New breweries often look for a niche. Dogwood is the only brewery in a 5km radius and it’s clear this is their intended path to survival.
The brewery is unambitious, but that’s not an insult. There’s no bad beer (the sweet ones are their best, and they would be well served to make more of their Belgian Strong Golden Ale (Devil in a Peach Dress) next year), the space is sufficiently comfortable (wood, lots of natural light, basic board games), and the staff are sincere.
But, it’s also simply the only brewery in The Void (i.e. Southeast Vancouver).
(Editor’s note: a reminder that every single reviewer is a childless, Millennial UBC graduate)
And so, it doesn’t compel a trip for the sake of it, when the experience is replicable nearer to you, which is the case for most of Vancouver. Southeast Vancouver: rejoice at having a brewery! Everyone else: as you were.
There was lots of consensus about where it ranked, which is a bad trend when it’s just ok and no one loves it. Now approaching its 2nd anniversary, it has hardly grown over that time and appears content to be a neighbourhood brewery: a nobly simple ambition.
Its claim to fame is embracing the organic angle, though that’s hardly brought many accolades and it’s a very minor slice of the market (admittedly, not something that resonated with our reviewers, but may be fundamental to some).
If it fails to evolve, its continued survival balances on whether the neighbourhood and the passing commuters will sufficiently embrace it. It’s great that Southeast Vancouver has a local brewery, but overall it’s just another brick in the wall.
Quality: 11.8/20 (25th)
Standout: 3.2/5 (23rd)
Diversity: 5/10 (32nd)
Innovation: 2.2/5 (32nd)
Experience: 5.3/10 (36th)
TOTAL: 27.5 (T-32nd)