What to Eat, Drink and Skip in ‘Brewery Creek’ (A Complete Mount Pleasant Brewery Guide)

Vancouver has the luxury of having several key areas of concentrated breweries. With that concentration comes some serious competition for your time, dollars and beer consumption.

One of those areas happens to be ‘Brewery Creek’, otherwise known as the area around Mount Pleasant and Main Street. There are seven craft breweries in total, along with Steel Toad and Craft Beer Market to round out a huge selection of craft beer available. But while some options definitely justify the spend, others can objectively be a waste of money. That’s where this guide comes in; I attempt to steer you, the faithful drinker, to the best each has to offer in both food and booze, and what to stay away from.

Brassneck Brewery

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Brassneck is the kind of experience that is synonymous with craft brewing. With a reclaimed wood interior and a constantly rotating tap menu, it’s hard to keep track of all the experiments coming out of here. Plus nothing is bottled, so you’ve got to come to the source to get the good stuff.Β Update: Brassneck now sells cans, Hallelujah!Β 

Top contenders:

  • One Trick Pony (IPA)- A fantastic IPA that crushes your taste buds with Mosaic hops; plus it kicks your ass at 9% ABV.
  • Hibiscus Wit (Wheat Beer)- I love, love the balance of this hibiscus wit. Something about the hibiscus really pairs nicely with the wheat malt.
  • Passive Aggressive (Pale Ale)- The first beer Brassneck ever made, this is their signature brew and it’s worth it (as is the steroid version Massive Aggressive).

Eats:

  • Brassneck doesn’t have a kitchen, but they do serve some delicious cheese bread, and there’s generally a food truck out front.

Don’t bother with:

  • Joe’s Barn (Saison)- Honestly nothing wrong with this classic saison, it’s just you’re likely to find something better on the menu.
  • Cheeky Bugger (Bitter)- Again, for a bitter, it’s a fine beer; it’s just a boring beer.

Main Street Brewing

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Main street kind of feels like you wandered into some neighbours awesome outdoor patio space, but it’s indoors! The casual atmosphere and high top tables makes for a great night, and the beer naturally helps too.

Top contenders:

  • No. 7 Saison- This is consistently on rotation and they make adjustments to it here and there. Honestly a very sessionable saison with lots of character.
  • Fruit Bomb Kettle Sour- Flavours of grapefruit, lime, lemon, mango and peach offset the kick in the mouth tartness.
  • Westminster Brown Ale- Another staple of the brewery this is a great brown ale that gives you exactly what you’d expect.

Eats:

  • Main Street has a kitchen, but honestly don’t love the food. The giant pretzel is pretty good, otherwise I’d eat around the corner at the Whip.

Don’t bother with:

  • Witches Brew Schwarzbier- Don’t love it, maybe was expecting more than I got from it.

R&B Brewing

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R&B is the funky stepchild, with an eclectic decor that looks as if they just threw it all together from some stuff they found in an old basement…and it works! It’s a cozy environment that even features live piano if someone is feeling brave.

Top contenders:

  • Shake Your Fruity Milkshake IPA- I’ve drank far too much of this beer. I love this milkshake IPA to death, it’s worn on me a little since I’ve had so much, but still a solid go to.
  • Vienna Lager- Crisp, clean and goes down so fast; exactly what you want out of a lager.
  • Nitro Dark Star Stout- The nitro really makes this a winning stout. Smooth balance with notes of coffee and chocolate.

Eats:

  • Pizza all the way. R&B makes a surprisingly good pizza, and the classic tomato/basil is deceptively simple.

Don’t bother with:

  • Sun God Wheat Ale- There are better wheat ales in the neighbourhood.
  • Guest Taps- You’re at R&B, drink an R&B beer.

33 Acres Brewing

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The cleanest brewery you’re likely to come across, and easily the most Instagram friendly. Pure white everything makes it feel more like a cool coffee shop (they do serve coffee) than a working brewery.

Top contenders:

  • 33 Acres of Euphoria (Belgian Triple)- A great Belgian style beer with notes of banana and spice. Be careful it’s over 9% ABV.
  • 33 Acres of Genesis (IPA)- A constantly evolving IPA that changes based on the brewers moods and inspirations.

Eats:

  • Come here for brunch…no I’m not kidding. The brunch is fantastic, the coffee is well made and you can have a pint with avocado toast.

Don’t bother with:

  • 33 Acres of Ocean (West Coast Pale Ale)- It’s just an okay beer; nothing that would keep me coming back for more.

Red Truck Beer Company

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Red Truck is easy to miss as it’s tucked in a side street just east of Main street, but once you’re there you’ll be surprised at how big the facility is. They host a number of events at the lot, including a summer concert series that tends to bring some killer bands out.

Top contenders:

  • Red Truck Lager- Extremely approachable and pretty much drinkable by anyone that likes beers. This is as simple as craft beer gets.
  • Red Truck IPA- A bolder IPA than expected, this has some booze notes to it that makes it unique. Not the best BC IPA, but certainly not the worst by a long shot.

Eats:

  • Think of the food at Red Truck as a truck stop diner. Go for the specialty hot dogs, wings or beer battered fried pickles.

Don’t bother with:

  • Red Truck Golden Ale- This actually is more in line with a light hefeweizen than anything. Not a very exciting beer, and they could lean more into the hefe characteristic to up the ante on this one.

Faculty Brewing Co.

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Faculty is the youngest brewery in the neighbourhood, and the smallest to boot, but they are managing to pump out some creative beer. It’s also extremely bright thanks to the big windows, plus there’s some games to keep you occupied if you can’t hold a conversation.

Top contenders:

  • Sourweisse- Faculty makes a very approachable sourweisse, not too sour that you can only drink a small amount, but enough to remind you it’s a sour.
  • Citra Pale Ale- I’m a sucker for the Citra hop and Faculty does it justice here. Strong citrus in both flavour and aroma.
  • Oaked Stout- When they have it, this American oaked stout is worth a try. It’s creamy with an oatmeal and coffee flavour.

Eats:

  • Being so small, Faculty doesn’t have a kitchen. But go for the fish and chips when the food truck is outside, you get a massive heaping of fries.

Don’t bother with:

  • Minzeweizen- This may be contentious, as it’s one of their staples, but I just don’t love the combination of a hefe with peppermint tea.
  • Blonde Ale- It’s not bad, just an average beer.

Big Rock Urban Brewery

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Big Rock hails from Calgary, but what they’ve done here is opened a brewery that focuses on West Coast style and inspiration that is actually cranking out some decent stuff. It’s the furthest west of any of the breweries, nearly at Cambie street.

Top contenders:

  • Mosaic Lager- This is a fantastic lager that incorporates a generous use of hops to make something totally different than a standard fare lager.
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout/Amber- Both the barrel aged stout and amber are excellent beers that deserve to be held onto (I keep a few in my cellar for rainy days).
  • Citradelic Single Hop IPA- A good IPA that once again uses Citra hops (see a theme here?).

Eats:

  • Go for the wasabi tuna tacos or the shared nachos with beer cheese (YUM!).

Don’t bother with:

  • Purple Gas Wheat Ale- This is far, far too sweet. It’s like drinking kool-aid, and that terrible purple kind.
  • Belly Flop Saison- I don’t know what it is about the fruit flavoured beers at Big Rock, but best to avoid them all together.

Steel Toad Brewing Co.

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As you may have gathered from the start of this post, I don’t classify Steel Toad as a traditional brewery. It’s technically a “brewpub” like Yaletown Brewing, so doesn’t fit the mold. It’s a nice looking building though, and a good atmosphere.

Top contenders:

  • Yorkshire Pub Ale- This one’s worth a try as it’s a classic English ale made with 100% British ingredients.
  • Oatmeal Stout- Super creamy and well made. Steel Toad does well with malty flavours.

Eats:

  • The single most ‘sophisticated’ dining experience on this list. Go for the short ribs or the pan seared halibut.

Don’t bother with:

  • Vienna Lager- R&B does it much, much better.

Craft Beer Market

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Finally there’s Craft Beer Market. Not a brewery, but a restaurant, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include it as there are well over 100 beers on tap. It’s a massive building with a massive beer list, so let’s try to boil it down.

Top contenders:

  • Mt. Begbie Cream Ale- I’m going to keep pushing this beer on people until it gets the recognition it deserves. Drink it, you’ll love it.
  • Steamworks Flagship IPA- This is one of the best IPA’s available in BC at the moment.
  • Fernie Brewing What the Huck- Now this is how you do a proper fruit beer. Fresh berries compliment a beer that isn’t so sweet you’ll be turned off.

Eats:

  • With a huge kitchen menu there’s practically something for everyone. But if you’re adventurous get the 20 napkin burger, garnished with a mini-burger.

Don’t bother with:

  • Bud Light- Seriously???
  • Stanley Park Noble Pilsner- This is like Canadian Bud Light with a Vancouver label.

That’s the whole area of Brewery Creek covered. Of course there are a number of nearby bars and restaurants pouring craft beer, but this is strictly meant to feature breweries. Keep an eye out for the guide to ‘Yeast Van’ (East Van), Port Moody, Victoria and more!

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