One of our earliest posts was a self-guided tour aimed at discovering some of the hidden gems tucked away below East Hastings Street at the foot of Commercial Drive. Now the Hastings North Business Improvement Association has created the East Village Brewery & Distillery Passport to help guide you to the 6 craft breweries and 1 craft distiller tucked away in the less travelled routes of the City. To participate in this self-guided tour, all you need to do is pick up a Passport at any one of the 7 participating locations in the East Village. Your Passport contains a map with all the participating breweries and distillery located within easy sipping distance from each other. All you are required to do is, to start exploring and tasting. Generally speaking, this exploration is fairly walkable, save for Bomber Brewing which is a little further South. Lots (if not all) of the breweries have bike racks out front for those that wish to cycle between their destinations. When you take your passport to each destination, get a stamp from each participating brewery/distiller. Once you’ve collected your 7 stamps, you will receive an East Village branded growler. Taking part in The East Village Brewery & Distillery Passport will be the area’s oldest brewery (established in 1995) Storm Brewing, as well as Parallel 49 Brewing, Powell Street Craft Brewery, Doan’s Craft Brewing Co., Callister Brewing Co., Bomber Brewing, Andina Brewing and Odd Society Spirits. If you are taking the tour on a weekend, our personal recommendation would be to land at Odd Society Spirits for their free tour that happens every Saturday and Sunday at 4:00 pm. They provide a great background and history on the process and science of making craft spirits. Did we mention the owners are pretty passionate about what they do? It certainly comes across in everything they do.
However you choose to do the East Village Brewery & Distillery Tour is up to you, ie. you could hit all the spots in one day, break it down into 2 days or more. While in the area though, we do have a few suggestions. When you stop in at Callister Brewing Co., which houses a few micro breweries, be sure to check out the art on the wall. When stopping at Doan’s Craft Brewing, make some time for the arcade games while sampling their beer. Pac Man is our go to, but there some 80+ games to choose from. Whilst taste testing, we encourage food and some of the spots have snacks available or food trucks that are often nearby offering good eats. En route you will find lots of great spots to start or finish your day or for a pit spot, some we recommend that you may stumble across in your path include Scandillious or Yolk’s for breakfast, The Pie Shoppe for a sweet treat, Bistro Wagon Rogue for dinner at the end of the day. NOTE: The good folks that bring you Parallel 49 Brewing are just working on some renovations to their Tasting Room which will soon include eats in house. We understand they will be up and running end of March to serve you beer & food. Further note, Andina’s Brewing is just finishing up their space and will be opening soon. In the meantime, you can get tasting and working on that Passport of taste.