4 superb suds-and-buds pairings to try in Vancouver

Ahead of Vancouver Craft Beer Week, we offer four suds-and-buds pairings—in four distinct Vancouver neighbourhoods known for their reputable beer

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Ahead of Vancouver Craft Beer Week, we offer four suds-and-buds pairings—in four distinct Vancouver neighbourhoods known for their reputable beer and dispensaries—for the adventurous to sample.

East Van

Better known as Yeast Van, the city’s hot spot for craft beer will be buzzing with beer-themed crawls and boozy theme nights all week. While the selection of incredible breweries vastly outnumbers the neighbourhood’s brick-and-mortar pot shops, there are a couple to check out while you bike-hop your way between suds sellers.

The Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary (880 East Hastings Street) is located across the street from Strathcona Brewing (895 East Hastings Street) and within walking distance of Luppolo Brewing (1123 Venables Street) and Callister Brewing (1338 Franklin Street).

If you’re making a pit stop at Doan’s Craft Brewing (1830 Powell Street) to sample one of the city’s best Kölsch offerings or are in need of a little creative inspiration for the Strange Fellows art session (May 28), you can also check out Eggs Canna (2303 East Hastings Street) for a solid selection of flower.

Dare to pair: Blue Cookies from Eggs Canna and Powell Brewery’s Yippee-Ki-Yay Nordic Table Beer. The indica-dominant hybrid is the heavy-hitting love child of two very famous parent strains, Blueberry and Girl Scout Cookies. The sticky, rich notes of mixed berries in the bud complement the aromas of blueberry, tangerine, and tropical fruits brought out in the light and refreshing ale.

Luppolo Brewing.

Gastown

There are a few options to ring in craft-beer week if you’re on the downtown waterfront. Postmark Brewing (55 Dunlevy Avenue) offers some topnotch local brews—including a B.C. classic, West Coast Pale Ale—alongside the sharable tapas-style menu of the Belgard Kitchen. You could also soak in the people-watching on the patio of one of the city’s landmark breweries, Steamworks (375 Water Street), just a few blocks west of the Gassy Jack statue.

When it comes to Gastown, however, beer is best on the go. This historic neighbourhood is the meeting spot for Vancouver Brewery Tours, because truly celebrating craft is not about limiting yourself to just one pub’s beer offerings.

If you happen to require a herbal supplement to keep you going during the Gastown Pub Walk (May 31), make sure to stop by one of the friendliest and most iconic weed lounges in the city, Cannabis Culture (307 West Hastings Street). If you’re looking for a quick pit stop, Farm Cannabis (369 Columbia Street) is a sweet hole-in-the-wall shop with a solid selection of prerolls to cut down on the preparation ahead of your adventure.

Dare to pair: Hawaiian Punch from Farm and Postmark Brewing’s Gose. This energetic and uplifting sativa will keep you going as you check off some of the city’s finest watering holes, while the tangy notes of lemon and pineapple will play nicely with the tart German-style wheat beer. There’s also something about the salty aftertaste of the brew and the tropical aromas of the strain that creates the perfect staycation duo.

Strathcona Brewing.

West End

The West End is notoriously brewery-free. In fact, it may be the only neighbourhood in Vancity with more flowers than flights. In an effort to share the wealth, a collective of Yeast Van’s finest are coming together for one night (May 31) to bring B.C. beer to the West End crowd. That night, Timber Gastropub’s (1300 Robson Street) taps will only serve a selection of the best suds from Callister Brewing, Strange Fellows, Andina, Bomber Brewing, and more.

If you’re looking for something to stir the appetite pre–bison burger and brew, just a 10-minute stroll south of Timber you’ll find the reputable West End Medicinals (1162 Bute Street). Green Panda (1707 Robson Street) is another dispensary requiring only a brisk jaunt down Robson.

Dare to pair: Purple Urkle from West End Medicinals with Strathcona’s Blackberry Berliner Weisse. The infamous indica boasts mouth-watering notes of grape and berry that balance nicely with the tart, fruity summer beer. The strain also promises to enhance your postdinner stroll to English Bay after enjoying Timber’s classic Canadian comfort food.

Beere Brewing. Credit: Beere Brewing Company

North Van

Nestled between mountains and ocean, B.C.’s craft beer movement has quickly taken root in North Vancouver. If you find yourself in need of a post-paddleboard recovery session or a Grind-time celebration, there are a small handful of breweries and dispensaries to help you along the way.

While the dispensary scene has yet to proliferate in this part of Vancouver, there is one staple shop locals frequent for herbal remedies perched just off of Lonsdale Avenue.

You can opt to soak in the welcoming atmosphere at Lotusland (148 2nd Street East) which provides a comfy spot to roll your weed before wandering over to Beere Brewing Company (312 Esplanade Avenue) or the North Shore’s house of premium craft beers, Tap & Barrel (8 Lonsdale Avenue). Both are also great places to keep in mind for the Shipyards Night Market which features a locally-sourced beer garden.

Dare to pair: “Death Star” from Lotus Lounge with the “Dark Humour Stout” from Beere Brewery Company. The complex espresso notes of the full-bodied coffee stout balance nicely with the equally-rugged diesel and earthy flavour profile in the bud. The heaviness of the stout also plays a nice role in satiating any appetite stimulation from the pungent indica.

To see more neighbourhood-dispensary guides, check out the Straight Cannabis website.

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