13 vintage photos of beer making and drinking in Vancouver

Kinsmen Carnival beer parlour, June 1944 (Vancouver Archives)

Craft brewing is definitely in style in Vancouver these days, but we’ve been a beer city for the last century. Pour yourself a pint from that growler of the seasonal tap at your favourite local brewery, and enjoy this brief photographic glimpse at beer making, marketing, and drinking in Vancouver’s history.

Illuminated sign for Cascade Beer, located on top of commercial buildings at Granville and Cordova Streets, early 1900s (Vancouver Archives)

Group of men drinking beer, circa 1912 (James Luke Quiney/Vancouver Archives)

Vancouver Brewery trucks, 1923 (Stuart Thomson/Vancouver Archives)

Vancouver Brewery interior view – men crating bottles of beer circa 1926 (Stuart Thomson/Vancouver Archives)

Vancouver Breweries Ltd. beer bottle samples, 1932 (Stuart Thomson/Vancouver Archives)

Vancouver Breweries Ltd. – beer bottles, 1932 (Stuart Thomson/Vancouver Archives)

The beer parlour played a significant role in local history:

British Columbia’s era of the beer parlour began after prohibition ended in 1921. Some pre-prohibition hotel-bars began selling beer under the guise of a club. One pays a small fee to join the club then may purchase beer in their beverage rooms. By 1925 those districts, which included Vancouver, that voted for beer by the glass, saw the first public beer parlours open.

A law enacted in 1942 called for the parlours to separate areas for men and women–a configuration that lasted in some venues until the 1960s.

Abbottsford Hotel Beer Parlour at 921 West Pender Street, April 1933 (Stuart Thomson/Vancouver Archives)

Interior of Vancouver Breweries Limited., April 1935 (Leonard Frank/VPL)

Vancouver Breweries Ltd.at 11th and Yew, April 1935 (Leonard Frank/VPL)

Vancouver Breweries Ltd.at 11th and Yew, April 1935 (Leonard Frank/VPL)

Interior of the Regent Hotel beer parlor on Hastings Street, 1940 (Stuart Thomson/VPL)

Group seated in a beer parlour, 1940s (Jack Lindsay/Vancouver Archives)

Featured image: Kinsmen Carnival beer parlour, June 1944 (Vancouver Archives)

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com

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