Comparing the granddaddy of Vancouver craft brewing companies with places that have opened this decade is like judging Family Guy against Veep: one has been around forever, is passively known by millions and is a gateway drug to better, while the other is, you know, actually good.
And with Granville Island owned by a subsidiary of Molson, it’s questionable whether it should even be on this list — but let’s dive in anyway to the Island Lager, Cypress Honey Lager, and all the other beers you learned about in 2007 after you got tired of downing Canadian at your 16th university party of the semester.
Comfortingly, the beer is exactly as you remember it: somewhat flavourful, somewhat similar and the very definition of passable. The Winter Ale, like the Canucks, remains an institution you look forward to every year, and are inevitably disappointed by. The full list of taps, much like any glass tower built in Vancouver during the 1990s, is interesting at first glance but lacks depth. The tasting room is cavernous but otherwise nice.
In recent years, Granville Island has been promoting their small batch beer, which can be interesting, but those are a side experiment that’s a minuscule part of their overall operations and tasting room experience.
In short, the brewery you knew and enjoyed – relative to the competition, a decade ago – hasn’t changed. Whether that’s a good thing is up to you.
Quality: 10/20 (36th)
Standout: 2.2/5 (35th)
Diversity: 5.4/10 (26th)
Innovation: 1.3/5 (40th)
Experience: 6.4/10 (27th)
TOTAL: 25.29 (37th)