Alibi Room


28 Reviews
Alibi RoomAlibi Room

Type: Bar, Eatery

157 Alexander St
Vancouver, British Columbia, V6A 1B8

(604) 623-3383 | map

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Added by Sammy on 05-12-2008

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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 72
Photo of atigerlife
4.76/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

I've been to Vancouver many times over the years, and always wanted to stop by this place. Finally, on this trip, had a free couple of hours and walked on over. Glad I did.

First, I got there b before 11 a.m. on a Sunday. Many tables taken with people eating brunch. They all looked happy. I sat at the bar, about 10 chairs, which were all empty when I arrived. Relatively small place. Nice vibe. Funky.

About 40 beers on tap, mostly local. Very nice. The bar person, Francesca [I think] was exceptional. During my time there, I watched her do her job. Very professional. Very busy going around. Enjoyable to watch someone who takes pride in there work. She recommended a couple of beers, which I tried. Very nice.

Overall, a very pleasant experience. I'll definitely stop in the next time I'm in Vancouver. Worth the visit.

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Photo of surfcaster
4.98/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Can't say enough good things. Fortunate enough to go on a British Columbia takeover so everything was super local and many were things that would have taken several days in B.C. to have tried.

Beer was incredible.

Service fantastic and food was on par with beer. Just on edge of Gastown and the trains going back and forth behind just add to the character.

A must visit in Vancouver if into beer and food is top notch. A 5$ (ca) 13oz pour for most everything a bonus.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.51/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

I stumbled across this place in an article when researching my trip to Vancouver, and am I ever glad that I did. I had the opportunity to go on a Friday evening. The place was packed. There were three bars in here and my friend and I were lucky enough to find a couple seats.

The beer menu was phenomenal. It was tough to select a few beers to try. My palate had grown weary of the IPA's, amber ale, and pale ales that were prevalent in the Pacific Northwest. I was happy to see a wide variety of styles. I had a porter, pumpkin stout, barrel aged wheat wine, a Flanders red. They were all great. The bartender was friendly and knowledgeable.

The only drawback to the experience was the guy I sat next to. He seemed mentally unstable. When he went to the restroom one of the bartenders asked if he was bugging me and offered to remove him from the premises. I was having such a great time trying the beers that he was merely a minor annoyance to my evening.

I ordered the bison cheese steak sandwich. I'm not gonna lie. I don't remember how it tasted. It just soaked up some of the fantastic beers that I was trying. But it's probably safe to say that it was great considering how awesome everything else was.

I really liked this place and wish I would have had a couple nights to sit in this place and try more of the beer and food. I would go back any chance that I had. It was THE highlight of my trip to the northwest.

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Photo of bumchilly25
4.58/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

I've been to the Alibi room about 5 times now, so I thought it was time for a review as I don't even see any from 2013 yet. I live about an hour out of Vancouver, so a trip in (usually before a Canucks game or concert) is always a treat. The bottom line - in a city with a number of bars and places to eat, this place is simply tough to beat.

Selection of local craft brew (almost every new brewery/brewer around has something on tap) as well as others mainly from the West Coast (Washington, Oregon, and California) is amazing. Though most beer styles are very well represented, hopheads will be very pleased. The beer menu is always loaded with lots of hoppy choices.

The place is usually quite busy and can be downright packed if there is some sort of special event, but there always seems to be a place to sit and grab some great beer. The beer menu is so large, it's almost always best to try as many different beer you can with a flight.

I've always been impressed with the service and the food is solid.

The Alibi room is a must stop for anyone coming into Vancouver and looking for a great experience.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.3/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 5

A: My wife, mom in law and myself strolled in here after leaving Gastown around 1PM on a Saturday, Parked on the street(by thge way, meters are broken and steal your money). We walked in met by a host and seated. The place is setup much like biergarden or haus with pseudo long tables which you may be sharing with other patrons. There were about 50 people here on this day. A mixed crowd but it seemed more popular with the young mid 20 to 30 crowd, seemed somewhat of a "place to be". Everyone sordove in clicks and keeping to themselves. The bathroom downstairs revealed another bar area and the bar upstairs had maybe a dozen seats to it right next to the door.

Q: All of the beer on the menu was quality stuff. I had two beers and all seemed nice, clean and infection free

S: The service was nice, not really outgoing but prompt. My only issue was this; after I finished my first beer, the waitress picked up my glass and never asked me if I wanted another. I sat for another 30 minutes and flagged her down for another.

S: The selection was great! I had a Thor's Hammer barleywine with my brunch and a Two Trees Double Hophead IIPA which was less than stellar. I spotted some Odin Brewing courtesy of Seattle, lots of BC brewries including Fat Tug on draft plus some Rogue Old Crusty 2001

F: Food was PHENOM! They serve brunch on Saturdays until dinner and wow. We were all impressed on the portion and quality.

My only issue is $7.50 beers, especially whe the beer is below average.

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Photo of TriggerFingers
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

If you are in Vancouver and can walk through Gastown, past all of the tourist shops, until you start to see train tracks and residential neighborhoods-- keep going, you're almost there!

The Alibi Room was great! 5/5!

I stopped in a few weeks back for their Sunday brunch. I have to say, it was probably my favorite dining experience while in Vancouver.

10:00 AM and the place is about 1/3 full. I took a seat at the bar (which was empty when I arrived, but gradually filled up later) and the bartender (who I later found out was one of the owners) took my breakfast order and asked if I wanted a beer. Being from California, I asked for something I can't get in the states-- she poured me a pint of her favorite beer in the place-- a local ESB that was exceptional (don't remember the name)!

Breakfast was perfect and the beer really hit the spot. I can only imagine how packed the place is in the evenings. Halfway though my meal, another bartender came over to check on me. He and I talked beer for a little bit and he told me of a store a few blocks away with some hard to find bombers to take back to the states! How cool is that?

Really, this place left a great impression with me! Top notch service across the board--overall fantastic!

I took the skytrain to St. Augustine's later that night and the atmosphere of the two places is completely different (St. Augustine's being more of a local neighborhood sports bar). Both have nearly equal beer selections, but the Alibi Room was my favorite!

Unfortunately, I was not able to make it back there again before I had to fly back.

In Vancouver, this is (and for the most part St. Augustine's) the place with the beer selection that you are looking for-- just depends on what type of atmosphere you are into-- a winner!

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Photo of BasementBer
4.95/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I love Alibi Room. While working in Gastown, it was always a pleasure to skip over after work, knowing that something fantastic was awaiting me. Be it conversation and knowledge from the servers, to fantastic vegan falafal and of course ungodly awesome beer selection, all aspects of this place surpassed expectation.
The beer lists changed weekly, and several casks were always available. I think some would balk at the prices if from out of town an uninitiated to the world of craft beer import. We must remember that cheap products have been leaned to maximize profit, we pay for what we get.
Thanks Alibi Room, I miss you.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

located a little off the beaten path of gastown, it made for a long 20 minute walk from our hotel on a pretty warm (by NW standards) day.

the alibi room had full-length windows that were wide open on this nice sunny day. there was some outdoor seating and all of the indoor seating was bright and open, with long benches and some smaller tables.

the tap selection was fabulous - well organized by style, nice amount of BC beers, Washington micros and some other primarily west-coast offerings. There were some stray Canadian sours on the menu that were really nice, along with the great hop-forward IPA's you would expect.

service was very good, above average. the food all looked great but we had dinner plans.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.58/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is the place in British Columbia to go for a sit-down beer. I have noticed that their selection has changed since the last time I went there, and that they have added quite a few more relatively obscure Belgian selections which is very nice. I have spoken with the owner a number of times, and he is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about his establishment.

Atmosphere is good, a bit of a retro and artsy vibe to it. The crowd isn't normally pretentious, but like any place it has its moments depending on the makeup of the crowd on a particular night.

Beer quality is excellent. Casks and kegs are turned over extremely quickly so chances are if you like a beer, the next time you come it may not be on the big beer list.

Service is good, and the hardworking staff is usually run off of their feet on the weekends as it is a busy place. Bartenders and servers are not pretentious and will guide neophytes toward beers that will best suit their tastes. This is a place which offers quality beers above all else, so I have seen bartenders become annoyed by people who pick beers solely based on the alcohol content because they are looking to get wasted.

Selection is the best you will find in B.C. hands down. Local craft ale, Canadian craft ale, American craft ale, and European selections; you will find it all here. Their beer list has been grouped into different themes as well which makes it easier than it used to be for those who are less knowledgeable. For those who are knowledgeable, however, where else can you find world class beers such as Gouden Carolus Classic and Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock on tap?

Food is good, and the kitchen does make good food bordering on the gourmet; but this place really isn't about food after all. And it doesn't have to be.

Value for beer is excellent. The best you'll find in terms of selection and value in British Columbia. Value for food is average.

If you are a tourist to Vancouver, come here. You won't be disappointed and friendly patrons such as myself would be happy to sit and chat over a pint.

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Photo of pioneer13
4.08/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Was referred to this place by a Vancouver beer geek and wasn't disappointed.

First off, don't panic if your cab driver takes you through East Hastings (like ours did) on the way there. This is the really seedy part of Van, but The Alibi Room is a few blocks from it on the outskirts of Gastown.

Housed in a really neat historic building, it has a real industrial feel to it. True to most good beer bars, the menu is nothing fancy. Just a printout that can be cheaply swapped out whenever they change their beers.

I was lucky to have my first "King Heffy" from Howe Sound brewery here at Alibi room along with a farmhouse called La Merle from North Coast Brewing. It was so good that I finished with another King Heffy.

Food is good. Really simple menu (which is always a plus at a beer joint like this) and I was led to believe that they use mostly local goods in the kitchen.

Our waitress was outstanding. She explained all the beers well and was in no hurry to rush us through the ordering process. She will have to do the same next time we go because they offer almost all local Pacific NW and W. Canada beers that I can't get here in midwest US.

Next time I go, i will bring a notebook and try to review a beer or two.

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Photo of TreeTopFlyer
4.44/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

We stopped in here after a trip to YBC. This place is great. The beer selection was fantastic. They had a really nice selection of local Canadian, small brewery beers. The highlight of these was a 13-year old Lambic called James brewed by Storm. In addition to the local beers, they had a nice selection of U.S. beers and a fantastic vintage bottle list.

Their beer menu changes every 2-3 days...we were served off of #214.

The server was REALLY knowledgeable regarding all the beers. We may return tonight for dinner.

Overall great little place.

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Photo of hairybeerboy
4.35/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

The only place to go for any type of beer culture in Vancouver. Good service, though it's a little pricey but that's the way it is in this town and for the quality and selection of beer provided I'll accept it.

The best line up of micro BC beer (good and bad) and always happy to see some US craft beers thrown into the mix. Good place to get a hop fix. Service is attentive and your glass is never empty. Always good to finish the night on a lip puckering Storm Blackberry Lambic.

It's a little out of the way but well worth the trip.... just make sure they are open first.

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Photo of joshuacavett
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is the best restaurant in Vancouver for craft beer. They have a great selection of draft beers 15+, two beers on cask and many cellared beers. I tried the casked beers and they were exceptional (local IPA & pale ale). I also ordered a Cantillon Gueze Bio from 2008 and it was cellared very well (on the bottle it could be cellared until 2030). My last beer was the chocolate porter which was average. The fries were great and I would highly recommend the chicken wings with cilantro and an asian sauce that was amazing! This place is a true jewel in Vancouver!!!

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Photo of LittleDon
4.8/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Summary: A must if you're in Vancouver.

I want a place like this where I live. Puts near all of the beer bars I've been to to shame. Very laid back vide. Seating is mostly at long tables. Large doors that open onto an outside patio. Located on the eastern edge of Gastown in a more industrial like neighborhood. Everything on tap is quality and 3 hand pumps to boot. About 30 choices with lots of unusual local brews (I had a Red Racer and the Insane 12 yr aged lambic). Went with three colleagues, so I got to try what they were having. Everything was extremely fresh. Staff was very beer knowledgeable. Even the regulars were quality drinkers. An SFU professor at the bar steered by to the Red Racer. Would have gone back a second time if I had more time and less liver damage. Would I go back? In a heartbeat.

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Photo of morebeergood
4.44/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

The Alibi Room was closed on Canada Day 02 July, so went the next night, which was Friday. Bit of a walk from Gastown center. There is a small outdoor seating area, but it was night and slightly cold. Inside is very cool. Very trendy looking, but in a good beer bar kind of way. We originally were seated at the handrail near the bar with stools, but we moved to the bar when seats were freed up. Upstairs is totally different from downstairs. Upstairs, there are lots of community tables and a large bar. Downstairs, there is a small bar and lots of little tables for small groups. Our bartender was on his game, as he took the time to explain the origin of a beer's name to me, and had several conversations about beer with the gentleman besides me. Selection here was off the charts good. Every good BC brewery seemed to be represented here, plus a few WA and OR breweries and even DFH. I didn't know where to start or where to end. I went with the Tree Brewing Captivator Doppelbock and the Crannog Brewing Back Hand of God organic Stout. Both were awesome. My wife also enjoyed the two beers she had. Prices were also very reasonable, dare I say inexpensive for Vancouver. I would have expected to pay more per beer, but I was glad to not. The Alibi Room is hands down the best place that we came across to have a beer in Vancouver.

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Photo of lurker18
4.72/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Stopped buy here after a recomendation from Patrick at the Pourhouse (also a great place, more for the fancy mixed drinks, but also a must see). The bottle selection was very impressive with a few locals, a bunch of American top beers, and some overseas imports. The tap selection was very very good, almost every style that you could think of. Nigel was behind the bar, and I was lucky enough to get some of his time after the bar slowed down a bit. He poured me a few pints, talked for a while, and got a hand pulled cask special that was found aging in a warehouse, very good.
Must return to this place next time out west.

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Photo of henrysunset
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This establishment is genuinely top notch. It feels like a seattle brewpub with the excellent selection of beers and the great bunch selection. I'm pretty sure they don't sell any of the gross domestic swill that you can get almost anywhere in Canada. (At Steamworks brewery, half the bar was drinking kokanee.)

We had a great brunch, stuffed french toast and a fantastic bacon sandwich with well prepped potatoes and a really nice fresh greens salad.

I ordered a sampler of beers, and was blown away by two local beers from area breweries, and two others were also prety good. Their tap list is extensive and varied, with great options in the belgian styles, and lambics, sour beers, saisons, as well as a nice looking set of IPA's and other more traditional NW syles.

Highly recommended, nice staff and a great selection. the interior vibe is great too.

Iain (of Yaletown Brew Pub)- Oud Bruin Sour Belgian (FANTASTIC)

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Photo of SBinF
4.34/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I looked this place up on Beeradvocate before visiting Vancouver. It seemed to have pretty decent ratings. The joint was definitely not a disappointment. It was very close to my hotel, and I wasn't terribly frightened to walk there alone at night.

Their selection was pretty decent. I was drawn to this bar because their tap selection is exclusively BC. There was a nice variety of beer types, and compared to what I've paid at other bars, the price was pretty good considering I was getting microbrews.

The atmosphere was great. Though I am a tourist, I like to go to places that are a bit out of the way and less 'touristey'. The barkeep was knowledgeable about each of the different brews, and my glass never needed filling.

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Photo of foxbat2500
3.18/5  rDev -29.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4

Well it took me three visits just to be able to get in and have a drink here. On my previous 2 attempts they were closed at seemingly odd times of the day. 5pm on a Monday and Sunday. How can you not have your business hours on your door? I'ts just stupid and causes your customers to waste their time.

I trekked halfway across town on foot based on the good reviews here. The selection is excellent for Vancouver.

One thing to note is that this place is in a very bad part of town. I would not hang around at night or if you are alone.

I was very disappointed in this place.

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Photo of jeffwhit
4.78/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Best beer selection on tap west of Toronto. Loved that they have engines, and the focus on local beer AND food. (The Charcouterie platter, though a bit pricey ($16, was fantastic.) Servers knew what they were doing and loved the atmosphere, modern and airy, but very comfortable, a nice change from the dark typical theme pubs.
I had the Red Racer Pale Ale, the ESB also from Central City Brewing (fantastic) Brutal Bitter (YES!) and a Chocolate Porter from Victoria (Spinnakers? I was a little too into my beer to remember exactly.) Also had the beef dip, which was great, and came with killer, killer fries.
I will be back many times. This is exactly what we need here in Calgary

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Photo of stagger
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

My favourite beer room on the planet, so far.

20 (mostly) beautiful beers on tap, including selections you won't see anywhere else (current list at ). I wanted to take notes, but I was on a date & Mrs. Stagger would have clouted me. She was a little miffed at me dragging her to a beer-oriented place at a dubious address, but all that dissipated when we walked through the doors. The room is a beautifully renovated heritage building (as opposed to most of the area, which are dumpy, rundown heritage buildings) with a classy, young, urban atmosphere. But not _too_ classy, not _too_ young, and not _too too_ urban. The food was amazingly good, and not at all pricey for what we got. A decent amount of vegetarian selection, which is essential to us. I think the french fries were the best I'd ever had. Ever!

It'll be a few visits before I can settle down to a single pint here - I ordered the "frat bat" (this name being one of the low points of our visit) sampler of 4 beers, twice. The clear winner of each set was Central City's ESB, a beer I didn't even know existed until that moment (a brilliant beer, a stellar beer).

Service was friendly and reasonable. The hostess was bored out of her skull but the waitress was nice and reasonably attentive. Prices are decent. I think they've got the tone of the place just right, the perfect balance of upmarket and casual. Mrs. Stagger, not at all a beer-oriented woman, loved it as much as I did, and I can't think of any better recommendation than that.

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Photo of shivtim
3.95/5  rDev -12.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5

What a fantastic little bar in Vancouver.
Visited here on a Sunday afternoon in June 2009. Sat at the bar.

It's in a neat building right alongside the railroad tracks, not far from the gaslight district. Inside is brown, wood, rusty metal combo. Like a ship's insides, but open and airy. Downstairs is like a wooden cave.

Service was glacially slow, but when we did get attention the two bartenders were friendly and talkative. Still, for 1PM on a Sunday with only about 12 people in the whole place, the pace of the two bartenders was just agonizing.

Selection was great. About 20 on tap, plus 2 on cask and 20 more in bottles. Lots of BC / Canadian / West Coast brews. I was impressed, although I'm probably biased because I certainly can't get any of the BC brews in Atlanta. Bottle selection was mostly Belgian.

Prices were about $5.75 a pint. Didn't try the food.

I would definitely recommend the Alibi room if you're in Vancouver.

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Photo of jp11801
4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Spent my first night in town at the Alibi Room. Great beer selection with three casks on, two were IPAs and a Porter. All beers are well selected and were local to B.C. for the most part. All tasted great and the bartenders know there stuff and offered great suggestions.

The space is outstanding, get a seat near the end of the bar for a great view of the mountains just outside the city.

I has the cheese plate and again it was well done with three Canadian cheeses. The people next to me had an olive app that was really good as well.

If you are a local this should be your go to spot and if you are a visitor it should be tops on your list. Prices are higher than average but worth it.

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Photo of mhewes
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

A nice beer bar that I found in Vancouver on vacation. Their draft selection is almost exclusively British Columbia beers and there were about 20 on draft. They also had 3 locals on cask. The bartender was extremely knowledgeable about the beers and the different styles and not afraid to recommend some of the lesser common styles to people. The food menu is not huge and like they said, small kitchen, small menu. However, their food is all based on fresh and local ingredients. Everything we had was extremely delicious. The service was quick and friendly the entire time we were there.

We never go to a place twice on vacation and yet we ended up here twice. Great beer, great food, great times.

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Photo of CBA
4.64/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Has to easily be the best spot in Vancouver for great beer, excellent food, and knowledgeable staff. It shows these guys love beer with thoughtful attention paid to both local beer and regionally sourced food. Three rotating import guest taps (they had Rogue Dry Hopped Red, Anderson Hop Ottin, and North Coast Red Seal) and the ability to order a flight (4 samples) of any of their 19 taps.

Only caveat: Do not walk two blocks south after an evening of extended pints as you'll wander into Main & East Hastings where you're liable to end up in a dumpster never to be heard from again...just sayin'

Definitely spend your money here next time you're in Vancouver.

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Alibi Room in Vancouver, BC, Canada
4.53 out of 5 based on 72 ratings.
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