Year Opened: 2014
Flights of Four: $6
BC Beer Award Wins: 2017 – Fruit (Anno 2016), Saison (Lake City Farmhouse), Belgian Strong (Louise), 2016 – Wood Aged (Entropy Series), Specialty IPA (Blonde IPA), Belgian Strong Ale (Blonde), 2015 – Abbey Ale (Blonde)
Canadian Beer Awards Wins: 2017 – French & Belgian Style Saison (East of East Steamworks Collab), 2016 – Belgian Style (Burnabarian)
Rank in Metro Vancouver: 6th place (out of 48)
Rank in Southwestern B.C.: 9th place (out of 77)
The patron saint of brewers, St Amand, is a Belgian whose immortal exhortation, “Don’t drink the water, drink beer”, while being less life-or-death than in the days before sewage treatment, is still good advice for a good night out.
The good folks at Dageraad have taken their inspiration from early Belgian pioneers of the craft, taking cues from the styles developed over centuries by Trappist monks and other brewing enthusiasts of Wallonia and Flanders, and given them a distinctly West Coast spin.
If you like Belgian beer, you should check out Dageraad. Their three standards, the Blonde, Amber, and Burnbarian, are all complex, delicious, and distinctively Belgian. But they show off their skills in their more limited releases where – for example, their Sri Lanka, a dubbel brewed with tamarind and kithul treacle, is one reviewer’s favourite beer, bar none.
Dageraad’s beers are excellent, and rated fifth highest for quality. But our rubric does not, unfortunately, reward the pursuit of excellence in a narrow field, and no top-tier brewery suffered more because of this than Dageraad.
But this was much more of a problem when their tasting room had literally capacity for eight people and four beers. Over the past year, they’ve expanded both their tasting room and number of beers on tap, including several rare beers from Belgian, which is a great complement to their style of beer.
And whereas their old tasting room only offered a few of their standard beers, they now pour the beer they are renowned for: their bottle-conditioned selection. While their tasting room is a bit of a slog in the industrial area northwest of Production Way/University Skytrain Station, it’s a great mid-way stopping point when trekking out to Port Moody’s brewery road.
Let’s be clear — this is still a brewery for people who enjoy heavy Belgian beers, and if that’s not your jam you may be waiting for your friends to hurry up so you can get to Port Moody. For the rest of us, their incredible attention to detail and perfection in crafting hard-to-make beers has always been evident, and their new tasting room is just the excuse we we needed to put them in our Top 10.
Quality: 16.7/20 (5th)
Standout: 3.8/5 (18th)
Diversity: 6/10 (38th)
Innovation: 3.7/5 (11th)
Experience: 7.1/10 (31st)
TOTAL: 37.3 (9th)
Next in Metro Vancouver/Southwest B.C.: Yellow Dog
Categories: Brewery Rankings