North Vancouver’s Bridge Brewing is now on tap
North Shore beer lovers can now drink local. Really local.
In July, North Vancouver native Jason Stratton launched Bridge Brewing Company, a small-scale brewhouse located in a business park on the Dollarton Highway.
The brewery’s first offering, North Shore Pale, has already become a hit with local craft beer enthusiasts on both sides of the bridge with little marketing other than social media and friends telling friends.
Stratton describes their Northwest-style pale ale as “hop forward, yet refreshing.”
It’s sold in “Growlers” — 1.89-litre glass jugs — which cost $5 for the bottle (which you can reuse) and $12 for a fill up when you drop by the brewery. They also offer 19.5- and 50-litre kegs and are planning to add a bottling line so they can start selling 650ml bottles.
With beer sales flowing so fast, Stratton is already planning to increase his brewing capacity by adding another fermentation tank.
Already you can order Bridge’s pale beer when you’re dining out at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen, the Alibi Room in Gastown and Pier 7 and El Matador in North Vancouver.
Stratton, who by day is a controller for a large Vancouver company, has partnered with Partick Doré, the company’s official brewer, in the new beer venture.
An accomplished chef who’s been in the industry for three decades, Doré was working in Seattle during the 1990s when the microbrewery culture exploded in Seattle and Portland.
“I had a front row seat to that,” he says, taking a break from brewing a batch of Bridge.
The pair — who are joined by the company’s “director of consumption,” Leigh Stratton, Jason’s wife, in the brewery operation — have been tasting a lot of beer in recent months in order to craft a quality beer they’re proud to call their own.
It took three or four months to perfect the recipe for their North Shore Pale.
That meant litres of suds got poured down the drain.
“That’s not to say that they weren’t good — they just weren’t perfect,” says Stratton, who came up with the idea for starting the brewery a couple of years ago, when — over beers, of course — he and his wife were discussing doing something on their own.
To get just the right flavour, the brew crew at Bridge had plenty of tastings with friends, family and industry folks.
There are many taste-changing variables when it comes to making beer: from the yeast and hops to different grains to temperature and the fermentation process.
“Every little piece plays into it,” they say of the 12-hour brewing process which is followed by three to four weeks of fermentation.
Finally, they nailed it.
“That was a good day,” recalls Stratton, a big smile on his face.
Better still was the day when the trio recently sat inside El Matador and ordered three Bridge beers on tap.
That night, Leigh Stratton bumped into a former high school classmate at the tapas restaurant.
“I think I’m drinking your beer!” the friend enthused.
“It’s quite rewarding,” says Doré about creating North Shore Pale.
Next up? Later this week, Doré is planning to brew a winter seasonal.
For more info about Bridge Brewing, visit bridgebrewing.com.