By Willem Thomas
VANCOUVER – If the beer gods are willing, Brewery Creek shall continue to rise. The area – running from False Creek up towards Broadway – has a brewing history dating back to the late 1800s. Perhaps their eye-popping mural has already caught your attention, but Electric Bicycle is the newest, weirdest kid on the hop block. Located mere doors down from veterans R&B Brewing (“We’ve been paying their mortgage going there so often while getting ready to open,” says head brewer Paddy Russell), Electric’s Bicycle’s training wheels are ready to come off: their beers start rolling out in early April.
When speaking to the minds behind Electric Bicycle and visiting the almost-done taproom, it’s clear they’re trying to create an establishment altogether different from conventional thoughts of what a Vancouver craft brewery should be. Perhaps it’s the aesthetic (try to picture a circus-themed antique oddities shop crossed with a 1930s barbershop), or the excitement of those involved to do essentially whatever they want, unrestricted by over-planning or sales-figures. While some BC tasting rooms prefer a utilitarian approach to design that often results in boring drinking spaces, Electric Bicycle realizes you can bring people in for the beer and give them a fun, unique experience at the same time.
For owner Elliot McKerr and his partners, the concept and end product didn’t appear overnight.
“It’s been a trial-by-fire build-out,” he says. Forgoing the route of hiring designers and contractors, they chose to do everything themselves, leaving only things like plumbing and electrical work to the experts. “The theme came together through this being a fun, organic building experience, with everyone trading ideas and making it up as we went.”
“Craft beer and craft building,” adds Leigh Matkovitch, who heads Electric Bicycle’s marketing and media efforts.
In a space that used to house a literal electric bicycle producer, a wholly original brewery has taken up residence. While the beer itself wasn’t quite ready when BeatRoute dropped by, Russell’s (formerly of Victoria’s Spinnakers) beers tend to impress, with a focus on experimentation and quality far outweighing a desire to become Vancouver’s top-selling brewery. Expect six beers for onsite imbibing and growler fills at open, with guest taps, an expansion to eight taps, and community collaboration brews through their “Think Tank” program to follow shortly after. They’ll be serving grilled cheese sandwiches of all varieties made by Salt & Earth Catering as well. Hop on your electric (or regular) bicycle, ride down, and get weird with Electric Bicycle Brewing.
Electric Bicycle Brewing is located at 20 East 4th Avenue.brewery creek, craft beer, Electric Bicycle Brewing, Mount Pleasant