Andina Brewing Company

Location: East Vancouver
Year Opened: 2017
BC Beer Award Wins: NA
Canadian Beer Awards Wins: NA

Rank in Vancouver: 12th place (out of 25)
Rank in Metro Vancouver: 26th place (out of 48)
Rank in Southwest B.C.: 43rd place (out of 77)

Andina is a new addition to our ranking list this year. They opened in Feb 2017 and have been able to truly make their mark and stand out in a huge sea of competitors, especially considering the area they occupy on Powell Street, home to eleventy billion breweries at current count. This is mostly due to their top notch branding – one could argue that no one does branding actually tied to the beers one makes better than Andina, in fact.

This brewery was opened and is run by two Colombian immigrants who came to Canada, and have chosen to weave that identity into the brand of the brewery. It has served them well, and you can really feel it when you pay them a visit: the outside has a beautiful mural of La Pola, the brewery’s chosen Andina Girl, known as a heroine of Colombian independence from Spain. They also offer an excellent food menu of rotating ceviche*, empanadas, plantain nachos, and arepas. The tasting space is very well
thought out, spacious, and excellent for groups large and small.

*We must also point out that the real ceviche is excellent, but the addition of a “vegetarian” ceviche, made up of mangos, cilantro and other seasonings, should NEVER be called ceviche and it’s a crime against Latin America to do so.

We haven’t yet mentioned the beer, and that’s because the beer itself is not much to write home about. Andina should be praised for a good diversity of beers, but hardly any of them are very noteworthy. The Maraca Passion Fruit Black IPA is surely a standout and the Monita Blonde IPA is quite crushable, but for the most part, the flavours are pretty basic and middle of the road.

They have true potential to be a really big player in the brewery scene, but not until they step up the actual brews – they ought to really lean in to the Colombian flavours and play around; why not have an Arepa beer? Storm would do it in a heartbeat!

But one year in, Andina has a brand, a great space for holding events, a recognizable selection of beers, decent distribution and room to grow. Not bad, all things considered.

Quality: 12.8/20 (41st)
Standout: 3.2/5 (40th)
Diversity: 5.5/10 (53rd)
Innovation: 3.4/5 (16th)
Experience: 7.3/10 (25th)
TOTAL: 31.8 (43rd)

Next in Metro Vancouver/Southwest B.C.: Central City

Categories: Brewery RankingsTags: , ,

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