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.
From Steel Toad Brewpub in Vancouver comes their “Blood Orange Sour” a Berliner Weisse. The beer pours a cloudy dark pink with a whitish pink head. The aroma consists of bloody oranges, mild tartness and maybe a hint of something herbal. The flavour is of blood orange, stone fruit, grapefruit rind and tartness. The alcohol content comes in at 5% with an IBU of 10. This is really tasty and a nice sour for the summer coming up. This sour wont kick your taste buds in the teeth which is nice as so many kettle sours are extremely sour.
Commercial Description: This kettle soured wheat ale, (Berliner Weisse) has been blended with blood oranges after fermentation. The resulting beer is extremely easy drinking, refreshing, and delicious.
In July Tap & Barrel will be celebrating their 5th year anniversary. For the five months leading up to July and their birthday they have decided to collaborate with 5 different local breweries and pair different food with it.
For March they partnered up with Phillips Brewing in Victoria to make the Dazed & Co-Brewed East Coast IPA. The East Coast IPA or New England IPA is sweeping the west right now and for good reason. They showcase the fruit flavour in the hops that are used with a bit lower bitterness bringing new fans to the IPA. The beer looks great for the style and it tastes on point!
To pair with this great collaborative beer the chef has decided to make a Thick Bacon & Blue Cheese Burger. Don’t let the blue cheese scare you as this is a great tasting burger with a ton of flavour. The burger has certified Angus beef, thick cut bacon, blue cheese, lettuce, pickled shallots, roasted garlic mayo and balsamic fig jam.
To celebrate the beginning of this collaborative effort Tap & Barrel Olympic village invited a bunch of industry and bloggers out to try the pairing. We got to try out a slider version of the burger with sleeves of the beer. I have to say that both the beer and the burger tasted great and I plan on heading back before the end of the month to have a full sized burger!
Especially if you have not been into the Tap & Barrel recently at any of their locations or if you are just looking for a great beer and burger pairing head over and order right away! You will not regret it as the flavour of both a seriously top notch.
Check out the Tap & Barrel at one of their three locations
Faculty Brewing in Vancouver is getting much closer to opening now. When I stopped in early March framing was in the early stages and there was no equipment in the space yet. Now in late May things are really looking good.
The bar is basically finished now with the exception that it is not yet hooked into the serving tanks. There will be 6 Faculty Brewing beers on tap and in Growler fills with one two extra taps for guest beers and the likes. The taps are really interesting as they have the ability to chance out the numbers that represent the beers numerical names. Each beer will have a number similar to a college or university class number. The third photo below shows the tasting room seating area. The big black package is the bar seating. The package behind it is of the growlers.
The brewery itself is not hooked up yet and that includes the glycol but all of the equipment is now in place. The grain room is located in the far back corner of the building. beside it you will find the brew house. The grain will be augured from the grain room to the last vessel on the left of the first photo. The next two photos show the tank farm. Due to the cost of the transformer in the last photo there are a mix of stainless steel and plastic fermentors.
I am really excited for the opening date of Faculty Brewing. The test batches and collaborations that I have tried have been great. Keep your eyes peeled for an opening date!
Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall is one of the newest brewpubs in the province of BC and is located in Vancouver’s Brewery Creek district and Olympic Village.
The brewpub is located inside the historical Opsal Steel Building built in 1918. The building was taken apart, restored and then put back together a surprising thing as it lost its Historical Status in 1997. Below is a historical photo of the building. It is always nice to retain some history of a city as it densifies.
I recently stopped by the brewpub for a weekend brunch. The pub has a central wrap around bar with seating all the way around it. The space is wide open with very high ceilings and feels great. No matter where you sit in the bar you can see the brewery behind the glass wall on the far side of the pub. The actual stacked tanks in the photos below are the serving tanks that are tapped right into the bar taps. There are no kegs being used to serve this beer. You really can not get much more fresh than that.
Google has a great 360 degree immersion that you can explore the pub in as seen below.
Behind a glass wall you find the brewery itself. The grain mill is mobile and is moved outside when brewing to keep the grain dust out of the brewpub. The crazy part is that the brewers actually have to carry the milled grain from outside up the stairs of the brew house to get it in the mash tun. One of the cool things about the mash tun here is that it is a two part vessel. The top part is the mash tun but the bottom part is the hot liquor tank. Once the beer is finished in the brew house the beer is moved into the fermenters on the left hand side of the brew house. When the beer is finished fermenting the beer is moved into serving tanks on the right side of the room.
If you have never checked this brewpub out then it is time to take a trip there. Their beer is only available in house as they do not keg their beer or do growler fills but they do now fill growlers!