BC Beer Baron #123 – Steel Toad Saison Sauvignon

From my earliest visits to the Steel Toad Brew Pub (Mrs. Sip and I were there on their opening weekend), this beer has been part of the company’s flagship lineup.

The Saison Sauvignon is a farmhouse-styled saison that is brewed with New Zealand hops, which result in the taste of white wine (sauvignon blanc) grapes. The beer is boozier than most saisons, coming in at 6.5% ABV. I’m not sure if that’s due to the wine attributes or something else in the beverage’s construction.

Steel Toad Brew Pub

Mrs. Sip and I both remember this beer from our earlier visits to the brew pub and with a change to its recipe (according to our server), it is now much more enjoyable. Mrs. Sip even picked it as her favourite of our most recent jaunt that way.

Located in the very recognizable red building on East 2nd Ave, Steel Toad comprises a network of breweries that are part of The Hoppy Hop (similar to Bellingham’s Tap Trail), allowing enthusiasts to tour the Brewery Creek region and win prizes after collecting answers to trivia questions at each stop.

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Sip Trips #59: Creek Crawl

Waking up Saturday morning, the sun was shining and Mrs. Sip and I decided to take advantage of that sneak peek at spring… at least after I let her sleep in just a little longer!

My plan for the day, was that if weather cooperated, we’d tour the brewing companies that comprise the Brewery Creek region of Vancouver. After making our way across the Cambie Bridge, en route to our first stop of the day, we noticed that a new wine tasting room had opened. Given she was about to visit a handful of breweries for me, I indulged Mrs. Sip’s interest in this impromptu discovery.


Upon entering the City Side Winery, featuring wines from Mystic Pearl, we sampled four different styles (Semillon, Riesling, Merlot, and Cuvee – a Cab Sauv blend), with Mrs. Sip liking their Semillon so much that she purchased a bottle and put it aside for pick-up later. Staff at City Side said they’ve been quite busy on weekday evenings, thus far. Given their aren’t many Vancouver options for wine tasting, I can understand why.

With wine out of the way, we were off in search of suds, starting with Steel Toad Brew Pub and Dining Hall. It had been sometime since Mrs. Sip and I had visited the location and we were impressed with our tasting flight. From what we remembered, they have added some new beers to their line-up and improved on previously brewed recipes.

Next up, was R&B Brewing, which allowed us to sample each of their beers on tap at their growler fill station. In the very near future, R&B will finally open their long-awaited tasting room. We were lucky enough to peek inside and see what it will look like. There was still some rough edges to sort out, but it looks like it will be a prime spot for beer enjoyment, very shortly.

Moving on, we next popped into 33 Acres Brewing, which is a very popular spot, thanks to their wide array of beers, to go along with coffee, ice cream, and other treats. We lucked out and didn’t have to wait to enter the spot that often reaches its capacity. Our luck continued when we were able to snag a couple seats at the bar. Here, we tried a set of four samples and even got a bonus offering of their 33 Acres of Four Belgian Quad, after Mrs. Sip explained how much of a fan she is of Belgian-styled brews.

Belgian Beer

Our fourth stop of the self-guided tour was Brassneck Brewing, another extremely popular site in the area. After a short wait, we were able to get a spot and try a selection of Brassneck’s wares. I found it interesting that Brassneck has 473ml (good for a pint) containers for refillable beer, a size I have yet to see anywhere else on the market. They sell for only $3 and cost another $3.25, on average, to fill.

We wrapped up our crawl with our first trip ever to Red Truck Brewing’s beautiful facilities. Here, you can sample more experimental beers (as well as traditional releases) from the brewery, while also enjoying food and live music. Over our tasting flight, we munched on some very good garlic fries, while enjoying some tunes.

On this journey, we neglected Big Rock Urban Eatery and Main Street Brewing, which are also part of the Brewery Creek region. This wasn’t done out of malice, but we were tight for time and I wanted to focus on breweries that I hadn’t been able to feature so heavily in the BC Beer Baron project.

Will we be back to Brewery Creek in the future? Oh, you better believe it!

BC Beer Baron #67 – Steel Toad Kermode West Coast IPA

Taking advantage of the gorgeous weather over the weekend, Mrs. Sip and I did a self-guided crawl through the Brewery Creek region of Vancouver, hitting five different locations. Our first stop was at Steel Toad Brew Pub & Dining Hall, where we sat down for a flight of their beers.

Among our tasters was the Kermode West Coast IPA. I thought this beer was quite good and had a tough time picking a favourite between this and the brew pub’s Farmhouse Double IPA. I gave the edge to the Kermode because it’s a favourite among patrons of the dining hall and Steel Toad has recently began bottling it (a first for the company), advising us that it should be hitting store shelves shortly.

Steel Toad Kermode West Coast IPA

Already, this is the second beer I’ve sampled as part of this 366-day BC craft beer project that has adopted the Kermode or Spirit Bear name. Well, I’m more than happy to drink in honour of the official provincial mammal of BC and you should be too.

This was our first visit to Steel Toad since the summer. I can’t really explain why we’ve neglected the place for so long, but we were impressed by the line-up we sampled, including some beers that have gone through a recipe change, resulting in a better product. Our very first visit was all the way back when the restaurant opened and due to a liquor licensing snafu, we ended up with free tasting flights!

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