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Visiting craft breweries has become a staple among the must-do activities in Vancouver. The city is a haven for breweries as the mild climate produces many of the quality ingredients needed to make amazing beer. Hops, barley, raspberries, cherries, and other seasonal fruit are at brewers’ fingertips, making the Pacific Northwest a hot spot for craft beer.
With over 70 breweries in the city, there is no shortage of exploring to be done! We are HUGE fans of craft beer and while living here we had a chance to visit many of the best breweries in Vancouver. With so many options, we found taking a brewery tour is an easy way to narrow down where to go and have the entire experience planned out for you. Plus, the local guides always have great drink recommendations and keep you entertained along the way!
Each of these tours in Vancouver offers something a little different, whether you’re new to the world of beer or nearly a certified beer geek. A brewery tour is an ideal way to have an authentic Vancouver experience, and drink some good beer in the process!
To help you narrow it down, here are the 6 best brewery tours in Vancouver to choose from!
Why Join a Brewery Tour in Vancouver?
You can certainly get a feel for a brewery by stopping by and having a pint, but there’s really so much more that goes into the brewery experience. Joining a brewery tour is an awesome way to learn the differences between each brewery, and have a seamlessly planned day where you can just show up and enjoy.
Plus, these are great all year long whether you’re visiting in the summer or planning a winter getaway in Vancouver.
One of the best parts of these brewery tours has to be the local guides. These guides are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about beer so they are a wealth of information. They know the area and can take you to places you might have never known about!
On some tours, you even get to meet the brewmasters, which is always my favorite part because you can ask questions and learn how certain beers were inspired. It makes the whole experience feel a lot more personal.
These tours are also great because you can save a lot of money rather than visiting each brewpub individually. Most tours include around $30 CAD market value of beer, and you’re getting an intimate look at the beer-making process as well! Some of the tours include transportation so you have a built-in designated driver, which is always a plus.
Our Top Picks
Each of the tours offers unique and awesome stops, but we narrowed down our top two favorites! Having lived in Vancouver and being beer enthusiasts ourselves, we love what these tours provide. Both are located in iconic Vancouver neighborhoods and hit some of our favorite breweries. The beer is great, the guides are awesome, and you will get a fully immersive Vancouver experience!
Vancouver behind-the-scenes brewery tour (Best Overall)
This behind-the-scenes brewery tour is our top pick because you get the VIP experience! You’ll have transportation taken care of as you tour three top breweries with priority seating at each. It’s a small group, so you don’t feel lost in a crowd and you get to try a variety of different beers while getting a feel for the Vancouver craft beer scene.
Craft beer revolution and tasting tour (Best on a Budget)
Getting a taste for craft beer in Vancouver doesn’t have to be as pricey as you think! If you’re on a budget or looking for an affordable night out, this tasting tour is our pick. It has the feel of a neighborhood pub crawl as you visit breweries in the Mount Pleasant area. For under $75 CAD, you get tastings at three breweries including specialty small-batch beers and a local guide who makes the entire experience a blast.
Best Brewery Tours in Vancouver
1. Vancouver behind-the-scenes brewery tour
Chances are if you’re reading about this tour you have a passion for craft beer. This behind-the-scenes tour not only takes you around to three different breweries in Vancouver but you’ll also be surrounded by fellow beer enthusiasts!
We love this specific tour because the breweries are fantastic and you feel like a bit of a celebrity with the VIP treatment. I’m talking about skipping the lines with priority seating so you’re spending more time enjoying a drink than trying to find a seat.
One of the other major perks of booking this tour is the designated driver is included! You’ll meet at the pickup spot downtown, then the tour takes you all over the city to each brewery.
Along with the fantastic beers on tap, often the real star of the show is the tour guide. The guides have deep knowledge and love for the entire beer process, so spending an entire evening with them is like hanging out with a walking beer encyclopedia.
Not only do you get a wealth of information from your personal guide, but there is also an opportunity to talk to the brewmasters themselves. I always get very excited to learn how each brewery makes its beer and the personal touches each brewmaster puts into their craft.
You’ll also get to take home a souvenir beer glass to commemorate your day. This 3-hour tour is $125 CAD and includes your incredible guides, beer tastings, a pint glass, and transportation. You’ll need to book for a minimum of four people, so grab and few friends and book this behind-the-scenes brewery tour here!
2. Private tour: Vancouver craft beer tasting tour
There are always new breweries in Vancouver, so this private tour strives to take you to the finest four of the city. We love this intimate tour because you can have a fun day out with friends or it’s a great rainy day activity to do in Vancouver.
One of your stops is 33 Acres Brewing. This minimalist-styled brewery usually has five to eight beers on tap, so they really focus their efforts to make these beers outstanding. Definitely try their 33 Acres of Ocean Pale Ale! It has that strong hop flavor from the local hops.
Red Truck Beer Company has a totally different feel, it doesn’t try to be overly trendy but instead focuses on the simplicity of beer. They also have a full kitchen, which might be beneficial after having quite a few beer samples!
Another brewery you’ll visit is Main Street Brewing Company. If you like IPAs, I highly recommend drinking the Naked Fox IPA. This beer has won a bunch of awards and is a straightforward hoppy beer.
The final brewery listed on this tour is a mystery, so just let your guide lead the way.
We love this tour because it can cater to what you want to experience. You’ll get personal recommendations that fit with what you want to try and you won’t feel rushed trying to keep up with a group.
This tour is $368 CAD per person for two people (but gets cheaper the larger your group) and includes transportation and all of your beer tastings. While it is on the expensive side, it is a great way to have a tailor-made experience of the beer culture of the area and a fun day out!
Related Read: If you’re looking to burn some calories before a brewery tour, check out the best hikes in Vancouver!
3. East Van hipster and brewery tour
East Vancouver is an area in the city filled with coffee shops, murals all around the streets, and of course, craft breweries! What we love about this brewery tour in East Van is that you get to walk from place to place, so you really get to experience this part of the city.
East Vancouver has a bunch of hole-in-the-wall spots, even our first meeting point was something I wouldn’t have found without the guide.
After a round of drinks and appetizers, you’ll go on a little walking tour. There are many beautiful murals by local artists, so it is really fun to take pictures with them and learn about this up-and-coming neighborhood.
You’ll make your way to Mount Pleasant, one of the most hipster areas of Vancouver, which means great craft beer and lots of flannel shirts! This is one of my favorite neighborhoods and is a must-see if it’s your first time in the city.
Then your last stop is Steamworks Brew Pub in the neighborhood of Gastown, Vancouver. This is the first steam-powered brewery in Canada and it’s one of our go-to spots! Plus it’s close to the famous Gastown Steam Clock. If you want to see more of this area, I highly recommend joining a city tour in Vancouver – there’s even a haunted historical tour you can do in the evening right after the brewery tour!
This afternoon of hipster culture is $140 CAD and includes all drinks, appetizers, and your local guide. I love having a local tell me about the area, as well as show the hot spots of an area, it is truly an invaluable way to learn about the city!
Hot tip: Located in East Van is DownLow Chicken, it’s the most famous fried chicken shop in the city (and has the best fried chicken sandwiches I’ve tried) – so check it out!
To secure a spot on this tour that is offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays, book online with Viator here.
Why We Book Tours with Viator
Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:
- Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
- Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
- Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
- Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.
Check out the Viator website here!
4. Craft beer revolution and tasting tour
If you’re looking for a deep dive into the informational side of brewing paired with a fun day of drinking, this tasting tour might just be the tour for you! You’ll visit three different breweries in the historic Mount Pleasant neighborhood.
You’ll start the tour at Main Street Brewing Company, which is known as one of Vancouver’s classic breweries. Here you will get to learn about the four main ingredients that go into nearly every batch brewed and get to sample the very beer you’re learning about.
You’ll then walk through “Brewery Creek” and hit two more breweries in the neighborhood, although there are so many you might have to come back to try more! This is where the tour really dives into the small-batch brewery culture. You’ll learn about how the craft beer culture has grown and taste a variety of small-batch beers, meaning they are only available at the local breweries you visit!
If you get the chance to get Chad as your guide, his depth of knowledge of beer is quite impressive, and he makes the tour so fun and personable!
This tour is great whether you’re brand new to craft beer culture or a veteran. I think this is the best choice if you’re on a budget, but really get the same quality as the other tours! For $74 CAD you get tastings at three different breweries and the guide, who is truly a wealth of information!
5. Vancouver craft brewery tour led by a local
One of the best parts of booking a tour is that nearly everything is taken care of for you. You simply show up, and enjoy!
This tour led by a local is exactly that. You’ll visit three breweries, led by a local “beer geek”. Every time we got to a new brewery, there were flights ready to go and our beer geek was already telling us the specific details of each brew.
The first brewery is Parallel 49, which has a great spread of beers. Whether you like a light and crisp lager or a nice and bitter IPA, there is a beer for anyone here.
The second stop is at the nearby Bomber Brewing. This also has a great variety of styles, so I find it helpful to ask the guide for recommendations to find which beer best suits you! This brewery has a great patio, so if you can visit on a sunny day it makes for a beautiful afternoon!
Finally, you’ll make your way to Off the Rail Brewing where you must try the Crazy Train IPA. This brewery has a cozy environment that makes for a perfect last stop on the tour.
Each stop comes with four 4oz tasters and transportation between breweries. I personally love the local “beer geek” who makes the tour much more personable and fun. It’s more than just beer, it’s the whole experience!
This full afternoon of beer tasting can be booked online here for $120 CAD.
6. Street art tour of Vancouver with craft beer tastings
Vancouver not only has a thriving beer scene, but an impressive local art scene as well! This combo street art and beer tour is truly unique as it gives you a chance to dive into local art and craft beer all in one day.
The tour starts by exploring Olympic Village (where I lived!) and False Creek. Both of these areas offer incredible views of the city and are home to the annual Vancouver Mural Festival. The art in this area is constantly rotating, so every time you visit you’ll see something new!
I think having a local guide is really valuable as they can share the history and significance of the city art as you walk from brewery to brewery!
You’ll spend some time at The Beaumont Studio, where many Vancouver artists work and display their art. And of course, you’ll be given a can of locally brewed beer here!
Then you’ll stop at two breweries in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood: Electric Bicycle Brewing and Faculty Brewing Company. These are definitely two of the most popular breweries in Vancouver! Electric Bicycle is known for its funky atmosphere and sour beers, whereas Faculty brewing is open-air and constantly rotating beers on tap, so you always get something new!
This is the most unique tour on the list, so if you love art and beer, this would be a great afternoon for you! Beer samples are included, and this tour can be booked online here for just $70 CAD.
Other Fantastic Tours in Vancouver
While the above are the best Vancouver brewery tours we’ve experienced, there are many more fantastic tours in and around the Vancouver area. Here are some of our personal favorites:
- Whale watching – If you’ve never seen a whale, this is your chance! Between April and October, you can take this half-day whale-watching tour from Vancouver and travel by boat around islands in search of humpback whales and orcas. On our trip, we spotted lots of sea lions, seals, otters, and sea birds, too! Whale watching in Vancouver is a family-friendly activity and costs $226 CAD per adult and even less for kids.
- Seaplane flight – Nothing beats soaring over Vancouver on this scenic seaplane flight tour, and honestly, this is our favorite thing that we ever did in the city! For $160 CAD, you’ll see all the top sights we mentioned but from a birds-eye view. These flights run year-round but are always ideal on a sunny day. To learn more, read our tips on booking a Vancouver seaplane flight.
- Victoria and the Butchart Gardens – On this full-day tour, you’ll hit up the top sights in Victoria as well as explore the Butchart Gardens. These gardens were voted some of the best in the world, and they have over 900 plant varieties, five different garden styles, and 26 greenhouses. Plus, you’ll get to take a cruise on the ferry from Vancouver to Vancouver Island, which is an experience in itself!
- Sunset dinner cruise – Dinner, drinks, and a sunset cruise on the harbor … it doesn’t get much better than this! We’ve done this sunset dinner cruise tour twice, and truthfully, we’d do it again! While the sun sets over the horizon, you’ll enjoy an expansive dinner buffet along with live music for $209 CAD per adult. It’s our top cruise in Vancouver and perfect for groups of friends, families, or for a romantic evening (especially if you’re planning a honeymoon in Vancouver!).
Where to Stay in Vancouver
Vancouver is one of the most popular cities in Canada. The fact is that in the summer and winter, the city books up very fast. Booking your hotel or hostel well in advance is the only way to secure the best place to stay for you!
Some great hotels and hostels in Vancouver that we love are:
The Cambie Hostel Gastown – $
The Cambie Hostel Gastown is an overall good budget choice. The location is in the heart of Gastown and close to lots of bars and restaurants. Attached to the hostel is a very lively bar too. The rooms are clean, but we felt the bathrooms were a little cramped.
It’s perfect for backpackers on a budget and is relatively cheap for being so central. Yet, it still offers quality accommodations. To snag this deal, you’ll want to reserve a room on Hostelworld.com or Booking.com!
Times Square Suites – $$
For a beautiful hotel close to Stanley Park, you should opt for the Times Square Suites. It’s very hard to fault this hotel, and we think the location is amazing. Plus, the suites are spacious yet have a cozy feel with kitchenettes and gas fireplaces. This hotel feels luxurious yet still affordable, with prices starting at $196 CAD when you book ahead online.
Hyatt Regency Vancouver – $$$
The Hyatt Regency Vancouver has the perfect location halfway between Stanley Park and Gastown. As you can imagine, it’s a luxury stay in a large hotel chain that is very highly reviewed! It has an outdoor hot tub, a gym, a Starbucks on-site, and is within walking distance to top sights.
Rooms start at $233 CAD and are clean, spacious, and very well-kept. So if you can afford to spend a little more, we recommend treating yourself to this hotel! You can check availability, prices, and book your stay here.
For more info on the best areas and hotels, check out my complete guide on where to stay in Vancouver. It breaks down everything you need to know before choosing the right hotel!
Renting a Car in British Columbia
If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane, then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.
Car rental in Canada isn’t relatively cheap, but it’s not that expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pick-up and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though, depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Discover Cars. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Discover Cars all over the world, including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.
Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic, you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!
Thanks for reading!
Sampling some of the craft beer on tap in Vancouver is such a fun activity to add to your Vancouver itinerary! Brewery tours in Vancouver take all the hassle of picking where to go and you’ll have a handy local guide for recommendations. You really can’t go wrong with any of these tours, so the hardest part might be choosing just one!
If you need any more ideas for your trip to BC, make sure to check out all of our West Coast blogs. We have tons of recommendations on the best things to see, where to stay, popular road trips, and more!