Beer tourism

As I told you, last week I went to British Columbia and Seattle had a grand time. I wasn’t there just to try the beer. In fact I ended up missing out on a beer festival in Victoria on my last day to check out other parts of the city.  However, I will say as a proud Torontonian and Ontarian, I can try hard to be biased but B.C. still has better beer than us. Its local breweries are impressive. My personal favourite is Granville Brewing. I’m a fan of the Island Lager. It is probably the most basic of their beers but has a clean and solid taste that is not lacking. I came across a couple of Granville specialty ales I enjoyed in Kitsilano Maple Cream Ale and False Creek Raspberry Ale. False Creek, an ale that even pours pink, is the first raspberry ale I actually enjoyed. The hops and fruitiness balance each other out perfectly.

Out of Victoria is Phillips Brewing. It has a special beer, Rifflandabrau Pilsner, in honour of the Rifflandia music festival taking place later this month in Victoria featuring Broken Social Scene, Mother Mother, Cold War Kids and others. I feel fortunate to having had a chance to try it out as it was great. (The funky label is pictured. “Now with more lasers”)

There were other breweries worth mentioning including Vancouver Island Brewery, Lighthouse and Okanagan Springs. In my trek to Seattle the only beer I got a chance to try was a beer from Juneau, Alaska called Alaskan Amber Ale. I knew from first scent this would not be good and it was not.

Purchasing alcohol is different as well and really kind of annoying. There are the province-owned liquor stores as well as private liquor stores, which cost slightly more, and then there are “off sales” where one can buy beer and wine at a slightly higher cost in bars until 11 pm. Beer tends to cost a noticeable amount more, while beer in Washington state is very cheap, relatively speaking (24 case of Coors Light for $18, for instance). However in British Columbia virtually everyone is asked for ID and two pieces of ID are required. In Washington state merchants selling alcohol have machines scanning IDs and this was difficult with a passport. I don’t want to come across as someone who approves of or encourages underage drinking, but why as someone who’s just entered their 30s should it be more difficult to buy a beer than get over the border and back?  That’s a little anal retentive if you ask me.

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2 Responses to “Beer tourism”

  1. […] you may know I recently spoke rather fondly  of a Granville Brewing beer called False Creek Raspberry Ale. This beer is pink in colour and I can assure you I do not feel less of a man by telling you I […]

  2. […] Vancouver’s Granville Island Brewing has found a good balance of fruitiness, much like False Creek Raspberry Ale. This beer might be disappointing to those who love German hefeweizens, but good for those who want […]

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