Casks for Surrey Memorial – UPDATED

It’s been awhile since my last fundraiser so let’s do this! Big Ridge Brewing Co. and the South Fraser Beer Club present Casks for Surrey Memorial. Join us Thursday August 28th at 6pm to help me show my appreciation to Surrey Memorial Hospital for saving my daughter’s life earlier this summer after a near drowning incident. Words cannot express my gratitude.

Casks for SMH

There will be 3 casks of local craft beer on hand. One from Big Ridge, one from Fuggles and Warlock Craftworks (their Super 8 Bit IPA no less!) and one from Surrey’s own Russell Brewing. Lots of local businesses have donated items for our silent auction/raffle including Dead Frog Brewing, Famoso Pizzeria, The Joseph Richard Group, Tasty Indian Bistro, Starbucks, Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store,  Dageraad Brewing, and more. Big Ridge Brewing will also be offering up some great swag along with hosting and organising the casks. We will also be doing a 50/50 draw. I can’t say enough about Rob and the whole team at Big Ridge and the Mark James Group, Their generosity over the years has helped me raise a lot of money for some amazing charities.

Hayley says thank you!!!
Hayley says thank you!!!

I hope to see everyone and I can’t wait to do some good for Surrey Memorial Hospital! The Big Ridge shuttle will be making trips to King George Station and it’s regular area, call 7789387433 to schedule a pick up and get home safe. DJ Alibaba will be playing all of your favourite hits from the 80’s and 90’s too.

There’s a Facebook event page here, invite all of your friends!

Please help us spread the word by sharing this on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or wherever you can.




What’s new at Surrey’s fabulous Tap Restaurant

It always makes me smile when I mention Tap Restaurant in conversation with someone who lives outside of Surrey. When I start describing Tap the envy washes over them, it’s a hidden gem in every sense. I first wrote about Tap WAY back in January of 2012 and it’s been one of my favourites ever since. Tap had a little get together recently to promote some new things they’re doing and they were nice enough to invite me out to see what they’re up to.


The night was filled with delicious tapas paired with exceptional wines. The tapas were some of the items featured in their Events Package which is really great for anyone looking to have an event in Surrey who wants something nicer than a pub or community hall, the usual options. They are experts in planning and executing special events like weddings, rehearsal dinners, corporate dinners, fundraising, bridal & baby showers and they even offer in home dinner parties.

Tap is a great room with a warm, inviting atmosphere tucked away in quiet suburbia. A true oasis in a desert of chain restaurants. If you’d like to know more about Tap’s Event Program give them a call at 604-536-1954 or shoot them an email at

I’m going to post all the pictures of my tapas now so you can drool and wish they weren’t just pictures on a computer screen. Enjoy!

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Twitter – @TapRestaurant

Facebook – Tap Restaurant

Internets –


Make your own #TeamHogShack award winning Buffalo Slaw Dog

bbq2Every now and then Hog Shack Cook House chef/owner John Lim Hing invites me to join him at a competition BBQ event, actually he invites me to all of them because I work for free breakfast. The last one we did, The Canadian Festival of Chili and BBQ at Langley’s Cascades Casino included a “Best Hot Dog” special category on Saturday. A week or 2 before the competition Johnny texts me and tells me that I’m doing the hot dog… I pooped my pants a little. I eat food, I have an opinion about food, I write about food and I cook at home all the time and think I do a pretty good job. This was different though, people would be judging my hot dog against some of the top BBQ cooks in the Pacific Northwest. You’ll never guess what happened.


We won!! First place, I was in total shock. So in honour of my first win at anything food related, ever, I’m going to share the winning hot dog with you and tell you where to get everything that was on it!

The Beast is here

I had a secret weapon, Beast and Brine in South Surrey. I used their amazing Buffalo Jalapeno Cheese Smokies, smoked cheddar, house made pickles and some ridiculous Kozlik’s Sweet and Smoky mustard. Johnny brought along some of his Hog Shack coleslaw and I picked up some hot dog buns from the best bakery in the lower mainland, Fieldstone, which happens to be right beside Beast and Brine.

Random nighttime BBQ competition shot
Random nighttime BBQ competition shot

The bun was un-toasted and sliced open lengthwise but not so much that it broke into 2 pieces. I laid a generous base of mustard on both sides followed by 2 thin(ish) slices of the smoked cheddar running the length of the bun. I cut the pickles lengthwise into thin strips and laid 2 slices across the length of the bun. Then we made a nest out of the Hog Shack coleslaw, if you make your own coleslaw ( because I don’t think John’s going to give out the recipe lol) don’t make it too saucy, the smokie/pickle are juicy enough. I cooked the smokie over relatively low heat, around 300 degrees, until it started to firm up. I tried to take them off the heat before the casing burst and I was able to save enough of them for a nice result.

Where’s the picture? There isn’t one. I barely made the turn-in time. It’s just a hot dog so don’t worry about how it looks, it’ll taste amazing. This little beauty got us a nice blue ribbon and $150. Not bad for a hot dog.


Contest – Win a day at Hastings Racecourse for two from WFLBC!

Recently I had the opportunity to check out Hastings Racecourse with the BCLC and a group of local bloggers. I haven’t been to Hastings in over a decade and I was surprised by how good it looks. We were wined and dined, given access to some pretty cool places. one of which was the starting gate which is an experience I’ll never forget. In return for some tweets and pictures I was given a certificate for a Hastings Racing Experience for 2 and I want to give it to YOU!


The prize consists of admission to Silks Restaurant, reserved seating and a buffet for 2 guests (must be 19+) and an official Hastings program. How do you enter? There’s 3 ways, Tweet “I entered to win a @HastingsRaces experience for 2 from @WFLBC and @BCLC. RT to enter”. Leave a comment on our Facebook page telling us why you want to go or leave a comment at the bottom of this post!


Thanks to Hastings Racecourse and the BC Lottery Corp for having me out, it was a fantastic day. Don’t forget that Hastings also has Craft Beer Cask Nights every friday! The winner will be selected on Friday June 21st, good luck!



Craft Beer Alert! Cask nights at Hastings Racecourse

I’m sure you guys were all following along last weekend when I had the chance to spend the day at Hastings Racecourse. It was a great day and I’ll be doing a draw for a Hastings Racecourse prize pack in the next few days so stay tuned!


While I was at the track I noticed a banner that said Hastings has a cask night. It’s a new program that just launched a week or 2 ago and it’s awesome to see such a unique place jumping on the craft beer bandwagon! Cask night is every Friday night at 7:30pm and this week they’re featuring Coal Harbour Brewing Company‘s 311 Helles Lager.


So, who’s up for some horse racing and craft beer?? I love it.



Surrey Beer Club is happening this Thursday! Want to know what the casks will be?


It’s almost here! This Thursday (Feb 21st) marks the 3rd edition of our Surrey Beer Club meet/tweetups at Big Ridge Brewing Co. in Surrey! Join us a 5pm for great beer, good times and a good cause!

BR logo

We’ll have 2 casks, one from Tariq at Big Ridge and one from Derrick at Whistler Brewhouse. Tariq’s cask is his Sullivan Porter dry hopped with Brambling Cross. Derrick’s cask is his Alta Lake Ale dry hopped with Sorachi Ace. You can also try Tariq’s latest seasonal which is a single hopped Vienna style lager, I haven’t had it yet but I hear it’s outstanding!

BH logo

We’ll be holding a 50/50 draw and a raffle with some cool prizes like an hour long photo session from Contra Studios, some gift cards, some Big Ridge swag and a beer basket put together by yours truly! All proceeds are going to Variety the Children’s Charity. If you can’t make it and would like to donate you can do so HERE. You’ll get a tax receipt and if you mention Hayley Graham (my daughter) in your donation we’ll get a notification!

Thanks for all your support and I look forward to seeing you Thursday night!



The WFLBC annual Variety BC fundraiser is here!

It’s almost Hayley’s 3rd birthday, I can’t believe she’s almost 3! As we do every year we are going to raise some money for Variety the Children’s Charity as a way of thanking them for their continued support throughout Hayley’s life. Recently Hayley was fitted with special inserts for her shoes to help her walk, the results were immediate. I’ve never seen her run so fast! For those of you that may not know Hayley was born 13.5 weeks premature, weighed only 1 pound 11.5 ounces and was 11 inches long. She is my hero and has beaten the odds from day one growing to be a healthy happy little girl who amazes me on a daily basis with her intellect and sense of humour.

Hayley's shoe inserts
Hayley’s shoe inserts

When she was born I made a slideshow for my family to watch as they were unable to visit her in the NICU. You can watch that slideshow below but I’m told it makes people cry happy tears, you’ve been warned. In total Hayley spent 93 days in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) at Royal Columbian Hospital and then Surrey Memorial Hospital.

So how are we going to raise money this year? Surrey Beer Club of course! On February 21st join us at Big Ridge Brewing Co. in Surrey (5580 152nd street) for another super fun night of craft beer, good times and great people. The casks will be tapped at 5pm, if you’ve been to one of our events already you know the beer will be fantastic!

I’ve also set up a donation page where you can donate any amount you’d like to Variety BC. This event is free for anyone to attend but if you’d like to donate you can do so by buying a “ticket” at . There’s a fee that goes directly to for using their service but other than that 100% of the proceeds go to Variety BC, we aren’t doing this for profit, we’re doing it for Hayley 🙂

This was Hayley when she was born.

Tiny miracle
Tiny miracle

This is Hayley today, she’s such an amazing kid.


Join us and help support a great cause!


Second annual Beerthirst Tour de Richmond

What happens on the bus stays on the bus.
What happens on the bus stays on the bus.

It’s hard to believe the first Tour de Richmond was a year ago, it feels like it was a lot longer than a year. This year’s event was a beer and sandwich throw down featuring Rogue Brewing from Portland. Each pub/restaurant on the tour was assigned a specific Rogue beer and they had to come up with a sandwich to pair with it. The stops were Hogshack Cookhouse, The Buck and Ear, Sharkey’s (in Lander), O’hare’s and The Pumphouse. I was asked to judge the beer and sandwich pairings along with my pals Dennis Pang and Lynn McIlwee, it’s a tough job but we were up for the task. We all met up at Landsdowne station on the Canada Line, climbed in a big yellow school bus and headed for stop number one, The Hogshack.

Meat on the left, Quinoa on the right

The team at Hogshack had Rogue’s Dry Hopped St. Rogue Red Ale, a well hopped red ale that Chef/owner John Lim Hing decided to pair with an Asian inspired slider. Bulgogi marinated beef and bacon patty with kimchi slaw, pickled carrots and spicy mayo on a brioche bun. I was tasty and the judges also got to try the vegetarian option. The veggie patty was made with quinoa and beets so it looked like beef, the texture was obviously not meat but it was damn good, as good if not better than the beef burger. Dennis and I had joked that if anyone made a veggie sandwich we were going to start flipping tables, I would give up meat for this slider, ok no I wouldn’t but it was good. My only criticism is they both needed a little more spice.

Fish Taco
Fish Taco

So, is a burger a sandwich? As it turns out there was only one place that made an actual “sandwich”. The next stop was The Buck & Ear, a place that I’ve never been to but they’ve recently started carrying some nice craft beer so I’m sure I’ll be back. They were given Rogue’s Captain Sig’s Northwestern Ale, an ode to Sig Hansen of Deadliest Catch fame and his famous crab fishing boat The Northwestern. The Buck made us a Fish Taco (not a sandwich) on a toasted flour tortilla with shrimp, halibut, prawns and fresh salsa. The pairing didn’t really do anything for me, they didn’t oppose each other but they didn’t really compliment each other either. The taco itself was quite messy, maybe a little too much filling for the tortilla and I only found one prawn. It was a pretty standard pub food representation of a fish taco.

Doughnut burger
Doughnut slider

It was time to get back on the bus and head to Ladner, the bus seemed a lot more “lively” after stop 2 and it just go louder after each stop, lol. Sharkey’s in Ladner had Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale which is probably their most well known brew. Chef Brent Fahl went way off the map with a doughnut slider (still not really a sandwich). The slider actually worked well, the sweet doughnut with the savoury beef and an acidic tomato to balance them out. If this was a full sized burger I think it wouldn’t have worked as well, to much going on, but as a slider it worked and the pairing worked as well. My only other quibble is that it was kind of hard to eat due to the doughnut being really soft. The side of popcorn was clearly an attempt to get Dennis Pang’s vote as his company is called Popcorn, if they made bacon popcorn Dennis would’ve had no choice but to pick them. Oh so close haha!

Chicken spring rolls
Chicken spring rolls

Stop number 4 involved the longest drunken bus ride I’ve ever been a part of and it was awesome. From Ladner back to Steveston and O’Hare’s Gastropub. O’Hare’s had Rogue’s Brutal IPA which isn’t as hoppy as you’d expect with a name like “Brutal”. Clocking in at a respectable 59 IBU’s it’s still a worthy IPA. O’Hare’s paired it with chicken filled spring rolls (also not a sandwich). They were tasty, with some sort of cheese and a spicy aioli on the side. The old palate was getting a little weak at this point and the descriptions were getting a little hard to come by but everyone was having such a great time it didn’t really matter. I think their regular menu item “Irish Spring Rolls” are better though, corned beef, Swiss Cheese and sauerkraut, basically a Reuben in spring roll form. The pairing worked, IPA’s always pair well with spice.

House made Banh Mi, AN ACTUAL SANDWICH!!!
House made Banh Mi, AN ACTUAL SANDWICH!!!

The 5th and final stop was The Pumphouse, a short bus ride from O’Hare’s that I don’t totally remember. The Pumphouse has seen me at my very best and my very worst but I always have a great time there. They had Rogue’s Yellow Snow IPA, another hoppy American style IPA. Chef Daniela Iaci actually made a sandwich!!!! And one of my all time favourite sandwich a Vietnamese classic, the Banh Mi. Chicken liver pate, cucumbers, carrots, roasted pork, sriracha aioli in french bread. It was a good representation of a bahn mi made on a large scale. The pairing was nice as well. There was a little too much bread for me, a regular bahn mi is served on it’s own little french loaf where these were made on large loafs and sliced into servable sizes. It was missing something that I can’t quite put my finger on, not enough acidity or something but overall it was good and I was happy someone actually made a sandwich for a beer and sandwich throw down.

Rogue Beer
Rogue Beer

Over the last year I’ve had a lot of fun with the gang at Beerthirst and I’d like to thank them for all of the events they’ve invited me to blog about, it’s given me exposure in the craft beer community and introduced me to a lot of great new friends. I think it’s time to pass the torch to another blogger, someone up and coming who could use a few events to hone their blogging skills. There’s a good pool of talented hungry bloggers out there and I’m sure they’ll be up to the task. If you want to know who won I think it will be announced at Beerthirst .com sometime this week, or maybe on their Twitter account. Or you could just DM me or text me if we’re tight like that, the winner was unanimous. UPDATED – The winner by unanimous decision is Hogshack Cookhouse! Peoples choice goes to The Buck & Ear, well done everyone!

Just to be “That Guy” I’m going to give you my rankings. #1 – Hogshack Cookhouse, #2 – Pumphouse Pub, #3 – Sharkey’s, #4 – O’hare’s, #5 – The Buck & Ear.


Canadian Club + Mad Men = Good Times

What’s the best way to celebrate the launch of the latest season of Mad Men on Blu-Ray? Have an event at Vancouver’s swanky Terminal City Club, invite Canadian Club along to make some cocktails, give a tasting of their products and give away a beautiful Hamilton watch. Add some of Vancouver’s finest folks dressed in 1960’s era clothing and good times are a sure thing.

Surprised they let me in such an upper crust establishment? Me too, and it’s my second time there! The Terminal City Club is a great place for an event and a lot of other folks thought the same thing as the turnout was very good. All three Canadian Club cocktails were great but my favourite was the Old Fashioned. The whisky tasting was fun and the Canadian Club brand ambassador gave us a lot of great details about CC’s three different Rye Whisky’s which were all very different. I’m a Scotch man and my palate for Rye isn’t nearly as refined, something I’m going to have to improve!

Thanks again to Dunn PR for putting on another great event!