Bacon & Beer at Stateside Craft on Commercial Drive

Stateside Craft on Commercial Drive is the “sequel” to Portland Craft on Main Street except instead of just focusing on Oregon and Washington State beers, it’s the entire US! Well, whatever they can get their hands on, that is. Will Stateside Craft rank among the better beer places along Commercial Drive like St. Augustine’s, Biercraft or Tangent Cafe? Will I like it as much as Portland Craft? Stateside Craft are still in their soft-opening phase, but I wanted to check their progress and get some all-you-can-eat bacon with my beer!

NOTE: I made some errors in my original post (preserved and corrected below). Please accept my apologies folks!

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Here it is! Commercial Drive, just a block north of 1st Ave. AFAIK, the space used to be a crappy, divey place called “Avanti’s Pub“. No real signage yet, but lots of signboards:

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I like “reduce, reuse, recycle” but…

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This is a bit more like it.

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Hah, they drew a fish! “Yay! I’m going to be eaten!”, sez fish.

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Not a fan of soccer but luckily they had all the screens off when I was there.

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I love the sentiment but the place itself feels like a dank, dark, outdated bar…something’s gotta be done to bring it up to the same level as their beer. Tweak the lighting? Redo the stark white walls and depressing dark carpet flooring and furniture? Maybe it was the lack of natural light… I feel like the place still has the ghost of Avanti’s Pub clawing at my skin like Sadako:

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Harsh, yeah, but I felt like I was in The Ring.

Ok, enough about the ambiance. Onto the food and beer!


Is there any other way to interpret this tweet other than “on Mondays, sit at the bar and your order of bacon is unlimited”?

Needless to say I was a little disappointed to have my bacon dreams quashed when the bartender told me that it was the first time he’d ever heard of them having all-you-can-eat bacon on Mondays, that he couldn’t enter it into the POS system even if he wanted to, and that maybe it’s something they’re gonna do once they have their grand opening in early July. DAMMIT! Who’s driving the bus?

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Features and cocktails.

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Stateside Craft soft-opening menu. Not everything was available that night. They have “Put A Bird On It” from Portland Craft! Right now the menu seems a bit more “pubby” than Portland Craft.

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Board looks totally like Portland Craft. A lot of IPAs. I’m always glad to see Pfriem. BTW those prices are for 14oz pours 🙁 I should double-check how many oz Portland Craft pours. Time to kick up a #FUSS?

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My flight of IPAs! From left to right:

Pfriem Blonde IPA (6.25%) – Just plain delicious! Fruity. Hoppy. One of my go-to Pfriem beers.

Pfriem Down Under IPA (7.2%) – Similar to the Blonde IPA except way more amped-up tangerine/pineapple tropical fruit type aroma and flavour. Must be those “down under” Aussie or Kiwi hops! Yum!

Breakside Old World IPA (5.3%) – Not a fruity IPA like the others. A little biscuity. Slight sweetness and creaminess. Pretty good mild IPA.

No-Li Skyrail Single Hop IPA (6.3%) – Not sure which hop they used in this one but I’m guessing Amarillo?? Creamy. Hops are pretty mild, which was actually nice cuz they worked together with the malt component to create a really pleasant taste. Not hugely complex but very enjoyable.

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They sell glasses of bacon for $5. Damn good idea! Reminds me of the “bucket of bacon” that Design District Urban Tavern in Calgary (now sadly closed?) used to do. Too bad it wasn’t bottomless 🙁 But I probably shouldn’t eat more than 6 slices of joy at a time anyways 😛 The bacon was crispy and shattered in my mouth. I like it! I think you can also ask for softer bacon if that’s your style.

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I couldn’t resist these housemade corn dogs either. That sweet and spicy “pineapple corn salsa” looks more like grainy mustard with corn and chilies. The coating on the corn dogs wasn’t crispy but any way you cut it, you can’t go wrong with corn dogs!

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Beef dog inside. Juicy and not too salty.

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Uh oh, it’s a delicious explosion. Too bad those exposed edges didn’t get a little more crispy.

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Another one to help me finish my fatty meats: No-Li Empire No. 8 Session IPA (5.5%). Note: that’s a 14oz glass. The optical illusion makes you think 16oz, maybe even 20oz. It’s a fruity IPA. It’s decent but aside from the fruity hops, the flavour was a bit thin. IMHO session beers have to be less than 5% to truly be a “session” beer. In this case, I’d rather go up 0.75% and drink the Pfriem Blonde IPA instead.

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HELLO NURSE! Surprise in the men’s washroom.

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Don’t be surprised if guys aren’t aiming accurately in there.

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Stateside Craft has pinball machines! Well, one working one and one that appeared to be non-functioning.

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I still long for the days when video games and pinball machines cost a quarter. Which reminds me, I must hit Ground Kontrol next time I go to Portland!

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SHIT that’s a big flipper gap.

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Adams Family machine was dark.

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Skee ball too! I haven’t touched these things since Chuck E. Cheese in elementary school.

I know what’s bugging me about the room. Those “chair rail mouldings” along the wall feel very dated and perhaps more suited to a faux-British pub than a modern craft beer bar. And those ceiling tiles make me feel like I’m in the Pit Pub at UBC or something.

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So does Stateside Craft score big points? They’ve got a good base of quality beer and unpretentious bar food. Now they just gotta do something about the room.

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