SurreyIsTheBomb.com – What the hell went wrong?

Surrey, it’s probably the most misunderstood city in Greater Vancouver, maybe even in all of BC. It also happens to be where I live and somewhere I’m proud to call home. Many of you know I had a website called SurreyIsTheBomb.com, a little labour of love I used to spread the good things Surrey has to offer and try and counteract the overwhelmingly negative view outsiders have of it. It was chugging along at a manageable pace, I was enjoying exploring my city and then I was approached by a couple from Whalley. They loved the site and wanted me to join them in a new venture they were starting. It was basically going to be what I was already doing but on a larger scale. Full 3 way split of any future profits, sounded good to me!

Well, it wasn’t. It ended very badly and I had basically been used for my connections and tossed aside as they felt they no longer needed me. Looking back it was a blessing in disguise. That website, who I’d love to name but I won’t because they’re the kind of A-holes that would sue, is not doing as well as they had envisioned. There is a reason for this beyond their lack of connections, skill, flair and general sloppiness. The fact is that people from Surrey don’t care about their city.

Now I’ve done it, let the comments fly! It’s true though. There are some great people in Surrey and a lot of them care about this city but they don’t identify themselves as being from Surrey. They, as well as most other people in the lower mainland, feel they are Vancouverites. Surrey doesn’t have an identity aside from being a large suburb of Vancouver. There are people who live in Surrey that trash talk their own city just as much as outsiders do. It’s actually kind of alarming how much hate Surrey residents level upon other parts of Surrey that they deem to be “the bad part of town”.

Surrey is rapidly growing, evolving and maturing but even with a fantastic mayor and some aggressive city planning Surrey will always be on the outside looking in. In recent months I’ve actually considered moving to a community better served by transit and on the other side of the soon to be tolled Port Mann bridge. Surrey is still the bomb to me, but sometimes you see things for what they really are when you get screwed by people who claim to love the same things as you.

Scott.

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Pepsi Throwback!

Is Pepsi made with real sugar better for you? No, no it most certainly is not but it can’t be worse for you than the regular high fructose corn syrup recipe. Health concerns aside I took it upon myself to try this retro cola and see how it compares with regular Pepsi.

Pepsi Throwback
Pepsi Throwback is slightly sweeter than regular Pepsi but the flavour is better, less chemical aftertaste. The sweetness is on par with typical soft drinks which is way to sweet in my opinion. Throwback seems less carbonated than regular Pepsi, and not in a “we didn’t carbonate it as much” kind of way, it’s more of a “this has gone flat” thing. The only time I really drink pop/soda is in highballs so I grabbed a bottle of Bacardi white rum out of the liquor cabinet and mixed up a drink. The flatness was magnified by the rum as was the sweetness. It was so sweet that it was hard to finish but for science sake I poured myself another, it was flat and sweet too.

One thing I really like is the old style logo and colours on the box and cans. Way better than the ugly blue look and overworked logo they currently use.

If you like Pepsi you’ll like this. If you don’t like Pepsi you probably won’t. Case closed

Scott.

Surrey Beer Club Movember cask night!

Here we are, a few weeks into the month now known as Movember and my upper lip is nestled in a luxurious hairy moustache that women and potential employers find quite off putting. It’s all worth it though as prostate cancer and male mental health are very worthy causes. In honour of Movember I am once again teaming up with the crew at Big Ridge Brewing Co. in Surrey to have a Surrey Beer Club cask night!

Join us on Thursday November 22nd for a great cause and a great time! There will be a 50/50 draw with all proceeds going towards Movember. There will also be 2 casks of delicious craft beer to enjoy alongside Big Ridge’s stellar lineup of house made brews. The first is Big Ridge Brewmaster Tariq Khan’s amazing Batterhead ESB dry hopped with Columbus and cascade. The other cask is Surrey BC’s own Russell Brewing, we’ll have a cask of their porter dry hopped with cascade hops. Awesome cold weather, warm you  right down to your cockles beer.

The casks should be tapped around 6:00 pm and the Big Ridge shuttle bus will be available for those who’ve had too much fun to drive! Call 778-938-7433 to arrange pick up, the bus will be available at the King George Skytrain station for those coming from the “other” side of the Fraser River 😉

If you can’t make it but would like to donate you can do so HERE!

I can’t wait to show you my Mo!!

Scott

Craft Beer Market preview – Guest post by Megan Harris

On Saturday October 27th, Kim and I headed to the Salt Building(85 West 1st Avenue) in The Olympic Village for Craft Beer Market‘s open house. How can you pass up an invitation to sample local craft beer, wine and food? The event took place from 12-4pm, and received a huge turnout.

When Craft Beer Market officially opens Summer 2013, it will be have 140 beers on tap, being the largest selection of draft beer in Canada.

Central City, Whistler, Granville Island, Dead Frog, Parallel 49, Howe Sound, Stanley Park, Tree, and Russell Brewing are some of the local breweries whose beers will occupy those taps, and supplied plenty of samples for guests to enjoy. Mike Macquisten from FreshTAP: Wine-On-Tap had samples of Roaring Twenties and Blasted Church wines, and Christopher Bonnallie showcased what’s available for purchase at Legacy Liquor Store which is nearly right next door to the Salt Building.

 

As for food, we were able to sample two items from the menu-to-be. “Fast Food Sushi”- cheeseburger and fries wrapped in bacon and presented sushi style, and “Hawaiian Ahi Poke”- chopped sashimi-grade tuna, cucumber, fresh ginger, garlic and sesame soy vinaigrette served with crispy wontons. We also had an assortment of bread, cheese, and meats that were brought in from Terra Breads and Urban Fare, which paired well with the beer/wine.

Women’s Ski Cross Gold Medalist Ashleigh McIvor made a special appearance from 2-3pm, taking photos and signing autographs. Ashleigh spent a lot of time in the Salt Building during the 2010 Winter Olympics, which was used for downtime by the athletes, and can’t wait to see how the iconic building will be transformed.

Craft Beer Market’s philosophy “Think Global, Support Local” was well presented at the open house. On our guided tour from co-owner PJ L’Heureux, we learned they plan to be LEAF (Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Food Service) certified, use local premium ingredients(with vegetarian and gluten-free options), have 140 taps(3km of draft lines!) and will seat 350. We can expect to see a huge bar that will take up the middle of the building, as well as an upper level for private parties and special functions.

Kim and I had a wonderful time sampling and learning about what is to come, and look forward to the official opening Summer 2013!

You can follow Craft Beer Market at CraftBeerMarket.ca, on twitter @CRAFTbeeryvr, and on facebook /CraftBeerMarketVancouver.

-Megan Harris @megana28

Sharkey’s beer dinner with Alameda Brewing

Another night, another fantastic meal at an establishment that understands the importance of craft beer. Sharkey’s Bar & Grill is nestled right alongside the Fraser River in scenic Lander and easily has one of the best summertime patios in town. They recently held a craft beer dinner with the good folks at Beerthirst featuring Portland, Oregon’s own Alameda Brewing. The social longatble dinner was a five course affair from Sharkey’s talented head chef Brent Fahl, each course paired with a unique brew from Alameda.

Chipotle Bacon Popcorn
Course number one was a first for me at a beer pairing dinner, popcorn! Not just any popcorn though, chipotle bacon popcorn! Tossed with fresh bacon bits and chipotle pepper and held together by sweet caramel. It was paired with Alameda’s Yellow Wolf IPA which is quite hoppy and everyone knows hoppy beer goes with spicy food right? Of course you did, you read this blog!

Arugula Salad
The second course was a very flavourful arugula salad with sundried tomatoes and extra aged horseradish cheddar tossed in a honey apple cider vinaigrette. It was paired with Alameda’s Oh Canada Maple Session Ale, a fantastic pairing. The sweetness from the dressing, the rich bite from the cheddar and the peppery arugula paired extremely well with the slightly sweet maple session ale.

Chicken with Chorizo sauce
Course number three was an oven braised boneless, skinless chicken breast served with chorizo and sweet corn sauce. It came with a side of house cut fries which had been steeped in a wheat ale. The Chicken was moist and delicious and the chorizo sauce was rich and creamy with a little sweetness from the corn, really nice. The fries were awesome, steeping them in the wheat ale gave them a slightly sweet and very enjoyable flavour. This dish was paired with Alameda’s Black Bear XX Stout, probably the only beer in their lineup that could hold it’s own against this intensely flavoured dish.  I wouldn’t say the pairing was spot on but they didn’t oppose each other so it worked.

Half lobster tail
The fourth course was a baked half lobster tail drizzled with asparagus butter and served with basmati rice. The lobster was decadent and the asparagus butter was a great choice by Chef Fahl. The rice, as minor as this seems, was the most perfectly cooked basmati rice I’ve ever had which is quite a feat when you’re cooking for 45 people at once. Also I’m from Surrey so, you know, I’ve eaten A LOT of basmati rice over the years. This dish was paired with Alameda’s Barn Owl Imperial Brown Ale. This is a fantastic beer, it’s basically a traditional English brown ale but with a 7.9% alcohol kick and some very complex malt flavours. The pairing was really nice as well, the malt really balanced out the sweet and savoury elements of this dish.

Pumpkin spice cake
The fifth and final course was a pumpkin spice cake. I don’t like pumpkin flavoured things, I’ve made this very clear over the years but I thought I’d be a big boy and at least give it a try. It was a pumpkin sponge cake layered with vanilla ice cream topped with fresh whipped cream along with warm pumpkin and sour cherry compote and some pumpkin seed brittle. I actually loved it, the spice normally associated with pumpkin was very subtle and the ice cream/whipped cream melded with the sponge cake in a cold creamy mouthful of joy. The pumpkin seed brittle was amazing too! It was paired with Alameda’s P-Town Pilsner, thankfully not a pumpkin beer! The P-town Pilsner is a good representation of a  German style pilsner but it uses Noble hops (I think…) which impart an almost corn-like flavour. I’m told this is true to the style but it’s not my favourite pilsner. I am very thankful it was not a pumpkin beer though…

All this for $35.99 plus tax and tip, a ridiculous deal if you ask me. Cheers to Sharkey’s man in charge Andrea Frustaci (Dre to all the cool kids) for embracing the craft beer movement!!

Twitter – @sharkeyladner

Facebook – facebook.com/Sharkeys-Seafood-Bar-Grille

Blog – sharkeysgrille.wordpress.com

Web – sharkeys.ca

Scott

Movember 2012, join team WFLBC!

Ladies and gentlemen Movember is here. I look forward to this glorious month every year and religiously shave of my trademark chin warmer in favour of a hairy upper lip. This year Movember has expanded from it’s original mandate of raising prostate cancer awareness and is now championing male mental health as well.  Both of these causes are seldom talked about and adding mental health to the Movember agenda is a great move.

So what can you do to help? I’m glad you asked! It’s great to donate money and if you can I would be most appreciative (you can donate HERE) but what I really want is for you to join my team! Team WFLBC is looking to recruit Mo Bro’s and Mo Sista’s to help us raise money. Hit up you friends, your family, even your co workers and people on Facebook you haven’t seen in 20 years. You don’t have to grow a moustache to make a difference, I’ll be doing that on behalf of the team. If you want to grow a Mo please do and post pictures on the team page! Ladies, you are my secret weapon, guys who are afraid to grow a Mo will gladly fork over a few bucks to a awesome woman who supports men’s health!

Knowledge is power, moustache is king. Join my Movember team HERE. We’ll be holding a Movember Cask night fundraiser at Big Ridge Brewing Co. in Surrey on November 22nd. There will be amazing craft beer, great people, fine moustaches and a donation box! I’ll post all the details in the next week or so.

Thanks in advance for your amazing support!!

Scott.