Are you a passionate beer lover? Is it your go-to drink during celebrations or when you are unwinding during a relaxed evening? If you do, then Vancouver is the place for you. According to data released by a study, it is the second best city for beer enthusiasts in the world, with 0.8 breweries per 100,000 people.
That means that good beer Vancouver is readily available, provided you know where to look. Interestingly, British Columbia also has the most breweries in Western Canada, showing that it’s the most popular drink among the people in the province.
However, before ordering a beer from a brewery, you must have information regarding their brewing process, types available, how long they have been in the business, the percentage of alcohol contained, and the price at which they offer the drinks.
The kind of brewery you find will affect your drinking experience, particularly if it’s your first time. You should expect satisfaction if you order online or visit the distillery personally.
Here are some things you might consider while searching for good beer from a brewery in Vancouver to ensure you enjoy your first drink.
What types do they have?
The first thing you should look for is variety, since the more, the better. As a beginner, you should taste as wide varieties as possible to find the one you eventually like.
Some types you could look for are Lager, Amber Ale, West Coast Pale Ale, American Wheat Ale, Light Lager, Dark Ale, and European Style Lager, as these are pretty popular with beer drinkers in Vancouver.
You should also check if they offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic ale. Some popular non-alcoholic drinks are Indian Pale Ale and American Wheat Ale.
Percentage of alcohol contained
As an amateur, you should choose light beer with an alcohol percentage between 4.1 to 5.5, as they would be easier to handle than stronger and extra strong ones.
According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (whose guidelines apply to British Columbia and Vancouver), extra light beer refers to those with an alcohol percentage between 1.1 to 2.5. At the same time, slightly stronger drinks have a ratio between 2.6 to 4.0. The average “beer” contains between 4.1 to 5.5% of alcohol.
Choosing a light drink when starting will help you get used to the taste and feel. You can graduate to extra strong beer gradually.
How does it taste?
The taste largely depends on factors like malt, hops, and bitterness. To know the bitterness of a drink, you should check the International Bitterness Units (IBU) mentioned on its label, as that tells you how bitter a drink exactly is.
Hops are preservatives and enhance the bitter flavour, while the malt is a necessary ingredient for brewing and has a nutty flavour.
Another thing you might consider is the aroma. For instance, dark ale has a bread crust, coffee and chocolate mixed flavour, while peach wheat ale reminds you of ripe peach and bold citrus.
What makes a brewery good?
One thing that separates a good brewery from an average one is unfiltered beer. An experienced distillery uses a centrifuge process, which involves less water than conventional filters. The process enables them to preserve the original yeast character in the finished drink, lending it a unique taste.
It should also have a spacious and well-maintained brewery where the distilling occurs.
Ingredients used during manufacturing
The brewery should mention the ingredients used in the manufacturing process, as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency requires. For example, prepackaged beers should cite the food allergen sources, gluten sources, and sulphites included in the preparation.
Do they have a restaurant and brewpub?
Many breweries in Vancouver also have a restaurant and brewpub where they offer food, beer and beverages, brunch, kiddos and dessert. You could ask them if they have happy hours, the timings and which drinks are available during those hours.
Are Happy Hours available?
You could ask if they have Happy Hours and the prices during those hours since the British Columbia Liquor Policy Review allows pubs, restaurants and other establishments selling drinks in Vancouver to change their prices throughout the day.
You must ask questions like the ones mentioned above while searching for good beer in Vancouver from a brewery. The taste, smell, aroma, and appearance of the drink, with the distillery’s experience, ensure you enjoy your beverage every time you order one.