Sunday, March 24, 2013

Big River:Beer&Bowl in B.C.

     A couple of days ago I motored over the border into Canada to check out another Lower Mainland brewery: Big River Brewpub in Richmond.  I had read that this was next to a bowling alley, but was not prepared for how cheek-by-jowl the two were.  Here is a view of the brite tanks room, imagine the sound of tenpins falling:

I met the brewmaster, Michael Stewart, a third-generation brewer who learned the craft from father and grandfather and started out at a brewery in Vancouver, about fifteen miles north of this spot. He showed me his copper clad brew kettle, heart of the 10-hectoliter (oops, metric up here, call that about seven of our beer barrels) system.
Besides kegs,, they fill 650-ml (our 22-oz) bottles.  They had not previously created their own growlers but Michael was happy to report that the first Big River growlers should be delivered next week.  The name of the business refers to the Fraser River just outside the door, the Fraser being B.C.'s equivalent of the Columbia. The company was also in the process of renaming their ales and lagers to reflect the river's history: Sidewheeler Blonde, Logger Lager, River Pilot ESB.  I had a pint of the pilsner, soon to be known as Dragon Dance Pilsner, together with a tasty burger.
Here was the best part:  a pint and a burger were only $10 Canadian (par with our dollar).  Was that every Thursday, I asked?  No, it's every day the Vancouver Canucks play an NHL game and they were playing the Coyotes down in Phoenix that night.
That wasn't the only deal.  Across the street is a big cineplex--IMAX screen, the whole works--and every Thursday evening they do a dinner and a movie package for $18.  You get a gift certificate good for the price of a regular film; pay extra if you choose a 3D or IMAX version.
Good beer, too.  Next time I'll try the taster tray.
(Visited 3/21/13)

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