You will find Christina Michalosky at work in a spacious new brew pub in east Vancouver. She and her husband Jeremy started Flyboy Brewing, but, since he travels for his job, she is the main one you’ll see running things and serving the customers behind the bar. The day I met up with Christina, she was unloading supplies from a pick-up truck and getting ready for the brew pub’s 2:00 p.m. opening.
Pubs are a Family Thing
Christina’s family includes a long line of tavern owners. Her grandfather founded the iconic Bob’s 21 Club in Post Falls, Idaho. Bob’s 21 Club has been passed down through the generations and, according to Christina, that will continue. When she visited her family, she would often spend time with them as they worked at the tavern.
So it’s not surprising that Christina went to work for Mark Becker, the Brewer and owner of successful Flyboy Brewing in Tigard and Lake Oswego. Flyboy Brewing certainly brews beer, but they also add in regional and national brews to round out their ever-changing offerings, and that is how Christina operates her pub.
World War II Aviation and Military Memorabilia
Christina also brought with her the idea for the décor that you’ll see at Vancouver’s Flyboy Brewing: World War II airplane pictures, nose-art pin-ups and propeller-shaped beer flight trays. Flyboy Brewing labels are a collection of WWII-era graphics that some may call sexist, but most will just love as nostalgia. The theme extends to the bullet-shaped keg handles for their beer.
Christina is building on the theme, adding military emblems and memorabilia such as a Coast Guard life ring and military photos. She loves having veterans come in to the brewpub and makes an effort to include all branches of service. In fact, she proudly tells me, “My older brother recently deployed aboard the USS America. He’s second in command of the ship.”
A Community Gathering Place
Christina and Jeremy have put a lot of sweat equity into Vancouver’s Flyboy Brewing. If you notice the beautiful, long, wooden tables and the bar, you’ll see they are made from one tree – a huge Redwood from Molalla. Christina and her husband worked on the bar and tabletops, sanding them down and rounding the corners. They are impressive and add a necessary Pacific Northwest vibe to the pub. The long community tables enhance the social aspect for those who gather there. Christina says that everyone is made to feel comfortable, from couples on date night to single women.
Christina offers a variety of things to do to make the pub fun. There are pool tables, free arcade games and foosball. There are also little details that add to the customer experience. How about purse hooks under the bar and USB ports?
Add in live music on Saturday nights and karaoke on Fridays and Wednesdays and it’s a fun place to be. Look for special events, too. Christina shares, “Bingo was fun. We had Lost Coast Brewing, and Shawna, their rep, put on a fun bingo evening with prizes. Everyone enjoyed it.”
She finds local musicians and rotates them on Saturday music nights. Watch the Flyboy Brewing Facebook page for events and a list of musicians.
Good Beer and More
Christina said that people love their changing tap list. People enjoy trying new beer, and their flights have proven popular. Customers can choose which beers and ciders they want in their flight. Once you find your favorite, they have growlers to-go.
And, for those of us who love wine, Christina keeps a good selection, not just standard house wine that you find at some brewpubs.
They serve food, and that is above the norm, as well. They recently started smoking their own BBQ meats in the back. New to the calendar is brunch on weekends. Enjoy brunch with wine, Prosecco or a Mimosa!
Taco Tuesdays are big with $1.00 tacos, with the smoked brisket taco understandably popular.
On Tap for the Future
Since Christina clearly has a passion for beer, she shared with me that when she and her husband travel, they often visit breweries and go beer tasting. She’s been expanding a bit recently and has been investigating local distilleries with big plans to add a line of local, high-end spirits to their offerings.
As for Christina, personally, she’d like to keep learning and, perhaps, do some brewing herself. Since she’s an avid student of life, she has an interest in the Cicerone Certification Program. The word Cicerone designates hospitality professionals with proven experience in selecting, acquiring and serving today’s wide range of beers.
Visiting Vancouver’s Flyboy Brewing
Flyboy Brewing is located in the Bridgeport Retail Center at 316 SE 123rd Avenue, Suite D4 in Vancouver. Watch the Flyboy Brewing Facebook page for hours and offerings.