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ArkroyalVictoria, B.CBeer and pub afficionadoSince September 3, 200523 Reviews
Average Rating
3.5 (3.6)
  • Food3.5 (3.4)
  • Service3 (2.9)
  • Value3.5 (3.4)
  • Ambiance4 (4)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 23 Reviews Found
Renovation
Yale, The1300 Granville Street, Vancouver
You go for the music
Submitted Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 8:42am [Dine in]

Depending on when I've lived or worked in Vancouver or Victoria, I have visited the Yale daily, weekly, monthly, or every 6 months continuously for nearly 20 years.

You don't go for the food - there is none other than a junk food vending machine near the pool tables.

You don't really go for the beer - it's basic macrobrew and generally overpriced except for the "Yale Ale" served relatively cheap on weekday afternoons. The barmaids and waitresses are either sullen or friendly by turns. Some of the daytime clientele can be a bit rough around the edges, but no problem.

You go for the music. Day and night, real down blues are playing either on speakers or live. The pub's featured greats over the years and never lets you down on that score. I've had many many nights of memories here listening to superb live blues music played.

The decor is predominantly red, the big bay windows are screened shut giving the evening feel one of dark lounge coziness. The vibe rocks.

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St. Augustines Restaurant and Lounge2360 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Great spot for tasting
Submitted Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 8:30am [Dine in]

I always come to St. Augustines when visiting Vancouver, because it has a tremendous selection of micro brewed beer from many places in the Pacific northwest. It doesn't brew its own beer, though its decor suggests that - with silver predominating and pictures of tanks and brewing arcania. Its strength is bringing together for afficionados all sorts of other brew under one roof. You can get a California IPA, a BC brown, an Oregon pale, crazy (but delicious) wits and even lambics and locally brewed cider. We get big testers of 8 and compare the tastes with the descriptions. The service is great once, it seems, the waitresses must respond to educated or interested questions about the beers, IBUs, temperatures, etc. The waitresses tend to warn you about lambic, but I love the stuff.

There's a large streetside window of Commercial, and a breezy relaxed feel about the place, though parking is limited. Not to worry, though, because the skytrain station, a main throughfare, is a block away and the trains pass nearly overhead.

The food is your basic pub fare - pulled pork sandwiches, nachos, etc. I find it plentiful though not outstanding taste wise.

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Granville Island Brewery1441 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
A Good Stopover
Submitted Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 8:16am [Dine in]

My wife and I used came here when we lived across False Creek. We still visit every few months. The place has high ceilings, benches, and tables. There's not a lot of space, but it's airy. There's a big glass wall showing the tanks where they make the beer and there are regular tours which is a major draw for tourists. In fact, all summer the bar's overrun by tourists and you can only rarely get a seat. The service is slow because it's often busy, but we were so regular the waitresses at least gave us a smile and apology. There's no real food to speak of other than chips/salsa, jerky, etc. That's OK if you're only stopping over, though, and not going for a meal; we always go/went after a walk around the Creek.

The pub features its own house beer. Years ago GI beer was a bit watery for my taste but in the past 10 years or so it's really improved. The winter and maple ales are way to dark and sweet for me but they seem to sell well. There are some good standbyes like the pale and IPA and lager. These are served cold and you can get tester sets or pints. The beer goes down very well stopping in after a good walk.

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Closed
Atlantic Trap & Gill, The118 Robson St, Vancouver
Better Before/So-so
Submitted Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 8:07am [Dine in]

I'm originally from Newfoundland and I used to go to this bar under different ownership (I think) for years when it was located 8 blocks southwest on the bottom floor of the Canadian Hotel on Davie. I liked it better there, especially in the late '90s and Y2K time. The old location was quaint and divided into 2 rooms and you could get more east coast beer there. There were photos and graffitti of east coast. There was regular live east coast music, poetry, etc. It just had a better atmosphere.

The "new" place on Robson is OK, I guess. It's a large rectangle, overly well lit (for a pub), but they've saved the benches (admittedly sanitized) from the old spot. I don't really get an east coast vibe except by reading the menu. The service is friendly but pretty laid back. The place has a wifi which is good. Most of the beer is BC or American, which I can get anywhere. There's plenty of space on the parkinglot patio open in summer. The food is OK. You can get a plate of mussels and the light sauce is good for dipping bread into; they had that at the old place. The bartender says they still have live music but it's rarer and on too late for me to come.

The location is actually pretty good because you can go before/after a game and the main competition, Dix (my old hangout) is lamentably closed.

Overall, it's a so-so for me.

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Crow & Gate Pub2313 Yellow Point Road, Nanaimo
Southern BC's Best Brit Pub
Submitted Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 7:56am [Dine in]

Boy oh boy this is some spot if you like British style pubs!

Even the exterior is pure Yorkshire - a quaint house in the middle of a cow field in the country, a drive off the highway that's well worth it.

It's got it all in the true English tradition: the low wooden ceilings, dark beams, portraits, real fireplaces, snugs, wooden settles, dark wainscotting, stonework. There's no deep fry; they feature delicious hot pies and sandwiches, potato salad, slaw. My favourite is the steak and kidney pie. You order at the bar and pay up front and the food's brought to your table so there's no issue with slow or bad service. There's plenty of good local beer on tap and all the English beer and cider. There's no feeling of hurry and hassle; you leave that at the heavy wooden door when you come in. It feels like home.

I visit every time I'm in the area. Can't say enough about the place.

"Corbus et Cullis" delight.

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Lower Deck Pub1869 Upper Water Street, Halifax
"Sociable!"
Submitted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 3:47pm [Dine in]

I've been to the Lower Deck a number of times over the past few years.

The food is basic pub fare - though the last time I was there 2 months ago the fish (fish and chips) was obviously previously frozen so I wasn't that impressed. Unfortunately, they only serve Keiths products as the beer goes, which is a shame if you like variety. The positive is that you get a big sleeve, and it's cold.

The pub is just a big square, half underground, and is very dim. It features long benches which adds a nice rustic feel. The real draw is the music. They have local bands playing lots of traditional music and the benches are good for banging hands and pint pots down on. The clarion call "Sociable!" seems to permeate every corner.

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Maxwell's Plum, The1600 Grafton Street, Halifax
Never miss it
Submitted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 3:41pm [Dine in]

Every time I come to Halifax I ALWAYS visit the Maxwell's Plum.

The ancient spot on the corner of Sackville and Grafton Streets has a sort of well worn, "I understand how you feel, sir" feeling to it. Even the leaning stairs and upper floor camber has an old, seagoing feel to it. The staff may not always be fast, because they're busy, and I've always had good service. There's a view to the harbour.

Both beer and food menus are extensive. Well they have something like 90 beer on tap, domestic, craft, international, served at various temperatures. And all are in stock. How can you beat a frigid monster thick stein (a la A&W's Frosty the Root Bear mug) full to brimming with Monkton Pumphouse Blueberry Ale?

On weekend mornings the pub features a steak and eggs breakfast special which is more than generous; at something like $7.50 you get a wing steak, 3 eggs any way you want them, toast, and a monster pile of fries or hash browns. It's tremendous value for money.

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Henry House Restaurant & Pub, The1222 Barrington Street, Halifax
Cozy
Submitted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 3:32pm [Dine in]

In a town justly renowned for its pubs and clubs, the downstairs Henry House Pub is really, really cozy. It's fully in the English pub tradition, all dark wood, beams, and there are some tiny booths. Because it's downstairs the light is a little dim, which is another element of coziness on a cold Atlantic winter afternoon or evening. The clientele is quite eclectic, often students. The food is tasty and authentic English/Maritimes (especially the fish and chips), and the prices are reasonable. The service is fine.

The real draw is the beer. The craft brew is fully English in its use of fuggle hops and the serving temperature. The "Peculiar" is, well, peculiar, but it grows on you. There are 8-9 brew on tap, including 1-2 seasonals. We usually get the tester set.

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Christie's Carriage House1739 Fort Street, Victoria
A snug spot
Submitted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 3:26pm [Dine in]

I really enjoy the layout of this place. It has an old English pub feel, with low ceilings, many cozy snugs, and a wooden decor. It's only competition that way was Vancouver's Jolly Taxpayer (now sadly destroyed) and Nanaimo's Crow and Gate (the very best of the genre I've seen in BC). The food at Christie's is pretty basic pub fair, plenty of variety though not outstanding, and the service is solid - given that I've never been in there when it wasn't crowded to the rafters.

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Darcy's Pub1127 Wharf Street, Victoria
Fine spot
Submitted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 3:22pm [Dine in]

I like this place. It's at the centre of all things touristy, if you're a tourist, and has a good selection of beer and a decent menu. The food is good. In terms of the ambience, I like the wooden decor and that the interior design is in circles and squares. My only nit is the price. Bit expensive at over $7 for a 'sleeve' vs. a pint.

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Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse308 Catherine St., Victoria
Great afternoon hangout
Submitted Monday, January 2, 2012 - 8:43am [Dine in]

We are regulars here and have seen many changes in the upstairs pub. The view of the outer harbour and Ogden Point is tremendous. There's a real wood fire. The setting is great. The clientele are interesting - esp. the cruise ship passengers and the regulars bellying up to the bar with their own pint pots hanging in hooks. The food is very tasty and the menu shifts regularly, which is nice; they make attempts to vary the snacks, which we appreciate. There are 7-8 craft beer on, of which 1-2 is a seasonal. Some are served at room temp, English style; others are colder, Canadian style, which I prefer, but the beer is consistently good and the pub features caskivals and beer fests for afficianados. The only nit I have is the service. While we always get friendly enough service, it's always SLOW. Not sure if the waitresses are understaffed or the bartenders are slow or if the manager's not motivating enough, but we have never had really fast service.

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Swans Brewpub506 Pandora Ave., Victoria
Basic brew pub with a twist
Submitted Monday, January 2, 2012 - 8:27am [Dine in]

We come here often. Once we had terrible service but now the service is quite good - not as fast as I'd like but solid. I like the ambience here, the wood and the hangings, and there's a snug out back which is where we hang out. If you sit in the main pub for lunch you get a great street view and the music fits the mood. There are 7-8 craft beer on tap, one of which is a seasonal. Some of the beer is served at room temp English style and some colder Canadian style; I prefer the latter and wish some of the others were colder but that's me. I also wish they'd serve the pints in chilled pint mugs rather than large warm pop glasses. The menu was for years very basic and expansive but they've now toned it down - which is good - and revitalized it. I still find the food overall pretty basic but they've been able to keep their prices competitive. They do breakfasts quite well.

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Canoe Brew Pub450 Swift St., Victoria
A hangout
Submitted Monday, January 2, 2012 - 8:06am [Dine in]

We come to the pub side often. I love the interior design, very lofty with the wooden beams and light. Originally the seating was limited and the service a little slow, but in the past year both these things have radically improved. And we get good service always as regulars. There are 4-5 craft beers on at any time, one of which will be seasonal. My favourite seasonal is the Amber Artifact Lager; of the regulars, the pale ale is very clean with a bite for a summer day and the Beaver Brown is great when you come in out of the cold. The food is quite delicious, although pricey for a pub. I love the Aussie Pub Burger but at $17.50 and going up with each menu iteration it's too much for me.

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Subeez Cafe891 Homer Street, Vancouver
Cool
Submitted Monday, September 5, 2005 - 5:54am [Dine in]

This place is cool. Lots of pretty people, eclectic wild instrumental music, stunning decor. Try the "Portini". Sometimes it takes awhile to get service, even sitting at the bar, but the people are not sullen, just casual. I've only eaten desserts here, however. It's a great place to stop when you're heading to a show, esp. in the fall when it's dark of an evening and the lights are dim and cozy.

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Closed
Jolly Taxpayer, The828 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Ye Olde English Pub
Submitted Monday, September 5, 2005 - 5:41am [Dine in]

Go for the "black and tan" feel of the place. Giant TV with soccer or football. Your good and filling basic pub grub cooked up by Brendan (ex. British navy). Dicky the bartender is a legend. Daily beer specials under $5 a 'real' pint. Smoking room. Pool. Games. Clean and cozy, esp. on a wet downtown winter afternoon.

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Closed
Dix BBQ & Brewery871 Beatty St., Vancouver
Go!
Submitted Monday, September 5, 2005 - 5:35am [Dine in]

My wife and I have been going for years. We're the "Norm" at the end of the polished oak bar! There are always 4-5 beer types made on site, all excellent and often quite experimental. All sleeves, all the time, are $4. "Caskival" brew fests weekly. Decor: dark wood, plank floor. Free salted peanuts (to clear the palate for good beer). Gorgeous waitresses who always smile. Service tremendous-->look for Shawn the grappler behind the bar! The food is southern BBQ style. Very good. A bank of TVs for Monday Night Football. GO!

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Steamworks Brewing Company375 Water Street, Vancouver
The beer's here
Submitted Monday, September 5, 2005 - 5:31am [Dine in]

What I love about Steamworks is the beer and the ambience, esp. downstairs. True, the service has been often late and sullen. But the beer is reliably good, and the decor is tremendous--the winding stairs and the big chairs, the wood, stone, and books. They sell wild T-shirts. The food is good, but angled towards extreme flavour (garlic fries, blue cheese on burgers) which is not my thing, though I appreciate that it is for others. They have a separate cocktail room and bistro. It's cool. Love the view of the harbour and rails.

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Yaletown Brewing Co1111 Mainland St., Vancouver
Fun
Submitted Monday, September 5, 2005 - 5:12am [Dine in]

I love the decor--the red, black, and cedar. It's one of the original cool places in Yaletown, and filled with "beautiful people" on a Friday or Saturday. The beer is really really good if you're an afficianado. There are some great food items, too--pub food with a classy touch. The service used to be quite poor in the pub, but of late it has improved somewhat. The only day for cheap beer is Sundays (also half price thin pizza) @ 3.75/pint, which is good.

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Closed
El Patio891 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Spain in Yaletown
Submitted Monday, September 5, 2005 - 5:07am [Dine in]

Although I am more impressed by La Bodega, I still like this place. From the outside it looks like a dingy basement, but inside the service is very good and the bar's tremendous. The hours are a bit limited, but the food is excellent.

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Dockside Restaurant1253 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Go for the Patio
Submitted Monday, September 5, 2005 - 5:02am [Dine in]

The ambience here is great--esp. the patio looking east over False Creek on a clear evening. The pub has warm brown leather chairs. The beer, which they brew on site, is pretty good too, though not really comparable with other micro-brews. The hot chili squid and the satays and taster plates are tremendous. The only nit I have is the service. Yes, the people are beautiful, but they take their time and don't seem to mind you sitting there, even if you're at the bar!

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