Central City Brewing Co. is living proof that Surrey is indeed the bomb. Located in (wait for it) the Central City complex that houses a shopping mall, an SFU campus and one of the best looking buildings in Greater Vancouver, they make world class craft beer that has won numerous awards over the past few years. Did I mention the building they’re located in? I seriously love the Central City Tower, it’s a true architectural gem that is very under appreciated by most of the GVRD. I stopped in for a few beers, dinner and some NFL playoff football watching recently with my cousin Kurt (@truKrenruT).
Central City has tons of free parking and is right next to the Surrey Central Skytrain Station, I highly recommend my readers from north of the Fraser hop on the train and give Central City a try. I would list all of the beer/brewing/brewpub awards they’ve racked up since 2008 but it’s easier to just give you guys the link. I started out with their amazingly good Imperial IPA which has won some sort of beer award every year since 2008 and it’s quite deserving of the praise it gets. I followed that up with their Winter Ale, a seasonal beer that is unlike other overly sweet winter ales. This beer has a nice malty body with a subtle hop finish and a very mild sweetness. It’s quite nice. I had an ESB as well before returning to the fantastic imperial IPA. I’ve never met a Red Racer beer I didn’t like (aside from a lemongrass infused pin cask of their pale ale…). 2013 will be the year that BC breweries start to overtake their Pacific Northwest and Californian competition, you heard it here first. Canadian craft beer has never been better and it gets better with every new brewery that opens up!
The food at Central City is also outstanding and has really moved upmarket since the hiring of Executive Chef Carl Sawatsky a few years ago. Having spent time as the Executive Chef at Bacchus Bistro at Domaine De Chamberton Winery Chef Sawatsky has changed a very pedestrian pub menu into something that encompasses locally sourced, high quality ingredients and non traditional dishes along side modern twists on traditional pub grub. After publishing this post I’ve learned that Chef Sawatsky may not be with Central City any more (he’s still listed as Executive Chef on their Facebook page) but his menu remains and is still executed quite well.
Kurt and I both ordered the same thing, the Braised Shortrib Beef Dip and I’m happy to say this is one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in recent memory. Red Racer beer braised short rib, pickled grilled zucchini, stout cheddar from Farmhouse Cheeses in Agassiz, crispy onions, horseradish Dijon mayo, served on a house made ciabatta bun with Au Jus for dipping. I think I got a little lucky because my short rib was roughly an inch think, Kurt’s was less thick but it was still enough. The pickled zucchini is awesome, the stout cheddar is rich and delicious and the bun is fresh and tasty. The fries are good, nothing mind blowing but good non the less.
Great Beer, great food, great building, great pub. Go check it out if you’ve never been and if you haven’t been in awhile it’s worth a revisit.