I have a soft spot for beer bars. I’ve been to a few really great ones recently – Bar Volo and the Rebel House in Toronto, Elysian Fields in Seattle, Wynkoop in Denver and La Taberna Lúpulo in San Juan to name but a few. So when plans for Vancouver came together, I got a lot of recommendations that the Alibi Room was not to be missed.
What great recommendations.
We sat down and I was presented with a two page menu of beer on tap. The selection was overwhelming (and exciting!). Knowing I was going to be sampling a few beers, I started by selecting the Phillips Brewing Wheatking Hefeweizen and Upright Brewing Engelberg Pilsner. Both wonderful, it was a great start to a sampling session:
To give you an idea of how difficult the selections on this Friday night were, here’s one half of the on tap selection at the Alibi Room. Taking a look at this, you can see why I went with the 6oz samplers. There was no way I could limit myself to trying only one or two from this great list:
A brief pause from the beer. This place wasn’t just about that. There was a nice selection of inventive cocktails and some great food. Here were the outstanding chicken wings (gluten free, using chickpea flour for breading), so good, we got a second order to devour:
Also on offer were these crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside “skinny” frites. This was great food to accompany the beer and we ended up just ordering appetizers on this night.
Back to the beer. It was time for a second set of samples and I decided to move onto a few darker / stronger beers. After having a beer at the Yaletown Brewery the night before, I decided to sample something else by their brewmaster. On the left is the Iain Hill West Coast IPA. It really was a perfect IPA; floral, hoppy and well balanced. On the right was probably my favourite of the evening. It was a cask Phillips Double Dragon Imperial Red.
Four samples wouldn’t be enough knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to get back here before leaving for home. With that in mind, I made my last selections of the evening. On the left is the Swans Buckerfields Rattenbury Irish Red and on the right was my second favourite of the night and a great beer to end the evening – the Parallel 49 Black Hops Dark Lager:
If I could design the perfect bar for me, the Alibi Room would be it. I loved the industrial/chic interior design, the trains rumbling by on the track behind the bar, the food menu and of course the selection and love and care taken with the beers. The service was outstanding and the vibe in the place was of a vibrant neighbourhood joint. If I lived in Vancouver, it would be my hangout. Cheers to what was a great evening.