Vancouver-Brewery-Tours -Welcom-to-beer-topia

What Makes Vancouver Beertopia?

Vancouver-Brewery-Tours -Welcom-to-beer-topia

Why is Vancouver’s Craft Beer scene exploding? How come so many breweries are opening up around town? What the heck is going on up here?

We get these questions all the time from our out of town guests when they learn of the explosive growth of Vancouver’s craft breweries. The answer to our success isn’t always so simple and can depend on who you talk to and their relation to the craft beer community.

But just because “it may be complicated” didn’t stop Vancouverite Shaun Robertson from This Life in Trips from digging a little deeper. We had the pleasure of hosting a brewery tour for Shaun and he’s put together a nice article on the success of our local breweries, and what makes Vancouver Beertopia.

The following paragraphs are from the full article “What Makes Vancouver a Beertopia“.

Straight to the Source

Vancouver-Brewery-Tours -Welcom-to-beer-topia-tour-guide-LeighWhen asked what’s behind the surge in local craft breweries, Ryan Mackey, owner of Vancouver Brewery Tours, points to a combination of factors. “Relaxed import laws saw really interesting beers from Oregon and beyond start to flow into Vancouver for the first time, which created an opportunity for new breweries to open up and cater to this demand.” Mackey continued “thanks to liquor laws being reviewed and updated, brewery tasting rooms also started popping up.”

Good to know I was on the right path. My hometown was starting to offer everything I fell in love with in Portland without the six-hour drive.  Well played, Vancouver.

Ryan also points to local consumers waking to the idea of supporting locally made craft beer. Their pallets were challenged and along with that came a willingness to experiment and try new beers. The result of this appetite for better beer and a refreshed take on liquor laws created a new type of drinking experience that was very different from the usual pubs and restaurants. This is the culture I loved in Portland, but found lacking from the early breweries in Vancouver. This is not lost on Ryan.

“Before our scene exploded in popularity, many small independent and local breweries slogged it out for many years and in a sense paved the way for the success of so many new breweries. Breweries like Storm Brewing, Steamworks Brewing, R&B Brewing and many more deserve a lot of credit in fostering this new environment.”

Read the full article here.

Vancouver Brewery Tours Inc. - Canadian Brewing Awards 2017

Total Domination: BC Breweries Clean Up at the 2017 Canadian Brewing Awards

This past weekend Canadian Breweries gathered from all over the country in Ottawa to celebrate the best of Canada Craft Beer at the Canadian Brewing Awards. The big winners of the awards? BC Breweries! BC totally dominated this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards winning 1/3rd of all awards, with the coveted Brewery of the Year award going to Mt. Begbie Brewing Company.

And a special congratulations to all the breweries on our Vancouver Brewery Tours!

Here are the winners for each category at the 2017 Canadian Brewing Awards:

1.    European Style Lager (Pilsner)Vancouver Brewery Tours Inc. - Canadian Brewing Awards 2017
Gold: Big Rock Brewery, Pilsner
Silver: Brewsters Brewing Company, Original Lager
Bronze: Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault inc., La Kedwick Pilsner
2.    European Style Amber to Dark Lager
Gold: Junction Craft Brewing, Junction Black Lager
Silver: Silversmith Brewing Company, The Black Lager
Bronze: Bomber Märzen, Bomber Brewing
3.    Bock – Traditional German Style
Gold: Boxing Rock Brewing Company, Stayin’ Alive
Silver: Tooth and Nail Brewing Company, Invigorator
Bronze: Central City Brewers and Distillers, Red Racer Dopplebock
4.    Kellerbier/Zwickelbier
Gold: Moon Under Water Brewery, POTTS PILS
Silver: Riot Brewing Co., Good Vibrations Classical Pilsner
Bronze: Hopfenstark Brewery, Helles
5.    German Style Kölsch
Gold: Mt. Begbie Brewing Company, High Country Kolsch
Silver: Axe & Barrel Brewery, King Kolsch
Bronze: Abe Erb Brewing Co., 1857 Kolsch-Style Lagered Ale
6.    Wheat Beer – Belgian Style (Wit)
Gold: les 3 Brasseurs, La Blanche
Silver: Brasserie Artisanale La Korrigane, Mary Morgan
Bronze: Market Brewing Co., Flee to Pennsylvania
7.    Wheat Beer – German Style (Weiss)
Gold: Uncle Leo’s Brewery, Uncle Leo’s Vohs Weizenbier
Silver: Side Launch Brewing Company, Side Launch Wheat
Bronze: Les Trois Mousquetaires Microbrasseurs, Blanche
8.    Baltic Porter
Gold: The Cannery Brewing Co., “Kiek in de Kök ” Baltic Porter
Silver: Ferme Brasserie Schoune Inc,, Encre des Ténèbres
Bronze: StoneHammer Brewing, Continuity Baltic Porter
9.    Belgian-Style Dubbel or Quadrupel
Gold: Railway City Brewing Co, The Strongman
Silver: Townsite Brewing, Biere d’ Hiver
Bronze: Frampton Brasse, Nuit d’automne
10.    Belgian-Style Tripel
Gold: New Limburg Brewing company, Tripel
Silver: Four Winds Brewing Company Ltd, Triplicity Belgian Tripel
Bronze: Village Brewery, Village Friend
11.    Belgian Style Abbey Ale/Pale Ale
Gold: North Brewing Company, Gus’ 65m Ale
Silver: Dageraad Brewing inc., Burnabarian
Bronze: Gladstone Brewing Co., Gladstone Single
12.    Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale
Gold: Publican House Brewery, Eight or Better
Silver: À la Fût, Cowsûre
Bronze: Strathcona Beer Company, Strathcona Belgian Gold
13.    French and Belgian Style Saison
Gold:Steamworks/Dageraad Collaboration, East of East Van Saison
Silver: Winterlong Brewing Co., Mountain Hero
Bronze: Stone City Ales, Chloé
14.    Belgian-Style Brett Beer
Gold: Le Trefle Noir Microbrasserie, Surelevent
Silver: PEI brewing Company, Patience
Bronze: Luppolo Brewing Company, Luppolo Wild Saison with Pear
15.    German-Style Sour Ale
Gold: L’Espace Public, Bière de Coin d’Rue
Silver: Collective Arts Brewing, Prophets & Nomads
Bronze: Nickel Brook Brewing Co., Raspberry Uber
16.    Belgian-Style Sour Ale
Gold: LTM – Les Trois Mousquetaires Microbrasseurs, Ceci n’est pas une gueuze
Silver: Stone City Ales, Conundrum
Bronze: Strange Fellows Brewing, Reynard
17.    Porter
Gold: Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co., Blacksnake Porter
Silver: Yaletown Brewing Company, Valley of the Monks Porter
Bronze: Propeller Brewing Company, Porter
18.    Brown Ale
Gold: Corsaire Microbrasserie, Corsaire Brown Ale
Silver: Corsaire Microbrasserie, Dark Mild
Bronze: Powell Brewery, Dive Bomb
19.    Scotch Ale
Gold: Farnham Ale & Lager, scotch ale
Silver: Common Crown Brewing Co., Andy’s Wee Heavy Scottish Ale
Bronze: Mt. Begbie Brewing Company, Brave Liver Scotch Ale
20.    English Style Pale Ale
Gold: R&B Brewing Inc., Red Devil pale ale
Silver: Off The Rail Brewing Co., Off The Rail Classic Pale Ale
Bronze: Steamworks Brewpub Gastown, Commonwealth Pale Ale
21.    English Bitters
Gold: Off The Rail Brewing Co., Off The Rail Belt Up ESB
Silver: Powell Brewery, Old Jalopy Pale Ale
Bronze: MacLeans Ales Inc, MacLean’s ESB
22.    Sweet Stout or Cream Stout
Gold: Microbrasserie St-Pancrace, Pointe-Noire
Silver: Wellington Brewery, Chocolate Milk Stout
Bronze: Troubled Monk Brewery, Milk Stout
23.    Oatmeal Stout
Gold: FRANK Brewing Co., Simple Man
Silver: Bushwakker Brewing Company, Pickard’s Oatmeal Stout
Bronze: Hopfenstark Brewery, Stout Black Francis
24.    Dry Stout
Gold: Pump House Brewery Ltd., Muddy River Stout
Silver: Granite Brewery, Keefe’s Irish Stout
Bronze: Microbrasserie Riverbend, Stout
25.    Imperial Stout
Gold: BLACK BRIDGE BREWERY, Folklore Imperial Stout
Silver: Le Trèfle Noir Microbrasserie, Chernoe Pivo
Bronze: Bomber Brewing, Bomber Russian Imperial Stout
26.    English Style India Pale Ale
Gold: Strathcona Beer Company, Strathcona British IPA
Silver: Off The Rail Brewing Co., Off The Rail Crazy Train IPA
Bronze: Amsterdam Brewing Company, Rocks and Shoals
27.    North American Style Lager
Gold: Great Western Brewing Company, Brewhouse Pilsner
Silver: Great Western Brewing Company, Great Western Classic
Bronze: Cool Beer Brewing Company, Cool Beer Lager
28.    North American Style Premium Lager
Gold: HogsBack Brewing Co, Vintage Lager
Silver: Red Truck Beer Company, Red Truck Lager
Bronze: Moosehead Breweries Limited, Moosehead Lager
29.    North American Style Amber Lager
Gold: Trading Post Brewing, Smuggler’s Trail Rye Amber Ale
Silver: Bad Tattoo Brewing Co., Los Muertos Cerveza Negra
Bronze: Old Flame Brewing Company, Old Flame Red
30.    North American Style Dark Lager
Gold: Old Flame Brewing Company, Old Flame Brunette
Silver: Tree Brewing Co., Red Lager
31.    Light (Calorie-Reduced) Lager
Gold: Corsaire Microbrasserie, Anne Bonny Pils
Silver: Great Western Brewing Company, Great Western Light
Bronze: Moosehead Breweries Limited, Moosehead Cracked Canoe
32.    Cream Ale
Gold: Mt. Begbie Brewing Company, Begbie Cream Ale
Silver: Anderson Craft Ales, Cream Ale
Bronze: Cameron’s Brewing Company, Cameron’s Cosmic Cream Ale
33.    North American Style Amber/Red Ale
Gold: Bobcaygeon Brewing Company, Dockside
Silver: Cowbell Brewing Co., Doc Perdue’s Bobcat
Bronze: Torque Brewing Inc., Red Line IPA
34.    North American Style Blonde or Golden Ale
Gold: Amsterdam Brewing Company Natural Blonde
Silver: Henderson Brewing Company, Food Truck
Bronze: Troubled Monk Brewery, Golden Gaetz Golden Ale
35.    American-Style Black Ale
Gold: Steamworks Brewing Co., Steamworks Black Angel IPA
Silver: Bomber Brewing, Absolute Horizon Cascadian Dark Ale
Bronze: Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Raiden Black Rye IPA
36.    North American Style Pale Ale
Gold: Rouge River Brewing Company, Beneath the Planet of the APAs
Silver: Collective Arts Brewing, Rhyme & Reason
Bronze: Cameron’s Brewing Company, Cameron’s 12 Mile India Pale Lager
37.    Wheat Beer – North American Style
Gold: Brewsters Brewing Company, Wild West Wheat Ale
Silver: Big Rock Brewery, Grasshopper Kristallweizen
Bronze: Publican House Brewery, High Noon
38.    American Style India Pale Ale
Gold: Powell Brewery, Lazy D’Haze IPA
Silver: Bridge Brewing Company, Side Cut IPA
Bronze: Lagabière, Ta Meilleure
39.    Session India Pale Ale
Gold:Collective Arts Brewing, State of Mind
Silver: Microbrasserie Moulin 7 Inc., Ciel Ouvert
Bronze: PEI brewing Company, Vic Park APA
40.    American Style Imperial India Pale Ale
Gold: Nickel Brook Brewing Co., Immodest
Silver: Deep Cover Brewers and Distillers, Dry Dock Double IPA
Bronze: Muskoka Brewery, Muskoka Twice as Mad Tom
41.    American Belgo-Style Ale
Gold: Elora Brewing Company, Wandering Monk Belgian IPA
Silver: Phillips Brewing & Malting Co, Electric Unicorn White IPA
Bronze: Brasserie Dunham, Saison du Pinacle
42.    American-style Brett Beer
Gold: Nickel Brook Brewing Co., Uncommon Element
Silver: Tooth and Nail Brewing Company, Streif
Bronze: Redline Brewhouse, Series 1
43.    American-style Sour Ale
Gold: Townsite Brewing, Blackberry Sour
Silver: Four Winds Brewing Company Ltd, Nectarous Dry Hopped Sour
Bronze: L’Espace Public, Bière de Driveway
44.    Special Honey/Maple Lager or Ale
Gold: Microbrasserie Siboire, Imperial McMaple
Silver: Fernie Brewing Co., Fernie Brewing Co. Sap Sucker Maple Porter
Bronze: Brasserie Artisanale La Korrigane, Croquemitaine DC
45.    Fruit Beer or Field Beer
Gold: Blood Brothers Brewing, Fall of Thebes – Cherry
Silver: La Chouape, Allis Saison Argousier
Bronze: Nickel Brook Brewing Co., Ceres
46.    Gluten Free Beer
Gold: Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Glutenberg India Pale Ale
Silver: Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Glutenberg Rousse
Bronze: Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Glutenberg Pale Ale Américaine
47.    Session Ale
Gold: Ribstone Creek Brewery, Ribstone Creek English Mild
Silver: Railway City Brewing Co, Express ISL
Bronze: Blindman Brewing, Blindman River Session Ale
48.    Experimental Beer
Gold: Burdock, BUMO
Silver: Brasserie Vrooden Brewery, Doppelsticke Altbier
Bronze: Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Glutenberg Rotundone Noire
49.    Herb and Spice Beer
Gold: Whistler Brewing Co., Whistler Chestnut Ale
Silver: Brasserie Artisanale La Korrigane, Amaruq
Bronze: Garden Brewers, Saison Sixième: Collaboration with Block Three Brewing Co.
50.    Smoked Beer
Gold: Coal Harbour Brewing Co., Smoke & Mirrors Imperial Smoked Ale
Silver: Microbrasserie du Lièvre, La phénix
Bronze: Yellow Dog Brewing Company, Shake A Paw Smoked Porter
51.    Barley Wine-Style Ale – English-Style
Gold: Central City Brewers and Distillers, Thor’s Hammer
Silver: les 3 Brasseurs, Chaufferette
Bronze: Cameron’s Brewing Company, Cameron’s Where The Buffalo Roam Barleywine
52.    Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer – Dark Beer
Gold: Calabogie Brewing Company, Grassy Bay Farmhouse Ale
Silver: Powell Brewery, Ode to Wallflower
Bronze: Innocente Brewing Company, Drunkard’s Cloak
53.    Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
Gold: North Brewing Company, Midnight- Glenora Barrel Aged Strong Dark Belgian
Silver: Great Lakes Brewery, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Solstice Stout
Bronze: PEI brewing Company, Hell Street
54.    Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
Gold: Indie Ale House, Spadina Monkey – CHERRY
Silver: À la Fût, Co-Hop V – Rouge de Mékinac
Bronze: Calabogie Brewing Company, Downstream #1
55.    Flavoured Stout/Porter
Gold: Hastings Mill Brewing Company, Griswold Winter Ale
Silver: Deadfrog Brewery, Reina de Fuego
Bronze: The Cannery Brewing Co., Thornless Blackberry Porter


Visit the Canadian Brewery Awards website here for more info:

Vancouver Brewery Tours Founder Ryan Mackey

Craft Beer Tourism Hits it Big With Curious Imbibers

At Vancouver Brewery Tours, we’ve seen first hand how big craft beer tourism has become in Vancouver. The city’s craft beer scene continues to grow and evolve, and with it an increasing amount of national and international recognition is being bestowed upon the city. Our recognition as a vibrant beer city has also attracted an increasing number of curious imbibers traveling to Vancouver seeking to sip and spend their way through our breweries and ale houses.

Vancouver Brewery Tours founder Ryan Mackey was recently interviewed by the Georgia Straight and asked his opinion on what makes Vancouver such a hot destination for craft beer tourism right now.

Below is a snippet of a featured article in the Georgia Straight, you can read the full article here.

World turns its attention to B.C. thanks to brewery boom and events like Vancouver Craft Beer Week

Vancouver Brewery Tours Founder Ryan MackeyEven though Vancouver came considerably later to the microbrew party than Seattle, Portland, and pretty much all of Europe did, our city has started to position itself as a bona fide mecca for those whose sightseeing starts on the craft-beer scene. If you brew it, they will come.

“The word has been getting out, especially over the last couple of years,” Vancouver Brewery Tours founder Ryan Mackey tells the Straight in a phone interview. “More and more articles have led to more and more exposure around the world. We really have started to get that reputation as a craft-beer destination. We’ve got people from all over the world doing our tours. The coolest one for me was someone from Iceland who came on our tour with his buddy from Sweden. They went to Bomber Brewing, and the guy from Sweden said, ‘That pilsner is exactly what it tastes like back home.’ ”

Over the past half-decade, British Columbia has exploded with craft-beer businesses like Bomber. Over 70 breweries have opened up in the province, with new ventures joining the boom seemingly on a monthly basis. That’s attracting beer-loving tourists who, in the past, might have thought of heading to well-established hot spots like Oregon or Washington state. Earlier this spring, Vogue ran a story on Vancouver titled “Is This City the New Craft Beer Capital of North America?”…

Read the full article here


Vancouver Brewery Tours Inc - Vancouver Craft Beer Week - Beer Fans

Vancouver Craft Beer Week Returns for 2017 – Tickets Still Available!

In two short days, Western Canada’s largest craft beer event the Vancouver Craft Beer Week returns to the sunny grounds of the PNE from May 26th to June 4th. Now in its 8th glorious year, VCBW kicks off a week of celebrating all things craft beer with numerous high profile events and ending with the always entertaining VCBW festival. Not sure where to begin? We’ve put together an outline of some of the most popular events this year.


This year brings new variety and new locations for VCBW events. Here’s just a few of the top Vancouver Craft Beer Week Events being offered for 2017:

Brewers Row Block Party – Sunday May 28th
Head out of Vancouver and into the new craft beer mecca – Port Moody! This block party is one you won’t want to miss

Feats of Strength – Sunday May 28th
Keg stacking, push up competitions, phone book tearings and great beer – say what? That’s right, watch people test their strength all while sampling beer from local iconic breweries like Brassneck Brewing, Superflux, Doan’s Craft Brewing Company, Bridge Brewing and MUCH more.

Forbidden Fruit – Tuesday May 30th
For $40 sample a dazzling array of all things fruity and beer – from sour beers, Belgians, wheat and more from over 20 BC Craft Breweries.

Get your tickets for these great events and more at

THE Festival – Saturday June 3rd and Sunday June 4th

If you’ve never experienced the VCBW festival at the PNE, do yourself a favour and by your tickets NOW. The grounds are the perfect location for a Vancouver craft beer festival – lots of shade, tonnes of food trucks, more breweries than you can handle (yes that is a challenge!) and the costumes are getting better each year.

Tickets are still available on the VCBW website.

Vancouver Brewery Tours - Brewery Tour Guide - Leigh

Meet Leigh – VBT’s Newest Brewery Tour Guide

Meet Leigh! Vancouver Brewery Tours’ newest brewery tour guide and no stranger to the craft beer industry. We first met Leigh at Parallel 49 Brewing Company in the taproom and leading their in-house brewery tours. Four years later she is still happily ensconced in the Vancouver brewing community and excited to share her passion with a whole new audience – YOU! ? Great to have you on board Leigh and welcome to Vancouver Brewery Tours!

Born and raised in Greater Vancouver, Leigh explored several other potential paths (linguist, live VBT Staffer Leighmusic photographer, and makeup artist, to name a few) before settling into the brewing industry. A lucky glance at Twitter led her to a job in the tap room at one of Vancouver’s largest new craft breweries where she expanded her palate and applied her natural curiosity to the business of selling beer. Four years later, Leigh is still happily ensconced in the Vancouver brewing community and excited to share her passion with a whole new audience.

First Craft Beers: Pyramid Brewing Co. Apricot Ale and Granville Island Winter Ale

Current Go To Brew: Strange Fellows Talisman Pale Ale

Must Try Next: whatever new crazy thing Twin Sales has just released

Vancouver Brewery Tours at Off the Rail Brewing

Planning a Bachelor Party Brewery Tour?

In a few short months summer is finally coming back to Vancouver and with it the return of wedding season, or as it’s known to us at Vancouver Brewery Tours, Bachelor Party Brewery Tour season! With 4 years experience planning bachelor party brewery tours for literally hundreds of different groups of dudes, you could say we’ve seen it all and then some!

And while celebrating on a bachelor party is a tonne of fun, there is also a lot of work that goes into planning a successful day for the organizer of the group. And while our team takes care of all the details for your group and will make sure your crew has a successful tour, there a few things we recommend to help get the most out of your Vancouver Brewery Tour.

With that in mind, we’ve put together our top suggestions on how to make the most out of your Bachelor Party Brewery Tour with Vancouver Brewery Tours and ensure your man has a great time and leaves his tour ready to take on the next round of festivities!

1) Plan Ahead

Do you have a “must have” day for the bachelor party, or are you flexible on dates? Either way, put your request into us as early as you can. You don’t have to commit to booking your tour right away, but our tours can book up months in advance so it doesn’t hurt to fill out our Private Tour Online Request Form to first see if your date is available. If not, we’ll suggest other available dates that may work for your group. Once you’re ready to move forward with your tour, payment of a deposit will lock down your date and then the fun begins!

2) Choose your Tour Type

Our most popular bachelor party tour is our Vancouver Brewery Tour, which takes you to 3 breweries in just over 3 hours and includes free pick up and drop off, transportation, 1 beer flght per stop, behind the scenes tours and much more. We also offer lots of options for customization. Want to visit a distillery? How about adding a meal to your tour or get dropped off at your favourite restaurant (or the No. 5 Orange) afterwards? You tell us what you want and we’ll make it happen.

3) Breweries to Visit

So many options! You can either leave the planning to us, or we can choose the breweries for you, totally up to you. Choose from 19 of our brewery partners, including Storm Brewing, one of the most popular stops on any of our bachelor party brewery tours.

4) Customize your Experience

Once you’re on tour with us, our experienced guides will work with your group to make sure you get the experience you’re looking for. Want brewery tours at every stop? None of them? Want the focus to be more on tasting beer and getting a few tasting notes for each one? Maybe you’d like to totally geek out and pepper your guide with tough questions? We’re ready!  We’ll also work with your group to put some of your favourite craft beers in front of you and will offer a few suggestions for must try beers at each stop.

5) Take Care of Your Man

The most important tip of the day! While every group wants to have a good time, the best bachelor party brewery tours we’ve seen are the ones that take care of the bachelor and ensure he’ll be in good shape after the tour is over.  How much fun is it really if you feed the bachelor so much beer that they feel sick afterwards? Punishing the bachelor with too much to drink is not fun for anyone! Brewery tours are the lead up to a great evening, not the end of it. Our suggestion? Pace yourself yo! Drinking is fun, laughing hard is fun, going home at 6pm because the bachelor drank too much on tour is NOT fun.

Request a Bachelor Party Brewery Tour

If you’re ready to put a request in, click the online Private Tour Request Form button below.

If you have questions, call 604-318-2280 or email


Thanks for reading!
The Vancouver Brewery Tours Team