by Chuck Hallett | It’s been the subject of conversation amoungst the Mount Pleasant craft beer crowd for some months now: “When will Main Street Brewing opening?” Speculation ranged from “6 weeks” to the slightly qualified “6 weeks–just not all in a row.”
Folks eager for an insider glance pressed bearded faces up against small gaps in the hoarding on the mustard-coloured building on the northwest corner of East 7th and Scotia for some clue missed by everyone else. Satisfied with that they saw, they’d step down off the ladder and knowingly proclaim “Tanks are in. Shouldn’t be long, now.”
And thus, the winter passed.
More recent reports included a note about the neighbourhood smelling like hot wort, which led to “any day now” updates. This eventually gave way to “the 29th of May at 11am,” which begat “come back at 3.”
Yes, with that hour upon us, the tanks are full, the counter is polished, and the bar stools are in position. Main Street has officially thrown open its glass doors to welcome the first of many clients this afternoon.
What should you expect from Vancouver’s newest craft brewery?
Well, for starters, they should expect a gorgeous interior space. Previous breweries like 33 Acres and Brassneck set the standard for a high quality tasting room but the brewery itself was always something of a bit player, visible only from certain peek-a-boo angles. Bomber changed that with a fermentation vessel looming behind the bar, and Main Street goes even further by using a 4ft high half wall to separate the tasting room and growler shop from the brewery floor.
Until legislation changes in Victoria, no other brewery will let you get closer to the action (I guess the government is afraid we might…er…brew beer…or something). While you’re out in the front of house drinking their product, brewmaster Jack Bensley will be visible not 30 feet from where you sit toiling away to brew his next creation.
The tasting tables will soon featuring fig trees growing through them, reaching up to the soaring double-height ceilings & wooden beams. Ample natural lighting is provided by generous skylights and a large, windowed entry way. The space is bright, airy and inviting. I intend to pass many hours here simply enjoying both being in a brewery and feeling the sun on my skin at the same time.
At launch there will be at least three regular beers (Brown Ale, Session IPA and Pilsner) and all four of the permanent cask engines will have some sort of one-off pouring. As well, the kitchen will up and running with a variety of bar-appropriate snackables. Hours are 11am to 11pm, seven days a week.
Chuck Hallett lives and works in downtown Vancouver. His passionate obsession with craft beer borders on insanity. When not attempting to single-handedly financially support the local brewing industry through personal consumption, he spouts off on his award-winning beer-themed blog: BarleyMowat.com. If you’re in a good beer bar reading this, odds are he’s sitting next to you. Be polite and say hi.