When I go to a brewery I don’t tell anyone who I am. Don’t get me wrong i don’t expect people to know who I am even if I told them, but I still don’t like mentioning I write a blog unless I am trying to get some specific information that really needs consent. I don’t tell because I don’t want to feel bad about telling the truth, when the truth is the beer sucks. I honestly believe if you are going to write a blog about anything you have to be willing to give your opinion, negative or positive… so here it is.
I’ve visited two newer Vancouver Breweries over the past several weeks and in short they were pretty underwhelming. Both Strathcona Brewing Faculty Brewing co. have a lot of work to do if they want to stay relevant.
Strathcona presents as a Brand heavy brewery. Great Location in a “real”neighborhood. I say “Real” because it is, “strath” exists as one of the last Vancouver neighbourhoods with a community built outside of gentrification (even if it is on its way). Maybe thats why the cool brewery seems like an anti-septic juxtaposition dropped on the block in a “just-so” way… even the sex-trade workers seemed to give it a wide berth. I’ve been 3 times for some reason in the last month, each time I walk away less impressed. I could go on at length about the tasting room itself, but its not worth it. It’s nice, but an art room in a Strathcona brewery is just little pedantic, when you consider the local community- its just so Vancouver. The best beer I had here was the radler, upsetting as it also contained the least beer. The saison had only hints of the familiar farm house flavours, and the hoppy beers, the British IPA, Northwest Pale Ale, and the ISA, were nearly impossible to discern as distinct styles. These were definatley different beers but someone needs to take a trip to the UK. In short this brewery needs to get its shit together… because gentrification is still a few years away…
Also their website is just a video of people skateboarding… http://www.strathconabeer.com
Faculty Brewing definitely has more to work with but even so has some kinks to work out. Faculty has opened in the same Brewery Creek neighbourhood as, well, everyone else. They are making decent to good beer, and their tasting room is warm and inviting. So why then do they need to get their shit together?
Because they aren’t doing anything different, and they aren’t doing anything better. I am aware of their intent to rotate beers on a structured basis, some might say this is their niche, but if Brassneck has more available and styles that change nearly as quickly does it really matter? It’s like going to a chocolate cake festival and bringing a carrot cake. Even so, I have high hopes for this fellows and wish them all the best.