Category Archives: Beer

The Park at English Bay


Ya ya I know I said I wasn’t posting any more but when Bodhi Jones asks you to come check out the place he works at you don’t say no! The Park at English Bay is located in the Best Western Sands Hotel on Davie St. just off of Denman in a space formerly known as Checkers. There are few similarities between The Park and Checkers apart from its location, the renovations have transformed an out of date room into a very contemporary space.

The beer list is probably the best in the West End and it is still evolving with manager (or “Park Ranger”) Jamison Prystay at the helm. I had a Driftwood Farmhand Ale and a Howe Sound Devils Elbow IPA. Jamison and his food and beverage team are always looking to add new and interesting beer to the list which is great to see in an area not known for craft beer.

I sampled the Charcuterie plate ($15), it was awesome and could easily be on the menu for $18-$22. The quality of the pate, meats, bread and olives is very high. The ingredients are sourced weekly from the Granville Island Market by the chef and are always changing. Charcuterie always pairs well with craft beer so make sure you explore the beer menu while you enjoy this dish.

Next up I tried the Park Sliders ($7.50), 2 house made Angus beef sliders with horseradish mayo, Jalapeño jack cheese and banana peppers. Normally I’m not a fan of sliders but these were great. They had a nice amount of heat to them and the Angus patties were very flavourful. According to the menu “They’re a little spicy, so you’ll probably want to order another beer.” Those are wise words, beer makes everything better.

Last but most certainly not least was the Georgia Straight Fried Chicken ($15). This dish looked like it was going to be heavy and greasy due to the dark colour of the batter but it was quite light. The batter is thinner that it looks and the chicken is VERY tender. The fact that it’s boneless is a plus for me, I’m not a huge fan of chicken on the bone. There’s a honey drizzle that adds and nice sweetness to this savoury dish and it’s complimented by some garlic mashed potatoes with crispy onion straws and steamed veggies. Overall a very good dish.

I have to say I’m very impressed with The Park at English Bay. The food and drink menu are a perfect match to it’s beautiful location. For all of you die hard Checkers fans fear not, THEY STILL HAVE KARAOKE!! There’s now live music as well and it would be a great place to catch your favourite sporting event!

Scott.

For the record my meal and beers were provided by The Park at English Bay but the fact that it was free didn’t change the way it tasted 🙂 Go Check it out!!

Twitter – @ParkVanCity

Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheParkVancouver

Pumphouse Pub Bacon and Beer Dinner!


Another Longtable dinner at the Pumphouse Pub in Richmond has come and gone and this one was a doozy! A five course bacon themed dinner, each course paired with a beer from the Beerthirst portfolio, bacon and beer? Yes please!! This dinner had the added twist of being a fundraiser for local golf phenom Nathan Leonhardt with all proceeds going to help his dream of playing on the PGA Tour.

Course one was a bacon, caramelized onion and goat cheese quiche paired with Odin Brewing Co‘s Freya’s Gold Kolsch style ale. The Quiche had a nice flaky crust with the bacon and caramelized onion giving the filling a salty richness with a slight tang from the goat cheese, very tasty. The Kolsch pairs well with any food, which is what Odin’s main goal is when they make a beer. It’s a nice light palette cleansing beer.

Course two was fried plantains with a spicy Thai bacon salad. It was paired with the Trailhead ISA from Two Beers Brewing Co. The plantains were great and complimented the Thai salad very well. Throw a little bacon in the mix and you really can’t go wrong. The Trailhead ISA was a nice pairing for this dish. It is a very sessionable beer that doesn’t over power the delicate flavours of the plantains. another winner.

Course three was prosciutto wrapped chicken with beurre rouge sauce. It was paired with Odin Brewing Co’s Odin’s Gift Ruby Ale. The chicken was cooked perfectly, quite an accomplishment when cooking for 60-70 people. The prosciutto was a nice salty pork jacket hugging the chicken, delicious. The beurre rouge sauce was good but the dish could’ve used a bit more of it and it could’ve been a little thicker. The Odin’s gift Ruby Ale pairs well with salty meat so it was a hit with the pork snuggled chicken.

Course four was a slow braised pork shoulder with apples, onions and bacon with a few pieces of roasted potato. It was paired with Tenaya Creek Brewing Co‘s Calico Brown Ale. The pork shoulder was well cooked and very tender without being dry but it lacked seasoning. The apple and bacon were a great pair but the dish needed more of both and the potato seemed a little out of place. This dish was a few small tweaks away from being incredible. The Calico Brown Ale paired well with the pork. It’s a hoppy brown ale and I have to say that it’s one of my favourites from the Las Vegas brewery.

The fifth and final course was a warm chocolate chilli brownie with chocolate bacon ice cream. It was paired with Elysian Brewing Co’s Peste Chocolate Chilli Ale. WOW! The brownie was moist and rich and had a great chilli kick to it, incredible. The chocolate bacon ice cream was perfect to balance the heat from the chilli in the brownie. This dessert was outstanding. The Peste Chocolate Chilli Ale has mellowed some since I first tried it but this beer was meant for this dish, it was an unbelievably good pairing.

It was great chatting with Nathan about his ambitions in the professional golf world and I’m happy that Beerthirst and The Pumphouse could raise some money to help him on his quest. Nathan plays on the Canadian Tour and has had success as an amateur and attended Northwood Texas University on a golf scholarship. Few people realize how expensive it is to play professional golf so every penny counts! Good luck Nathan, we’ll be watching your career and cheering for you!

Scott.

Win tickets to Eat! Vancouver from WFLBC and SurreyIsTheBomb.com!


Photo credit - Eat! Vancouver/MCM MarketingEat! Vancouver is just around the corner and WFLBC and SurreyIsTheBomb.com want to send you and a guest to check out this awesome food and beverage extravaganza!! Enter by posting the following on Twitter.

“I entered to win 2 @Eat_Vancouver passes from @WhatsForLunchBC and @SurreyIsTheBomb! http://wp.me/pVVWR-z5  RT to enter!”

You will get an additional entry in the contest for subscribing to WhatsForLunchBC.com and SurreyIsTheBomb.com!! (One entry for each subscription) You will also get an additional entry for following @WhatsForLunchBC and @SurreyIsTheBomb on Twitter!!

Eat! Vancouver runs from June 1-3 at BC Place. The contest will run until Sunday May 27th so start tweeting, following and subscribing!! I look forward to seeing you there!

Scott.

Steam Whistle Launch Party with guest contributor Megan Harris!


On Friday, April 27th, I had the pleasure of attending the Steam Whistle Pilsner Launch Party that took place at The Bimini in Vancouver. BC Rep Mike Kiraly, who you can easily tell has a passion for great craft beer, hosted the event and gave me the facts on the brewery.

Steam Whistle Brewing opened in Toronto of 2000. Their focus is brewing Canada’s Premium Pilsner, using only 4 natural ingredients – spring water, yeast, malted barley, and hops. Their motto is “do one thing, really, really well.”

The beer is mainly sold in green glass bottles, a replica of the industry standard from the 40s and 50s, paying tribute to The Golden Era. The bottles are made with a thicker glass, making them reusable up to 35 times.

The name “Steam Whistle” comes from the sound of steam rushing from factory whistles of the 50s, marking the end of the day, and time for a rewarding brew!

Greg Taylor, Cameron Heaps and Gregory Cromwell are the three founders, aka “The Three Fired Guys”. They met while working for Upper Canada Brewing, and lost their jobs after the brewery was sold to Sleeman’s. “3FG” is marked at the bottom of the Steam Whistle bottles as an inside joke.

Steam Whistle’s Brewmaster, Marek Mikunda, is from the Czech Republic. What better place to be from than the birthplace of Pilsners?

Their beer became available in Alberta in 2006, and BC in 2009. Mike wants to focus on taking care of getting the beer on tap in Vancouver, as it’s a huge city with a serious love for craft beer.

I asked Mike, why only brew Pilsner? He summed it up by saying “Steam Whistle wanted to take something on as a project and perfect it. Our beer is fresh, made with all natural ingredients, and it’s Canadian.”

My opinion of the Steam Whistle Pilsner – I really enjoyed the beer. It’s got plenty of flavour, very refreshing, and would make an excellent session beer. Perfect for summer, or any time, really.

Steam Whistle will be taking part in the YVRBeerTweetUp May 2nd at Smiley’s Public House, the EPIC Sustainable Living Show May 11-13th at The Vancouver Convention Centre, and Vancouver Craft Beer Week, May 21st at The Electric Owl.

You can find Steam Whistle at http://www.steamwhistle.ca/ on Twitter @SteamWhistle and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/SteamWhistle

Megan.

Follow Megan on twitter @Megana28!!

Sharkey’s Seafood Bar & Grill – Beerthirst/Russel Long Table Dinner


Ladner is cool, houseboats, tons of history and an isolated small town feel so close to a major city it almost makes me want to live there, almost. Sharkey’s Seafood Bar & Grill has lived at the corner of Elliot and Chisholm st, right alongside the Fraser river, since 1992. They recently had a long table dinner with the Beerthirst crew and Russell Brewing Co. and as usual if there’s beer and food I can’t be far away!

It was a five course dinner paired with beers from Beerthirst’s portfolio aa well as Russell’s delicious local beers. The food was outstanding, all 5 courses. The Bison slider, which was big enough to be a regular burger at some upscale joints, was one of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time. I’m not going to go through a course by course run down of all the pairing this time just check out the menu and the rest of the pictures below.

I also had the pleasure of taking down some raw oysters out on the sun soaked patio and they were outstanding, super fresh and tasty! We had an awesome night of great food, terrific craft beer and good friends, I’ll be back to Sharkey’s soon for sure, I can’t wait to try some more of their menu and their extensive craft beer list!

Scott.

So you want to be a Craft Beer drinker


So you’re sitting at a bar or restaurant in Gastown with your friends one night having some drinks and you order a Canadian. You may notice people start to stare at you and then it hits you, regular beer isn’t cool! This unfortunate scene is played out several times a day in places like Gastown, Main Street, Kits and Steveston and it is 100% avoidable if you just sit back and learn how to become a craft beer drinker.

The first step in this simple yet intimidating transformation is to stop buying mass produced beer, the Molson, the Labatt’s, the Heineken, they all have to go. They are made with large amounts of ingredients that are 10 times worse for you than the alcohol is. Check the facts on corn syrup here. People are used to the taste of this mass produced beer and they often find craft beer quite overpowering at first but I’m going to give you some suggestions to ease you into  loving the best beer money can buy.

Start with something that’s fairly mild in flavour, don’t start with a triple IPA because it will probably frighten you back to the corn syrup brews you’re trying to escape. Some recommendations are North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner or Gordon Biersch Pilsner. If you’re looking for an introduction to the world of hops, start with Sam Adams Boston Lager, Granville Island Brockton IPA or Anchor Steam. These are as close as craft beer gets to being mass produced but they still offer that hoppy flavour that most west coast craft beer in known for.

Once you grow to love these brews you’ll want to dig deeper into the depths of flavour craft beer has to offer. Using resources like Beerthirst, CAMRA, Vancouver Beer Blog etc will help you find your next favourite beer. Good luck fellow beer lovers, don’t forget that Vancouver Craft Beer Week is just around the corner. If you start now you palate will be ready just in time!

Scott.

Green Flash Brewing Co. Long Table Dinner at The Pumphouse with Beerthirst


Another Longtable dinner at The Pumphouse Pub has come and gone and with Beerthirst hosting and Green Flash Brewing Co. as the featured brewer it was one I was looking forward to. Greenflash makes amazing beer, their West Coast IPA is in my top 5 for bottled beer and is probably my number 1 draught beer. This was a 5 course affair with a unique beer pairing for each course, as is the case with every Longtable dinner.

Course 1 was Thai Green Mango Salad with cold water shrimp, shredded coconut, bean sprouts and cashews. It was paired with the Rayon Vert, a Belgian style pale ale. Very nice pairing although the Rayon Vert has a tendency to foam up in your mouth when you drink it right after eating so it was tough to fully judge the way they complimented each other. The salad was refreshing and well balanced which is how I would also describe the beer. Nice combo.

Course 2 was Coconut Curry Prawns with Jicama and Pineapple slaw paired with West Coast IPA. West Coast IPA is, as I said above, an amazing beer especially on tap and it paired very well with the curried prawns and the sweet jicama and pineapple slaw. Jicama is a strange looking root vegetable that has the taste and texture of a slightly less sweet apple so pairing it with pineapple brought out the sweetness even more. If I had blind taste tested this dish I probably would have guessed the slaw was shredded apple.

Course 3 was Spicy dry rubbed Roast Beef with Caramelized Yams. It was paired with the Le Freak Belgian IPA. The Le Freak is a very hop and Brett forward beer that is not for the craft beer newbie and this was a ballsy pairing. I found that it paired very well with the caramelized yams, slightly less so with the beef. There was something about the sweetness of the yams that made a great partner to this aggressive beer.

Course 4 was Grilled Jerk Salmon with Miso Scallops and Coconut Rice. It was paired with the Imperial IPA. This was an interesting dish, the salmon was a nice partner top the very hop forward IPA but the scallops didn’t really seem to fit with this dish. The rice was an interesting choice as well. I think it was arborio rice which is typically used for risotto but it was prepared like regular rice for this dish. I’ve never had arborio rice prepared this way and I’m not sure I would ever  use a grain with such potential in such a pedestrian way. The IPA was, as one would expect, fantastic just like everything that Green Flash does.

The 5th and final course was Chocolate Velvet Pie (aka Mouse) with a Raspberry Shortbread Crust and Grated White Chocolate. It was Paired with the Double Stout, an 8.8% abv monster that is frighteningly easy to drink. It’s so well balanced and has such amazing flavours that you don’t realize you’re getting absolutely plastered until you try and walk. The mouse was a very safe but very good pairing, stouts and chocolate are a no brainer. The raspberry crust wasn’t my cup of tea but that’s because I don’t like raspberry…weird right?

So there you have it folks, you should really come out to one of these things as they’re quite awesome and usually sell out for a reason. Beer and food pairings offer so much more variety and depth than wine could ever hope to, in my ever so humble opinion. I think a contest or something is the next logical step to get some new faces out to one of these great dinners… Now I just have to convince Norm.

Scott.