If you are looking for some great nightlife while visiting the Vancouver, BC area you can’t miss the Gastown District. It’s filled with some neat architecture, bars, shops, and of course swanky restaurants. When we visited the area last fall, we were looking for somewhere to enjoy some good hearty pub food, and sip on some fine brews. After asking around, and doing some research, it turns out the Steamworks Brew Pub in Vancouver’s Gastown District was just what we were looking for.
The Steamworks Brew Pub was originally founded in 1995 when they opened in the Historic Gastown District of Vancouver. Interestingly, the building had the remnants of a fully functioning steam heating system in place. Being forward thinkers, the founders got together with their brewmaster and developed Canada’s first and only steam powered brewing system. When I heard about a steam powered brewery, the first thing that came to mind was a bunch of raging hipsters hanging around with portable record players and sipping PBR and eating with wooden spoons. Thankfully I was wrong.
We walked inside and found the multi-level restaurant to be homey and comfortable with a touch of upscale. They had a lot of retro styled artwork that featured many of their year-round and seasonal brews.
We ended up being seated in their “lounge” area, which was surprisingly quiet and comfortable. There was a nice large bar and even some pool tables.
After being seated we immediately got down to business, beer. At Steamworks Brew Pub they brew a consistent rotation of 8-10 beers that they keep on tap, in addition to some seasonal beers that are changed out occasionally. When that’s the case, what’s an avid beer sampler like me supposed to do? Order all of them of course!
Lauren and I did the only sensible thing and ordered the sampler flights, which allow you to try the majority of beers on tap at a reasonable price. We found all the beers to be well crafted and features clear and bold flavors. I, as usual, favored the Oatmeal Stout, and Lauren was delighted by the Empress IPA.
If you fall in love with one of their beers you even have the option of taking home a 6-pack, or for a larger amount, a full growler. Now we had to wash all this beer down with some food, so we decided to order up a some classic pub grub and both had some burgers. I went for the Lamb Burger, which features lamb sirloin, cabbage, and raita, and Lauren ordered the Brewhouse Angus Burger, which was an angus beef patty paired with applewood cheddar, beer braised onions, and a mouth watering bourbon bacon jam. Both entrees definitely satisfied, and paired nicely with the fine selection of beers. On a side note, the fries can be upgraded to the quintessentially canadian dish, poutine. DOO ITT!! There’s something about fries smothered in gravy and cheese curd that hit the pub food trifecta.
Overall the beer , and meal, at Steamworks Brew Pub hit the spot. The combination of location, great beer, and solid well prepared pub grub make this a place we would be happy to return to in the Vancouver area. I can definitely see why it’s become a staple of the Gastown District, and strongly recommend it to any beer lover visiting the area.