Vancouver Craft Beer Week is here. Let’s take a look at some of the breweries, brands and beer drinkers represented in the Archives.
Early in the city’s history, breweries were established in several locations, usually taking advantage of the numerous creeks running throughout. Some breweries, such as Stanley Park, Red Cross and Royal breweries, were located near Burrard Inlet. 
Others, such as Doering and Marstrand Brewery, Lion Brewing Company, and Lansdowne Brewery, were along Brewery Creek in Mount Pleasant.
In 1902, the Cedar Cottage Brewery opened on the site of what is now King Edward Village.
After about a year, the Cedar Cottage brewing operations moved to the Stanley Park Brewery at the foot of Georgia Street and the proprietor used the old brewery as his residence. 
The Stanley Park Brewery also sold beer by the glass and was conveniently located near the thirsty teams that played sports at Brockton Point.
One very popular brand of local beer was called Cascade. Major Matthews recorded that the name was found by the Red Cross Brewery through a contest with a $50 prize. The Doering and Marstrand Brewery changed its name to Vancouver Breweries Limited when Marstrand left in 1909. Soon after, the Red Cross Brewery and several other smaller breweries merged into Vancouver Breweries. Cascade beer became the Vancouver Breweries’ flagship product.
The present-day Cascade Room is near the site of the old Vancouver Brewery and is named for this beer. The building, which started as the Doering and Marstrand Brewery, still exists as a live/work studio.
Even though the brewery had conventional trucks, they also had a horse-drawn cart.
As a result of the amalgamation, Vancouver Breweries operated the former Canadian Brewing and Malting brewery, which had been built at 11th and Yew Street in 1912. At the time, the neighbourhood was wooded and marshy and its creek was above ground. Vancouver Breweries was sold to Carling Breweries in the late 1950s. The building was later sold to Molson’s, and today the site has been redeveloped as Arbutus Walk.
Capilano Brewing Company was owned by Sick’s, which had many breweries in the U.S. and Canada. The first Capilano brewery opened in 1934 at 1445 Powell near Woodland, in the building originally built for the Vancouver Malt and Sake Brewery Co. Ltd. When the business outgrew that brewery, a new one was built on 1550 Burrard Street. Sick’s operated that brewery by itself from 1953 until 1958 when the brewery was purchased by Molson’s.
Beginning with Gassy Jack’s Globe Saloon in the 1870s, beer was enjoyed in many establishments across the city, and at festivals.
Some enjoyed Jack O’ Hearts beer, distributed by the Gold Seal wine and liquor Merchants.
If you like beer, we hope you enjoy Vancouver Craft Beer Week.
 Hagelund, William A, House of Suds, Hancock House, 2003.
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 Luxton, Donald, Mount Pleasant Historical Themes, May 2008. http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/cpp/mountpleasant/heritage/pdf/historicalthemes.pdf
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 Fonds AM54 Major Matthews collection, File Stanley Park Brewery.
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 Fonds AM54 Major Matthews collection, File Red Cross Brewery.
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15 thoughts on “Beer in Vancouver”
Having worked in the brewing industry in Vancouver for almost 40 years, I am always interested in the history of brewing in the Vancouver area. I now reside in Winnipeg.
Glad you found our post interesting. We’d welcome records from the Vancouver brewing industry if you or any of your colleagues have any you’d consider donating.
I live in Wales, and as a local historian I am presently writing about local inns and taverns in aid of a community hospital funds. I have the 1923 photograph of the brewery trucks at the Vancouver Brewery and wonder if you could please tell me if the Hancock Brewery (UK) has any connection, perhaps via a merger? I wonder if you would you allow me to use this photograph in my book?
We’ve forwarded your request to our reference archivist for further details and he’ll be in touch with you. The photograph is in the public domain, so please feel free to use it as you wish.
Two of my ancesters worked for the Vancouver Breweries all their working lives, I love the photos of the early years when my ancesters were working there and to see what it was like for them
We’re glad you’re enjoying the photos. It’s always gratifying to hear of family connections to our holdings.
I have in my possession a bottle of Old Country Ale, with the beer still inside. Vancouver Brewries. Mid 1900’s? Dunno for sure. Any idea what it’s worth?
One of our monetary appraisal colleagues tells us there likely isn’t much value in the item. If it was produced by Vancouver Breweries (not Carling) it has a bit of collector value if the label is in perfect condition, but not a lot. We can give you a contact name for further information if you email firstname.lastname@example.org
I am currently taking apart a house today to be demolished and found a bottle of the Vancouver Breweries Pilsener Lager, 1936 was the date on it. Unfortunately no beer was still inside haha. However it was pretty cool to look back in history like that.
Picked up a U.B.C. longneck beer — unopened.. at a flea market over the weekend.
As a student at UBC in the 1960’s I remember on occasion drinking “U.B.C.” beer.. along with (who’da thought, eh?) many other brewskie brands!!
I seem to remember U.B.C. in stubbies as well as longneck bottles.
It’s a nice addition to my (old) “Man Cave”!! ((lol))
Hello Folks. I have a Beer Tray from Vancouver Breweries and its old. Most likely 1950s or older. Its hard to find any info on this piece. Any idea who is an expert in this field or know of a museum that might have items like this?
Thanks for your time!
Hi Jeff – we don’t, but you might try the folks at the Museum of Vancouver.
Ok thanks Heather.
In the meantime, if anyone is interested its up online to view at
I think it is from the 1920s after researching.
I have a picture of the front of Capilano Brewing Company Ltd. It is a professional photo of the staff of the Brewery outside under the name of the company. In the picture the number 1445 is on the building. The photo is about 9″ by 14″ wide. Date of 1936 is on the back. I think this means 1445 Powell Street in Vancouver. Your article states that the Capilano Brewing Company was at 1440 Powell St. Were there 2 buildings? Is your address of 1440 incorrect? I looked up the address and see that there are 2 Breweries on the same side of Powell (north side) that Capilano was on. My interest in this is that my father worked there. He is in the picture, of 34 men (employees, some in suits, some in overalls).
The Capilano Brewing Company Ltd. was indeed located at 1445 Powell Street. We have corrected our typo. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.