The Taphouse Guildford. Craft Beer And Good Eats In Surrey

The craft beer scene in Surrey is at an interesting point in its evolution. You can find craft beer at most pubs and restaurants but you’d be lucky to find more than 3 taps and a couple of bottles to choose from. There’s Big Ridge and Central City, both are fantastic but you’re limited to their beers. That’s not a bad thing but it’s always nice to have a little more choice. The Taphouse offers 20+ taps, 12-15 of which are craft with local and non local options. Is there another spot in Surrey with that kind of craft selection? No, not even close, and don’t bring up Hawthorne because that place is terrible.

Hot wings
Hot wings

I’ve been to The Taphouse before but this was the first time I was there to eat. We started out with some classic Hot Wings ($10/pound). Hot but not too hot, nice flavour, good mix of drummies and flatties (ya, I said it). Good stuff.

Brisket beef dip
Brisket beef dip

Sticking with classic pub food I opted for The Beef Dip ($13), slow roasted house smoked brisket on a garlic baguette with light horseradish mayo and a side of jus. The meat was tender, juicy, and full of flavour. The smoke and the horseradish mayo work well together and I may have detected a hint of liquid smoke in the jus but I might be wrong. This is a tasty example of a pub food staple. The fries were good too, fresh cut kosher salted Kennebec potatoes,

Mmmmm brisket
Mmmmm brisket

If you were a Bar Star in the 90’s you already know where The Taphouse is. It lives where The Mirage night club used to take all my money on $1 drink night… 15330 102a Ave in beautiful Guildford.

The only word of caution I have is that a lot of the servers seem new so service can be inconsistent.

Twitter – @taphouse_pub

Facebook – taphouseguildford

Instagram – Not that I can find…

World wide web – thetaphouse.ca

Scott.

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First Look – 12 Kings Pub

Ah The Biltmore Hotel… It has been many things over the years. It currently serves as a social housing facility and is home to the Biltmore Cabaret and its newest tenant, 12 Kings Pub. 12 Kings is the love child of a bunch of Craft Beer fans who wanted to watch sports in a pub that had their favourite local breweries on tap. I remember drinking at The Locker Room, the bar that lived here prior to 12 Kings, while I was building the elevators across the street back in 2007. That place was a dump. After the Whitecaps disappointing home opener I headed over to 12 Kings to drown my sorrows.

12 Kings Pub
12 Kings Pub

The beer list is exactly what you would expect from a place run by former CAMRA Vancouver executives. They have 12 constantly changing taps pouring all things local and delicious. The also have 311 Helles Lager and a shot of Jameson on special from time to time if you like to walk in wobbly lines back to the Skytrain, at least that’s how I remember it.

The Hammer Burger
The Hammer Burger

To counteract the copious amounts of alcohol it takes to forget a loss to TFC I ordered The Hammer Burger. Nice house made patty, bacon, smoked Gouda, crispy onions, drunken mushrooms (whatever that means?) and the usual fixings. I don’t know what I was expecting from the food at 12 Kings but this was a tasty burger. It really surprised me to be honest. Yes, those are tater tots on the side, I highly recommend them. The only complaint I had was that the crispy onions were a little chewy and didn’t seem fresh.

The renovations have erased all signs of The Locker Room. The place is almost unrecognisable, in a good way.

12 Kings runs a shuttle bus to and from BC Place on Whitecaps game days, they offer a Southsiders discount, and they show all of the Whitecaps away games as well as Canucks, Lions, and whatever other sport you’re into.

Well done boys, you’ve found exactly what Vancouver was missing.

Twitter – @12KingsPub

Facebook – 12 Kings Pub

Web – 12kingspub.com

Scott.

 

Burrard Public House in Port Moody

Have you ever been to Port Moody? It’s at the end of the Barnet Highway and is directly across the water from Deep Cove. It’s a great place to live and play.

A few days ago I went to the Burrard Public House on St. John’s Street in Port Moody which opened at the tail end of November 2011. Formerly a hotel, the new owners have done a complete renovation to the interior, and I have to say it’s pretty nice. It’s a big place with large booths and lots of seating. I went on a Tuesday, but I’ve been following their Facebook page for a few months and driven past on weekends and it looks like they can put on a good party.

Cucumber Collins

I started off with a Cucumber Collins (Rochele is a cocktail girl, Scott is a beer man) and it was refreshing, but just a little too sweet. I tried my friend’s Mango Mojito, too, and I liked that a lot more. The mango was subtle, but it is there.

Fresh Flash Fried Potato Chips

I could not resist their Fresh Flash Fried Potato Chips. They were fun and tasty with cajun seasoning and an aoili sauce on the side. I resisted asking for ketchup, but it was very much a hybrid of potato chips and French fries. I am grateful that I had someone to share them with, because there is a lot in one order of these. For a main plate I ordered the Perogies, served with bacon, onions, and sour cream. It was good pub food, exactly what I was expecting.

Perogies with Bacon, Onions, and Sour Cream

I wish that it wasn’t a Tuesday, that I didn’t have to work the next day, and that I didn’t have to drive. They have a lot of drink specials throughout the week. They also have a patio, so I might be a regular there this summer. Let me know what you think! – Rochele

The hottest wings in town…for real

A few weeks ago I decided kind of last minute that I wanted to catch the Canucks game at a pub. What pub you ask? Why Big Ridge Brewing Company of course! I’m a big fan of Big Ridge for a lot of reasons, good beer, good food and my latest discovery, the hottest wings I’ve had in a looooong time, maybe even the hottest wings I’ve ever had. The scary part is that they were “Level 4” and I’m pretty sure there’s a “Level 5″…

Executive Chef Charlie Yang is a wizard of spice, I sampled his level 1 hot sauce with an order of butter chicken which was fantastic. It adds a nice mild heat that lingers in the mouth but adds flavor to an already very good Indian dish. Charlie was actually born in Calcutta and says this is where he spice pallet comes from. We asked if he had anything hotter and he brought us a small sample of his level 3 on a spoon. It had amazing flavor with a hint of star anise and the heat was intense but bearable.

Many drinks later and after being called a few names by the girls sitting beside us at the bar my cousin Kurt and I decided to take Charlie up on his offer of level 4 wings. The level 4 isn’t a sauce, it’s a dry rub which is 70% Ghost Chili, the hottest (well, second hottest, apparently) pepper in the world. To put it in perspective a Jalapeno pepper is somewhere between 3,500–8,000 Scoville units (the scale by which spicy peppers are graded) and the Ghost Chili, also know as the Bhut Jolokia chili pepper, is between 855,000 and 1.5 million Scoville units…so for those keeping score that’s at the very least 106 times hotter than a Jalapeno pepper.

Kurt and I both ate 2 wings very quickly and one of our “encouagers” stepped up to the plate and ate one as well. The heat is intense right off the bat and intensifies quickly. I would say that it took about 10-15 minutes for the heat to start to fade. The crazy thing is I actually considered having another one because they were really good! The
thing about stuff this hot is the weird things it does to your body, you almost feel high or like you’ve drank 100 Red Bulls because your endorphin levels go WAY up, and of course there’s the sweaty head thing…magnified by my Skinheadia (Folicular impairment).

Next time you go to Big Ridge make sure you sit at the bar, ask if Charlie is there and get some hot sauce on the side of whatever you’re eating, it’s all awesome. Just make sure you know what you’re doing when the shots come out and people start egging you on to try level 4, it hurts, but it hurts so good.

Scott.