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Strathcona Beer Company

This was our monthly brewery meet up, where we choose one of the many and great local crafts breweries made available to locals living in the Lower Mainland.

I was my turn to choose and I decided on Strathcona Beer Company for two reasons. First, I have often passed by and have yet to venture within. And at the time, local purveyors of weird and wacky snacks and limited edition junk food: Dank Mart had a pop up shop within the brewery’s tasting room. (More on that later)

It was first come first serve on a Friday night. We were lucky to come in when we did and to be able to snag the last available seats for two. A couple of stools across from one another, along a larger share style table. This was when the pandemic’s last remaining restrictions where lifting and dining in closer corners once again acceptable.

The open room was bathed in neon lights. Blue, yellow, red: only primary colours. A jovial dim yet brightness lit the room; with the addition of a few neon signs, spelling out the vibe that this lively bar was cultivating. Much like their flights and glassware.

The best way to get to know what’s on tap is through a flight. You get enough in a miniature glass to know what you like, and then go ahead and order the full sized version of it. At Strathcona Beer Company their flights of four comes on a wooden surf board holder, with the line up of your chosen beers: from lightest to darkest held in place via magnet.

Between my guest and myself, we tried all the available beers, minus the fruit sours that we both disliked. My guest got the following, and what I had ordered comes after. I purposely choose the beers he didn’t. Their descriptions are taken directly taken from their website:

A complex rich pale Czech lager, with considerable malt and hop character.
Well-balanced with a long rounded finish.

A premium American style lager with pilsner malts, Munich, flaked corn. Lightly hopped with Hallertau Mittlefruh and Lemondrop.

A blue candy ale made with blueberry, mango, peach, and raspberry juice, Belgian candy sugar with butterfly pea extract for that mellow candy hit.

This dry, hazy IPA is beautifully aromatic with big citrus accents and fresh tropical fruit notes. Crisp, refreshing with Azacca, Citra, and Mosaic hops.

This light, refreshing Pale Ale has a base of Pilsner Malts, hopped with Mosaic, Simcoe and Amarillo Hops.
A base of Pilsner malt is accented with Naked Golden oats as well as flaked oats. Hopped with Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy, Citra, Citra T45, & Citra Cryo. Flavours of big tropical fruit with undertones of Sauvignon Blanc grapes.

This Triple India Pale Ale is double dry hopped with Mosaic, Mosaic Cryo and Vic Secret hops. Base of pilsner malt, two different kinds of flaked oats giving a silky, smooth mouthfeel and fermented with a special blend of yeast to create a deceptive ABV of 9.5%

Maris Otter with pale chocolate, midnight wheat, roasted barley and flaked oats with cocoa nibs, maple syrup and hazelnut.

For my flight, the darkest, heaviest, with the most alcohol percentage was my favourite. The imperial chocolate hazelnut maple stout drank like syrup and dessert. Satisfyingly rich, without the bitterness of other lighter beers. I went on to order a full serving of it, and my guest the Head Banger IPA, to be able to fully appreciate their fun and uniquely patterned glassware.

With all this drinking, eating is advised. Where other breweries only offer small bags of chips or jerky for sale; Strathcona Beer Company has a proper kitchen to provide their patrons with not only more substantial food, but delicious food to boot. I would actually return just to have their pizza and pasta again.

The “not exactly Mac and Cheese” hits every spot. Served in the cast iron skillet it is baked crispy in, their presentation value doesn’t slouch. Orecchiette baked in jalapeño queso with cheddar, bacon, and topped with Padano-Panko crumb. This had a good amount of salt to keep you reaching for your beer. And the bacon and breadcrumb topping offers a nice crunch to balance out all that soft and gooey pasta underneath.

However, this pizza is what you need to try. Sadly we only ordered just the one, but I would advise getting a couple to share with a group. Because after one bite you want to know if they are all this good.

We went with the Strathcona Deluxe as my first taste. Tomato sauce, Mozzarella, Fior di Latte, roasted green peppers, pepperoni, roasted mushrooms, and Padano. There was so much harmonious flavour packed into this. It honestly might be one of the best thin crust pizzas I have had to date, all thanks to their in house pizza oven. It roasted the toppings and charred the crust, resulting in so much flavour and depth. I still ordered a side of ranch for dipping the crust into though. I just like a good tang to break up similarly bold bites. And bonus, it was garlicky ranch with plenty of dill.

And as I have mentioned earlier, at the time of my visit, Strathcona Beer Company had teamed up with the popular, kitschy bodega Dank Mart to release a limited edition beer. And the release of their Blue Candy Ale on Friday, March 4, coincided with a Dank Mart pop-up opening within the brewery.

Set inside this AstroTurf glass enclosure was Dank Mart apparel for sale. White tees, ball caps, and skateboard decks. Where you could also get a taste of the specialty snack purveyor by way of their vending machine. A self serve tap process. Try international flavours of your favourite soda brand, and variations to your favourite candy bar. We would share the salted caramel Twix, only to find it like any other Twix, but saltier.

As for the Blue Candy Ale, you can get it on tap, as my guest did above. Or grab a four pack of it to go from the bar. It was also made available at local specialty liquor stores in the weeks after my visit.

The beer is like no other. A blue hue that well reflects the sugar and sweetness of Dank Mart. It is a fun easy drink that even non-beer lovers can appreciate. Flavoured in blueberry and peach, with raspberry notes, and sweetened with Belgian candy sugar, you won’t find another beer like this.

In closing, come to Strathcona Brewing for their pizzas, and while you are here, you might as well grab a couple of drinks. And then shop their merchandise line with stylish apparel and their collectable glasses you can take home. Plus they also have cool collabs with heavy hitting brands like Hershel.

Strathcona Beer Company
895 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1R8
(778) 379-9050

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