Red Truck is veritably ancient in the Vancouver brewery scene, and as one of the first purveyors of affordable, delivered, not-undrinkable kegs, for a generation of Vancouverites Red Truck was likely the first keg they tapped. Unlike R&B Brewing (one of the other elder breweries), Red Truck caught wind of the growth that was coming over Vancouver and has tried to ride the wave.
And ride it they have! They have a great new space on the fringes of Mount Pleasant and a coherent, consistent gimmick: the red truck. They’ve fashioned their style after a truck stop with tasty, greasy food and unpretentious, purposeful design. At the same time, they’ve put a lot of sweat into making it a space that can host events, like mini car shows and outdoor live music.
Knowing that there’s just going to be some neat stuff potentially happening is a pretty good draw, especially since it makes up the slack in their beers, which are good if uninspired. You’ll be pleased to enjoy it at a wedding or an Earl’s/Joey’s/Cactus Club/etc. but it’s failed to distinguish itself beyond “reliable”, an unintentional ode to their iconic 1946 Dodge truck. Even the adventurous offerings, like the blackberry bourbon ale, seem market-tested to the hilt to ensure a wide of audience as possible.
Of course, why change what works? They have a strong brand, produce at capacity, are easy to find, create a dependable product, and have loyal clientele; and now they have a space worth visiting, especially on a sunny weekend morning when the patio is one of the best a brewery can have, especially within Vancouver proper. They’re liable to becoming stagnant but they’ve kept their head above water in a time of transition in the market.
As long as their market doesn’t age out, they can continue producing good beers forever – never exciting nor disappointing.
Quality: 11.4/20 (29th)
Standout: 2.9/5 (28th)
Diversity: 5.4/10 (27th)
Innovation: 2.7/5 (26th)
Experience: 8.5/10 (4th)
TOTAL: 30.8 (24th)