Strathcona Beer Company is making just the right tweaks
On Friday December 9th, Strathcona Beer Company, one of the newest breweries in Vancouver, invited some media guests for a tour of their brewery and to see the changes that they’ve made since opening earlier in the summer.
Looking back at Dustan’s article from September about the brewery, on the surface of things not a lot has changed. But it’s actually the little things that the brewery has improved upon that make it worth a visit.
From increasing their packaged beer output, to beginning a barrel program, to dialing in recipes, the changes at Strathcona are subtle but noticeable.
Head Brewer Fezz took us through the brewing floor and explained some of the exciting things we should expect from Strathcona Brewing now that they’ve found their feet and are off to a good start. Winning a bronze medal for their British IPA at the BC Beer Awards few scant months after opening has definitely buoyed their confidence.
We should expect to see more packaged beer from Strathcona brewing in the coming months as they get their bottling line into full swing. This product is over and above the 40oz bottles of their Golden Strong that were available since launch in the Summer. You may have already seen bomber bottles available at the brewery but they expect to be expanding distribution very soon.
Another development is a Lambic program that should hopefully produce results in about a year’s time. With a number of barrels along the West wall of the brewery, Fezz is already aging some beers that will be blended in a year or more. Some of these young sour beers already have fruit added to them and should make for a deliciously interesting brew when they are blended and released in the future.
One of Strathcona’s draws is their pizza and it is deliciously simple. Handmade crust and minimal toppings just like proper Neapolitan pizza should be done. Heading down Strathcona way for a pizza and a beer is a definite must on anyone’s list of Vancouver to-dos.
In the time since the Summer opening, Fezz and the brewing team have made substantial progress with their beer. They’ve been able to dial in the consistency as they get a handle on the system at their disposal. Naturally the team are also tweaking their recipes to try and get them just right. These changes show they are moving forward and further cementing their brewery an excellent place to visit, whether it is your only brewery destination, or one in a journey of several stops.
Strathcona Beer Company remains a great space with a communal feel. With two long tables in addition to a few booths, guests are just as likely to sit down next to neighbours as they are to people they’ve never met. The brewery is welcoming to families (helped by the pizza) and even on a Friday night there were a couple of families with kids coming in, enjoying the atmosphere, and even sharing the long tables with other guests.
With a relatively minimalist aesthetic, yet lots of windows to let in the sun or to cast a warming glow onto the street, Strathcona Beer Company offers a pleasant atmosphere and space that is well worth a visit or three. Ongoing improvements aside, the brewery is just a nice place to visit to chill out and have some good beer. Adding pizza to the equation is the cherry on top.