Vancouver Food Tour has many culinary tours around the city which are educational and delicious. Aside from bringing you to some really great restaurants, your tour guide also helps educate you about the area, as well as the food and drinks. I’ve been lucky enough to go on two tours now – Craft Cocktail Tour Series and now the Gastown Craft Beer ‘n Bites Tour. I’ve learned a lot from each tour and found many of my favourite restaurants in the Gastown area.
Last week, I was invited by Gourmet Fury to try out Vancouver Food Tour’s newest tour. Our small group was brought to three locations to try 9 different craft beers paired with different foods. Our tour guide Nicole just finished up her Ciccerone course to become one of the select few “Beer Someliers” in the Vancouver area. You can tell from the way she talks about the beer that she’s truly passionate about craft beer. There aren’t many more in Vancouver who take beer as seriously as she does. Nicole is an awesome tour guide, and I definitely learned a lot about craft beer. Feel free to ask any questions you want, I certainly did. She would be awesome to hang out with.
Our first location has been around for a couple of years now, but surprisingly one that I haven’t visited before. Our first stop provided us with a nice introduction, and 3 dishes to try out with our different beers. Each food and beer pairing were carefully chosen. We were able to try the Phoenix Gold Lager, Seed Splitter Watermelon Wit, and the Fat Tug IPA. My favourite was the Seed Splitter from Parallel 49. It was very refreshing, and the watermelon was quite faint, and mostly noticeable while swallowing. We were given a Lobster Mac & Cheese, which I only tried a little bit of, but the few noodles I tried were nice and cheesy. And it also had a nice crisp top. Their version of a banh mi was served on a steamed rice bun. I really enjoyed the pickled vegetables, which were really refreshing along with the fruity beer. The last dish was the chilli which went well with the hoppy IPA. It helped neutralize the spice.
Our second location brought me to a place that I’m really familiar with and probably my favourite place in the city to get a drink. The decor and cocktails are awesome here. Again we tried another 3 beer flight, but this time with some smaller snacks to munch on. They served us a scotch egg, with house-made mayo, and also some bacon wrapped prunes called Devils on Horseback. This location has a rotating beer tap, meaning the beer selection changes quite often. For this visit, the rotating beer was the Great White Belgian Wheat Beer, while the other two beers were the Drift Wood White Bark Wheat Beer, and the Back Hand of God Stout. My favourite was the Back Hand of God, which is already one of my favourites. It’s not that heavy, but has a nice coffee scent to it (kind of like Kopiko if you remember that candy). Nicole recommended that we swirl our bacon wrapped prunes in there, and it goes really well. I do recommend doing this with your last sip though, as you can see how much bacon fat is left in your cup after the swirl. The scotch egg was also delicious. It was a perfectly cooked hard-boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, and then breaded and fried. It was awesome when dipped in their house mayonnaise. This place is known for their cocktails, and that’s certainly where the emphasis is, but their craft beer menu is extensive as well.
The third and final location was one of the newer locations, and by far the largest beer selection of the three. Here we had dessert to go with our beer flight. We had the R&B Stumpy Coffee Porter, the Cascadian Brown Ale, and the Switch Back IPA to drink with our flourless chocolate cake. My favourite was the Cascadian Brown Ale which is a collaboration beer for the Vancouver Craft Beer Week. Partial proceeds from each year’s concoction help support a charity. This year they are helping out the Farmland Defense League of British Columbia. Last year, went to the Japanese Tsunami Relief to help their beer industry get back to where they were.
I definitely recommend Vancouver Food Tour. I’ve had a wonderful time at both of the tours I’ve gone to. Whether you are from out of town, or even if you are a Vancouverite, you will still have a delicious-educational time. You’ll make new friends, and find new favourite places to dine and drink.
If you want to try a tour out, go to VancouverFoodTour.com and use the coupon code plusfood for 10% off. You won’t regret it.