Four Winds Brewing dinner at Sharkey’s Seafood Bar and Grille

Delta’s Four Winds Brewing is quickly making a name for itself around town as a major player in the local craft beer scene. Every new release is seemingly better than the last and I haven’t found a Four Winds beer that wasn’t outstanding. My latest beer dinner adventure took place at Sharkey’s in Ladner where Chef Brent Fahl put together a 4 course dinner, each course paired with one of Four Wind’s delightful beers.

Four Winds ESB
Four Winds ESB

The first course was a punchy bold move by Chef Fahl. A Pear and Blue Cheese Salad, grilled romaine hearts, poached BC pears, lots of crumbled blue cheese, red onions, and a sundried tomato vinaigrette. If you’re not a blue cheese fan, but really why wouldn’t you be, this salad probably would’ve haunted your dreams for weeks. I, however, love blue cheese in all of its forms and this salad had the right punch and balance to make the copious amounts of cheese work. It was paired with Four Winds Wet Hopped ESB. This beer is incredible, the fresh hops are on full display here and the ESB’s malty nature gives them a counterpoint which a lot of “fresh hopped” beers seem to lack. The pairing worked very well too matching the strong flavours of the salad with heavy handed hops and malt, but not in a bad way.

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad
Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Course 2 was Chipotle Braised Pork Belly. Beer brined oven braised pork belly, chipotle BBQ sauce, garlic beer fries and roasted butternut squash. The pork belly was tender and juicy with a great crust around the edge. The BBQ sauce was smoky with minimal heat. The fries were great, garlic and salt is something that is hard to mess up. The squash was also tasty but 2 starches was a heavy choice. This dish could’ve used something lighter like coleslaw or pickle slices. It was paired with Four Winds IPA. IPA’s are a perfect pairing for anything smoky or spicy and Four Winds makes a great IPA.

Chipotle Braised Pork Belly
Chipotle Braised Pork Belly

The 3rd course was Crab Cakes. Crispy fried panko breading with a cucumber and wasabi sauce, basmati rice and fresh pea shoots. The crab cakes were a nice size and texture,. They had the right balance of savoury seasoning to accent the sweetness of the crab meat. The cucumber and wasabi sauce could’ve used a little more wasabi and the rice needed a little seasoning but the crab cakes themselves were very good. The Four Winds Saison paired well here. I wish it had been the recently released Saison Brett but the standard saison is equally as amazing.

Crab cakes
Crab cakes

The 4th and final course was a rich Molasses Sponge Cake with vanilla ice cream and candied lemon zest. The cake was great, it had a gingerbread like taste from the molasses and it was super fresh and moist. The candied lemon zest was outstanding, I wish there was more! This rich dessert was paired with Four Winds Malted Oat Porter. This was my first time trying their porter and it’s fairly full bodied for a dark beer that tips the scales at 5.5% abv. The chocolate notes pair well with the molasses. 4 courses, 4 great pairings. Nicely done Sharkey’s!

Molasses Sponge Cake
Molasses Sponge Cake

Follow Sahrkey’s on Twitter @sharkeyladner or on Facebook at Sharkeys-Seafood-Bar-Grille and Four Winds is @FourWindsBrewCo and FourWindsBrewingCo.

Sharkey’s and Four Winds are both South Fraser Beer Club approved!

Scott.

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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

Craft beer and chicken wings? Sharkey’s in Ladner has them!

Chicken wings are amazing, craft beer is amazing and putting the two together makes me want to weep tears of joy. The people of Ladner probably don’t realize how lucky they are to live near Sharkey’s Seafood Bar and Grille. Where else can you get terrific craft beer, fresh oysters and a great riverside patio experience in the lower mainland? Now that they put chicken wings back on the menu it’s almost a perfect storm.

Their new wing line up consists of 6 wing flavours, each with it’s own recommended craft beer pairing. I have some friends that live in Ladner that will be pretty happy to hear Sharkey’s has wings again. I’ll be going to check them out for myself very soon, expect a FULL breakdown (and stomach) from yours truly. Go to Sharkeys.ca for the full wing menu!

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.