1338 Franklin St, Vancouver
Callister Brewing (Lightheart Brewing Company) is one of the less known local breweries. Far from the beaten path, just what I was looking for.
There is no way anyone would stumble upon this brewery on their way home.
Located on an industrial area off Clark on Franklin Street, there is nothing much around. Closes early, at 9pm, so do not plan a late arrival. From the outside, there’s nothing. You even have to look for it hard enough. I was very surprised when I entered the very unwelcoming industrial metal door. The inside is open and you get the immediate smell of hops on the air.
We arrive at 6.15pm, just after work. Definitely a warehouse converted into a brewing station, modern looking with the warehouse undertone. Just around 6 people inside, but because it only has 2 large shared tables, it doesn’t feel empty. The walls carry a (what I believe) local artist. Some nice pieces and I have to say if it was in my price range, something I would even buy for myself. Because this is one of 4 sister breweries, they not only carry their beers but some the of the others too. They only had 2 of their beers in the menu, and not the usual Lager, IPA or Pale Ale, but the more exotic styles, fruit infused and more for the adventurous type.
The lady behind the counter was as nice as it can be, offering different styles to try, and giving us time to decide. This is the kind of service you are expecting from a local craft brewery. We are group of 8 (or maybe 9, not sure) and took over one of the tables that opened just minutes after we arrived. The music was low and perfect to socialize, not overpowering at all.
This is the kind of service you are expecting from a local craft brewery.
We had the fortune to meet one of the owners, Nathaniel Senff. Great guy. He gave us a little explanation to how they are operating, and apparently they only produce beers for this establishment, they not supplying any other location, pub, restaurant and far from liquor stores. Their beer is under the name Lightheart Brewing Company. Their busiest days are Fridays and Saturdays with even line-ups outside, so I would strongly recommend coming on a mid-week day. By 7.30pm, a lot more people had arrived, and you can see that these were repeat customers. Starts getting loud at that time, but this is what you expect of people having fun on a social environment.
What did I drink?
I had an Orange beer, fantastic. Easy drinking. Then I had a Sour beer, very unique taste, not for everyone. I had a 20oz and it was hard to finish. It is like a large pack of sour candy, love it but it gets to a point that you can’t do it anymore. Did I eat? They have the usual meat-sticks and cheese breads. Nothing special. I didn’t buy any. What would I recommend? I would say drink a 20oz of the Orange beer if available and just try a flight of the other more unique beers.
I have to be honest, the place was fun. Yes, it is small, but not that small. Yes, the place is on a weird location, but this makes it fun to find. Yes, the place has nothing on the outside, but this make me feel special, like a hidden spot that few of us know. Yes, their own beer selection is limited and most of their beers are from the sister’s companies, but this is the real definition of a Micro-Brewery.
Final score. 8.8 / 10
Author: Alexander Renowitzky
Designer, marketer, spokesperson and blogger. I like meeting new people and and I am curious of why things happen, Beer is fun and who doesn’t like fun.