Red Seal Ale at the Alibi: Get it while you can!

A few years ago, I drove down the coast from Vancouver to San Francisco, winding through Washington State, Oregon and California on the way to a too-short stay in Shaky Town. The drive is a beer-lovers treasure hunt, with countless breweries to stop at on the way. There were plenty of memorable moments along the drive – like being trusted to tend bar at the Hopland Brew Pub while the bartender skipped out for lunch – and there were too many beers to remember. I do however remember my favourite pour of the trip: North Coast Brewery’s Red Seal Ale.

When we arrived in San Francisco, I was pleased to find out that Red Seal was available in bottles, but disappointed to find that the packaged product didn’t stand up to what I had on tap. What struck me most was the colour – a deep red that reminded me of the horse chestnuts that litter the road in front of my house in the fall. While the bottled version was still red, it was missing the brilliance that the tap-pour had, both in colour and flavour.

Imagine my surprise, then, to find Red Seal Ale on tap at the Alibi Room, as one of their features. Here, again, was the beer I remembered. The perfect level of hops, the floral nose, and yes – the perfect red colour.

I’m a frequent visitor to the Alibi, with its 19 taps and very knowledgeable servers. New father Nigel Springthorpe has been bringing a lot of great beer into his bar over the last year – great news for beer lovers. What isn’t great news is that Red Seal Ale won’t be there for long – so head down for a pint right away.

Alibi Room is located 157 Alexander Street. Vancouver, BC in Gastown; (604) 623-3383,

Alibi Room on Urbanspoon


2 Responses to “Red Seal Ale at the Alibi: Get it while you can!”

  1. Posted on November 16th, 2008

    I stumbled ass backwards into the last time they had a North Coast tap, when they were pouring Old Rasputin stout, one of my favourites. Alibi is great for that.

    (You CAN get North Coast in the bottle even up here if you’re ever desperate, I’ve seen it at Viti downtown and Brewery Creek on Main. But you’re absolutely right, it’s not the same.)

  2. Posted on November 20th, 2008

    I must have missed the Rasputin.

    Right now they have Driftwood Brewery’s Saison Ale, which is worth a taste. Driftwood just opened last month in Victoria – it’s nice to see their products so quickly in Vancouver.

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