AUG/SEP 2005 | REGIONAL | INTERNATIONAL
B.C. Brews News : Pubbing Around B.C.
By John Rowling
When was the last time you walked into the front door of
a pub and found an airline counter in front of you? Or went
to check in for a flight and mistakenly walked into a bar?
I certainly never had either experience until visiting the
Flying Beaver on the Fraser River on the
south side of Vancouver Airport in Richmond recently. We went
to the pub for the scenery, or at least the float planes.
On a late Friday afternoon, Harbour Air and its neighbour,
W.G. Air, just downstream were busy with weekend traffic.
The best spot to sip a beer and see the action is on the pub’s
outdoor patio on stilts over the Middle Arm of the Fraser
River. The beer selection is pretty standard but covers all
the bases. Delicious food and super burgers (the Bi-Plane
was a favourite). Thursday night is steak night (with baked
potato, salad and tiger prawns for $7.95!). The atmosphere
here is unique: West Coast at its best.
One of the most popular beers at the Great Canadian Beer
Festival last September was Peter Haupenthal’s Jamaican
Lager. This light (4.7% abv), refreshing beer was made with
hibiscus concentrate from Mexico, giving it its unique flavour.
Peter is the brewer at Dockside Brewing,
the brewpub in Vancouver’s Granville Island Hotel. Born
in Merzig, Germany, Peter has been brewing beer for over 30
years in countries including Nigeria, Bolivia, Belize and
the Marshall Islands. The brewery has always concentrated
on German-style beers since opening. It is not surprising,
then, especially with Peter’s background, that the beer
styles include light and dark lagers, a honey lager, a pilsner
and a hefeweizen. Peter also brews a pale ale and a stout.
There are three separate spots to drink in the hotel. The
pub is a sports bar with a fireplace, pool tables and TVs.
The food is great, with lovely pizza from the forno in the
kitchen. Next door is the Dockside Brewing Lounge overlooking
the patio and boardwalk. The Dockside Restaurant is a beautiful
room with floor-to-ceiling windows and a 50-foot aquarium.
My favourite plan is to find a seat at the bar in the restaurant
just before sunset. This is one of the most stunning waterfront
views in Vancouver. Nothing could be better than to sit at
the great curved bar sipping Peter’s beers while watching
the lights come on over False Creek.
Nothing could be better
than to sit at the great curved bar sipping Peter’s
beers while watching the lights come on over False Creek.
As you drive into the Longwood Station shopping centre at
the north end of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, the Longwood
Brewpub is impossible to miss. The impressive wooden
building with the big silver 10-metre-high grain silo next
to the entrance is certainly eye-catching. On your left as
you enter the pub is the brewhouse, proudly on display behind
glass walls. No hiding secrets here! The gleaming stainless
steel brewery was made in Victoria by Specific Mechanical.
Publican Barry Ladell and brewer Harley Smith offer a range
of beers that cover the entire world of beer styles. From
German wheat ales and lagers to British ales and Belgian fruit
beers, Harley brews beers of outstanding quality. My personal
favourite is the Copper Bock, a huge creamy seasonal lager
well balanced with a mild hop aroma. The Czech pilsner is
very clean and has a strong aroma of Saaz hops. Other great
beers are the IPA, an extra special bitter and a Scottish
ale to die for.
The cuisine is definitely fresh and local West Coast style.
The baked salmon comes with a dill mustard glaze that works
very well with the Czech pilsner, and the halibut with its
mango salsa is perfect with an Irish red ale. The Longwood
Brewpub is a great place to enjoy wonderful ales and lagers
and savour a splendid West Coast menu.
Flying Beaver Pub
4760 Inglis Dr.
Richmond, BC V7B 1W4
Granville Island Hotel
1253 Johnston St.
Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9
5775 Turner Rd.
Nanaimo, BC V9T 6L8
John Rowling lives in Victoria, B.C., which,
according to him, is "a seven-brewery city: one for every
day of the week." He was CAMRA Victoria's first president,
and he is one of the founders of the Great Canadian Beer Festival.