So many of my reviews of Canadian restaurants and cafes have been done during Covid-19, that it has basically created a whole new 2020 standard. I had the good fortune of visiting Strathcona before Covid-19 hit and then again once the pandemic had become the new way of life. Anyone who lives in Vancouver and loves craft beer knows that Strathcona makes a fantastic drop. They consistently release great beer after great beer, seemingly specialising in sours with the occasional IPA. It’s a reliable choice at the liquor shop and opportunities to visit the brewery itself shouldn’t be turned down.
Pre-Covid times, Strathcona was pumping. It’s slightly out of the way: over in East Van but not crammed onto the three blocks of brewery heaven. People didn’t seem to mind the journey though, especially as it’s not just the beer you go for: it’s also the food!
I went on a rainy Sunday afternoon just recently, and was pleasantly surprised to see that there was enough custom that it didn’t look like they would be struggling at all (especially when you take into consideration the number of people that came in while we were there just to buy beer to take away) but it was quiet enough that we got to sit in a booth – always my seating option of choice, especially in pandemic times.
It took us a while to order as we literally wanted everything but we eventually settled on a miso kale salad and a Hawaiian pizza. We got the salad because we’d heard it was good and we ordered Hawaiian because, well, we often do! The salad was all that we had hoped for: the apple, pistachios, miso, orange and cherries packed in so much flavour and texture with every mouthful. The pizza was also amazing: it came with pineapple, ham, jalapeno crema and pistachios – again, the flavour combination was bang on.
With cool merch and a number of fridges stacked with beer, it’s pretty hard to leave Strathcona empty handed. We had ordered flights to try as many different kinds of beer possible and were pretty happy with our haul.
A brewery that serves good beer and good pizza can’t go wrong, and in my opinion Strathcona is certainly no exception.