Meet Vancouver’s newest brewmaster

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Steel Toad brewmaster Chris Charron.

After a long wait and a lot of speculation, the big red barn-like building at 97 East 2nd Ave. (between Ontario and Quebec) is finally open for business.

After opening in October, Steel Toad Brewpub and Dining Hall became the latest entry in Vancouver’s brewing scene (although, at the rate the industry is growing, this statement could be out-of-date by the end of this weekend!). Housed in the former Opsal Steel Building, near Olympic Village, Steel Toad is a spacious, airy gathering place for locals and visitors alike. A large centrepiece bar shares the main floor with dining tables, with another dining area on the mezzanine level. On game nights, a big screen TV screen shows Canucks games. There is also live music.

Steel Toad has a well-stocked whiskey selection, a craft cocktail program and a dinner, lunch and brunch menu. But the on-site brewing is one of the main attractions, and we talked to head brewmaster Chris Charron about his current selection and plans for the future.

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Meet Vancouver’s newest brewmaster

Hopping Around Vancouver Microbreweries

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Photo from the 33 Acres website

With a comprehensive offering of local ingredients, a notable desire to support local, and evolving provincial liquor laws, Greater Vancouver has seen a surge in microbreweries that shows no sign of slowing down.

Recent government announcements have unveiled plans to phase in the sale of beer, wine and spirits in British Columbia grocery stores and farmers markets, as well as new regulations around happy hour and larger site licenses at music festivals. These developments have seen provincial market shares for artisanal beer double over the past four years, with industry experts forecasting a count of more than 80 active breweries by the end of 2014.

With this, visitors and residents of Vancouver have an inspiring selection of local suds, with many incorporating tasting rooms, growler shops and the inclusion of local food trucks offerings.

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Hopping Around Vancouver Microbreweries

9 New Craft Breweries to Open in Vancouver

Photo credit: Dinner Series | Flickr

Photo credit: Dinner Series | Flickr

For craft beer lovers in Vancouver, there’s plenty of reason to celebrate.

No fewer than nine new and expanded craft breweries – complete with tasting rooms – are expected to open in the year ahead, according to a great article in the Vancouver Sun by Randy Shore.

They’re clamouring to meet a growing demand for craft beer in the province.  Currently, craft beer accounts for some 20 percent of the beer market.  If cities like Portland are any indication, however, that could easily grow to 40 percent and beyond as beer drinkers become more choosy with their suds.

Here’s a rundown of some the breweries you can expect popping up around town in 2013.  Fittingly, four of these breweries will be situated in the historic Brewery Creek neighbourhood of Lower Mount Pleasant (situated roughly along Main Street, between 1st Avenue and Broadway) – which should make for some great beer crawls.

Steamworks: The venerable brewpub on Water Street has been turning our quality steam-powered beer  (like their flavourful Signature Pale Ale) for 18 years.  Now they’re getting ready to move into a new 25,000-square-foot brewery in Burnaby, with a 2,000-square-foot tasting room.  Estimated opening date: July 1.  

Red Truck Brewery: Red Truck, whose brews are already popular in Vancouver, is expanding its production capacity with a facility on East 1st Avenue in Lower Mount Pleasant.  It will include the Red Truck Diner, a retro restaurant and pub.  Estimated opening date: Late 2013.  Continue reading:
9 New Craft Breweries to Open in Vancouver