Pauwel Kwak at The District Brasserie

It was recently made known to me that The District Brasserie on Lower Lonsdale had gotten a supply of Pauwel Kwak, and rare beer is not something i often say no to…

The Beer:

Kwak is known for it interestingly shaped glass which was really quite interesting to use. Unfortunately i couldn’t get much aroma off the beer and if i had to guess I would say it had to do with the glass shape. Unfortunately aside from the bulb at the bottom there is no where to trap gasses for aroma. Poorly designed glass aside the glass is so interesting to some (not me) its been known to go missing so the Brasserie has an interesting system whereby you trade your shoe for the glass. Your shoe is put in a basket and hoisted to the ceiling and you are allowed your shoe once you have returned the glass. Despite the lack of aroma the colour really was beautiful, almost a burnt copper look. The beer itself like most great belgians was very nuanced ¬†with different flavour lurking around every corner. I noticed prominently plum and raisin flavours as well as some brandy-esque-ness (gotta love dashes).The beer is quite alcoholic at around 8% but it wasn’t overly boozy either. I often criticize beers for being underpowered but Kwak did well to really fill the mouth. All in all a very strong beer within the belgian tradition.

Pauwel Kwak-4/5

The Spot:

The district brasserie is quite near the Quay on lonsdale street. Entering it you are treated to a modern restaurant with lots of wood, post and beam-ish. the first thing i noticed was their beer list which has quite a few belgian staples in addition to Kwak. enough one might consider it a Bier Craft Light, which a great option on the North Shore. The next thing you notice in the menu and the food coming out of the small open kitchen. Belgian classics and modern (hot) takes come out of the kitchen quickly and although i can’t remember what mine was called it was damn good (remember i’m not a food critique)! Additionally District takes special care with their fries and it really shows in the taste. The slight spice of the fry played nicely with the sublet belgian yeast spice. In sum this is a great North Shore option for Belgian food and drink, not a simple imitation of brasserie it is a modern take on the shore.

Advertisements

Brew Street Craft – Kitchen First Impressions

A new craft beer bar has entered the arena and its fighting out of the ‘burbs, with a claimed tap list of 50 beers!

First Impressions

SO GOOD… Wow thats a lot of beers! Its a nice selection of local Vancouver Beers to boot with very few macro offerings. Highlights include BC beer awards best in show Yellow Dog “Shake a Paw Smoked Porter”, Four Winds Wildflower Saison, and Canadian Beer awards Beer of the year Old Yale Sasquatch Stout.

Not so good… NOT 50 BEERS! by my count there are 45 of which some are ciders, and no prices or serving sizes. Most importantly there are very few hard to get beers here. Nothing jumps out at me here, are any of these seasonals? With 50 taps it would be nice to see belgians, doubles, triples, quads, imperials, barrel aged… anything that i couldn’t normally get at the liquor store or my other local.

In any case lets give them time, this is only the opening weekend and i’m sure much will change in the coming weeks.

What Craft Beer Bars Should Be Like-According to Me

Whereas Craft Beer Bars have been a thing for years in the city, they have only recently started to take hold in the suburbs where I live. More often than not suburban dives have simply added another 5-10 taps with craft and claimed to be part of craftom. Thats fine with me, but what is also starting to happen is full on redesigns closing for months and starting from anew. Well if you are going to do that i have some basic demands!

Demand 1

You Must Have Local Craft before any Other Craft.

Craft beer bars in the city can get away with this because there are 5 different breweries within cycling distance, but out in the ‘burbs you have one maybe 2, tops 3, and god dammit if you don’t have at minimum at least 1 staple beer from that (or those) brewery(ies), and 1 seasonal you will be dropping the ball, and I won’t be dropping any as much money.

Note: after chatting briefly with mike of mikes craft beer I want to make it clear I also want to see out of region stuff from my local suburban craft pub, But priority one is a local option… then priority two is getting the good out of town stuff/

Demand 2

You Must Have Reasonably Priced Decent Food.

Look the star here is the beer, not some korean-kosher fusion. Make simple food well and I’ll be happy! Poutine, Burgers, steak, some traditional british food like gammon steak would be good too. But here’s the kicker… PRICE IT REASONABLY! I come to spend money on beer, and ill continue to sit and buy beer longer if you have reasonably priced food. If you decide to get elitist and add truffle to that poutine and make it 20 dollars I’m going to stop buying and go home… Fact.

Note: a great example here is the alibi room menu, short, to the point, well produced and well priced.

Demand 3

Have an up-to-date Beer Menu and Post it Online.

Heres a thing that happens all too often these days, wine lists online… no beer list. If you consider yourself a purveyor of craft beer tell me what you have.

Demand 4

TAPS

I don’t go to bars to drink from cans or bottles… I can do that anywhere anytime. I go to bars for draught, because I like to pretend its special, it isn’t really but i like to pretend. So if I’m spending 7 bucks a beer it sure as shit must come from a pipe.

Demand 5

All Taps Must Rotate

If you want regular customers (you do) you need to keep me interested. To keep me interested you need to change your beer’s regularly, sure keep steady accounts with breweries but change the beer, cause i can only enjoy a good brown ale so many time before my tongue begins to wander.

Abide by these simple demands and i will patronize your establishment, deal? DEAL!