Tap & Barrel to take over Steel Toad Brewing space

Vancouver’s Steel Toad Brewing Company will be closing Jan. 31. Contributed photo

Vancouver’s Steel Toad Brewing Company is no more, but the beer will continue to flow at the historic former Opsal Steel building.

Craft beer-focused restaurant chain Tap & Barrel have bought the brewpub and are planning to rebrand it as T&B Brewing Co. (not to be confused with nearby R&B Brewing Co.)

Steel Toad, which opened in 2014, will be closing its doors as of Jan. 31, with T&B Brewing Co. expected to reopen in the spring after rebranding and renovating the space.

“We see this as a natural strategic step in our company’s evolution,” said Ryan Craig, Tap & Barrel’s beverage director, via email. “We are heavily invested in the local craft beer industry in this province. This gives us the ability to take our collaborations and innovations to an unprecedented level, while deepening our relationships with our brewery partners.”

The 12-hectolitre brewhouse will become Tap & Barrel’s own “Brew Lab”, with a focus on beers brewed in collaboration with other B.C. breweries, called “collabobeers.” Meanwhile, the restaurant will be transformed into an open format beer hall.

Award-winning brewer Kerry Dyson, formerly of North Vancouver’s Bridge Brewing, has been tapped to take over beer-making duties.

“We have an amazing opportunity to work with the community, collaborating with others in the area and focusing on creating an exciting and changing line-up,” said Dyson. “Working with innovative styles and bringing others together for collaborations will keep our beers fresh, local and exciting.”

Dyson says he hopes to start brewing test batches next month.

The brewery/restaurant is housed in the former Opsal Steel building, which was built in 1918. An extensive $5 million, five-year restoration project to modernize the structure was completed in 2013 that involved disassembling the entire building and restoring salvageable materials like windows and the original timber beams off site.