's Gastown

New Restaurant Partner – Darby’s Gastown

We are excited to share that we are now partnering with Darby’s Gastown. Darby’s is known for it’s Kitsilano location as being one of the top craft beer destinations in Vancouver. Looking for a great spot to finish off your tour with some great bites and craft beer?

Our guests enjoy a 10% discount on food post tour. Let us know when you’re setting up your Private Tour that you’d like to make a reservation and we’ll set you up.

Check out this article that Operations Coordinator wrote about Darby’s Gastown a few month months back for What’s Brewing BC. Our team also enjoyed a night out there recently and the tap list was fantastic!

Vancouver Brewery Tours Inc. - The VBT Team at Darby's Gastown


















Vancouver Brewery Tours Inc. - The BC Ale Trail

The BC Ale Trail

Vancouver Brewery Tours Inc. - The BC Ale TrailArrive Thirsty, Leave Inspired

The BC Ale Trail is the definitive guide to British Columbia’s diverse and dynamic craft beer community. Follow curated Ale Trails to explore breweries and local attractions, enjoying BC’s super, natural wilderness, activities and urban experiences.

Launching in October, the BC Ale Trail will showcase the Sunshine Coast, Victoria, Whistler, Nanaimo, Comox Valley, Port Moody and the entire Kootenay Rockies region, offering craft beer lovers a detailed guide to BC’s bounty of world-class ale.

Watch their launch video.

Visit to sign up for updates and contests.

Questions? Contact For media enquiries about BC Ale Trail, please email