This Long-Gone Restaurant Was Key to the Development of Vancouver’s Craft Beer Scene

The ever-evolving Restaurant Graveyard series looks back at the countless, long-shuttered establishments that helped to propel Vancouver’s food and drink forward. Full A-Z with maps and photos here. May they never be forgotten!

Opened in 1999, Dix BBQ and Brewhouse was more than just a great place for BBQ and big screen hockey games. It was, as our Craft Beer Atlas attests, “the epicentre of good beer in Vancouver ” during the early 2000s, one of the rockets of our craft beer scene’s ascension. The list of brewers who experimented and developed their craft at the Beatty St. brewpub speaks to the evolution of the Lower Mainland’s current relationship with beer — Strange Fellow’s Iain Hill, 33 Acres’ Dave Varga, and Trading Post’s Tony Dewalt (among others) all took turns brewing at Dix. Though very much a hop nerd’s hangout (it basically mid-wifed the Vancouver chapter of CAMRA), the somewhat smelly and wholly unpretentious joint (with peanut shells scattered everywhere) also attracted its fair share of restaurant industry workers who received much of their early beer education from its many taps, thus turning them into zealous evangelists (and salespeople) for locally brewed craft beer. Dix closed with considerable ceremony on Victoria Day in 2010. The voluminous space lay dormant and unoccupied for five years until it became Central City’s Red Racer Taphouse, which closed in late 2020.

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