Missing the Mark: Postmark Brewing (Plus Make-Up Sex at Main Street Brewing & Brassneck)

Too bad…I was really looking forward to the opening of Postmark Brewing. Their beers aren’t terrible but they don’t stand out either, which in this increasingly crowded craft beer market in Vancouver just doesn’t cut it. I made up for the lackluster experience by dropping by Main Street Brewing and Brassneck afterwards 😉

Postmark Brewing is located in Railtown, one block east of Ask for Luigi. What the heck is “Railtown”? It’s the area east of Gastown and north of the worst area of the downtown Eastside. Yay.

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Already I’m confused. Where am I? They even got their own name wrong…it’s “Postmark Brewing“, not “Brewery”.

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This big white building (“The Settlement Building“) houses all of these businesses: Vancouver Urban Winery, Belgard Kitchen, Postmark Brewing, Roaring Twenties Wine Co… Feels like a huge multi-tentacled branding exercise rather than a single entity with a strong, singular vision. Will I feel the synergy? Or confusion?

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Once you go up the stairs, the Postmark Brewing growler filling station is on your left. Not very busy yet.

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Oh, they call it a “Growler Bar”. Ok.

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The brewmaster is also a documentary filmmaker. You can read a bit of his story on Eater Vancouver.

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They only had two beers available: Saison and Red IPA. WTF is a red IPA? After black IPAs and white IPAs, I guess the next logical choice is red IPAs…

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Their charcuterie looks legit.

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The menu. Also available online.

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Interesting taphandles. Matches the Railtown theme.

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Beers available in 5.25oz, 10oz and 20oz servings. Why bother listing the 0.25oz?

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It is a nice room.

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Very impressive ceiling and fan.

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Red IPA.

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Postmark Brewing Saison on the left, Red IPA on the right. The saison had a gentle but effervescent carbonation which I like in a saison (it’s even more pronounced if you drink saisons from the bottle) but the flavour was sweet and weak. Somehow watery and cloying at the same time. At least it was better than the Granville Island Saison from a few years ago. But this is 2014 and other local breweries are doing way better saisons. In particular, Brassneck’s Stockholm Syndrome (Saison with Brett) and Four Winds‘ Saison/Saison Brett/Wildflower Saison are great, and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Upright Brewing‘s offerings.

The Red IPA had more flavour but was even sweeter than the Saison. Sweet up-front with a big bitter, hoppy, astringent finish. Not a great beer. Not sure how to reconcile the “red” part with the “IPA” part… I enjoy red ales like North Coast Red Seal and Parallel 49’s Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale, but Postmark’s Red IPA didn’t really taste like any of those more accomplished beers. So it’s not just a red ale with a jacked up hop element. Is it an IPA with a maltier red ale element? Things just got kinda confusing on the tongue. It’s not a drain-pour level of terrible by any means, but it could use some more work.

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Flank Steak with Chimichurri ($14) with Argentinian spice rub, malbec molasses.

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They didn’t ask how I wanted my steak but they cooked it medium-rare. Not sure what those red slices are but they reminded me of pickled burdock root. I’ll probably kick myself once I learn what those were. Everything was tasty except for the red wine reduction (“Malbec molasses”). You already have chimichurri (which the KING of meat condiments) and dressing on the microgreens, so why the sickly sweet reduction? One flavour too many, I think.

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In case you weren’t confused enough, here’s their menu of social media marketing identities.

Funny story: I was just a few minutes into my steak and beer when a couple ladies sat next to me at the bar. One of them started asking me about the beer. I was still taking my time to assess everything and give Postmark a fair shot, but she could see right through me and said that I was being too nice. Then she asked about my steak…very pointed questions…no ordinary “oh that looks good, how is it?” sort of questions. REALLY probing, hardcore foodie-type questions. It was a pleasant surprise so I just went with it. I got a big “high society” kinda vibe from them, like they’re used to the finer things in life, but not to the point of snobbishness. I got a few good leads and recommendations out of our conversation. For example, the burger at The Oakwood on West 4th. One of them ate it a week and a half ago and was STILL thinking about it. That’s a good sign. In fact, they refused to answer my questions about what they were actually eating and implored me to try The Oakwood.

Here’s what they ate:

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Foraged Mushroom Risotto. They said it was “nice”.

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Rock Shrimp Ceviche. They said it needed salt. There’s white corn chips in the bag.

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She said she was a former hand model! Being fellow foodies, they let me indulge in my photo-taking. Thanks ladies!

So I left Postmark feeling disappointed, wondering what to do next. Some better beer would be nice, and maybe some more food.

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I saw this at the back door as I was leaving. They’re cooking up something…will it be better than what they currently have?

Belgard Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Click to add a blog post for Postmark Brewing on Zomato

Make-Up Sex at Main Street Brewing

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I washed away my disappointment at Postmark by squeezing in a quick trip to Main Street Brewing! Ah, Southern Hop IPA with Ella hops in on cask today!

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Tempting…

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Also tempting…looks like the same ones you can get from Pig on the Street.

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They’ve got a new food warmer/display case! Lonely sausage roll inside. Can’t wait to see what other goodies they stuff in there in the future.

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In the end I went with the Sausage Roll and a glass of Southern Hop IPA (cask). If you look at the far butt end of the sausage roll, you’ll see that they actually use a sausage inside the casing as filling for the sausage roll, instead of mystery ground meat with filler.

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Tastes awesome BUT trying to bite through the flabby sausage casing is like biting through a condom! Looks like it too… I did like the end bit where the casing actually got some browning, but inside the pastry part it was tough going. Even cutting it with a knife was difficult. Full points for flavour but please get rid of that casing!

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Much happier now… 🙂 That Southern Hop IPA is fantastic. Lovely fresh tropical fruit aroma…tangerine, pineapple… Creamy head and mouthfeel. Great balance of sweet and bitter. Those Ella hops are off the hook! Growler-worthy beer for sure — that is, once they produce enough to make it available for growler fills.

Sloppy Seconds at Brassneck

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Via Tevere was the truck at Brassneck that night, serving saltimbocca sandwiches. I passed.

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I loved the white grape version of Changeling, so I was looking forward to trying their raspberry version.

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Delightful! Tart, dry with a sweet aroma. A great experiment!

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Loving the new shirts, especially the burger and ice cream ones.

3 thoughts on “Missing the Mark: Postmark Brewing (Plus Make-Up Sex at Main Street Brewing & Brassneck)”

  1. We went around the same time, and I had the almost identical reactions, even down to the comments on the steak. The burger was not good at all.

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