Building An Epic Night Out in Port Alberni #ExplorePortAlberni



Port Alberni, B.C. - It takes courage and determination to see through a vision in creating a new business. For Port Alberni’s Robin Miles and Andy Richards, it’s a whole lot of “dog-to-a-bone” mentality to open the doors to one of Canada’s newest craft breweries.

“Opening Dog Mountain is all about determination and making it happen for ourselves,” says Richards, Dog Mountain Brewery co-founder as he basks in the rooftop patio glow with a sunset that’ll knock your socks off. “Every board that goes in, every line to the brewing tanks, to putting up railings on our rooftop patio, that is all the two of us.”

#ExplorePortAlberni. Start by checking out the Alberni Valley Tourism website.

Watch Building An Epic Night Out in Port Alberni #ExplorePortAlberni on YouTube.

The fall 2019 opening of this kind of hands-on endeavour isn’t unique around here. That mindset is a trend in Port Alberni’s (PA) hospitality industry.

I hit PA’s streets for ZenSeekers and our friends at the BCAleTrail to bring you just a sample of some of the good times you and your friends can brew up in this coastal city, in the heart of Vancouver Island.

Spicing up the shoreline

Set to open this fall Port Alberni’s Dog Mountain Brewing has a top notch roof top patio

Hospitably at the Swept Away Inn includes the tasty creations of a Moroccan ex-pat who now calls one of the world’s largest ocean inlets home. Bouchra Savard and her husband, Dan, live aboard their 100-foot tugboat docked in Port Alberni’s Arts District. Chef Bouchra served our dinner cradled in Moroccan spices and tradition leaving our taste buds singing. The feast included scrumptiously seasoned Moroccan braised short ribs with caramelized prunes – no knife required – with carrots that were so perfect, Bugs Bunny would have been salivating. A passion for perfection is a big piece of the puzzle here. To illustrate that point, the Savards have run an unheard of 18-month Superhost Airbnb rating because not only can you eat delicious food here, you can stay on the ship as well.

Port Alberni Nightlife
Photo: Doc Pow

The view from the Swept Away Inn is all about life on the ocean

The five-star Moroccan tea and homemade dessert was just the kick we needed to continue exploring a few more PA spots and perhaps work off a bit of our meal. Rainbow Lanes Bowling Alley and its upstairs Rainbow Room is – in my opinion – one of the top live music venues on B.C.’s West Coast. This bar is like going to see a show in your living room except with a stage, a tight dance floor, wrap-around leather booths and a sound system that will blow your hair back. The Rainbow Room was bumping the night we were there, with Vancouver-based Five Alarm Funk steaming up the joint with their infectious beats.

Port ALberni
Photo: Doc Pow

Five Alarm Funk on Stage at the Rainbow Room, like watching a show in your living room.

“This is one of those bands that are playing in big venues and you never would have thought they would come play in Port Alberni,” says Dave Rutherford, owner of Island Entertainment. Rutherford took the entrepreneurial leap in 2006 buying the Rainbow venue, including the 100 pairs of bowling shoes and all. Rutherford’s plans are like those for this community, innovative and growing.

Port ALberni NIght life
Photo: Doc Pow
Bowling at the Rainbow Lanes is handy as it comes with its own bar right upstairs

“Eventually we’ll see four stages along Fourth Avenue, all with live music, all just next store to where we are sitting now,” says Rutherford from the beginning of Port Alberni’s downtown Granville Street.

PA’s new personality is hopping

Meet born and raised local Aaron Colyn, whose been quenching the thirst of Vancouver Island for more than two years with his Twin City Brewing. Choose from award-winning pints and fuel up on pizza with local ingredients like the PA Pepperoni.

"Ten years ago, when I moved here to where we are now there are way more entrepreneurs around who are changing the face of Port Alberni,” said foodie Rosalyn Macauley. “We are now home to a nice collection of breweries and boutique restaurants and it’s exciting to see the community moving from big box stores. It’s been an economic facelift.”

POrt ALberni
Photo: Doc Pow

Next to a stellar array of craft beers, the menu at Twin City Brewing include pizza with local organic ingredients

We’re not much into plastic surgery here @ZenSeekers, so when we say perhaps you ready for a facelift, we are talking about an injection of some fun and excitement. Treat you and your crew to a night or two out in Port Alberni and lift that face of yours in all kinds of ways.

When You Go

Search #ExplorePortAlberni for more inspiration. Be sure to tag #ExplorePortAlberni while exploring the region as you could be featured on our social media channels.

Start planning your adventures in Port Alberni at Alberni Valley Tourism

Start exploring your Port Alberni region options with Destination BC

Find out more at

Coleman Meadows Farm - with the water buffalo cheese is open for tours and product sales on Saturdays.

Uncover more about the Port Alberni region's offers for adventure. Check out ZenSeeker’s #ExplorePortAlberni Expedition page to see how you can have an adventure like this.

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