British Columbia has odd liquor laws that govern sales at both restaurants and retails stores. Liquor is only sold in two types of specialty stores: government run liquor stores and private liquor stores (sometimes referred to as ‘cold beer and wine’ stores).
Government liquor stores are (surprisingly) cheaper, and usually have a better selection. However, only a very few select stores have anything in a cooler (there are only 4 such stores across all of greater Vancouver), and even then the cooled selection is very small.
Private stores are almost always more expensive and although there are a few very good stores with huge selections, for the most part they only carry major brands and a few select smaller brands. Some private stores are specialty wine shops, and they have the best selection for unusual or rare wine – although at a price.
So, what’s good, you ask?
Vancouver (and BC in general) has a thriving microbrew scene. There are dozens of microbreweries, producing hundreds of different types of beer – from light, sweet lagers to the darkest of porters. Local beers vary in price and availability, but you’ll pretty much always be able to find something you like! (Read more…)
Unless you’re from around here, you probably haven’t heard much about BC wine. That’s okay, we rather like to keep it ourselves. You’ll be able to find a wide selection of BC wines across Vancouver, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can visit the wineries themselves in the warm, dry Okanagan Valley. (Read more…)
BC could probably make some great cider, given all the fruit that is grown. Unfortunately, most of what is made is artificially flavoured, and more like pop (soda, for any Americans reading this) than real cider. That doesn’t mean it isn’t good, just that you aren’t going to find much in the way of traditional, local ciders. (Read more…)
You aren’t likely to find too much startling about the liquor selection in Vancouver shops. There is little (if anything at all) produced locally, and, aside from rye whisky, not a lot of note produced across Canada. That being said, there are a few Canadian brands to look out for. (Read more…)