Opened in September 2013 by Nigel Springthorpe (of the city’s top craft beer bar The Alibi Room) and head brewer Conrad Gsomer formally of Steamworks, Brassneck has come onto to the scene swinging with more styles in their first four months than some other breweries entire line ups!
They’ve also jumped on a recent Vancouver trend by teaming up with different food trucks. This is something I find very cool: just order your food outside, then head inside to the tasting room, grab a seat and a beer, and enjoy!Fat Duck Mobile Eatery, a fairly new addition to Vancouver food truck scene, can be found just outside of Brassneck most weekends from 11:30am until about 3pm. They currently offer 3 different sandwiches, and on most days, a daily special. Based on the truck’s name, I found one of the sandwiches offered particularly fitting: The Duck Confit “Philly Style”, with marinated mushrooms, pickled onions, slivered green onions, Swiss cheese and truffle/parm mayo. First of all, I’ll say that if you’re given the option of duck confit on a sandwich, you take it.Let’s start with the bread; it’s soft and they toast it with duck fat. It’s amazing. Enough said. The duck confit is crazy tender and rich; almost melting with each bite. They’re really generous with their meat portions too. The pickled onions deliver some nice acidity, a touch of sweetness and a bit of crunch. The marinated mushrooms are a cool surprise here, adding an unexpected texture as well as a nice earthy flavour. The Swiss cheese melted over the duck is perfect and marries nicely with the truffle/parm mayo. This sandwich is decadence personified.Brassneck has been brewing up a storm since they opened; with such styles as their “No Brainer” corn lager, “Passive Aggressive “ Pale Ale, “Inertia” imperial stout, “Brassneck Ale” classic ale and “Joe’s Barn” traditional saison.After tasting a few of those with Nigel, we decided that the Joe’s Barn was the best fit for the duck confit sandwich. Joe’s Barn is as true a saison that you’ll find from any local or regional brewer. The beer pours a mildly cloudy golden yellow, has a crisp dry mouth feel, a subtle tartness and just a little funk in the flavour. I found that it’s crispness cut through the duck fat, and its bright flavour stood up against the duck’s deep richness. I found that this saison also pulls even more sweetness from the pickled onions, making for an amazing taste combination. I really liked the drinkability of the saison with this sandwich, as it didn’t sit too heavy.So, if you’re looking to pop by a wicked local brewery for a traditional saison to pair up with an unparalleled duck confit sandwich from a local food truck…then head to Brassneck Brewery when Fat Duck Mobile Eatery is out front for This Sandwich and That Beer.Check out www.brassneck.ca and www.fatduckmobileeatery.ca for more info, follow them both on Twitter @BrassneckBrew and @fatducktruck and follow me @tstb_blog. Head to Brassneck anytime, to try any one of their fantastic beers and make sure to hit up Fat Duck Mobile Eatery if you see it anywhere in the city!Also, find my articles in BC Craft Beer News and listen for my feature on Just Here for the Beer radio on Team 1410AM airing in January.