Vancouverite’s love beer; that’s no secret. On a hot August day or a cold December night, there is never a bad time to quaff a cold one in this city. Heck, we even have a week dedicated to Craft Beer! Don’t believe me? Check out @VCBW. Beer is a social lubricant that brings people together and it’s evolving into an art form in itself. I’ll be writing for VancityBuzz for the foreseeable future so give me a follow @VancityBeerGuy and let’s talk beer!
With the growing culture of great beer in the city, it was only a matter of time before great liquor stores started popping up with exceptional beer lists. Here are the liquor stores that are head and shoulders above the rest.
1. Legacy Liquor Store
In the heart of the old Athlete’s village is this gem of a liquor store. If you’re a beer enthusiast you’ve probably been here. You know the saying “Kid in a candy store,”? It’s like that but with beer. Make sure to talk to their Beer Supervisor Chris Bonnallie to point you in the direction of the perfect beer for your unique palate.
2. 16th Street Liquor Store
Hidden in an alcove on an off street in West Vancouver’s Dundarave district is a beer drinker’s mecca. With over 500 different beers showcased it’s hard to not go broke once you find it. Throughout the store the craft beer is organized by region so it’s easy to find your way. The guy to talk to while here is Manager Chris Funnel, he’s like a Jedi Master of craft beer. Seriously. On the North Shore where liquor stores can be pretty average, this liquor store is an oasis of beer!
Follow them at @16StreetLiquor
3. Brewery Creek
Just blocks from one of Vancouver’s newest beer bars Portland Craft is this great store. The staff is knowledgeable and helpful. This is where I was pointed in the direction of Brooklyn Brewery’s Lager and my outlook on lagers was forever changed. You can always find something new and exciting at Brewery Creek. Like them on Facebook HERE and follow them at @BreweryCreek
4. Firefly Fine Wine and Ales
I love it when a liquor store has a list of its products online. It’s so nice to be able to peruse the list and choose your beer pairings for that night’s dinner without ever having to leave your desk. Here’s Firefly’s beer list – http://www.fireflyfinewinesandales.com/Products/Beers. If you get the chance, check out their Long Table events as well! Great times with great people over great drinks; doesn’t sound half bad, eh?
5. Viti Wine & Lager
It’s always hard to choose just one beer once you wander into this indescript liquor store at Seymour and Smithe. Before I realized it was there, I walked by it hundreds of times. You probably have too and once you go inside you’ll be kicking yourself for it. These guys have some serious connections that allow for them to get exclusive beer like the Dominus Vobiscum Lupulus, one of the few 100 point beers in the world. Next time you’re on Granville street take a mini detour and stop by Viti. Follow them @Viti_Wine_Lager.
The best part about these Liquor Stores is that if you have a CAMRA membership you get a discount on your beer! Generally the discount is 10% so if you buy lots of good brews the membership fee pays for itself!
Happy Drinking everyone!
Written by Nick Martin
Photo courtesy of Legacy Liquor Store