The Steamworks Brewpub has been a longstanding staple for craft beer in Vancouver. Since opening in 1995 they have been brewing craft beer for their brewpub in downtown Vancouver as well as for limited bottle releases throughout BC. The big story started in 2014 though with the opening of a production brewery in Burnaby. Located in the Northwest of Burnaby, just of Boundary rd., the new brewery has the ability to take Steamworks where it was never possible before.
Those that have been to the lower level of the downtown facility know that the original brewery is rather small and was designed to satisfy the thirst of local patrons. Any capacity beyond local was not a feasible endeavor. This all changed with the new 29,000 square foot facility.
The new Steamworks Brewery uses a 50 hectaliter, four vessel brew system with rows of 100hl fermentors and even a few, 200s to keep the production rolling. All this, as well as a canning, bottling and boxing line are tucked into what was once a skylight factory. Needless to say, the natural light in the building is quite good.
Given that the building was designed for manufacturing, high ceilings, open space and even a small retail area are perfect for a brewery. The only downside is that even though Steamworks is fairly central, it is tucked away just out of sight. Walk by traffic is not really something the Steamworks tasting room team can count on.
Walking through the brewery it is amazing to see the efficiency and thought that goes into a modern brewery. The combination of automation and classic brewing techniques is apparent with the Newlands brewhouse. Designing a brewery from the ground up of this scale allows for great thought to be put into the space and a very efficient layout for the brewing and packaging teams.
As the award winning Pilsner ferments in the 200hl tanks, the 100s take on other favourites like the Black Angel, Imperial Red and Blitzen and even the new fresh hop brew. A brewery of this size and design can handle a large quantity and a large variety of brews. The brew team works in two shifts per day to keep the beer flowing through their new, much larger distribution channels.
Since opening the production brewery the Steamworks brand has proliferated throughout British Columbia and into new markets across Canada and into the United States. The team is hopped up and on a mission to make their mark on the North American craft beer scene. All this while keeping a close eye on their backyard. The brewery tasting room is one of the biggest in BC and features a wide selection of beers on tap, plus some local wines and snacks to keep you busy. Growth is one thing but keeping sights on the local community is also important. With the brewpub downtown and the new brewery in Burnaby, the local customers and community are still front of mind.
Stop on by the brewery to try their latest brews and experience why Steamworks is on a trajectory to the top.
Learn more at steamworks.com