Last week I was invited to check out the Gastown Craft Beer n’ Bites tour from Vancouver Food Tour. As you all know I’m all about food adventures so when you combine that with craft beer you know it’s going to be a winner. This is just one type of tour that Vancouver Food Tour has put together and offers and more details can be found on the Vancouver Food Tour website by clicking here.
For our tour the meeting stop was centrally located at Waterfront Center so getting there isn’t an issue. The 3 different destinations were not told to us in advance since it is a custom designed tour and it also keeps things a surprise. The flow of the tour was great and we casually worked our way through Gastown with our guide. Stopping along the way at a couple different landmarks we picked up some great info of this historic part of Vancouver.
Our guide and Vancouver Food Tour‘s self proclaimed “Beer Nerd” Nicole Coetzee was a great host. Recently Nicole completed the prestigious Cicerone certification exam and is well on her way to being BC’s first female beer sommelier. She has a love of all things beer and it really showed, Nicole has to be one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve met that is a “beer head”.
With our introductions finished we were off to our 1st stop of the night. At our tour stops we were served 3 different beers paired with dishes that would compliment them. Starting from left-right, Phoenix Gold Lager by Phillip’s Brewery paired with a Lobster Mac N Cheese, Seed Spitter Watermelon Wit beer from East Van brewery Parallel 49 paired with the Vietnamese Taco and lastly Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery paired with a mild Chilli.
On our way to our next stop we stopped to check out the Gastown Steam Clock and get a bit of history.
Our next stop is a favorite of mine for their beer and food selection, they are also known for making a mean cocktail. We sampled 3 beers again but 2 of them were of the same variety (one of which I drink on a regular basis) and a dark stout rounded out the selections. With the Scotch Egg I enjoyed the Great White from Lost Coast Brewery and the White Bark Ale from Driftwood Brewery which is the one I enjoy on a regular basis.
The Devils on Horseback were my favorite food and beer pairing here. The appropriately named Back Hand of God Stout from Crannóg Ales totally complimented the smokiness of the bacon and the sweetness of the prune worked with the chocolate flavor notes of the beer.
For our last stop we ended with dessert and what had to be the beer that surprised me the most. I’ve been dieing to come and visit the last stop so when we were walking towards it I got all giddy! Beer wise we were served Stumpy coffee porter, Cascadian Brown Ale and Switchback IPA. flavor wise the IPA was extremely hoppy and my least favorite. The Cascadian Brown Ale was smooth with a subtle sweetness to it, a very drinkable beer that was a collaboration by the guy’s who bring us Vancouver Craft Brew Week whom Nicole is a part of.
Lastly we have the Stumpy coffee porter, I’ve never had a beer flavored with coffee and was surprised and intrigued with when it was served to us. It paired perfectly with the chocolate cake and helped cut the sweetness of it-a perfect pairing in my eyes.
I had an amazing time on this tour and thoroughly enjoyed the company of the other guests. The Craft Beer n’ Bites tour is something to definitely check out if you’re visiting the city and it would be the perfect afternoon if you have a couple of hours to kill before your cruise ship transfer. It’s priced at $75 and tours are usually 6-8 people, private tours are also available if you have a group of beer loving friends.
About Vancouver Food Tour:
In early 2011, The Westender’s “Best of the City” edition awarded the founder, Melody Fury, the Local Entrepreneur of the Year title.