By Justin Penney
VANCOUVER — The proliferation of craft breweries in Vancouver in recent years means that we’ve all become beer snobs and my four-year-old niece knows what an IBU is. Local craft beer is awesome, but what about those of us with a more refined taste? Until recently, local procurement of unique distilled spirits meant picking up a massive bottle of something with a handle, a screw top and a punny name from Trader Joe’s in Bellingham, hoping the border guard didn’t notice it sticking out from under the passenger seat. That’s cool if you like smuggling, but those of us thirsting for some premium locally crafted hooch have been sorely out of luck until recently. Three craft distilleries have opened in Vancouver since 2013, and each one uses B.C. ingredients to bring something uniquely local to the city’s liquor landscape.
The Liberty Distillery
Where: 1494 Old Bridge St., Granville Island
Don’t miss: Railspur No. 2, an unaged “white whiskey” made from 100% B.C. organic barley with an infusion of Chilliwack River Valley Wildflower Honey.
Distillery Tours & Tasting: Saturday-Sunday 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. – $10 per person (reservations required)
Cocktail Lounge: From 10 a.m., seven days a week
Long Table Distillery
Where: 1451 Hornby St.
Don’t Miss: Bourbon-Barreled Gin. Already known for their gin, Long Table has released a limited edition that is aged in bourbon barrels for a uniquely complex creation that’s sure to excite bourbon and gin lovers alike.
Visits & Tasting: No reservations required, open Tue.-Thur. 12-6, Fri. 12-9, Sat. 12-6. We suggest checking out Gin & Tonic Fridays every Friday from 4-9 for a signature G&T and some local food truck fare.
Odd Society Spirits
Where: 1725 Powell St.
Don’t Miss: East Van Vodka. Like its namesake, its distinct character makes it a bit of an outsider in the otherwise conformist world of traditional vodka.
Cocktails & Tasting: Thur. 1-7, Fri. & Sat. 1-9, and for an unreal Caesar, drop by on Sunday from 1-6.
BC, BC Alcohol Issue, British Columbia, craft distilleries, liqour, Long Table Distillery, Odd Society Spirits, The Liberty Distillery