by Shaun Layton | It’s an old refrain: “Guinness is never as good as it is Ireland”. Though pouring a perfect pint of Guinness isn’t as easy as it looks, I always thought the cliche was a little far-fetched until I went to Ireland. The truth of it is that many bars in Vancouver don’t pull Guinness as well as they do in Dublin. The five listed below do. Here are my personal favourites for your ranking consideration…
Johnnie Fox’s | 1033 Granville St. | It might be on the Granville Shitshow, but somehow the little Irish snug has some sort of “douchebag forcefield” that keeps out the rowdies. All the bartenders (some of whom are Irish) know how to pour a perfect pint. Have yours alongside some mini yorkies!
The Irish Heather | 210 Carrall St. | Gastown’s real Irish pub is my go-to midday hideout. It’s a legend in the neighbourhood, and staring out the front glass window on a rainy day with a Guinness in hand is my idea of bliss. Go for Happy Hour, when pints of the black stuff are only $5.
The Wolf & Hound | 3617 West Broadway | Deep on the West Side, this neighbourhood joint is a favourite of many industry friends. Get lost in a book and chill on the randomly placed sofas throughout. Pints are first rate, and I hear the live music is a real hoot!
The Fat Badger | 1616 Alberni St. | Though decidedly British, the Guinness here is nevertheless up there with the very best in town. The vibe in the room is chill and cozy – perfect for a mid-week pint. Make sure to chase your dark with one of the best Scotch eggs in the city.
The Winking Judge | 888 Burrard St. | I’ve spent many post-shift nights at this downtown bar, as have many fellow bartenders, servers, cooks, and so on. After 11pm, the ‘Judge fills up with all walks of life, and though it isn’t the best looking of the bunch, the pints are excellent.