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Hop Circuit 2017 – East Van Craft Breweries Open House

26 Apr

HopCurcuitApril30thIf you like beer and want to drink beer, talk about beer or learn more about how it’s made, Hop Circuit is the place to be this Sunday, April 30th. East Van breweries and distilleries open their doors for the afternoon and allow you behind the scences access to their breweries. After last year’s smashing success, the event is back for its second year.  You can partake in this event by doing your own self-guided walking or cycling tour, or you can sign up with Vancouver Brewery Tours who will drive you to the various breweries. There are some 14 breweries participating which are located in the Strathcona, Hastings Sunrise and Grandview Woodland areas.  The day would not be complete without food trucks which will be scattered around the area in full force for the day, so fear not food will always be close at hand.  We’ve learnt that The Reef’s Food Truck will be located at Strange Fellows Brewing on Clark Drive, Aussie Pie Guy at Callister Brewing and the Community Pizzeria at Storm Brewing, but you will find many more around this area which is now affectionately known as “Yeast Van”.  The event runs from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. We’ve included the Hop Circuit map which sets out the breweries and distilleries participating and their location. Stop by and see what’s happening in Yeast Van. Cheers!

5th Annual East Side Beer Fest At The Wise Hall on March 15, 2017

3 Mar

eastsidebeerfest2017

Liberty Merchant Company presents the 5th Annual East Side Beer Fest tasting event on Wednesday, March 15th at the Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac Street. The event will feature craft beers from all over the world as well as bits of food from food purveyors on Commercial Drive. This event is also a fundraiser for the Great Vancouver Food Bank Society which helps provides some 25,000 people in need each week. All ticket sales and draw prizes directly support the Great Vancouver Food Bank Society.  Tickets are $24.99 each and available at all Liberty Wine Merchant locations. In East Vancouver, visit them at 1622 Commercial Drive or call them at 604.633.1922. The event gets under way at 7:00 pm and goes till 9:00 pm.

EastSideBeerFest

Hastings North BIA Launches East Village Brewery & Distillery Passport February 24, 2017  

24 Feb

EastVillageBreweryTour.pngOne of our earliest posts was a self-guided tour aimed at discovering some of the hidden gems tucked away below East Hastings Street at the foot of Commercial Drive.  Now the Hastings North Business Improvement Association has created the East Village Brewery & Distillery Passport to help guide you to the 6 craft breweries and 1 craft distiller tucked away in the less travelled routes of the City.  To participate in this self-guided tour, all you need to do is pick up a Passport at any one of the 7 participating locations in the East Village. Your Passport contains a map with all the participating breweries and distillery located within easy sipping distance from each other. All you are required to do is, to start exploring and tasting. Generally speaking, this exploration is fairly walkable, save for Bomber Brewing which is a little further South. Lots (if not all) of the breweries have bike racks out front for those that wish to cycle between their destinations. When you take your passport to each destination, get a stamp from each participating brewery/distiller. Once you’ve collected your 7 stamps, you will receive an East Village branded growler. Taking part in The East Village Brewery & Distillery Passport will be the area’s oldest brewery (established in 1995) Storm Brewing, as well as Parallel 49 Brewing, Powell Street Craft Brewery, Doan’s Craft Brewing Co., Callister Brewing Co., Bomber Brewing, Andina Brewing and Odd Society Spirits.  If you are taking the tour on a weekend, our personal recommendation would be to land at Odd Society Spirits for their free tour that happens every Saturday and Sunday at 4:00 pm.  They provide a great background and history on the process and science of making craft spirits. Did we mention the owners are pretty passionate about what they do? It certainly comes across in everything they do.

However you choose to do the East Village Brewery & Distillery Tour is up to you, ie. you could hit all the spots in one day, break it down into 2 days or more.  While in the area though, we do have a few suggestions. When you stop in at Callister Brewing Co., which houses a few micro breweries, be sure to check out the art on the wall.  When stopping at Doan’s Craft Brewing, make some time for the arcade games while sampling their beer. Pac Man is our go to, but there some 80+ games to choose from.  Whilst taste testing, we encourage food and some of the spots have snacks available or food trucks that are often nearby offering good eats.  En route you will find lots of great spots to start or finish your day or for a pit spot, some we recommend that you may stumble across in your path include Scandillious or Yolk’s for breakfast, The Pie Shoppe for a sweet treat, Bistro Wagon Rogue for dinner at the end of the day. NOTE: The good folks that bring you Parallel 49 Brewing are just working on some renovations to their Tasting Room which will soon include eats in house.  We understand they will be up and running end of March to serve you beer & food. Further note, Andina’s Brewing is just finishing up their space and will be opening soon.  In the meantime, you can get tasting and working on that Passport of taste.

For The Love Of Craft Beer Tour is Back For Valentine’s Day

3 Feb

fortheloveofcraftbeerDo you love beer? Have a partner that loves beer? Not yet made plans for Valentine’s Day? The good folks  at Vancouver Brewery Tours have a fun event for you. Their popular For The Love of Craft Beer Tour is back for Valentine’s Day which in case you missed it falls on a weekday this year, Tuesday, February 14th. One of their knowledgeable guides will tour you to 3 breweries starting with Brassneck Brewery. Next up you will head over to Storm Brewing where we hear they have some special Valentine’s Day-themed brainstorm beers.  After that, your guide will take you to Big Rock Urban Brewery & Eatery for beer tasting and dinner. The tour guides are filled with fun facts about the Vancouver beer scene, so bring any questions and your thirst.  This tour runs from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Cost is $89.99 per person. If you are not a beer lover, or don’t drink alcohol, but wish to go with someone that does, ticket cost for you is $70.00.  To book your spot, visit Vancouver Brewery Tours. There is limited seating so book quick if you want to share a fun experience on Valentine’s Day.

Let’s Do Brunch On The Drive

20 Jan

ILiveInEastVanMarch302013 356We are often asked where is a good place to go for brunch, coffee, dinner, live music or drinks in East Van. We started our brunch series with setting out some of our favourite spots in the Hastings Sunrise area. Next up we’d like to feature some very delish spots along Commercial Drive, some we’ve tried and some we’ve heard great things about through our grape vine.

Bandidas Taqueria, 2781 Commercial Drive
Brunch 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

We confess we have not tried this spot. We have noticed that it is a rare occasion that this spot is not busy, no matter the time of  day or night. Bandidas Taqueria serves brunch daily from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm as well as breakfast all day. Most of their items are gluten free and we like that they get their gluten free bread from local fav spot, East Village Bakery. Eggs, beans and guacamole are featured heavily on their brunch menu, but we have our eye on the Cornbread Muffin Tops with honey butter. Bandidas Taqueria will make any breakfast vegan. This spot is certainly on our list to try not only because of the food, but their focus on minimal impact to the environment and their of support local smaller distributors. Bandidas Taqueria is located just North of 12th Avenue on Commercial Drive. Just a 5 minute walk from the Broadway Skytrain Station if you are travelling from elsewhere in the City.

Café Deux Soleils, 2096 Commercial Drive
Breakfast 8:00 am – 3:00 pm Weekdays + 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Weekends

You can’t miss this spot for the colourful mural outside. Cafe Deux Soleils is a long standing business on The Drive having been there for over 20 years. Here you will find eggs, but you won’t find meat if that’s what you are looking for. You will though find  Veggie Ham or Veggie Sausage and lots of other great items as well as a kids menu. It’s a popular spot day and night as this spot includes a stage where you will find many local performers whether comedy, music, poetry and much more.

Cabrito Tapas, 2270 Commercial Drive
Brunch Friday to Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Havana Restaurant, 1212 Commercial Drive
Breakfast 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Daily

Havana is a great spot for many reasons, people watching from their patio is certainly one of them.  It’s always a busy hopping spot that offers modern Latin fare and Caribbean cocktails. It is another long standing business that has been on The Drive for 20 years now. Havana serves breakfast 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm with some great offerings including a Pulled Pork Breakfast Taco.  Another thing we love about Havana Restaurant, is they are a great supporter of local arts. They have a small gallery in the back next which is situated next to a small theatre which features some great local theatre groups. It’s a great intimate space if you haven’t checked it out already.  We recommend it.

Biercraft Tap & Tapas, 1191 Commercial Drive
Brunch Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 10:00 am – 3:30 pm

On the Drive since 2005, Biercraft Tap & Tapas is another long standing business on the Drive.  Everyone has their own unique spin on brunch on the Drive, as does Biercraft with    Bangers and Mash, and Stovreji Hash browns topped with Belgian beef stew, blue cheese crumble and two poached eggs for those with a hearty appetite, but we like the Eggs on Cornbread and for those coming with kids, they have a kids breakfast menu for $6.00.

La Mezcaleria, 1622 Commercial Drive
Brunch Wednesday to Sunday Until 3:00 pm

This is a fun lively spot at any time serving delish Mexican fare including breakfast as well as a great selection of mescal and tequila should you wish to go there.  They have some creative dishes, but what we have a hankering for is the Pan Frances which is Brioche French Toast topped with bananas, dark rum, salted caramel sauce, candied pecans, strawberries and gooseberries. If that doesn’t sound like a bite of heaven, we don’t know what does.

Storm Crow Tavern, 1305 Commercial Drive
Brunch Saturday & Sunday 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Now if you like sci-fi and consider yourself a bit of a nerd, or want to experience something a little bit different, than the Storm Crow Tavern is your spot. As you can see, their window for brunch is a little smaller, likely as they’ve been up playing games until the wee hours of the morning. This is an eclectic spot with a menu to fit. If you wish to hang around post brunch to play board games and have a beer, they have choices out of the whazoo.

Tangent Café, 2095 Commercial Drive
Breakfast 8:00 – 3:00 Saturday – Tuesday & 8:00 am – 2:00 pm Wednesday to Friday

Although this spot is home to great live jazz music on Thursday and Sunday evenings, they also have a great breakfast menu. If you are a meat lover, you will find several options here, but if looking for vegan options, they have that too including a Malaysian Vegan Scramble.

While you are in this part of East Van, there is so much else to see, do and taste while on The Drive.  Whether it’s coffee, gelato, pasta, art, bookstores, cheese, licorice or chocolate.   If it’s cheese you are after, La Grotta Del Fromaggio is our go to spot.  We recommend one of their sandwiches to go, or if you’ve built up an appetite wandering, they are delish. If you love licorice, a stop at the Licorice Parlour is a must. If you aren’t a licorice fan, they also have handmade chocolates.  If you are looking for beer after a wander, Biercraft offers quite the range of Belgian beers. If it’s whiskey, then a stop at Fets Whiskey Kitchen would be in order and side note they do serve brunch as well.  For coffee, well we can’t just pick one, there are so many places offering great coffee, you can’t go wrong whether it’s Continental Cafe, Joe’s Café, Moja’s, The Drive Coffee Bar (you will find Cartem donuts here though) or any other café. Gelato, there are a few offerings which you can’t miss if you are walking The Drive, but if are looking for pastries, our personal favourite is Fratelli Bakery which an amazing selection of sweet treats.  If you find you’ve done a fair bit of walking on the Drive and want a light bite such as pizza, take your pick, Famoso Pizzeria, Lombardo’s, Marcello’s or a quick wander over to Via Tevere on Victoria Drive. Of course, if you wish to pick up some pasta to cook later at home, we recommend The First Ravioli Store on Commercial at 3rd Avenue. We could keep going as this area has so much to offer from Venables to 12th Avenue and a bit beyond on either side of that. If you want to learn about what’s available for food and events, visit TheDrive.ca.

If we missed your favourite brunch spot that you think should be included, drop up us a line ILiveInEastVan@gmail.com and tell us why it should be included.

Giving Local Gifts For The Foodie In Your Life

6 Dec

theeastvanfoodiebookHere at ILiveInEastVan.com, we love food. Whether it’s making it, eating it, or some variation thereof.  In the last few months alone we’ve taken a Pie Making Workshop at The Pie Shoppe, an Appetizer Cooking Class with Caren McSherry at Gourmet Warehouse and most recently a Chocolate Making Workshop at The Soap Dispensary.  We have found a lot more friends and family favouring edible items as gifts whether food, spirits or accessories that compliment cooking, baking or creating delish refreshments at home.  With that in mind, we have set out some gift suggestions for the foodie in your life:

Cookbook – East Van Foodie

We’ve recently had the pleasure of putting our hands on a copy of The East Van Foodie just released mere weeks ago. This beautiful hard cover book is the work of Brad Hill and Chris Dagenais and is part cookbook, but at the same time features great stories about many of the amazing foodie spots in East Van. You will find smoking tips from the folks at The Acorn, the recipe for Pulled Pork Pancakes from The Red Wagon Café and the recipe for Vegan Tinga Tacos from Sal Y Limon. Did you know that Fets Whiskey Kitchen has the largest whiskey collection in Canada and the world’s largest collection of Scotch Malt Whiskey?  This is just one of many interesting tidbits you will find in this book.  We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the stunning photography that accompanies each foodie spot featured. We think this is a great gift for the foodie in your life. The book retails for $44.95 and is available at Chapters Indigo as well as long list of East Van spots including Havana Restaurant, Earnest Ice Cream, Cabrito’s Tapas, Odd Society Spirts, Bomber Brewing, Biercraft, Red Wagon Café, The Cascade Room, Pizza Farina, The Union, ChiCha Restaurant to name but a few.  To see the full list of where it’s available, visit The East Van Foodie online.

Craft Beer

No way we could just skip over craft beer as a gift for the beer lover. So many great breweries to choose from each with their own unique offering, but pretty much all offer growlers, many gift packs with glasses such as our friends at Dogwood Brewing which includes a growler fill in the cost of the gift pack. If you prefer to give the gift of a brewery tour, our friends at Vancouver Brewery Tours have that covered.

French Made Baking

Do you have someone with a sweet tooth in your life?  We wouldn’t pass up an amazing box of French macarons from French Made Baking. Located in Mount Pleasant, French Made Baking has 13 to 18 flavours on hand every day which now include some holiday flavours such  as peppermint dark chocolate, eggnog cream, orange gingerbread and black forest.  They offer beautiful gift boxes in two sizes, one with 6 macarons for $11.00 or a box of 12 macarons for $24.00.  These make a perfect hostess gift, stocking stuffer or thank you.

Gourmet Warehouse

Whether you are looking for stocking stuffers for the cook or baker in your life, or for someone that just loves to eat food, you have lots to choose from at Gourmet Warehouse. The choices can in fact be overwhelming if you don’t know what you have in mind.  If that’s you, Gourmet Warehouse has great gift baskets that they will make and send for you. Prices range from $50 – $175 and can be ordered online and delivered right to the person’s home. We have personally sent The Crates featured in the wooden boxes to rave reviews.

Odd Society Spirits

If you are looking for local spirits to give, we are pretty fond of Odd Society Spirits which has a great selection with their East Van Vodka, Wallflower Gin, Cassis, Bittersweet Vermouth and Oaken Wallflower Gin. During the holidays, we love to serve the cassis with prosecco, an easy cocktail when entertaining.

Sips Cocktail Emporium

Do you have someone that is into the art of making cocktails?  Then you may wish to pop into Sips Cocktail Emporium in Mount Pleasant. They have everything on hand for making the perfect cocktail save for the alcohol. Whether it’s tumblers, glasses, bitters, syrups, cocktail shakers, books with recipes, they have you covered. You can visit them in person at 339 East Broadway, but you can also visit them online at GoodSips.ca.

Japanese Knives

So we’ve learnt quite by accident that when it comes to quality knives in the kitchen, there is great demand and a culture around this art form. This is evidenced by the arrival of two great stores in East Van offering high quality knives. One being, KnifeWear at 4215 Main Street and Ai & Om Knives at 129 East Pender Street in Chinatown.  If you are buying a gift for someone that loves to cook, either of these spots will help you find that perfect knife that will last a lifetime.

Lisa Lou’s Chocolate Bar

Now if you have a chocolate lover in your life, you may wish to check out Lisa Lou’s Chocolate Bar at 1007 Main Street. We hear they have some amazing hot chocolates with flavours such as Salted Caramel, Peppermint, Chai, Dark & Mayan Elixir. We are these would make the perfect stocking stuffer or hostess gift. We’d be happy with any one of these flavours.

Earnest Ice Cream

So if you are looking for cool stocking stuffers, what about artisan ice cream. Yes we know ice cream melts, but thankfully Earnest Ice Cream has gift cards in $5 and $25 denominations.  Something we’d love to find in our stocking. Just pop into either one of their two locations whether Fraser Street or Quebec Street. christmastreevector

These are just a few suggestions, there are of course so many more.  If you wish to give the gift of experience as it relates to food, we invite you to check out our recent feature ‘Giving The Gift of Experience’ which features foodie tours and much more. 

Fire & Feast – Beer & BBQ At Dogwood Brewing December 10th

1 Dec

firefeastdogwoodYou are invited to a special event by our friends at Dogwood Brewing which in case you don’t know are the City’s only organic brewer.  They will be hosting a delish night of beer & BBQ with Fire & Feast on Saturday, December 10th.  The event will feature an indoor fire pit where you can get cozy with your friends or make some new friends and nosh on delish BBQ while enjoying some locally made beverages.  The BBQ will be catered by Memphis Blues BBQ House with the option of BBQ chicken, ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork or double-smoked farmer sausage. We hear veggie options will be available.  For refreshments, they will have a limited release of a S’more Stout befitting the occasion as well as mulled wine and cider.  Tickets for this event are a very reasonable $28 which includes your meal and two drink tickets. Advance tickets are available through Eventbrite 

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