La Cerveceria Astilleros is a Mexican brewery and is the latest brewery to join the North Vancouver Shipyard District. The Spanish name of the brewery translates to The Shipyard Brewery. Since their opening on December 19th , 2020, this brewery has stood out from most of the other west-coast oriented breweries in the neighborhood, bringing a genuine taste and vibes of Mexico.
Cecilia is from Puebla, a city 2 hours from Mexico City. She came to Canada as a business student, fell in love with beautiful Vancouver and decided to stay. She also fell in love with the blooming North American craft beer culture.
The head brewer, Carlo, grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico. Carlo joined La Cerveceria Astilleros with food and beverage industry expert and owner Andrew Doyle. Andrew also who owns sister business, Garden of Granite Winery that operates just above the brewery. Carlo has been brewing beer for over 20 years both in Mexico and Canada, and divides his time between this new venture and his own micro-brewery in Maple Ridge called Maple Meadows Brewing.
VOICE(V): “Tell us more about Mexican essence at La Cerverceria Astilleros.”
Cecilia(C): “ The idea was to bring Mexican inspired food and drink to the Shipyard Brewery District. Our brewery is bright and colourful with Spanish music playing in the background. Most of our taproom staff are either from Mexico or Spanish speakers and mostly female workers. (A team of las mujeres: Cristina, Estefanía and Laura with Cecilia in the picture.) We are all good friends, speaking Spanish all the time and helping each other, pouring beers, making tacos, and cleaning up.
Hand-made and hand-painted tiles on the walls are from Mexico, and we have recently brought beautiful hand-painted toilet seats into the bathroom (very Instagrammable!). We try to include at least one Mexican ingredient in each beer and our tacos are as authentic as they can get. Whenever I come in here, I feel this is home. A lot of things in this brewery reminds me of Mexican culture back home.”
V: “ What do you currently offer for beer and food lineup?”
C: “We are still waiting for a full liquor license, so for now we are offering 4 to 6 beers on tap out of our 12 kegs and only able to serve one flight of beer per customer per visit. Salted Lime Lager (4.6 ABV) is our flagship beer. It is a Mexican style lager with a touch of salt and real lime. It is amazingly refreshing, especially in the summer season. We always have this on tap, and we also currently have3 other beer offerings: Tropicalia IPA(4.9 ABV), Horchata Porter(6.2 ABV), and Mango Kolsch(4.7 ABV).
As for food menu, we make 4 types of tacos: Beef Babacoa, Tonga de Pollo(chicken), Al Pastor(pork) and Rajas con Crema(vegetarian). We also have small items to snack on including chips and guac and churro. Who wouldn’t like beers and tacos, right? When we receive a full license, there will be an outside patio, more selection of beers on tap, and wines from the upstairs winery!”
V: “What was it like to open a brewery in the middle of the pandemic?”
C: “Originally we were supposed to open in the summer of 2020, but the pandemic made everything delayed and we finally opened just before Christmas. Despite the fact that it was winter and with Covid-19, we have been doing great and receiving so much support. Everyone in the North Vancouver beer community is very nice and welcoming. We don’t see ourselves as competitors, we see ourselves as friendly neighbours. We all support each other to maximize foot traffic to the Shipyard Brewery District and create a friendly destination for beer hopping.
We find it also interesting that 80% of our customers are non-Spanish speakers. That may be because people appreciate experiencing something different, more so right now because people can’t travel freely. We are here to share Mexican culture with Canadians and show some classic Mexican hospitality.”
There is no need to travel as far as to Mexico. An authentic experience that honors the craft of Mexican drinks and cuisine awaits you in the heart of North Vancouver.
¡Hasta Pronto! ¡Salud!