Doan’s Craft Brewing Company is a craft brewery in east Vancouver that has wood panelling on its floor and a unique design for its labels. It serves a variety of drinkable ales. If you like craft beer, it is a place you could go to.
Which is all very nice, but in this era of Peak Beer, there are no less than nine places around the Venables/Clark/Powell/Victoria quadrant of Vancouver where you can fill up a growler (10 when Andina opens), and so the lack of enthusiasm for Doan’s mostly comes from its lack of essentialness, rather than any gaping flaw.
But! Let’s say some nice things. To start with, this is tasty beer: the Rye IPA and Kolsch are their two tentpoles, and both are crisp and consistent. The space is cozy and is one of only two breweries on this list with an arcade machine. The Ola Volo artwork on the walls/labels are consistently delightful.
But the flip side of cozy is cramped: the tasting room is quite small and difficult to move around in, so larger groups will have difficulty finding space on a weekend. And if you don’t like Kolsch or Rye IPA, you’ll have difficulty filling up a paddle — they rarely brew more than four or five things at a time.
If anything, Doan’s suffers from being in the wrong city in the wrong year: If they arrived in Vancouver in 2010, they would be celebrated as a cool, family-owned business in an industry that could use more competition.
Today? It’s another brewery around Powell Street.
Quality: 12.4/20 (22nd)
Standout: 2.6/5 (31st)
Diversity: 4/10 (39th)
Innovation: 2.7/5 (23rd)
Experience: 5.8/10 (33rd)
TOTAL: 27.5 (T-32nd)