Bitter Tasting Room (16 West Hastings Street)
By Joanna Lee, Modern Mix Vancouver writer
Bitter, Gastown’s newest tasting room from the Heather Hospitality Group (think The Irish Heather, Salt Tasting Room and Shebeen Whisky House), pays tribute to artisan beer with eight rotating taps pouring a selection of local, craft, and imported beer. Bitter’s extensive bottled beer list includes fruity Unibroue Ephemere, gluten-free Estrella Daura, and growlers (beer pairs invented in the 19th century) such as Dr. Funk. A selection of beer flights is also featured each week for those amateur beer drinkers or the indecisive. There’s also beer cocktails such as the Milwaukee Float (chocolate, coffee and beer) as well as a caesar-inspired lager cocktail.
As for eats, the menu is primarily a mix of classic and comfort foods – pretzels and bar nuts, to hearty Southern-style chicken and biscuits with gravy. There’s a wide variety of German sausages, sausage rolls, and pork crackling, scratchings and rind. For those not highly fond of meat, the popular hard-boiled eggs – Deviled, Scotched and Pickled eggs – is a must-try with your beer.
Located in a heritage flatiron building, Bitter is uniquely shaped with original tile floors and light fixtures made with keg parts. The 3/4 circular bar is lined with benches made from wood originating from buildings in Yaletown and Gastown. In the back one will find a semi-private room with a massive projector screen to watch Canucks games. Images of historic Vancouver are etched upon the thick glass display windows adding to its Prohibition feel and making it a cozy and unpretentious watering hole.
Find Bitter at 16 West Hastings Street (between Carrall and Abbott) in Gastown.