So you think you know what it takes to enjoy a dreamy picnic? This spring, get out to explore BC and find your new favourite picnic spot. Thanks to a variety of lovely patios and parks where responsible alcohol consumption is allowed, the craft beer picnic possibilities are plentiful!
Over the last couple years, some municipalities have rolled out rules allowing alcohol consumption in certain areas. This means you’re able to enjoy a delicious craft beer responsibly with your homemade snacks or favourite takeout as you soak up the sun in a beautiful park.
If you don’t live in a municipality that allows public consumption of alcohol, you can still visit local craft breweries that have picnic-esque outdoor spaces. Many either offer great food along with their beer or encourage folks to bring their own food. We’ve rounded up a few noteworthy spots in this post. So get creative!
Read on for picnic-perfect spots and take this as inspiration to discover something new this spring!
As of May 2021, residents and visitors of New Westminster can enjoy an alcoholic beverage in certain designated areas of select parks. Scope out one of the parks below, pick up some craft beer, and bring along a picnic to enjoy with your pals!
- Westminster Pier Park: On the grass festival lawn and the grass knoll beside it
- Moody Park: On the mixed-use grass fields south of the pool and south-west of the off-leash dog area (the corner of Tenth St and Sixth Ave)
- Hume Park: south of the off-leash dog and forested areas, and south of the pool and playground
- Sapperton Park: north of the playground and east of the spray park
- Port Royal Park: By the crescent field and the picnic shelters, north of the restrooms
- Grimston Park: At the open field and picnic area north of the wading pool
- Queen’s Park: west of the bandshell, and south west of the rose garden and arena
Also in 2021, the City of North Vancouver passed a bylaw allowing alcohol consumption at specific public locations. The locations now include several parks and Cates Deck by Lonsdale Quay, soon to be home to Strathcona Brewing’s second location. It also includes Shipbuilders Square in the Shipyards district which is close to several newer breweries: Streetcar Brewing, North Point Brewing, House of Funk Brewing, and Beere Brewing.
For more information, check out the Vancouver’s North Shore Ale Trail.
Celebrate Picnic-ton in Penticton
Okanagan Beach, on Okanagan Lake is one of the greatest pleasures of Penticton life. So, in 2020, when Penticton City Council voted to allow a pilot project of alcohol consumption there, many locals and visitors rejoiced. The decision became permanent this winter, and expanded to allow consumption year-round. The beach is within walking distance of a few of the city’s breweries, including Cannery Brewing, Neighbourhood Brewing, Highway 97 Brewing, and Slackwater Brewing. Recently, Penticton also expanded this to include Skaha Lake Beach which is within walking distance of Tin Whistle Brewing and Barley Mill Brew Pub & Bistro.
Penticton is so into picnics, they’ve created a whole event to celebrate them. Picnic-ton is an initiative to celebrate picnic culture and support local restaurants, breweries, and wineries. This year’s Picnic-ton will feature pop-up events on city streets so people can gather, eat outdoors, and enjoy free entertainment. You’re encouraged to order a takeout meal or beer (or purchase food at the Penticton Farmers’ Market) and head down to Pop-up Picnic-ton.
For more information, check out the Penticton Ale Trail.
The City of Port Coquitlam allows alcohol consumption in 10 of its parks. This decision comes after what the city said was a successful pilot project in the summer of 2020 and “strong approval” in public feedback.
The 10 parks to allow alcohol consumption are:
- Castle Park
- Settlers Park
- Gates Park
- Lions Park
- Aggie Park
- Evergreen Park
- Cedar Drive Park
- Peace Park
- McLean Park
- Dominion Park
Breweries in Port Coquitlam include Boardwalk Brewing, Patina Brewing, Tinhouse Brewing, Taylight Brewing, and Northpaw Brewing. Discover more on the North of the Fraser Ale Trail. There are also several great options in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.
Victoria’s Historic Market Square
While public alcohol consumption is still not allowed in Victoria, historic Market Square’s inner courtyard area has become an ideal urban picnic-with-beer spot, thanks to resident brewery Whistle Buoy Brewing’s tented patio. You are allowed to bring your own food or order it from one of the nearby restaurants, including Green Cuisine, which has been serving up vegetarian fare there for as long as there have been vegetarians (or just about).
Bad Dog Brewing is a popular spot with locals dropping in to fill a growler or pick up packaged beer to go. It’s also a fun stop for tourists enjoying a west coast escape in Sooke. Cyclists will enjoy it as a reward after a steady climb up the town centre—at least it’s mostly downhill from there. Enjoy some delicious food from Bad Dog’s own Hot Diggity Dog food trailer, including gourmet hot dogs (of course), burgers, wraps, smoked meat sandwiches and lots of other great options.
Whistle Buoy Brewing and Bad Dog Brewing can be found on the Greater Victoria Ale Trail.
Port Moody’s Brewers Row
The six breweries on Brewers Row in Port Moody all have patio spaces and in addition to the snack and food that some have available, they all welcome patrons to bring food with them or order it from food trucks, which tend to park right in front of the breweries for obvious reasons. The breweries all face Rocky Point Park along the shore of the Burrard Inlet so you can plan a hike or kayaking adventure while enjoying your picnic meal and sipping a beer. Brewers Row includes: Brave Brewing Co, Moody Ales & Co., Parkside Brewery, Twin Sails Brewing, Rewind Beer Co, and Yellow Dog Brewing.
For more information, check out the Port Moody Ale Trail.
The Fraser Valley is agricultural heaven, and several of the breweries there have ideal outdoor spaces that are perfect for picnicking. It’s hard to beat Field House Brewing’s Beer Lawn out front of their Abbotsford brewery; Old Yale Brewing in Chilliwack also has a big Front Porch space along with its Campfire Kitchen in a converted Airstream Trailer; and don’t forget the large outdoor spaces at Farmhouse Brewing, which even include a mini-golf area and resident chickens. Most of Langley’s breweries also have gorgeous picnic spaces, including Locality Brewing, Five Roads Brewing and Camp Beer Co.
For more information, check out the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
The aptly nicknamed Brewer’s Coast has a host of options to choose from for scenic spots to enjoy some tasty eats and craft beer.
Farm-based Persephone Brewing has a fantastic space for picnicking, including wooden benches, tables, and grassy areas where you can spread a blanket. Bring your own food or enjoy something from the kitchen or the wood-fired pizza ovens. If you time it right, they may also have produce fresh from the farm available at the on-site farm stand.
At the other tip of the coast, Townsite Brewing has opened a large family- and pet-friendly beer garden. Enjoy a picnic from one of the nearby local restaurants while sampling tasty beers in comfort.
For more information, visit the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail.
Throughout British Columbia, many craft breweries have excellent patio spaces. So check with your local brewery about their food options or to see if they are okay with you bringing your own food. Presto: a patio craft beer picnic!
BC Ale Trail App
Don’t forget to download the free BC Ale Trail app before you go! Check-in at each brewery you visit to collect points and earn rewards (at participating locations). You’ll also find a selection of liquor stores, taphouses and visitor centres in the app.