Stanley Park Brewing, a subsidiary of Turning Point Brewery, itself a subsidiary of Labatt, has been approved to open a brewpub in the former Fish House Restaurant site located at 8901 Stanley Park Drive (see report).
Many websites are praising this approval, as the brewery “returning home,” but I have mixed feelings about this. To start with, they are not returning home. True, there was a Stanley Park Brewery located in Stanley Park once, but the current Stanley Park Brewing was established by Turning Point in 2010 and is completely unrelated to the original, despite the fact that they write Estd. 1897 on all of their products. Let’s not even get into the fact that the original Stanley Park Brewery was founded in 1896…
They’ve always been a bit of a fake craft brewery, as Turning Point was originally owned by the Mark Anthony Group, which owns dozens of brand including Mission Hill, Diabolica, Screw It, Mike’s Hard, and more. Now they are owned by Labatt—not really a name that comes to mind when you think of craft beer.
Their beer has always been pretty bland, like big beer making a cursory attempt to get into the craft-curious market, but I guess that will be perfect for the droves of tourists in Stanley Park.
I shouldn’t slam their beer completely, as I did try a pretty good cask from them at a recent beer festival. I just have a hard time getting excited about fake craft breweries like this, Okanagan Springs, Granville Island, Goose Island, etc.