Damn Good: Steel & Oak Brewing Grand Opening

The much-anticipated Steel & Oak Brewing Co. is finally open in New West. They had good buzz at VCBW (which I missed) so I was looking forward to trying out their beers!

Going by Barley Mowat’s directions, I walked from the New West Skytrain Station, passing by Spud Shack, Longtail Kitchen, Re-Up BBQ, along the boardwalk for about 25 minutes until I reached the brewery.

Read other people’s takes on Steel & Oak: Beer Me BC, Mike’s Craft Beer and Barley Mowat.


First, I had to pick up a little dinner at Longtail Kitchen. By the time you read this, you might be able to have Steel & Oak’s Red Pilsner on-tap at Longtail Kitchen inside River Market!


Food just as good as Maenam but in a casual environment. It’s one of my favourite places for food period, let alone Thai. The deep fried chicken wings and oysters are killer.


View of River Market from the boardwalk.


I don’t remember seeing this before… yes it’s a Photoshop job 😉


It’s a scenic ~25 minute walk from River Market to Steel & Oak.


Just follow the boardwalk until you see the trains.


Walk up this overpass.


And there you go! It’s the corner of that white building.


The walk made me all sweaty. I’ll get Wicca to drive next time 😉




The grand opening was busy! Good for them. And good for New West!


Growlers and boston rounds available of course.


Nice room. I recognize those red metal chairs but can’t put my finger on where.


Three beers available for their grand opening.


That jar says “Staff Yacht Fund”. I put in enough to cover a packet of tissues… Your nose might get runny out on the water.


Red tags.


I like those tap handles.


The flight from left to right:

Red Pilsner – Pils with interesting malt edge. Could be a sessionable classic! Citrus hop character. I think they’re onto something with this style. Contrast this with Postmark’s Red IPA… Not sure about the ABV of any of Steel & Oak’s beers, but I’m guessing 5-6.25% range?

Smoked Hefe – Subtle, restrained yet present smoke in this hefeweizen. Quite good! Turn up the volume a bit and that’ll nail it. It’s got that zingy wheat that plays nice with the subtle smoke. This is how smoke should be used. Melds and plays around the other flavours instead of overpowering the party.

Dry-Hopped ESB – Not bad. Balance seems a bit off. Not quite at the level of say R&B East Side Bitter or Driftwood Naughty Hildegard (my all-time fave hopped-up ESB) but getting there. Hoppy element seems a little rough around the edges but this is in no way a bad beer. It was a popular growler fill when I was there.


Pad Thai from Longtail Kitchen. Kicked ass except it was a bit too sweet this time. It might’ve altered my perception of the beers, so I’ll have to try all of these beers again to see if my first impressions bear out. The way things were, all three beers brought something interesting to the Pad Thai. The Smoked Hefe was the most intriguing cuz of the smoky element mixing with the sweet, savoury Pad Thai plus the crispy bean sprouts and tofu. I think the Red Pilsner would fit right in at Longtail Kitchen alongside their existing Asian lagers. Smoked Hefe might be a little too adventurous for their clientele.


Dammit I forgot to steal a coaster!


Someone had the smart idea to rinse off the glasses with a squeeze bottle.


Someone let me know when they play this album in the tasting room, ‘mkay?


Finishing off with a full glass of the Red Pilsner.


The beers were pouring extra foamy today. I’m sure they’ll get things sorted out eventually.


Damn, now THAT was a satisfying grand opening. First impressions are good. Very good.


I’ll be away for a week or so in Calgary, so no new posts for a while. But when I return, I hope to bring you another big-ass Calgary post about ramen (!), beer, burgers, Caribbean food, and whatever else Calgary does well. Thanks for reading folks! Follow me on Twitter if you’re curious.

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