The Cult-Hit Juicebar is Coming Back to Gastown

The natural wine pop-up is going to four nights a week, with a few other improvements for your wine-sipping pleasure.

July 31, 2018

By David Kitai / Photo: courtesy Siôn Iorwerth

Vancouver’s favourite natural wine pop-up is back. After a summer off, Juicebar is taking over Gastown’s The Birds and the Beets once more to pour hip, crushable natty wines at some ridiculously low markups. Originally Wednesday-only, the pop-up will be running from 6 to eleven Wednesday to Saturday starting August 15.

Founder Siôn Iorwerth hopes this will create an even more casual vibe at his bar. “I hope it’s less mobbed than when the bar was Wednesday-only,” he says. “I want it to be a place you could pop by easily to grab a glass of wine.”

All natural is key for Iorwerth, who will be pouring wines made from organic and biodynamic fruit, with no added yeast, and minimal intervention in the cellar: about as close to a consensus as you can get for the oft-debated definition of “natural wine.”

Those wines will be coming from great international producers like Olivier Lemasson from the Loire or Joan Ramon Escoda Sanahuja from Catalonia, but Iorwerth wants to feature a few local picks as well. Juicebar will keep pouring Naramata bubbly from Bella winery, and will be featuring new releases from the ultra-hip A Sunday in August and the brand new natural Cab Franc from Keenan Thrussell—the son of the owners at Sage Hill winery.

The 2017s from A Sunday in August (Photo: courtesy A Sunday in August)

While the bar will be pouring at least three wines a night by the glass, Iorwerth has also brought in three fridges stocked with priced bottles. Drinkers can rummage through the fridge, find a bottle to go in on, and Iorwerth and his team will open it. The point, according to Iorwerth, is to totally break down any pretense in wine service. Just grab an interesting bottle and share it with some friends. He’s keeping markups around sixty per cent, giving drinkers a chance to taste some wines that are otherwise a stretch to afford. 

What that means is bottles like A Sunday in August’s Reisling—$24.99+tax retail—will go for $35 at the bar. Lemasson’s Bois Sans Soif white blend, which retails for $38.99, will be $45. Iorwerth is adamant on keeping a few of his glass pours fixed at the $10 mark, so wary drinkers aren’t daunted by the investment required for a whole bottle. 

The pop-ups, as always, will feature a rotation of guest chefs. Heather Dosman, formerly chef at Grapes and Soda, will be coordinating the culinary talents at work and adding her own takes on contemporary Japanese cuisine into the mix.

Iorwerth will be doing a single night pop up on August 11th before transitioning into the four night regimen on August 15th. He’s keeping his celebratory re-opening bottles a secret, but promises a few rare magnums that he’s been saving for the occasion.

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