Vancouver is internationally known as a beer hotspot. East Vancouver is ground zero but other beer districts have been coming on strong. North Vancouver is the latest to blow up. North Van sits at the foot of forests and mountains, across the water from downtown. Accessed by a 12-minute seabus from Waterfront station, what could be more charming than taking a boat across the harbour and brewery hopping with the mountains and forests as your backdrop. The area around Lonsdale Quay has been coined the Shipyards District, here is a list of the current breweries in the Shipyards and beyond.
Bridge is a traditional warehouse brewery with a cute taproom and small patio. One of the early adopters of the craft beer movement, it opened in 2012 and has been a North Shore staple ever since. They have some inventive beer styles, such as a sour squash ale and a chocolate coconut milkshake IPA. For food, they keep it simple with tacos and bar snacks. It’s a 10-minute drive from Lonsdale Quay or a 15-minute bike ride, located off Mountain Highway, in a laneway near Second Narrows Bridge.
Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers
Deep Cove is one of the original North Van breweries. They have decent beer and also sell distilled gin and vodka, as well as barrel-aged whiskey. The attractive taproom has a large indoor and outdoor space, a full menu and they also serve cocktails made from their own spirits. Don’t miss happy hour 3 pm to 6 pm, Monday to Thursday. This is a good spot to start or end your trail, as Deep Cove is the furthest brewery from the Shipyards, east of Second Narrows on Dollarton Highway.
Wildeye is another new brewery that opened in June 2019. For beer they go for the classics; lagers, IPAs, Kolsch and pilsners, as well as some seasonal specials, like double nut brown and the Belgian style abbey single. Wildeye has a full bistro with flatbreads, salads and share plates for reasonable prices. The taproom is large with outdoor event space.
House of Funk
Funk opened it’s warehouse doors in June 2019 to a packed crowd. Conveniently located a few doors down from Beere & Streetcar, Funk has a cool taproom with nice views of the city, a few blocks from Lonsdale Quay. They also have a generous coffee and tea offering, and open nice and early, from 730am. Their specialty is sour beer but they have a strong selection of rotating taps. Funk is not currently serving food but will be soon. This brewery is a standout on the Shipyards ale trail and has a great vibe.
Streetcar opened in July 2019 with a line up down the block. The buzz about this brewery is strong and the vibe is good. They are located close to House of Funk and Beere, a few blocks from the Seabus terminal. The beer selection is solid, their stout being the standout, and they have a few non-alcoholic options. The space is cozy, with large shared tables, it’s lively most nights of the week. There’s no food as yet, but there is the promise of food trucks on weekends.
Beere Brewing arguably has the best beer in North Van. It’s a no-frills establishment with a small patio and a warehouse taproom. There’s no food, just a couple of bar snacks and it’s beer only here, a spot for the purists. Although, they do have food trucks on weekends. Beere serve classic Pacific Northwest ales, attracting outdoor enthusiasts after a day in the mountains. Some standout beers from their roster include sidecut IPA and the Kolsch for a light, refreshing taste.
Hearthstone is more of a restaurant than a brewery, although they do brew their own beer. They specialize in ‘Al Forno’ Italian food that is cooked in an oven, and have an extensive pizza and burger menu. Hearthstone has four core beers and many seasonal taps. They are owned by Springs Group, so they have less of a local feel than some of the others. Hearthstone is a ten-minute bike ride, or five-minute drive, West of The Shipyards District.
Black Kettle is west of the seabus terminal, an easy 15-minute walk from Lonsdale Quay. They have 8 rotating taps and their taproom is classic brewery style; in a warehouse. They have a full menu, offering pub food with Canadian classics like poutine, fish & chips and burgers. They also do open mic nights.
The charm of Green Leaf lies in it’s winning location and large patio at Lonsdale Quay with views across the water to downtown. The taproom has a cozy vibe and allows guests to bring in their own food, with all the stalls at The Quay to choose from. Green Leaf sometimes has live music, they have Kombucha and Ginger ale on tap and their lager tends to be the standout in an average selection of beer.