If you don’t own a bike and you don’t drink craft beer your Vancouver street cred is sorely lacking. Luckily for you, VanCity Drinks is here to help both the seasoned beer drinking cyclists and those of you who are just taking off the training wheels and looking for some beer goggles to take their cycling experience to the next level.
The Adanac bike path is one of Vancouver’s busiest cycling routes, linking downtown Vancouver with Boundary Road and Burnaby’s Francis Union Bikeway. At VanCity Drinks, we think it is a public service to inform Vancouver’s riders that Adanac is also one of Vancouver’s booziest cycling routes, cutting right through the “Yeast Van” brewery district. If you’re on the way home from work (or on the way to work, we don’t judge) and you need a cold beer, look no further than an Adanac Bike Path Brews Cruise.
Luppolo Brewing Company
1123 Venables Street
Lock your bike and start your brewery crawl at Luppolo Brewing Company, accessible directly from Venables St. Luppolo’s beers combine a selection of well executed classics, like the American Pale Ale, both malty and bitter with notes of orange and pine, and innovative brews like the Black Lime Gose, which is light and refreshing with a distinct limey profile. If you’re hungry, grab a piadine, a type of flat bread sandwich that originates in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, a charcuterie board or a savoury antipasto platter with marinated eggplant, artichokes, olives and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Luppolo, meaning “hops” in Italian, has a “home away from home” atmosphere, inspired by the Italian heritage of two of the owners. Welcoming you into an artfully decorated, airy tasting room, Luppolo Brewing is the perfect atmosphere to shake out your helmet hair, grab a bite to eat and unwind over your first of many sudsy beers.
Off the Rail Brewing
1351 Adanac Street
After the arduous 450 metre bike ride from Luppolo, you have earned your pint at Off the Rail Brewing. Off the Rail offers 6oz tasters and 12oz glasses for those who qualify as one-drink wonders alongside 20oz pints to satisfy those of you with a resilient thirst.
My brews cruise companion tried the robust Raybuck Red Ale, a biscuit-y, chocolaty and slightly bitter Irish-style brew with a roasted malt body. I selected the Raj Mahal India Ale, originally brewed as a tribute to Off the Rail’s neighbour, Raj, who has been honoured with a beer flavoured with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf. The Raj Mahal is just as exotic, delicious and refreshing as it sounds.
Off the Rail features a bright tasting room with a view overlooking the flood of Adanac bike path cyclists and a bar top christened with beers and bike helmets alike. Founded by Steve, whose family once owned Vancouver’s iconic live music bar, The Railway Club, Off the Rail is a friendly microbrewery with a distinct neighbourhood feel. Everyone is on first-name and favourite-pint basis with everyone else, giving Off the Rail a close-knit, East-Van atmosphere. Along the windows, we spotted an enigmatic hipster completing Japanese line-drawings and a couple of old friends discussing the latest developments of the biking world. Off the Rail has truly tapped into the community-oriented spirit of the Adanac bike path, welcoming the travellers of Vancouver’s cycling “highway” together for a cold beer.
1488 Adanac Street
If you’re feeling the buzz two breweries deep, fear not: your next stop, Bomber Brewing, is just down the block from Off the Rail. Located at the foot of the bike path’s dreaded Adanac hill, Bomber Brewing is a brews cruiser’s best friend. The Adanac hill is the foe of casual cyclists and daily commuters alike, taking eastbound riders up a long, thigh-burning slope. Bomber offers an excellent selection of thirst-quenching craft beer as well as a station to pump up your tires, ensuring both body and bike are strengthened for the looming uphill battle.
Bomber brews my favourite beer, the seasonal Park Life Passion Fruit Ale. Park Life is summer captured in a beer: a juicy, tart, tropical indulgence. I plan on stocking up to stave off the Park Life withdrawal this winter. Bomber’s “starting line-up”, available year-round, includes the chocolaty ESB, featuring notes of coffee and molasses in a timeless homage to the traditional British beer, an award-winning, light-bodied Czech-Pilsner with a floral aroma courtesy of imported Czech Saaz hops and last but not least, an IPA with a hoppy personality and notes of grapefruit, caramel, malt and dried grass.
Bomber Brewing boasts a cozy tasting room with an honest, down-to-earth Canadian ambience, complete with a rustic wooden bar top and hockey themed décor. Bomber Brewing is the vision of three friends who played alongside one another for the Bombers Hockey Club and tested home-brewed beers on the bench. Bomber is a splendid place to rejuvenate for the cycle home with authentic Canadian vibes in pint form.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations!
VanCity Drinks anoints you with the honorary title of Brewsing, Cruising Connoisseur. It is time to follow your destiny and appoint yourself as the Brews Cruise Curator of your friend group. Put on your beer goggles, your helmet and enjoy your newly elevated “Yeast Van” street cred.