2017 A Year in Review

It’s 6am on December 31st, 2017. Our 2 year old son was up at 5:30am but my wife graciously decided to give me a sleep in today however I couldn’t get back to sleep as I find every year around this time I get stir crazy about what’s coming up next. Always looking forward. That’s how we work. Planning brews, hop contracts, marketing, beer launches, festivals to attend, staffing needs, etc.

It’s hard to look forward to 2018 without looking back on 2017. So here we go.

2017 was a crazy year for us. Every spring/summer we fall behind because we’ve never had enough capacity to keep up. So this year we were finally able to get some new tanks in before May hit and for the first time ever we were able to keep up with demand and at the same time create some cool new limiteds and stretch our legs a bit from a stylistic point of view.

We went big with the new tanks (all three make 10,000L each) because back to that “looking forward” stuff our long term goal was to switch our Flaghsip beers into can format. This was a difficult decision for us because although we believe that people would rather have a Red Pilsner in a 473ml can than a 650ml bottle the truth about cans are that they naturally move more volume so you have to go a bit bigger or risk disappointing people without being able to keep up. So we set ourselves up to do this and so far I’m happy we have.

We made 36 different beers in 2017. This sounds insane to me but we had a laundry list of new brews we wanted to try out and also recognize that craft beer lovers are always on the hunt for something new. Two of these beers were new flagships for us. Roselle Wheat Ale was the first. We had been working on this beer for about a year trying to get the perfect level of hibiscus and refreshing finish. We wanted to create a wheat beer that could be paired well with food and enjoyed all year. We feel that Roselle is just that!  Then late this year we launched Simple Things Pilsner. Simple Things is another beer that we’d been working on for a while. The concept was to make a true craft beer drinkers Pils. Something with the highest quality malt we could find, a full 6 weeks in the tank, and a slap you across the face bitterness. I personally believe that Simple Things will become the most popular beer we make in the coming years… but I’ve been wrong before.

Photo Cred: Eat With Mao

We were lucky enough this year to win 6 BC Beer Awards! This was the most we’ve ever won and along with our homies at Twin Sails it was the most any brewery won that night! On a personal level I was also fortunate to win New Westminster Business Person of the Year! There is nothing more rewarding than starting a business in your own hometown, especially a business that people seem to dig and I hope that S&O proves to other soon to be entrepreneurs that our city supports new ideas and small businesses. Come here! Especially if you are a bakery or a coffee roaster….

2017 did bring challenges. There has been some confusion and a lot of red tape when it comes to our Tasting Room occupancy. We were under the impression that we were going to have 50 people allowed in our room before the summer of 2017 but this hasn’t been the case. It’s been frustrating for me personally and I know super frustrating for our customers who’ve had to wait to get in for a beer. If you’ve been by the brewery in the past week you’ll notice a couple new signs up in regards to zoning and my fingers are crossed that we will have 50 occupancy by the time summer 2018 arrives.

We’ve also been limited to what we can brew based on space. Light Industrial space (which we require) isn’t readily available in New West. It’s part of the reason why you don’t see a Brewers Row type situation in the Royal City. So we basically have the space we have now and need to make due with that. With the addition of the larger fermentation tanks we’ve had to shrink our barrel program and our bottle conditioned program is also a bit smaller than we’d like but it’s taught us to operate efficiently with space and time.

So what is 2018 going to bring?

Well my number one priority is to get that Tasting Room occupancy up to 50, with this increase I’m hoping that it will be more attractive for Food Trucks to set up shop again and will also allow us to do some cool stuff in the Tasting Room without running the risk of having a lineup of people waiting to get in. I want to make it a more engaging and fun space that people can feel confident coming to knowing that they can get in.

More community partnerships. Whether it be collaborating for events or setting pop up shops (for vinyl or beer) we are going to get even more active within New West.

Continue to innovate and perfect. Behind the scenes we are always continuing to perfect our recipes. We’ve just built a bigger lab and will be focusing on improving the longevity of our brews as well as creating new flavours for you to try.

IPA? So a big change for us this year is that yes, we are going to try to make sure there is an IPA on tap at S&O. This doesn’t mean we’ll be coming out with a year round IPA but it is part of the plan to rotate and create new IPAs often so that you do have something hoppy to try on tap when you come by. Selfishly this will also allow us to try a bunch of new IPAs and start to make decisions on where we would want our year round IPA to taste like. If we were to make one of course 😉

Things happen fast in our industry so I’m sure you will see many things I haven’t mentioned above.

I want to sign off by saying thank you. Thank you for coming to our Tasting Room and bringing your friends and family, thank you for being supportive, thank you for letting us know what you like (and what you don’t) and thank you for making Steel & Oak what it is today.

Cheers and all the best in 2018.

Jorden Foss and the S&O Family



“The voice of this Steel & Oak blog is normally mine, Jorden Foss. However, for this very special beer I’ve handed off blog duties to the women responsible for making this beer happen.” Cheers -Jorden.

Chances are high, if you come into the brewery for a beer, you’ll be greeted by one of the remarkable women that work here. At Steel & Oak, we pride ourselves on maintaining a welcoming, comfortable and safe environment for all and that starts with our staff. The beer industry is predominantly male, especially in the brewhouse, but we value the diverse members of our team, however they identify or whatever job they may have. Everyone is encouraged to make suggestions for new beers and get involved.

In that spirit, earlier this year, staff members Kristina and Heather brewed a small batch of beer for the Siris Cask Festival, put on by Tri Cities Cask Festivals, which celebrates the women in the craft beer industry. It was a great success! Siris was the initial inspiration for the female identified staff at the brewery to brew a beer as a collective. This exciting endeavor came to fruition in November and we spent a wonderful day together brewing “Zusammen”. Zusammen is a German word meaning “together”, which we found to be the perfect word to embody our intention behind this beer. Throughout the brewing process we found ourselves saying to each other, over and over, ‘I’m so glad we are doing this together’.

Zusammen is a fig and cardamom stout, made with figs that we collectively crushed by hand. What better way to be hands-on in the creation of a new beer?


In the wake of the #metoo movement, we recognize that we all need to work harder to create safe spaces for women, femmes, trans, and non-binary folks. This needs to be done through education on how to prevent sexual harassment and assault, especially where alcohol is a factor, and that free and enthusiastic consent is mandatory. At Steel & Oak, we firmly believe that everybody should be able to enjoy a beer (or lemonade!) in peace and we are very happy to be able to provide a safe, positive place for all to come and enjoy a drink, alone or with friends, without fear or judgement. We enforce a policy of zero tolerance for harassment of any kind and we encourage others to do the same.

Partial proceeds of this beer will allow us to support the following organizations: WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre and Good Night Out Vancouver


In 1982, WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre formed in response to the need for sexual assault services.

WAVAW connects survivors to healing through one-to-one counselling, support groups, victim services, a 24-Hour Crisis Line, 24-Hour accompaniments to the hospital, and culturally proficient services for Indigenous survivors.

Today, WAVAW’s waitlist for one-to-one counselling services is currently 18 months long. That’s like calling an ambulance, and then waiting for 18 months for it to arrive. It’s unacceptable, and this is why we are raising money today: we want to connect survivors to the services they need, when they need them.

WAVAW’s vision is for a society where all women are free from violence.

Good Night Out

Good Night Out is an international organization dedicated to providing the nightlife industry with the capacity to respond to and prevent harassment and sexual assault within licensed venues.

Good Night Out Vancouver was founded out of an awareness of the links between alcohol consumption and sexual aggression and initiated from community concerns that staff and patrons in Vancouver’s licensed venues could benefit from education around how to recognize, interrupt and prevent sexual harassment and assault on nights out.

Good Night Out uses recent research on gendered violence, bystander intervention, and anti-oppressive techniques to create a variety of original educational tools, interventions and messaging aimed at reducing gendered and homophobic harassment and violence in our city’s arts, culture and entertainment scene. They work with anyone with any form of liquor license     (restaurant, primary or even a one-night event), as well as offering training to community groups and university campuses, to help ensure more Good Nights Out in our city.

The work that Good Night Out has done in Vancouver has been presented on a local and international scale, with our team being looked to as experts in the field of violence against women.  You can learn more on their Facebook at Good Night Out Vancouver.

To find more information on these organizations please go to:



Now that you know about the organizations we will be supporting, we would like to formally invite you to our Zusammen launch party and fundraiser! On December 21, join us at The Terminal Pub. During our launch party, Terminal Pub will be donating $1.50 from each pint of Zusammen sold to the WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre. In addition, Good Night Out Vancouver will be leading a presentation about how to be an active bystander when you are out and about. All proceeds from our raffle and silent auction will be donated to WAVAW and Good Night Out Vancouver. Thank you, Terminal Pub!

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

In solidarity,
The women of Steel & Oak

New Merch!

We brought in some rad new merch for the holiday season. See the new tees, crews, toques, and stocking stuffer ideas below.

All items can be purchased at our brewery, 1319 Third Ave., New Westminster, BC.

Merry Christmas!

Stocking Stuffers

Find below some awesome stocking stuffer ideas we have for the Craft Beer lover on your list.

All items are available via our brewery at 1319 Third Ave., New Westminster, BC.

Merry Christmas!

Simple Things in 6 Packs

Some breweries get fired up over launching an IPA. At Steel & Oak we get fired up over launching a Pilsner.

But this isn’t the type of Pilsner you’re probably used to…

Simple Things is simple in ingredients but by no means is it simple in flavour. We’ve brought in Weyermann Barke Pilsner malt from Germany combined with a collection of Noble hops to create a refreshing aromatic German-style Pilsner with an incredible mouthfeel and a crisp bitterness on the finish. It’s the kind of Pilsner we want to drink.

We first launched Simple Things in tall cans to see if people enjoyed it as much as we did. And they did! So we decided it’s something that we definitely want to have available all year.

Simple Things will be the first 6 pack from us and will stand alone from the S&O Flagship lineup. However, it may not stand alone forever…

Simple Things Pilsner is shipping out now and will only be available in select Metro Vancouver liquor stores and our brewery to start. You will also be able to find it on tap at Darby’s Kits and Darby’s Gastown starting this Friday!



Eleven Boroughs

Okay so this one may cause some debate. Not because of the beer, but because of the name.

First, the beer. Eleven Boroughs is an India Pale Ale. Which I’m told from a couple sources is a very popular style of beer these days. We’re going to make more of these. It’s time. We’ve waited long enough and to be honest I’d like something hoppy that I can take home out of the work fridge.

Eleven Boroughs is hopped with Mosaic, Equanot, Simcoe and Citra for a bright citrus aroma and a juicy tropical fruit flavour. We threw in some pilsner, oat and wheat malt and it swings in at an easy going 5.5% and 44 IBU.

Second, the name. This is where I’ll take the most heat from New West residents. We named this beer after the Eleven Boroughs of New West. Well, at least what I feel are the eleven true neighbourhoods of the Royal City.

The are as follows:

  1. Queensborough
  2. Connaught Heights
  3. West End
  4. Brow of the Hill
  5. Uptown
  6. Downtown
  7. Glenbrook
  8. Queens Park
  9. Victory Heights
  10. Sapperton
  11. Quayside

This can has caused much debate at the brewery about which neighbourhoods are on this list, which ones are lumped together in a larger neighbourhood, and which ones are left off, but we all agree it’s a great tasting beer.

Eleven Boroughs will be available in the Eleventh Borough today! (And yes, that means available at the brewery)




S&O Partners With Monarch Place

We are proud to announce our Christmas partnership once again with Monarch Place.

Monarch Place Transition House is one of the programs of W.I.N.G.S. (Women in Need Gaining Strength) Fellowship Ministries. Their mission statement is: “to provide women and children in need the opportunity to gain strength and to live according to their true worth.” They offer shelter and support to women and children fleeing domestic violence.

We recognize the importance of safe environments and alternatives for women and children in need in our community and have pledged to donate $1 from every growler fill of Royal City Ale to Monarch Place throughout the month of December.

December 6th is National Day of Remembrance and Action Against Violence Against Women. Monarch Place fulfills this mandate every single day and Steel & Oak is proud to stand with them.

For more information on Monarch Place and how you can help visit monarch place.org.

New Brewers Series Launch

One of the things we’ve always wanted to do was start a bottle conditioned series of beers. Brew some really unique styles on a small scale and put them in a fancy 500ml bottle.

So we did just that.

Our Brewers Series launches with Terra. A bottle conditioned Saison with turmeric, ginger, white peppercorn, and star anise. It’s savoury while still being refreshing and we think you’re really going to dig it.

The Brewers Series beers will be released when the beer inside tells us it’s ready, so they will appear sporadically throughout the year. They aren’t on a schedule, they are brewed when ideas come to us, and they will definitely be a vehicle for our brewers to experiment with new ingredients.

Terra is available now in the Tasting Room and a few cases have gone to select local liquor stores around Metro Vancouver. You can enjoy Terra now or sit one down for a while to enjoy later.

Next up in our Brewers Series will be Secretariat. A Saison conditioned on guava and refermented with Brettanomyces claussenii. You can look for that early in the new year.

Our Farmhouse Fest list is going to be straight fire next year!



Analog: After Dark

It’s back! Analog Pop Up Vinyl Shop is on Saturday, November 18th from 6:30-11:00 pm at the River Market in New West!
Record labels, collectors, and vinyl lovers from across Metro Vancouver will gather in our rad city for an evening of music, beer, food, and of course crate digging.
We first launched Analog with our friends from the Arts Council of New West in the fall of 2016. This 3rd “After Dark” Volume will take place in the Food Hall at River Market, 810 Quayside Drive. Easy access from New West Skytrain Station.
Our last event was a huge success and we’ve managed to build a community of vinyl enthusiasts eager to support local labels, shops and collectors. The vibe in the spring was electric and people loved spending an afternoon browsing for records, while also enjoying some amazing music, good food and beer. I think you’re definitely going to like what we’re doing with the “after dark” concept.
Adding to the evening of vinyl shopping and sipping beer, the Arts Council of New West is collaborating with local electronic music outfit Social Medium to program a lineup of DJs playing a range of hip-hop and electro through to house and techno with live video mixing and visuals from local artist and DJ Mutes Ito.
In addition to popular returning vendors Scrape Records, Music Madhouse & Northern Electric are a handful of collectors, new recruits Highlife Records, and internationally recognized electronic music labels Hybridity Music, Pacific Rhythm and Mood Hut.
Also new for this event is a limited edition beer we’ll be launching called High Fidelity!
Analog: Pop Up Vinyl Shop hits River Market at 810 Quayside Drive, November 18th 6:30-11pm. You can pre register here.

Same Team, New Uniform

We’re super excited to announce that our Flagship lineup has officially made the switch to tall cans!

When we first opened our brewery in 2014 650ml bomber bottles were the way to go in craft beer. However, for a brewery that prides itself in making beers you want to drink more than one of we quickly realized that a lot of our Flagship brews would be better suited (and enjoyed easier) in cans.

As a brewery that has grown quite fast in our first few years putting our Flagship beers in cans wasn’t something that we had the capacity to do. To be perfectly honest, a year ago if we had our starting lineup all in cans we wouldn’t have been able to keep up. Thankfully we were able to add a couple big fermentation tanks this summer and are now set up to put Red Pilsner, Dark Lager and Roselle in cans alongside Royal City Ale.

Same beers, new uniforms.

Wearing Red and White: Royal City Ale

Lightly dry-hopped for a gentle floral aroma, this American Blonde Ale is light in colour and medium bodied to suit. A simple mix of classic pale malts paired with a mild bitterness impart this beer with drinkability and easy going flavour components.

Wearing White and Red: Red Pilsner

Pouring a light copper with a thick white head, this full-bodied Pilsner has a floral aroma accented with notes of lavender and honey. The caramel malts that aide in its robust colour impart a slightly sweet taste that finishes clean with a crisp spicy bitterness.

Wearing White and Silver: Roselle Wheat Ale

Hibiscus and rose hips combine with Belgian yeast to create a crisp and refreshing wheat ale packed with floral notes, banana, raspberry and a touch of spice. Roselle Wheat Ale is the newest edition to our Flagship lineup.

Wearing Black and Silver: Dark Lager

Bread crust, chocolate, nuts and toffee emanate from this Munich Dunkel. With a surprisingly light mouth feel, this unfiltered lager has a dominant malt flavour accented by notes of almonds, toast and a touch of caramel. 

We hope you enjoy these award winning beers in their new homes.

Just because our Flagships are in cans doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get a bottle of Steel & Oak. In fact, with the added capacity you’ll likely see even more bottle releases from us in different formats. We’ll continue to brew limited releases in 650ml bomber format and will also be introducing a Brewers Series and Hometown Series, both bottle conditioned and in 500ml bottles.

Thanks for all of the continued support and for all the love you show our beers!