Craft Beer and tourism is a match made in heaven. Just watch the Portland Oregon commercials that air in BC that focus on the beer scene down there and you know how much it means to that city. In 2016 a group of people got together with the British Columbia government and tourism agencies to create the BC Ale Trail a selection of self guided craft beer and tourist trails. I have been doing similar self guided road trips for years now checking out what the province has to offer be it beer or sights and even had a much less grand idea like the ale trails. For my first official Ale Trail I decided to do the most accessible trail to both locals and for tourists.
Here is the official video from the BC Ale Trail.
The one thing that makes the Port Moody Ale Trail stand out above all others is that it is easily accessible from every major rapid transit system in Metro Vancouver. From Vancouver International Airport (YVR) you have two transfers on Skytrains but it is fairly straight forward and people will gladly help you find your way. You can also make your way from North Vancouver on the Sea Bus and Skytrain as well as from Surrey on the Expo Line or Mission on the West Coast Express. This is truly the most easily completed craft beer trip in the province and the beer you will be checking out is top notch.
To plan your trip to the Port Moody Ale Trail also known as Brewers Row check out Translink’s Trip Planner.
Now the official BC Ale Trail for Port Moody only covers 4 breweries in Twin Sails Brewing, Yellow Dog Brewing, The Parkside Brewery and Moody Ales all on the strip of Murray Street dubbed Brewers Row but this trip would not be complete without a side trip to Dageraad Brewing in Burnaby only a few stations before.
Follow the following link to check out more details about the Port Moody Ale Trail.
If you are starting from anywhere other than the West Coast Express I would recommend starting at the unofficial stop on the ale trail in Dageraad Brewing. The walk from the Production Way University station is a short quite flat 5 minute walk as per Google Maps.
Dageraad Brewing specializes in Belgian style ales. When I did this walking tour Metro Vancouver was in one of their unseasonable winter storms. This is still an amazing trip in the winter.
Dageraad at the time of writing is currently expanding their tasting room which is really welcome as their current tasting room is very small and has an overflow area in the production side. Don’t let this small room fool you though as they are making some really tasty Belgian inspired beer. For a more in-depth write up on Dageraad Brewing pre expansion click here.
Once you have had your fill of beer here at Dageraad it is time to get moving again. Walk back to the Production Way University station and head to Moody Station.
Once at Moody Station take the short walk along Spring Street towards the overpass. Take the overpass but instead of walking around the loop turn right and take the walking path. Follow that to the first of 4 breweries on Brewers Row in Twin Sails Brewing.
Twin Sails began its life as a brewery that brewed mostly German Inspired beer. In and around October 2016 everything changed. With a new assistant brewer and a new direction they are now one of the leading breweries in experimental West Coast and East Coast IPA’s (also known as New England IPA). This new line of canned beer is taking BC by storm and selling out almost faster than they can make it. It is safe to say that as of October this has become one of my favourite stops in Metro Vancouver. They still have the odd beer from their original lineup on tap usually a pilsner or a hefeweizen if you do not enjoy IPA’s. If you are looking for something to do while here at the brewery try one of their board games. For a more in-depth look at Twin Sails Brewing click here.
Once you peel yourself out of this tasting room you will take the horribly long walk to Yellow Dog Brewing next door.
Next up is the original brewery on the row in Yellow Dog Brewing. In the official video from BC Ale Trail you get a look at the old tasting room. Yellow Dog has had a massive expansion very recently and has a new capacity of 101 people if I remember correctly. Yellow Dog has been known well for their IPA but they make solid beers all around. Basically every beer is named after something to do with dogs including the Play Dead IPA, Chase My Tail Pale Ale and the Shake a Paw Smoked Porter to name a few. When they first opened they even let dogs on their back patio but health inspectors put a stop to that sadly. You won’t find a bad beer on tap here. To get more info on the brewery click here.
At some point you will have to decide to move on. Your next stop is The Parkside Brewery. This is once again a short little walk.
The Brewmaster at The Parkside Brewery Vern Lambourne was previously the Small Batch Brewmaster at Granville Island Brewing and has a great respect in the BC craft beer community. With a lineup of beer currently from a Pilsner to a Dark Cherry Imperial Stout there is a beer here for everyone. This is also if not by volume then by sheer space the largest brewery on the row. They also have the most parking if you want to drive here for a growler fill. Not only do they have beer here they also have shuffle board and one arcade racing game that is free. Click here to read more about the brewery.
Once you have had your fill of games and beer it is time to move to the last brewery on the Row in Moody Ales. A mere 3 minute walk away you wont have trouble finding this place.
Moody Ales could just as well be you starting point for this ale trail trip. With a great mix of beers and very friendly staff you wont want to leave. Moody Ales often has a cask beer on offer as well as up to 11 other beers. Moody Ales is also the only brewery on the row that offers 1L crowler cans of their beer. Can meets growler this beer is fresh and great to bring with you for outdoor activities. Here is my write up of Moody Ales while not fully up to date you get more of an idea about the brewery.
Once your done at Moody Ales there is lots to do in the area. The people at the Ale Trail recommend the following:
Fresh, locally-sourced menus, plus a total of 80 craft beers on tap!
Commitment to being simple, fresh, local and a part of the neighbourhood. Enjoy all four local craft beers and casual dining inspired by the West Coast lifestyle.