Any well-informed beer enthusiast who finds themselves in Vancouver or surrounds absolutely must not leave without a visit to Port Moody, BC, a relaxed area laden with lakes, lush mountains and young families walking their dogs.
Located 20 minutes outside of Vancouver by public transit, the main street truly comes into its own in the afternoons as one of BC´s unofficial brewing capitals. From 4pm, groups of students, friends and families begin to congregate on the various patios and lawns of the five craft breweries that form the famous ́Brewers Row, the main street of town where all these establishments line up, one after the other: Moody Ales, The Bakery, Parkside, Yellow Dog and Twin Sails.
I was lucky enough to live in Port Moody for 6 months and thus made the pilgrimage down to the breweries myself as a weekly patron. In this article, I present to you a guide to your ultimate Sunday, weekday or weekend session – tell you how to get to to Brewers Row, introduce each brewery and let you in on which craft beer to sample once inside.
How to get there
As at least five beers will be tasted on this journey, public transport is your cheapest, easiest and safest option. If you’re leaving from Vancouver, take the 20 to 30 minute Skytrain (Millennium Line) ride to Moody Centre. A quick stroll over the bridge brings you to Rocky Point Park, where you turn 180 degrees and voila – you are now standing in front of Brewers Row. The train runs until midnight (later on weekends), which is perfect as the breweries all close around the 10pm mark.
Plan your route
You have two options for tackling the row – east to west or west to east. Personally, we would recommend starting at Moody Ales and work our way upwards towards the centre, so when (or if) you reach the last brewery, you are watching the sunset with a lovely view of the inlet.
Brewery #1: Moody Ales
Without further adieu, stop number one… Moody Ales is a great all-rounder brewery that caters for old favourites and new brews that pack a wallop. Their trademark is their namesake ales, but they also specialise in IPAs with varying hops and fruit infusions. Grab a flight and sit out on their front patio to soak up the afternoon rays.
Recommendation: Affable IPA
Brewery #2: The Bakery Brewing
Next, stroll to the rows newest establishment The Bakery Brewing (pictured in header). Recently opened by neighbour Moody Ales, it’s their experimental counterpart where you can find unique sours and real out-of-the-box flavours. If you’re partial to a whisky or scotch, you can’t go past their barrel aged brews, where the beer is infused with the flavours of various liquor after being aged in its casks.
Recommendation: Scotch Barrel Scottish Ale
Brewery #3: Parkside Brewing
It’s time to stretch your legs east to glowing neon Parkside Brewing sign, approximately 300 metres up the road. By now, the local food trucks will have rolled up slinging classic North American fare such as tacos, mac & cheese and wings. Make a pit-stop and take the food inside, where you can grab a flight and even play a game of shuffleboard or two.
Recommendation: Humans, An IPA for the People
Brewery #4: Yellow Dog Brewing
Next cab of the rank directly next door is Yellow Dog Brewing. Yellow Dog is the OG brewery on the street and serves up old favourites affectionately named after our canine companions. The family-run brewery do great ales and IPA´s, but if you like heavier brews then the ´Shake a Paw´ smoked porter is unlike anything else on the row. There’s a spacious picnic area out the back, or you can enjoy the industrial-style tasting room.
Recommendation: Retriever Golden Ale
Brewery #5: Twin Sails
By now if you aren’t suitably sloshed, the last stop on the line is Twin Sails. The outdoor front patio is ideal to watch the sunset over the mountains and listen to the live music that plays at the adjacent Rocky Point Park. Big flavours are always available here – the ´Would Crush´ Raspberry Wheat Ale and other fruity infusions are tart and refreshing, and their stouts are velvety, laden with coconut and coffee notes.
If you’re feeling particularly brave, give the Lights Out Imperial Stout a try. With 15.5% alcohol and black as night, it is not for the faint hearted.
Recommendation: ´Dat Juice´ Citra Pale Ale
As the seasons change, so do the offerings. In the summertime expect citrus infused Hefeweizens and light crisp lagers that go down a little too well. The cooler months see the kegs changed in favour of full-bodied stouts, dessert porters and hearty ales.
Not a beer fan?
No problem, the breweries generally have a house cider or radler available for those who find craft brew not to their taste.
Rally your pals for the ultimate Sunday session on Brewers Row and sample the best beer you hopefully won’t forget.
The breweries are open 7 days a week.