More than 5 years ago I wrote THIS POST about the then-decrepit Opsal Steel building which was left fallow for many years and was crumbling in on itself. A year later I SHARED this video below, just as construction workers were moving in to dismantle it and move it about 100 metres to the West. I was pleasantly surprised that they had decided to save it as it was once classified as heritage but was de-listed in 1997. They could have just as easily built something brand new but decided to keep this heritage for us, in fact they kindof went out of their way to save it.
It’s four years later and I’m happy to report that not only did the move and the restoration go well but the new tenant of this building – Steel Toad Brewpub – has moved in and is making an excellent neighbour to all of us folks who live in the Olympic Village and Mt Pleasant. As more residential opens up around here (the namesake Opsal Steel tower is right next door and I think people are beginning to move in now) restaurants and brewpubs like this one, Tap & Barrel, Craft Beer Market and the Flying Pig (opening soonish) are making sure we don’t have to travel too far to get a decent bite and a brew. And for those of you who don’t live in the neighbourhood these are all excellent spots that you should travel to check out at least once.
We had dinner at the space last night and got to chat with executive chef Robbie Robinson who graduated from the school of David Hawksworth and spent years working at the Vancouver Club. His menu is delightful in its simplicity but also in that it’s not traditional pub fare. We enjoyed cauliflower beignets, mussels, a 12″ margherita pizza, and crispy duck salad and will have to return for duck rillettes and the herb crusted steelhead.
I was able to sneak into the brewery which you can see in the photo above is right beside the main dining hall. Talking with their head brewer Chris Charron he explained that the 5 fermenters you see on the left below are brewing beer which, when complete, is transferred into the 10 tanks on the right which are piped directly into the taps on the bars. Right now they’ve got a naturally carbonated bitter, a saison and a blonde ale (my favourite of the three), and there’s a couple more that could be ready as early as this weekend.
Steel Toad is a total delight. Check them out at Quebec and 2nd and learn more at steeltoad.ca.