East Van: Powell Street Self-Guided Tour – Odd Society Spirits, Parallel 49 Brewing Company & More

15 Jan

OddSocietySpiritsWhiskey

I recently had the pleasure of some wanderings with friends exploring Powell Street at the foot of Commercial Drive.  This is a unique area with lots to tantalize the taste buds. I will make the bold prediction that this will be a destination location on a foodie/culinary tour before long. This is an area I highly encourage you to visit.  Why you might ask?   Well lets see, there is the Michelin trained chef at Kessel & March, the distillers of East Van Vodka at Odd Society Spirits with a beautiful Tasting Room and a Crème de Cassis that’s absolutely delicious. Then there are the brewmasters at Powell Street Brewery, Coal Harbour Brewing, Parallel 49 Brewing and Storm Brewing.  If that wasn’t enough, there is now the Bistro Wagon Rouge, sister restaurant to the Red Wagon Café, which serves up delicious casual French fare.

You can check out any of these spots at your leisure, but we’ve set out some recommendations so you can do your own self-guided tour:

  1. Breakfast/Brunch at Kessel & March located at 109 -1701 Powell Street, the Vancouver East Village calls it “ simple and sophisticated eats in an intimate and classy environment”.   Mia Stainsby of the Vancouver Sun says it “has the soul of a fine French bistro”. Great spot to start out for breakfast or lunch. Kessel & March is open Saturday and Sunday for brunch starting at 10:00 am.Parallel49RubyTears
  2. Need to walk off brunch?  Take a short walk from Kessel & March (3 ½ blocks) to Parallel 49 Brewing Company located at 1946 Triumph Street (at Victoria Street).  You can try a flight of 4 beers for $3.50, a sleeve for $3.00 or a tasting glass for $1.00.   Parallel 49 is open from Noon – 9:00 pm daily.  Don’t forget to check out their special infusions for the day.  Also, if you are try this spot closer to dinner time, don’t be surprised to find one of the City’s many great food trucks outside.
  3. Another short walk from Parallel 49 Brewing Company (1 ½ blocks) will take you to Powell Street Craft Brewery located at 1830 Powell Street. They also have a Tasting Room and showcase some local art.  They have a Brown Porter the brewers say will “shock your senses with an explosive bomb of flavor”. It’s said to have a deep roasted malt character with hints of caramel, toffee, chocolate, and nuts.  Oh, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this little brewery won big at the Canadian Brewing Awards this past year with Beer of the Year for its Old Jalopy Pale Ale.  This nano-brewer beat out 764 entries. Obviously, they are are doing something right. Powell Street Craft Brewery is open Wednesday to Saturday 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
  4. Coal Harbour Brewing is in the neighbourhood located at 1967 Triumph Street, but as yet no Tasting Room, but I hear Kessel & March carries their beer.
  5. Storm Brewing Company is located at 310 Commercial Drive.  This is a small craft brewery open Tuesday – Saturday with Wednesday being ‘brew day’ if you wish to watch that process. They offer informal tours anytime during business hours which I believe is until 6:00 pm. Best to call the brewery directly for their hours if you wish to make this part of your tour. UPDATE: Starting April 6th, 2014 Storm Brewing will be open Sundays from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  6. Take a short walk from Storm Brewing Company (2 ½ blocks) to Odd Society Spirits, located at 1725 Powell Street, to taste some East Van Vodka and Crème de Cassis, gin to be coming soon. They have a beautiful Tasting RooEastVanVodkam and the hosts are happy to share how they became distillers and what they are working on now.  From what I gather, they love to experiment.  Tours run regularly at 4:00 pm. Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.  Tasting Room hours are Thursday to Sunday from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm. If you want to learn a bit more about the great minds behind this operation, check this recent write up in Eat Magazine.
  7. Now it’s probably time for some food. For that, take a short walk (1 block) over to Bistro Wagon Rogue located at 1869 Powell Street. This is casual French food with lots of daily specials written up on the chalk board as well as their regular menu.   Many of the dishes are perfect for sharing. TheBistroWagonRougey also have a very nice wine selection and great service. To learn more about their delicious dishes, check out the most recent review in the Georgia Straight. Bistro Wagon Rouge is open Tuesday – Saturday 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm.
  8. If you aren’t ready to call it a day, you can always make your way over to the Princeton Pub at 1901 Powell Street which often has live music.

Some of the craft breweries and Bistro Wagon Rogue are not open Sundays, so you may wish to pick your days as to which spots you wish to visit, or break them up into a couple of visits. Regardless, how you do the tour, this is a great spot for exploring.

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2 Responses to “East Van: Powell Street Self-Guided Tour – Odd Society Spirits, Parallel 49 Brewing Company & More”

  1. Monica March 16, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

    Far Out Coffee Post on Dundas for a coffee and grilled cheese is also a great place to start.

    • createveinvan March 18, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

      Thanks for the great tip Monica. Looks like a great spot.

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