Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall has been brewing up a storm since late 2015 but with some changes they invited me out to try some of their brew beer and share the fact they have finally begun filling growlers! Located in Vancouver’s Brewery Creek district and on the edge of the Olympic Village you do not have to venture far to check out this brewpub.
I still find it amazing that this building was saved after it lost its historical status back in 1997. Nothing usually sticks around when it is left to fall apart like this building was. Luckily the developer saw the value of the history and saved this building.
I have enjoyed myself every time I have stopped in to Steel Toad Brewing. The bar area is located in the middle and is a wrap around style. On all sides you will find seating also. There are now two different patios with one located out front and one in the back. To the far left and up the stairs you will find a nice mezzanine seating area that can be used for private events. On the right side you get to see the brew house behind a glass wall. The beer here is very fresh as they pour directly off of serving tanks for their own brews. But if you are looking for something else they also have guest taps and other bar drinks.
mezz area seating
mezz area seating
view of brewpub from mezz
Behind the glass wall you find the brewery. As far as I can tell they still use a mobile grain mill that they wheel outside to do all their milling. The brewery uses a 10 barrel brew house that consists of a two part vessel that is comprised of a mash tun and hot liquor tank. The other part of the two vessel brew house is their kettle. Once they have finished making the wort it is moved over to the fermenters on the far side. Once the beer is finished it is moved into one of 10 serving tanks. The brewery has a capacity of 1000 barrels a year. The photos below are a mix of old and new photos.
If you have never been here you are doing a disservice to yourself. If you have been its time to go back for a nice meal and to take home a growler of your favourite beer. The brewery does not purge their growlers with CO2 at this point so they recommend you drink it as soon as possible. This is a nice first step and hopefully in the future they can start purging the growlers with CO2 so that the beer will last longer.
Hearthstone Brewery may have been brewing beer for a fairly long time now but finally the Hearthstone Tap & Forno has now opened!
I was lucky enough to get the distinction of being the first customer on opening day. Luckily work had me in the neighborhood at the right time. The Tap & Forno is located in the old liquor store at Taylor Crossing. Everything about the taproom has a west coast feel. There are wood finishing everywhere with lots of great metal accents. I sat along the bar where you can watch the kitchen staff build the wood fired forno pizza and other foods. Beer flights consist of 4 beers and a small sample of truffle oil salted popcorn. The stuff is to die for! Near the front door you will find lots of swag for purchase.
For growler fills at Hearthstone Brewery you will pay for your fill at the Tap & Forno for now and then head out the back door to the brewery space itself for your fill. Due to the fact that the taproom and the brewery are detached they are currently considered different license and as such growler fills can not be done in the Tap & Forno. They hope to either fix this issue or get a point of sale in the brewery in the future. If you knew the old Red Truck Brewing location in North Vancouver then you already know where this brewing space is as it is the exact same brew house.
Photo taken from Hearthstone Brewery instagram feed
This brewery is truly not hidden with very large windows on all sides. When you head to the door of the brewery you will head up a short flight of stairs. Here you will be met with their growler station. They will be filling many different beers as is available at the time.
If you would like a deeper look into the brewery check out my former post on the brewery located here.
If you have not checked out Hearthstone Brewery or their Tap & Forno I suggest that you do that soon!
R&B Brewing has gone through some major changes in the last year. There was an Ownership Change (Howe Sound Brewing), a new Head Brewer (Rodney Hughes) and now an Ale & Pizza house on site. For all the parents out there this Ale & Pizza house has a food primary license so children are allowed.
When you walk in the door the first thing you will be greeted with is the Growler bar. They fill growers, sell bombers and also swag here. If you are looking to get in and out quickly this will be your destination.
If that is not your plan to just pick up beer to go you will turn right towards the Ale & Pizza house.
The Ale & Pizza house has a great feel. The whole room was brought together with all kinds of interesting bits and pieces. There is a neat sitting area with lots of books to read. The majority of the seating is on long shared tables. They have amazing pizzas as well as other tasty looking food on their menu. I had the bacon, mushroom and green onion pizza and it was great. I think my favourite touch with this space though is the functional reel to reel music player and the walls of speakers.
They are still using the same brew house but they are making lots of other changes in the back. They have been slowly phasing out the original horizontal dairy tanks that have been using forever. They now use a mix of conical fermentors as well as three dairy tanks. Otherwise the bottling line has not changed and they are still using Frankenstein for the bombers. They also have a great little test batch system to play with.
If you have not checked out R&B Brewing since the Ale & Pizza House opened up then it is time for you to check it out!
Since Marten Brewing Co opened up in Vernon BC I have been by the building many times. Unfortunately with them opening at 4pm on most days it took me a long time to finally stop in.
The work they did on the space for Marten Brewing is amazing. The brew pub is beautiful with a great mix of wood and metal finishes. The food looked really tasty but I was just there to pick up a growler fill after a hike so I tried a flight to help me pick my choice of beer. There is a good amount of seating downstairs and there appeared to be some seating on the second level although I did not head up the stairs.
The brewery is located front and centre inside the brew pub just behind large glass windows. There is no ceiling above the brewery though so it must smell amazing inside the pub when they are brewing. The grain room was behind a closed door but all the rest of the brewing process happens right out in the open. They do have some conditioning tanks in the basement also.
Marten Brewing is making some pretty tasty beer in an area that did not have a brewery until they opened. If you find yourself in Vernon make sure to stop in for a pint or two and a growler fill or three.
The situation in the city of Edmonton Alberta is that there is not a lot of craft beer currently. Luckily that situation is changing right now!
Hopefully in the near future there will be a sign on the brewery so that it is obvious that this is Situation Brewing. Situation Brewing is a great little brewpub located fairly close to the University of Alberta.
The brewpub has a great restaurant area with lots of windows that open up wide to bring in lots of fresh air. They serve 7 different beer that are brewed on site currently with up to 5 extra guest taps. The bar has a small selection of hard liquor as well if you are in the hunt for that. Not only do they make some tasty beer they also have really good food. I can personally recommend the Sandwich Cubano just get a side of hot sauce to make it even better. I could not have better things to say about the staff either as they were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
I was lucky enough to have my lunch at the bar beside the brewing crew and was able to set up a little tour of the brewery. The brewhouse is not huge but it is big enough to pump out enough beer to keep the taps flowing. When I checked out the brewery they had only been open for around 3 weeks and they had already made a kettle sour so you can see that they are looking to make a name for themselves. You will not find they beer at many locations outside of the brewpub because they fell in love with what Brassneck Brewing in Vancouver was doing more or less only selling been on site.
I am just happy that my work has been bringing me to Edmonton as I look forward to having a few more beers at this brewpub in the near future. They make good food and good beer. Make sure you head there if you ever make it to Edmonton or if you are lucky enough to live near to the brewery.