Draught and casks in a beautiful heritage building.
Expanding the brewhouse has always been a nerve-shredding experience for the staff at Main Street Brewing. That’s because the only way to get new tanks into this heritage industrial building is lowering them by crane through one of the large skylights. Thankfully, visitors need only worry about what they’re going to sample from the extensive beer list here, which includes five core brands (pilsner, pale ale, IPA, saison and brown ale), several interesting seasonals, and up to four cask ales that are hand pumped in the old-fashioned way. The lounge occupies one corner of the building but is very much part of the brewery as a whole, with the sounds of the brewhouse and the sweet smell of spent grain occasionally wafting through. It’s a beautiful space, featuring exposed brick, large murals, strings of bulbs stretched between sturdy beams and long tables ideal for sharing stories or swapping beer opinions. The food menu, which ranges from excellent tacos to a charcuterie board, is also well worth a try.
The historic building housing Main Street Brewing was built in 1913 as part of the Vancouver Brewery complex, which was located at 6th and Main. It is one of the few remaining remnants of a number of breweries that operated in the “Brewery Creek” neighbourhood, so-named because of the stream that ran from Tea Swamp (roughly Main and 15th) down to False Creek, which then extended past Main all the way Clark Drive. Most of Vancouver’s original breweries were built here, including the City and Mainland breweries (both founded in 1887) and the Columbia Brewery (1888). Many of the breweries were built along the stream, utilizing the water for brewing as well as to power their equipment, including: Alexander Brewery (6th and Scotia); Doering and Marstrand (7th and Scotia); and the San Francisco Brewery (11th and Main). Look for the historical plaque describing Brewery Creek near Main and Kingsway.
Fancy a flight? Here are some sampler suggestions for Main Street BrewingView All Beers