The August Jack: Craft Beer and Tapas Bar

The August Jack opened up a few weeks ago on West 4th in Kitsilano, becoming Vancouver’s “first craft beer and food pairing restaurant”. Their focus is to pair an often rotating tap list of local and international craft beers with a selection of delicious tapas. Once I heard that checking this place out became high on my priorities, even without a sandwich on menu.DSC_0084Finding The August Jack isn’t difficult, their massive black awning and big block lettered name almost call you over to check them out. Once inside the room is casual and comfortable. We were sat right at the front by the large bay windows that open right to the street. Not a bad little spot to sit and sip on some tasty craft beers and enjoy some great small plates.DSC_0027 DSC_0013The first course was the Wild Mushroom Toasts paired Steamworks Pale Ale. The toasts come with seasonal wild mushrooms, hazelnut basil pesto, shaved manchego and balsamic reduction. The first thing I detected was how the earthiness from the mushrooms really brought out the malt in the beer. The hazelnuts came through really nice in the pesto and the house baked rustic sliced baguette was nice and crunchy. The mushrooms really resonate on the palate and continue to linger with the beer as you enjoy the two together. This was a great start to the meal.DSC_0049 DSC_0041The second course was the Pan Seared Beach Oysters paired with Unibroue Blanche De Chambly. The big juicy oyster come tossed in browned tarragon garlic butter with grilled portobello mushrooms and crispy fried leeks. The beer pairing here is spot on. This Belgian style Witbier is perfect with the oysters. The beer’s flavor accents the richness from the buttered oysters, while also cleansing the palate with its fresh, crisp mouth feel.DSC_0065The third course was the Read Island Mussels paired with Deschutes River Ale. The mussels were in a delicious paprika rose sauce with basil and crème fraiche. The mussels were big and plump and super tasty. The sauce was tangy, with great acidity that was mellowed by the addition of the crème fraiche. This beer from Deschutes is a great one, perfect for summer with its mellow hop flavor and light body.

So, next time you find yourself cruising down West 4th in Kits definitely pop into The August Jack for a great craft beer and delicious food pairing. Follow them on Twitter @TheAugustJack and follow me @TSTB_blog.

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The 2nd This Sandwich, That Beer Throwdown at The Portside Pub

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So, yes I know this post is a bit late getting up, but it is summer and summer has been crazy so far. But, on June 23rd the second “This Sandwich, That Beer Throwdown” went down at The Portside Pub in Gastown. The event was again a huge success raising $2300 for A Better Life Foundation to support The Rainier hotel food programs and employment incentives. The event also raised $1000 in support of the fund for Owen Lightly. Both these causes were near and dear to our hearts and we can’t thank all the guests and participants enough.

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The 8 competing restaurants, Portland Craft, El Camino’s, Calabash Bistro, The Portside Pub, Save On Meats, Fable, Burgoo and Twisted Fork all brought some serious sandwich creations paired with some great craft beers off The Portside’s tap list. All the pairings were fantastic and completely unique.DSC_4991 DSC_5075 DSC_5071 DSC_4990DSC_4928DSC_4952DSC_4959DSC_4972DSC_5062

The sandwich and beer pairings went down like this:

Portland Craft did a Pho style beef dip paired with Phillips Analogue 78 Kolsch.DSC_4872

El Camino’s did a Pulled Pork with chimichurri, bacon aioli, poblano piccalilli, rocket and queso manchego paired with Phillips Bottle Rocket ISA. DSC_4866

Calabash Bistro did a Tamarind honey pulled lamb with house made jerk mustard, aioli, calabash slaw served on barra bread topped with crisp plantains paired with the Dartmouth Honey Lager.

The Portside Pub did a pulled chicken with kimchi, QP mayo, and green onion paired with Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA. DSC_4984

Save On Meats did an “East Coast Style Donair” paired with the Portside Pilsner.

Fable did a duck confit with blue cheese, pickled onions, aioli, micro greens and crispy duck skin paired with Pyramid Apricot Ale. DSC_5061

Burgoo did a baked French onion beef dip paired with Four Winds Saison. DSC_4868

Twisted Fork did an egg salad sandwich paired with Unibroue Blanche De Chambly. DSC_4986

Again, each restaurant blew the guests away with these amazing sandwiches. But when all the votes were tallied one restaurant was picked to take home the prize. El Camino’s was chosen by those in attendance as the winner of the 2nd “This Sandwich, That Beer” Throwdown.DSC_5086

Congrats to them and to all the other participants and here’s looking forward to the next one!DSC_4978Photo Credits: Mel Yap