Last week I finally took a peek inside Electric Bicycle Brewing at 20 East 4th Avenue on the slope of Mount Pleasant. I had dug the colourful exterior mural when it went up, which was a while ago now, and was curious as to the story of what was going on inside.
The young owners – Elliot McKerr, Matt Ryan and Leigh Matkovich – come from hospitality backgrounds for the most part, and they’ve been at this for two years now. My timing was good, as they actually start brewing this week (knocks on wood) and should be open to the public by the end of March. (What’s in a name? They used to make electric bikes at this address, so there you go…)
They’ll cycle brew to stock their tasting room with four beers (plus two guest taps) to start and then slowly work the number of beers up to eight. Their brewer is Paddy Russell (formerly of Spinnakers in Victoria) and his brief is to create interesting, memorable beers, with some of them being suggested by customers. True story: they’re going to experiment with a Think Tank program that canvases the public for brews ideas…
The tasting room is 500 sqft with room for 47 people. The space is a little out there in a Mad Hatter sort of way. The bright, kaleidoscopic mural out front foreshadows this, but I still think the interior will be a jolt to all who enter for the first time. What I saw on my walk-through was unfinished, so I expect it will get even more colourful and bizarre as launch day nears.
The food program will centre on a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches, everything from the basic classic to oddities like a spaghetti bolognese on garlic toast, all supplied by Salt and Earth. Evidently, they plan to have fun here, and I’m looking forward to seeing the end results.