CRAFT Beer Market opens in False Creek Olympic Village

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      After a year of renovations, CRAFT Beer Market, Restaurant + Bar opens Thursday (November 7) in the Olympic Village at 85 West 1st Avenue.

      Located in the historic Salt building, the restaurant is enormous: 13,000 square feet with seating for 400 people. With towering ceilings, wood beams, and mezzanine levels for special events, the place has a spacious, airy feel.

      The building dates back to the 1930s, when it was used by the Vancouver Salt Co. for salt processing until the 1980s. On the lower level by the washrooms, a glassed-in wall shows off the building's original pillars.

      The first CRAFT opened in Calgary in 2011, and another is slated for Edmonton this December. This is CRAFT's first Vancouver restaurant.

      The chain characterizes its menu as "new North American classic cuisine", and emphasizes locally-sourced ingredients. Gluten-free and peanut-free options are available.

      As the name indicates, the restaurant focuses on craft beer. It claims to have Canada's largest selection of draft beer, with over 140 beers on tap centred at a massive bar at the room's hub. A glass-enclosed keg room holds 400 kegs, or over 19,000 litres of beer. Steel draft lines carry the beers across the ceiling to the bar.

      About 50 of the beers on tap are from British Columbia.

      Every Tuesday at 4 p.m., the restaurant taps a cask from a local brewery. This Tuesday (November 12), Parallel 49's Ugly Sweater Milk Stout is on offer.

      CRAFT will hold monthly brewmaster's dinners. The first, hosted by Anchor Brewing, takes place on November 26.



      Alan Layton

      Nov 7, 2013 at 1:08pm

      I thought the Salt Building was supposed to be a community space? Perhaps I'm wrong or the incredible success of the Tap and Barrel across the plaza influenced the decision.


      Nov 7, 2013 at 3:09pm

      Is anyone calling these people on the strange claim to fame of hundreds of different craft beers in super long lines no less. That just means that they will be sitting stagnant for long periods of time in the lines. The least favorite ones at least.


      Nov 8, 2013 at 10:42am

      I'm sure the amount of money put into the draft system would have figured out a way to eliminate beer getting stagnant in the lines. That's my guess, anyway.


      Nov 8, 2013 at 10:23pm

      Agree with C. Kegs have both a shelf life and an expiry, regardless of draft line system. Even with CO2, once tapped it should be changed out in 30-45 days. That's potentially going to be one expensive venture for these guys! I'd be asking for a tapping date if you're ordering something less popular. Of course they can always make it up...


      Nov 10, 2013 at 12:13pm

      As long as beer is kept oxygen free, cold, and bacteria free it will stay fresh for quite a awhile. Likewise, the long lines shouldn't be an issue. I'm assuming they have a glycol chilling system to cool the lines as they go to the taps. I guess I'm also assuming that they are going to clean the lines as well ;)

      Paul D

      Nov 12, 2013 at 10:47am

      You're correct Ryan--from what I have been told by suppliers, the lines collected into refrigerated conduits with 10 lines each, cooled by glycol. This means that the system is closed and temperature-controlled and the beer in the lines doesn't spoil.



      Nov 13, 2013 at 11:58am

      All this beer talk is making me thirsty!

      Thomas Folkestone

      Nov 25, 2013 at 5:25pm

      So is this Calgary Oilpatch money coming to Vangroovy?

      I like the idea of a huge taproom, but it sure does seem a bit Electric Avenue to me. St. Augustine's has a huge tap selection and does in Vancouver-style.


      Mar 12, 2014 at 3:39pm

      Looks like I'll have some new brews to review!