The Sigil & Growler team embarked on a craft beer tour with Vancouver Brewery Tours and the experience was superb! We hopped around to three of Vancouver's delightful breweries including Strathcona Beer, Off the Rail Brewing, and Strange Fellows. Our lovely tour guide, Rachel, quenched our thirst and drove while we drank! A fantastic way to spend a Friday night or a weekend.
Here's the lowdown on the ride, the breweries, and our favourite beers at each spot.
The tour began at Strathcona Beer Company, located on East Hastings. The brewery is lit up with neon lighting, a sleek decor, and boasts a cooler with a bunch of frothy 40's along with delicious pizza if you need a bite with your brew.
Our guide Rachel took us on a behind the scenes tour of the inner workings of the brew house. We huddled between huge tanks that were brewing, fermenting and carbonating to create some fizzy goodness.
Rachel gave us Cole's notes version of how the big boys brew and we were taken back out to the tasting room for some beer sampling.
One of Strathcona's specialties include their quality craft beer in 40oz bottles. You know, the bottles you drank your crappy beer from in a paper bag back in the day.
Our favourite: The Gold Belgian Ale, sold in sexy 40oz bottles. The ale is contains notes of fruit and spice to make for a complex and powerful beverage.
Onto the next stop! Off The Rail Brewing is located not too far from Strathcona, on Adanac Street. Off The Rail has a small and cozy tasting room, perfect for a drink or two with a couple of pals on your day off.
We gathered with Rachel in their command center where beers were being bottled by their crew. Off The Rail offers beers carbonized with C02 and nitrogen. The nitrogen beers, which are not as common, allow for a more subtle bubbly taste and are smoother to drink.
Our favourite: The Belt Up ESB. Highlighted with English roasted malts for a delightful flavour, we enjoyed this bad boy so much we decided to fill one of our custom growlers with it!
Last, but not least, Strange Fellows Brewing Company. Strange Fellows is on Clark Drive and provides a large tasting area with a relaxing and whimsical ambience that includes a cozy art gallery for community collaborations.
We love Strange Fellows large wooden barrel that's used for aging the beer, can't you tell? After the beer has been sitting in this barrel for some time, it starts to pick up the rich nodes from the wood.
Our favourite: We fell in love with the Penelope The Tart, a delicious sour beer. Even if you're not a sour beer lover, this one is worth the try. With notes of passionfruit the beer is soft, luscious and fruity. This craft brew also made it's way into one of our engraved growlers, to be enjoyed later.
3 hours later, 12 beers sampled, 3 breweries toured, and 7 custom growlers filled, we headed back to the Sigil studio to relish in our frothy libations.
Vancouver Brewery Tours offers a stupendously authentic craft beer experience for anyone looking to learn more about the art of beer, meet some friendly faces, and the people behind the brews we love.
With our bellies full of beer and brains buzzing with craft beer knowledge, we highly recommend this awesome tour. Book a private tour with friends or co-workers or join a public tour and enjoy the company of new friends and beer lovers.
Public Tour Price with Vancouver Brewery Tours: $79.99 per person gets you tons of beer, an awesome tour guide, a comfy ride, a complimentary beer glass, and a craft beer journal and pen for all those important beer notes!
May the brew be with you,
Sigil & Growler Team