It was a lovely day for a ground breaking ceremony. The sun was shining; Soho Road Naan Kebab and Tacofino were there to feed the peckish crowd (Street Meet would have been bittersweet); Evolution 107.9 was cranking beats from the box of the iconic 1946 Dodge Power Wagon; and Red Truck Ale and Lager were flowing to the amassed celebrants. Thankfully, there were no ribbons, stainless steel shovels, suits in hardhats, or self-congratulatory speeches to spoil the jubilant atmosphere.
Well past 4:00pm – H-Hour on D-Day – Mega Cranes began to slowly hoist the tired-looking F-150 for an eight-storey free fall into retirement. At this point, it would have been appropriate for the DJ to play Metallica’s ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’, but the remix of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Under The Bridge’ continued until the faded pickup reached its zenith. The music then switched over to Europe’s ‘Final Countdown’ and the crowd began at 10. After shouting ‘one’, the 1,800-kilogram workhorse was released, sailing earthwards in slow motion. It met the asphalt with a big crash and a cloud of dust. On came AC/DC ‘TNT’. Time to celebrate!
If all goes smoothly, Red Truck Beer will have a new brewery and 1950s-style truck stop diner next year at 315 East 1st Avenue in Vancouver. Similar to Steamworks, this represents a major step in commitment to entering the larger beer market. Since 2004, Red Truck has been a draught-only brewery, supplying their signature Lager and Ale from the Taylor’s Crossing brewpub in North Vancouver. With the new production brewery in Brewery Creek, they will also be producing packaged product.
Many are familiar with Red Truck Lager and Red Truck Ale as the flagship beers in all Mark James brewpubs. Since 2010, the company has been working to disassociate its identity from the Mark James Group brand. The closure of DIX that year and Taylor’s Crossing last year, in way, helped serve that end while non-brewpub accounts have been steadily growing throughout the Lower Mainland. The introduction of seasonal beers not available at any of the brewpubs signalled the next step. Now, more than just a publicity stunt, I think the truck drop symbolizes Red Truck’s final transition to independence.