The next addition to the Main Street (Brewery Creek) Craft Beer Zone of Vancouver has just opened. Yes, the long-awaited Craft Beer Market, located in the old Salt Building in the Olympic Village, is now pouring beer.
The atmosphere is probably what strikes me first. They have high vaulted ceilings with wooden beams crossing paths with tons of draft piping all feeding to the central, oval-shaped bar. And at the north end of the building is a large glass window overlooking the North Shore mountains and the downtown skyscrapers. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a proper beer hall.
Now, this may be beer blog, but I can confirm their food is delicious. All is locally sourced and made from scratch. There’s a wide variety of pub favourites, including an interesting take on burger and fries: fast food sushi. This is a burger and fries wrapped in bacon and served sushi-style. Okay, now onto the best part…
With 140 taps, this place officially has the most beers on tap in Canada. And I’d say they did a pretty good job choosing what fills that real estate, considering the selection available in BC. I’m talking about the fact that all beer sold in BC has to go through the Government Liquor Distribution Board. So as far as any American craft beer sold at Craft Beer Market, it’s all stuff you can normally get in the government liquor stores. So for those like me still searching for Stone Brewing Co.’s beer… better look elsewhere.
But they did a bang-up job with the beers they DID choose. British Columbia beers are very well represented. And while I’ve tried most of them, they really did pick some good ones. Perennial favourites like Driftwood’s Fat Tug, Parallel 49’s Hoparazzi, and Central City’s Red Racer IPA are in the house, as well as local beers from Storm and R&B — definite street-cred having these on tap.
Additionally, Craft Beer Market has pretty decent tasting flights. For $10.75, you get six 4oz tasters. The only issue is that the tasters are pre-determined, which isn’t that ideal. But considering the size of the bar and the amount of taps, it makes logistical sense if they want to run an organized bar.
Overall, Craft Beer Market is situated as a home-base in the up-and-coming beer zone of Brewery Creek. I foresee this place becoming the centre for craft beer conversion. It’s in a popular-enough place to draw in the macro-lager drinker. Hell, they even have Bud Light on tap to lure them in, and then the education can begin. Well done, Craft Beer Market… well done.