MOA longtable dinner at The Pumphouse with Beerthirst

New Zealand craft beer is seriously popular right now and MOA beer is riding that wave right into BC courtesy of the fine folks at Beerthirst. Beerthirst has once again teamed up with the Pumphouse Pub is sunny Richmond for a 5 course beer pairing dinner. Leo and the gang at Beerthirst were kind enough to invite me to join them.

Thai scallop ceviche
Thai scallop ceviche

Course 1 was a delightfully fresh Thai Scallop Ceviche paired with MOA’s brilliant Methode pilsner. The ceviche was crisp and flavourful with hint of heat and citrus notes that paired perfectly with the champagne yeast and Pacifica and Motueka hops in the Methode. I liked this beer so much that I just bought 3 bottles and plan on adding it to my regular rotation.

Shrimp and corn fritters
Shrimp and corn fritters

Shrimp and corn fritters paired with MOA Pale Ale became what we referred to as course number 2… Actually that’s because it was course 2, whatever. The deep fried fritters were delicious, seasoned right and had lots of shrimpy goodness. The savoury flavours paired very well with MOA’s Pale Ale and its malty back end with subtle but fragrant and delicious Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops. New Zealand hops are incredible.

Poutine
Poutine

Course 3 was the one we were all waiting for because POUTINE! Hand cut fries with caramelized onions, crisp bacon and Gorgonzola creama paired with MOA St. Joseph Belgian style tripel. The poutine, although non traditional, was outstanding. The salty bacon cut through the funky but awesome Gorgonzola while the caramelized onions added a little sweetness. The MOA St. Joseph is a nice example of a classic triple with the flair that New Zealand beers are known for. The pairing was sadly not there for me but on their own the poutine and beer were great. This dish was CRYING for a hoppy pale ale and MOA’s Five Hop would’ve been just the ticket.

Wok Duck
Wok Duck

The 4th course was “Wok duck”. Crispy fried duck with a sour cherry beer demi glaze paired with MOA Noir, a dark lager. This dish was sadly way off the mark. I’m hoping I just got a bad one because these longtable dinners are usually spot on. The duck wasn’t crispy and was difficult to remove from the bone. The sour cherry beer demi glaze was quite nice, I wish there was more of it on the duck. The MOA Noir is a solid example of a dark lager with strong coffee notes and an abv that’s a very sessionable 5%.

Dark chocolate mocha cup
Dark chocolate mocha cup

The fifth and final course was everything I hoped it would be and more. Hand made dark chocolate mocha cups filled with crunchy almond cream and topped with smoked sea salt. Wow, just… Wow. Super rich, intensely sweet but cut down by the smoked salt. Creamy, crunchy, melty, dreamy. It was paired with MOA’s stellar Imperial Stout which weighs in at a hefty 10.2% abv and tips the hop scales at over 100 IBU’s. This is a MASSIVE beer. The funny thing is that, as Chris from 16th Street Liquor Store put it, this is the only dish that could cause a huge imperial stout to act as a palate cleanser, the desert was that rich. Awesome pairing, awesome beer, awesome dish. Perfect ending to the night.

Big thanks to The Kooner Hospitality Group and Beerthirst for buying me yet another dinner, you guys rock. If you haven’t been to one of these dinners I highly recommend you check one out, they’re one of the best values in town.

Scott.

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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.

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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.

Scott.

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

The first Surrey Beer Club is in the books!

What a great night. The first ever Surrey Beer Club Tweetup went down last night at Big Ridge Brewing Company and I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome. We raised over $700 for the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation, drank some great hand made beer from Big Ridge and Dead Frog and proved that the craft beer scene in Surrey is thriving. I’d like to say a huge thank you to Rebecca Bollwitt, aka Miss604, Big Ridge Brewing’s brew master Tariq Kahn, Beerthirst and every single person who came out to support this cause.

If you have a goal. a vision in your head about something you want to achieve you have no choice but to make it a reality. My life’s mission is to promote this city and to be a good father, Surrey Memorial Hospital played a large part in my daughter’s life and there’s no better feeling than giving back. Thanks for all of the support, I think we should do this more often.

Scott.

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.

What’s happening with Beerthirst at Vancouver Craft Beer Week

Vancouver Craft Beer Week kicks off this Friday, May 18th at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Gastown. I will be there with the Beerthirst crew so come find us! Wait, you want to hang out with us all week? Well ok, here’s a rundown of where we’ll be!

Saturday May 19th we will be at O’Hares Pub in Steveston (5031 Steveston Hwy) for the Russell Brewing/North Coast Brewing tap takeover from 6pm-closing. This is a non ticketed event, all you have to do is show up! There will be a Russell dry hopped double IPA cask and a keg of the VCBW collaboration beer!! As an added bonus Leo will also be giving out free hugs to anyone who sings his favourite Duran Duran song to him.

Sunday May 20th we’ll be at Hogshack Cookhouse in Steveston (3900 Bayview st) for the debut of Odin Brewing in Canada. I’m particularly excited about this event because Odin takes great care in making sure their beers pair well with food, and as you all know I love the Hogshack! This one runs from 6-10pm, tickets are $35. Call 604-272-7264 for tickets and tell them Scotty sent you.

Monday May 21st we will be at Biercraft on Cambie (3305 Cambie st) for a Belgian Showcase with over 50 Belgian and Belgian style beers along with Belgian inspired hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are $75 and are all inclusive, just call 604-874-6900.

Tuesday and Wednesday there are some great events all around town but the Beerthirst crew and I will be chugging Pepto Bismol and piggybacking Tylenol and Advil to get ready for Thursday. Check out vancouvercraftbeerweek.com to see what’s up on our days off.

Thursday we’ll be at The Pumphouse Pub in Richmond (6031 Blundell rd) from 5pm-late for the Elysian Tap Takeover and Homebrew contest. 20 different beers from Seattle’s Elysian Brewing with their brewmaster Dick Cantwell on hand. He will be judging the homebrew contest where I look forward to trying Tony “The Warlock” Iaci’s much hyped homebrew. Tony is the manager at the Pumphouse so I’ll be watching closely for back room deal making.

Friday May 25th from 5-10pm and Saturday the 26th from 2-7pm (which is my birthday, in case you wanted to buy me something) we will be at the VCBW Beer Festival at The Salt Building in the Olympic Village (85 west 1st ave). If you have tickets already you are a lucky duck as both days are sold out!!

If you ever wanted to stalk me this is the time! See you next week craft beer lovers!!

Scott.

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.

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.

Pumphouse Pub Longtable dinner with Anderson Valley Brewing Co.

Longtable dinners have to be my favorite thing about my partnership with Beerthirst. Multiple courses of food paired with craft beer from one of our great partners, this time it was Anderson Valley Brewing Co. from Boonville, California. This dinner was at The Pumphouse Pub in Richmond and was a 5 course affair with Anderson Valley’s owner/president Trey White in attendance all the way from Boonville.

Course 1 was deep fried oysters in a remoulade paired with Anderson Valley Boont ESB (Extra Special Bitter). The oysters were quite large and cooked very nicely, not greasy or rubbery and the remoulade was well seasoned, The ESB was a nice pairing with it’s bitterness offsetting the salt and breading of the oysters. Chef Daniela Iaci did a great job on the food and the pairings, as she always does.

Course 2 was an iceberg wedge salad with crumbled blue cheese, bacon and toasted hazelnuts. The iceberg wedge might have been a little too big given the amount of other things on the plate being a little less than needed but if you took a little of everything in a single bite it was awesome. The salad was paired with Anderson Valley Horse Tongue Wheat which was a great pairing with the blue cheese of the salad given the beers strong Brett character.

Course 3 was honey and IPA marinated salmon with spiced vegetable cous cous paired with Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’ IPA. The salmon was cooked perfectly as was the cous cous and the flavors of this dish were well balanced. The Hop Ottin’ IPA probably wouldn’t have been my first choice to pair with this dish but what do I know, it worked! The Hop Ottin’ IPA is a very well done west coast style IPA with great balance, I’m going to pick up a few of these for the beer fridge very soon.

Course 4 was spicy tangerine beef and fried rice paird with Anderson Valley Imperial IPA. Spice + IPA = happy Scott. There are 2 beer pairings that can’t miss, spicy food with IPA and sweet desserts with stout. The beef had a nice citrus kick from the tangerine and a slight heat. The Imperial IPA is also a west coast style IPA but this one is a hop monster. So good.

The fifth and final course was beignets with espresso pudding and stout syrup paired with Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout. The beignets, which are deep fried dough sprinkled with confectioners sugar typical of New Orleans. were warm on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside. The pudding and stout syrup were very sweet on their own but dipping the beignets into them was great. The Oatmeal Stout was rich, chocolaty and dark, just the way I like my stouts. Unlike a lot of really great stouts this one checks in at a somewhat low 5.7abv which is good news for those who want to have more than one and carry on a normal conversation.

Check out Beerthirst.com to get in on the next longtable dinner, it’s a great time!

Scott.

Green Flash Brewing Co. – Rayon Vert – Booze Reviews!!

Green Flash Brewing Co. of San Diego, California is probably best known for making one of the best India Pale Ale’s in North America, West Coast IPA. They also make a very impressive Double Stout but the subject of this Review is their Belgian style pale ale called Rayon Vert which is french for “green flash” (roughly). Rayon Vert is a beautiful copper color and builds a very nice foamy head when poured. It’s a cloudy beer with a strong brettannomyces flavor typical of Belgian beers. My fairly inexperienced palette is usually turned off by strong “Brett” type beers but there are a few that are so well balanced and refreshing that I’m starting to appreciate the subtleties of these complex brews. Rayon Vert is one of my favorites.

Rayon Vert is available at finer wine and beer retailers all over Greater Vancouver and where ever Beerthirst products are sold. Look for amazing beers like this on the menus of your favorite restaurants very soon and if you love craft beer let your favorite restaurants know that you want it on their menus!! Stay tuned for some new restaurant announcements in the near future, the craft beer revolution is coming Vancouver, are you ready?

Scott.