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.




Whet Your Appetite from

My homeboys at have partnered up with Whet Kitchen & Bar on Granville Island to bring you another sensational dining package affectionately known as “Whet Your Appetite”. It’s a 4 item adventure with a choice of mains and 2 sleeves of tasty Russell Angry Scotch Ale made right here in the GVRD (Surrey to be specific). At only $30 it’s a great deal so guys, quit being so cheap and take your significant other on a nice date!

The Russell Angry Scotch Ale is always a treat. It’s a full bodied dark ale with a 6.5% kick that hits me right in my happy place. It’s also a great choice when the weather turns decidedly Vancouver-esque, meaning cloudy, wet and not particularly warm.

The first dish I tried was a very nice Coconut Scallop Ceviche. The scallops were large and in charge, the hand peeled shrimp were plentiful and the coconut added some sweetness to the citrus base of the liquid along with a subtle jalapeño punch. There’s two kinds of roe on top, Ikura and Tobiko, which are always a treat and went really well with this dish. The thick corn chips made a nice vessel to deliver the ceviche to your mouth but the chip to dip ratio was a little off, a fairly common problem, too many chips.

Next up was a super tasty Prawn, Shrimp and Wild Mushroom Salad. Made up of pan seared prawns, wild local mushrooms, hand peeled cold water shrimp, arugula, grapefruit, taro root crisps. Dressed in a delicious lemon-hazelnut vinaigrette this dish was a hit. The prawns were seasoned well and cooked just right, the wild mushrooms were warm and paired well with the peppery arugula. The vinaigrette was a nice combo of sweet and savoury.

I had both main courses, for journalistic purposes… I added the second main at a cost of $15. First up I had the Red Honey-Curry Coho, wild BC Coho, saffron yoghurt, hot pickled lime puree, candied almonds, cinnamon market vegetable (which was Broccolini). This dish is pretty incredible, the coho is amazing, all of the spices work together very well and the saffron yoghurt adds a creamy exotic note that paired fantastically with the flavourful salmon.


The other main course choice is Crispy Duck Leg, confit of Fraser Valley duck leg, sweet chill ginger sauce, yam & plantain chips, sesame seeds and grilled plums. The duck was spot on, very moist and tender with nice crispy skin. Crispy duck skin is the bacon of the avian world, so good. The big surprise for me was how much I liked the grilled plums, I could’ve eaten a whole plate of them.

I wasn’t dining alone on this adventure so when our meals were done we decided to add on a couple of desserts. The Chocolate chunk cheesecake was great but there is a dessert at Whet that you can’t leave without ordering. It’s a chocolate chip cookie baked in a small cast iron pan, served warm in said pan with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. It’s so simple yet amazingly good.

Cheers to the team at Whet and the crew at for putting together a winner here, great taste, great location and outstanding value.

My meal was provided free of charge for review purposes but, as always, if it was gross I would’ve said so. Get down to Granville Island and Whet Your Appetite!! My extra main and desserts were over and above the cost of the package but I would recommend adding the cookie… amazing.

Get your dining pass HERE


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!


Booze Reviews, Oktoberfest Beers!!!

Ah October, Thanksgiving turkey dinners, food coma’s and Oktoberfest. Beer is a wonderful thing and having a 16-18 day festival to honor it sounds good to me. I’m going to introduce you to 2 beers today, one made specifically for Oktoberfest and another that is a Czech style pilsner.

First up is Surrey’s own Russell Brewing Company with another solid entry in their Brewmaster series, Russell Marzen. Marzen is a tradition Oktoberfest beer that’s been brewed since the 16th century in Bavaria. Russell’s take on this classic has all of the usual traits of a good “Dunkles Märzenwhich is amber to dark in color (amber in this case) with a rich malt flavor and a clean finish. The only major difference is this Canadian interpretation is decidedly more hop filled than the German marzen, which isn’t a bad thing. Once again the Russell Brewmaster series hits a home run. One minor quibble is the only size available is a 650ml bottle which makes it hard to get it in to restaurants that aren’t willing to put it on tap. This is an issue I have with the Brewmaster Series in its entirety, a missed opportunity.

Next up is the clean and refreshing Pilsner from Gordon Biersch in San Jose, California. an area know more for Silicon Valley than beer. This isn’t a typical west coast craft beer, there’s hops but not a lot and it is very easy to drink. It’s a great summer beer that can also hold its own on a cold fall night. You’ll notice in the picture that I picked up a five pack…ya ya someone was thirsty before picture time. This beer gets bonus points for being distributed locally by my pals at Beerthirst, you should check out the great stuff they’re doing for the local  beer scene.

Stop drinking crappy beer!!!! You have no excuse.