Location: Port Moody
Year Opened: 2016
BC Beer Award Wins: NA
Canadian Beer Awards Wins: NA
Rank in Port Moody: 4th place (out of 4)
Rank in Metro Vancouver: 32nd place (out of 48)
Rank in Southwest B.C.: 50th place (out of 77)
Come in the summer. Come for the picnic lawn, strewn with cheery families and friendly dogs aplenty. Stay for the shuffleboard. Stay for the food-truck tacos. Stay for the video games, stay to watch the antics of a bachelor party wandering through, stay because you can’t think of anywhere else more pleasant to go. On a nice day, you’ll find a surfeit of good reasons to stick around Parkside’s absolutely lovely Port Moody patio. Just don’t expect the beer to be one of them.
This might sound like a forehanded insult, but it really isn’t. Good atmosphere, we found, was one of the hardest things for a brewery to truly nail — and Parkside nails it. Sure, 33 Acres is a lovely place to snap a photo, but it’s a little cramped and sterile in real life. Even among the spots on our list with good scores for “Fulfilling Experience,” almost everywhere left something lacking — from the sparse seating at Ridge (one of us literally sat on a pony keg), to the overfilled layout at Main Street, to the awkward location of Steel and Oak.
Postmark, Parkside’s closest competitor on experience score, is almost cheating — they started with a Railtown building that already dripped character. Parkside built their great location from the ground up, and they built it right. They don’t pack in crowds, good food’s on offer, and there’s plenty of space to lounge, with friendly pets to meet. On a lazy Saturday in July, we can’t think of another place in Metro Vancouver we’d rather be.
The beer, though? At best, it’s passable. Parkside knows what they’re about, and they know they aren’t joining Port Moody’s already-competitive Brewery Row to really compete on quality. The best part about our tasting flights was their adorable park-bench design; the brews themselves were uniformly off, dull, and uninspired. From bland fruit beers to slapdash IPAs, everything hit well wide of the mark.
Fortunately, they have guest taps. If you’re in Port Moody, go to Parkside. You’ll have a great time. We can’t stress that enough. But order a guest tap.
Quality: 10.4/20 (65th)
Standout: 2.1/5 (70th)
Diversity: 5.6/10 (51st)
Innovation: 2.1/5 (59th)
Experience: 9.6/10 (1st)
TOTAL: 29.9 (50th)
Next in Metro Van/Southwest B.C.: White Rock Beach Beer
Categories: Brewery Rankings