Barley Mowat 

Bomber Brewing Sneak Peak

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Quiz time: there’s a part of town that’s anchored by an original YVR craft brewery (opened in the 90s) but has also recently seen the addition of two new award-winning breweries (one backed by the owner of an acclaimed Vancouver craft beer bar), and three more are under construction. Where am I talking about? Surely it’s Brewery Creek, right? Bzzzzt. Wrong answer.

Brewery Creek is great; I love it there, and go there every day (mostly because I work there, but the beer is also a major draw). However, it’s not the only brewing district in town. There’s another part of town that can boast just as many breweries, all anchored by an even older and more revered craft ale producer. The only difference is the lack of a snazzy name. “That area north of first, east of Clark, and west of Victoria, except Parallel 49” just doesn’t roll off the tongue. Even without a name, though, they somehow find a way to crank out great beer. As of right now, there are only three breweries worth visiting in the area (Storm, Parallel 49 and Powell Street), but that’s about to change, and change fast.

Woodbeer? Southport? Malton? Seriously, what should we call this?

The parallels are intriguing: Veteran Craft Brewery (Storm vs R&B), craft beer bar-cum-brewer (Parallel 49 vs Brassneck), and two breweries that I can’t find a commonality for (Powell Street vs 33 Acres), all within walking distance of each other. As well, the next brewery to open in each area will both be backed by restauranteurs. In Brewery Creek it’s Main Street (backed by Nigel Pike of the Cascade Room, preview here) while over in… uh… that other place it’s Bomber Brewing (backed by Don Farion of Biercraft).

In addition to all that, there are two more breweries coming down the pipe in each area (Red Truck & Steel Toad in Brewery Creek, and two as-of-yet unnamed entries over yonder). However, today it’s Bomber that I’d like to talk about.

Primarily because it’s the only brewery I could easily find wandering around the area

I popped by for a quick guided tour with Director of Operations Rachaal Steele. The first thing that jumped out at me is that this brewery is moments away from opening, in brewery timeline-terms (so, like 1-2 months on the normal calendar). Seriously, about all they need to do is take down the scaffolding, vacuum up the dust, and turn on the neon sign. What? They also need to brew beer? Well, okay, fine, I guess that’s important, if you’re a perfectionist.

Get in the taps, beer!

Somewhat unusual for Vancouver breweries, Bomber’s tasting room will never let you forget that you’re in a fully functional brewery. Glass walls replace the more common concrete or wood, with the end result being that the fermentation vessels stare you down from behind the bar. And what a bar! The whole thing is a single solid piece of wood, fronted by a wall of river rock.

“Hi there, how ya doin’?”
Don’t worry, it’s a friendly 3 tonne hunk of steel.

Once those vessels are full of beer, Bomber will begin producing their standard lineup of a Pilsner, ESB and IPA, all in cans. Going straight to canning their beer is a bit unusual as well, due mostly to the expense of setting up canning line, but as Rachaal was quick to point out, canning does arguably present the product in the best possible way. Cans are lighter, more transportable, impermeable to skunk-tastic UV, and less prone to seal failures than bottles.

Plus, you can shotgun them.

Once those three products are established, we can expect a seasonal program to follow, with an aim of 6 or so releases a year (these will come out in more cellaring-friendly bombers). Contributing to that seasonal program will be the barrel room, already packed with used barrels of varying flavours of both wine and whiskey. A Barley Wine will have the privilege of being the first joyful occupant of said barrels, where it will live until a December release date.

Nothing bad could come from these. Well, sure, I guess botulism could come from them, and that’s technically bad, but somehow I don’t think that’ll happen.

As the final touches are made, the opening date for Bomber will become known. When a firm date is known, I’ll let you know when you, too, can go bask under the watchful gaze of this sweet deer. Keep an eye out on Bomber’s Twitter and Facebook feeds for an opening date (as well as here).

I remain unconvinced of its friendliness after 5 beers.

Written by chuck

January 9th, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Beer and You

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7 Responses to 'Bomber Brewing Sneak Peak'

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  1. I call the area “Yeast Van”. That’s the best we’ve come up with so far. Any other suggestions?

    Graham With

    12 Jan 14 at 09:16

  2. NoHa.

    I can’t believe that I just suggested that.


    13 Jan 14 at 13:38

  3. @Jer – Especially since Bomber is very definitely SoHa…


    13 Jan 14 at 13:53

  4. I can’t WAIT for this brewery to open. I’ve heard nothing but good things about their brews.

    Beer Nerd

    13 Jan 14 at 14:03

  5. Yeast Van is good. Definitely a keeper.

    No One Special

    13 Jan 14 at 19:49

  6. Yeast Van


    12 Feb 14 at 15:47

  7. Surely the spartan white interiors are the common Powell/33 thread?


    13 Feb 14 at 14:49

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