Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium
Team: Vancouver Canadians
Affiliate: Toronto Blue Jays (High A)
Ballpark Basics: A no frills park with an active fan base and a museum that’s all worth the stop.
Attending a game at Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium, locally referred to as The Nat made us realize one thing: It is a travesty that Canada has only one MLB team. From all of our games that we have gone to north of the border one thing is clear; this country loves baseball. On our visit, a mid-season Saturday game, the stands were packed and the fans were invested in every pitch.
Nat Bailey Stadium is tucked into a residential area a few blocks off of Main Street, the commercial strip in the Riley Park–Little Mountain neighborhood of Vancouver. When The Nat was built in 1951, the ballpark was originally named Capilano Stadium after Capilano Brewing Co., a local brewing company and the team was even named the Vancouver Capilanos from 1951-54. It was renamed Nat Bailey Stadium in 1978 after local restaurateur Nat Bailey to honor his efforts to promote baseball in Vancouver.
While the ballpark does not show its age, the team does a great job of including the team’s history throughout The Nat. Starting with the pennants painted on the façade of the ballpark into the murals that line the main concourse to the Bud Kerr Baseball Museum in the concourse that covers the history of baseball in Vancouver.
The no-frills grandstand wraps around the infield and is covered by a large (and gorgeous) wooden roof. The first five rows consist of seats with seat backs. However, the majority of seating is made up of bench seating with seat backs. Additional sets of bleachers line each baseline. For group seating, there are two suites that are sponsored by local breweries: Sleeman Breweries Dugout Suites on the first base side and Whistler Brewing 3rd Base Suite as well as a picnic area in the right field corner.
Best Spot for Beer: There are a couple of concession stands underneath the grandstand that offer limited (and mostly macro) options. If you walk out of the concourse down the third base side you will find the 3rd Base Food Court. Here you will find multiple options for food as well as The Craft Corner with multiple local and craft selections.
Nat Bailey Stadium is an amazing place to take in a game. From the neighborhood, to the atmosphere, to the local options for food and drink, we would have a hard time topping a game at the Nat.
33 Acres Brewing Co.
Rating: Grand Slam!
Brew Basics: A very curated brewery that is an IKEA catalog and the concept of hygge brought to life.
In a time when copious amounts of breweries dictate that each try to distinguish themselves, yet somehow end up being all the same, 33 Acre in Vancouver, B.C. truly was unlike anywhere we had been before. The design can best be described by that Scandinavian word-of-the-late-2010’s,“hygge”. Minimalist, yet warm and comfy.
Located right in downtown on (one of many) steep streets, 33 Acres occupies two buildings and regularly has – their own – food truck parked out front. Starting at the top of the hill, you’ll come to their original building, done in white and black; sleek, minimalist and modern. There are various areas to sit, a chalkboard with information and probably a line. Start here to sample their standard and flagship ales.
Building two is the experimental lab. Decorated like the first, you’ll find mostly black and white décor with pops of blue and green. There are taps built into the wall offering sparkling and flat water, table top sized rugs serve as centerpieces and an interesting wood-bench seat along the wall. A handful of surfboards, tapestry and miniature Afghan rugs as table centerpieces add to the homey vibe. Built more like stairs or a wide riser, this flexible, non-traditional seating area is three levels high and can accommodate your large group, lounging readers or a meditating yogi.
When doing write ups, we typically try to start with one or two of a brewery’s staple beers. Here, we were interested in trying some of their flagships, such as the 33 Acres of Sunshine (a Witbeer) and 33 Acres of Nirvana (West Coast IPA). Space was at a premium in both buildings, but we were able to secure a spot in the second building. As mentioned, this one has mainly experimentals on tap, and while 33 Acres focuses on local and seasonal ingredients whenever possible, they even use different beer cultures in the experimental lab, so don’t be surprised if these aren’t the same offerings you find when you visit; or for that matter, if they’ve been moved into Building 1. It’s a safe bet that whatever you try will be just as good as what we had though.
Black Currant Session Saison (4.4% ABV/10 IBU) Murky berry juice vibe in color and viscosity. Smelled malty and tasted light, like a fruit wine. Finishes with fruit and peppery notes.
33 Acres of Coff33 (6.7% ABV/35 IBU) This Coffee Maibock pours a golden toffee color, with an aroma that is also pure coffee. The palate was very sweet, with no noticeable hops or alcohol. If you didn’t know better, you’d think you were drinking a cold brew with two lumps.
Fluffy Cloud IPA (6.5 ABV/70 IBU) Murky yellow-white color like white grapefruit juice. The taste is sweet in the front, resiny in the middle and finishes hoppy with a tingly aftertaste. The Citra and El Dorado hops combine for what is overall a tropically sweet hazy, but one that is still cut with a hop bite.
33 Acres of Nimbus (5.5 ABV/30 IBU) In this Pacific Hazy Pale Ale, hazy nectarine and apricot comes through in all facets – aroma, color and palate. You can see it, smell it, taste it. Deep golden in color, it finishes fruity, but also faintly dry and earthy. Effervescent and refreshing, and perfect for an early-summer day.
15 W 8th Ave