BEST BOT­TLES

Bri­tish Columbia has long been in­ter­na­tion­ally ad­mired for its wines, but now its craft beers and spir­its are also hold­ing their own on the world stage. Here, some of the new­est and bright­est

Vancouver Magazine - Best of the City 2016 - - Eat & Drink - By Christina Bur­ridge

Sur­rey craft-beer pow­er­house Cen­tral City ( 11411 Bridgeview Dr., 604-588-2337. Cen­tral­ci­ty­brew­ing. com) launched its spir­its line in 2014. Whisky and rum are still to come; for now, there’s this sin­gle­malt gin dis­tilled from B.C. bar­ley and tra­di­tional botan­i­cals, dom­i­nated by resiny ju­niper and cit­rus. Per­fect as part of a gin and tonic.

Deep Cove Brew­ers and Dis­tillers Oliver Rose­mary and Olive Gin Day trip to the North Shore’s Deep Cove—hike on one of the peace­ful trails or kayak for a cou­ple of hours be­fore in­dulging in a tour and tast­ing at this mi­cro­brewer and dis­tiller ( 170–2270 Dol­lartron Hwy. Deep-cov­ecraft.com). Oliver, flavoured with rose­mary and olive, makes a top­notch mar­tini.

The Lib­erty Dis­tillery En­deav­our Pink Gin What could be more de­li­ciously retro than pink gin? Ply­mouth gin made pink with a dash of An­gos­tura bit­ters was a sta­ple of the Royal Navy and a favourite of James Bond. Reimag­ined at this Granville Is­land dis­tillery ( 1494 Old Bridge St., 604-558-1998. The­lib­er­ty­dis­tillery.com), the pink comes from rose­hips. A full­strength en­deav­our at 47 per­cent- Long Ta­ble Dis­tillery Lon­don Dry Gin Vancouver’s first small-batch dis­tillery turns out a fine Lon­don Dry that sig­nals Vancouver more than its name­sake city—as in­vig­o­rat­ing as a walk in the woods on a spring day, all pine and earth­i­ness, sharp­ened by lemon peel. Don’t miss Long Ta­ble’s G & T Fri­days, in the front of their down­town premises ( 1451 Hornby St., 604266-0177. Longtabledis­tillery.com).

VODKA

Odd So­ci­ety Spir­its East Van Vodka Sun­day af­ter­noons achieve added ap­peal with a cus­tom cock­tail in a comfy chair at Odd So­ci­ety’s tast­ing lounge, lo­cated in a con­verted mo­tor­cy­cle garage off Com­mer­cial Drive ( 1725 Pow­ell St., 604-5596745. Oddso­ci­etyspir­its.com). Dis­tilled from B.C. bar­ley, East Van Vodka is bold, not neu­tral, per­fect for drink­ing neat or with the dis­tillery’s own black­cur­rant cas­sis.

Sons of Vancouver Dis­tillery Chili Vodka The small­est of the Lower Main­land’s small dis­til­leries, Sons of Vancouver might just put Tabasco out of busi­ness—its chili vodka, made from lo­cal grain and lo­cal Thai Dragon hot pep­pers, is the per­fect base for a cae­sar or Bloody Mary. The funky North Shore tast­ing room ( 1431 Crown St., North Vancouver. Son­sof­van­cou­ver. ca) is open week­end af­ter­noons. Yale­town Dis­till­ing Com­pany Vodka Like many of its com­peti­tors, this vodka re­lies on malted Peace River bar­ley from North­ern B.C. The com­pany’s ex­per­tise with grain (it owns a brew­ery next door to its Yale­town premises) shows in this vodka’s sweet, se­duc­tive malti­ness, as well as its rich and creamy tex­ture. Try it in a Cam­pari cock­tail ( 1132 Hamil­ton St., 604-669-2266. Yt­dis­till­ing.com). 33 Acres Brew­ing Com­pany With all-white dé­cor and green­ery, South Cam­bie's 33 Acres ( 15 W. Eighth Ave., 604-620-4580. 33acres­brew­ing.com) blends min­i­mal­ist Scandi style with a laid-back West Coast vibe to com­ple­ment a solid ros­ter of un­usual brews. The beer­bat­ter waf­fles (week­ends only) are worth the wait. Try: 33 Acres of Sunshine, a first-rate Fran­coBel­gian un­fil­tered white.

Bomber Brew­ing A small, dark, homely Eastside tast­ing room, crammed with lo­cals, on one of the city’s main bike routes ( 1488 Adanac St., 604428-7457. Bomber­brew­ing.com). Ex­pect to find four or five stan­dards and an ever-chang­ing ros­ter of sea­son­als, ses­sion­als, spe­cialty casks, and ex­per­i­ments. Try: Bri­tish Ex­tra Spe­cial Bit­ter (best en­joyed with the house-made potato chips). These two lo­cal heroes won gold in 2015 at, re­spec­tively, Vancouver mag­a­zine’s in­au­gu­ral craft beer awards and its 11th an­nual wine awards. It be­gan as a win­ter sea­sonal, but af­ter get­ting rave re­views it’s now on of­fer all year. Solid pine and a dry, spicy rye bal­ance a build­ing sweet­ness as the al­co­hol (at 8.5 per­cent, high for a red ale) and deep bit­ter­ness kick in. Light, crisp, and bone dry, this com­bines the juicy berry fruit of gamay and the savoury, herbal aro­mas of the Okana­gan.

Steam­works Brew­ing Co. Im­pe­rial Red Ale $5.89 Hay­wire Gamay Noir Rosé 2013 $24.90

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