Vancouver is one of the best beer cities around, but there's tons of great breweries throughout the province too! The BC Ale Trail is a brand new self-guided beer tour of the best breweries on central Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, and it's the perfect long weekend getaway for Vancouver locals. We love this road trip, here's a taste of the breweries in Nanaimo, Comox Valley, Powell River, and Gibsons if you go this summer!
We took the ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo, a small but vibrant community on Vancouver Island. First stop on the BC Ale Trail? White Sails Brewing, a new and spacious tap room that is hip, without being pretentious. They have an outdoor patio that's perfect for summertime, and a bunch of board games to enjoy with your beer!
Nanaimo's Longwood Brewery is a family friendly brewery with some delicious beers and cool, unique label designs. You can also check out the Longwood Brewpub in town if you'd rather some food with your beer.
Comox Valley Breweries
After making our way up North Vancouver Island (on "island time,") we stopped in at Cumberland Brewing for a tasting flight and some growler fills. Cumberland, BC is a small, quirky island town that "has always been a place where independent thinkers could come for a fresh start" ...or a fresh brew.
Next, we drove to Courtenay, BC where we stayed overnight and got to enjoy Gladstone Brewing. The brewery has an auto theme, and the best part is that once you have a decent beer buzz going, delicious pizza is right at your fingertips. You can order your pizza at a stand, and have it come to you while you drink on the patio. Perfect, right?
The pizza was so good that we had to take some back to our room in Courtenay...with a few growler fills too.
Powell River Breweries
The next day, we took a ferry from Courtenay/Comox over to Powell River on the Sunshine Coast. The Sunshine Coast isn't actually an island, even though you feel like you're on one because you have to take ferries everywhere! A good tip is to make ferry reservations before your trip! Powell River is an adorable, quaint town that's home to Townsite Brewing on the BC Ale Trail, and the people are just so friendly and fun here! Plus: really good Belgian beers.
From Powell River, we took a ferry over to our last destination on the BC Ale Trail, Gibsons, BC. Gibsons is only a 40 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay, so if you're not able to commit to all of the BC Ale Trail, at least come here for a short weekend trip! Because last but certainly not least is Persephone Brewing, an absolute beauty of a brewery on the Sunshine Coast from restauranteur Mark Brand.
It's definitely the hot local hangout, and they even grow their own hops on the farm! Their "Farm Fresh Beer" growler is definitely one to add to your collection. If you're hungry, you can enjoy some wood-fired pizza, or bring your own picnic! Persephone Brewing has a picnic license, so you can fill your growler and drink it on the farm with your picnic.
Those are the best breweries on the BC Ale Trail! We can't wait to show you more of our road trip and the surrounding areas, planning our trip around breweries was a pretty fun experience. Don't drink and drive!
This post is in partnership with Destination BC