Gladstone Brewing (Courtenay, BC)

Gladstone Brewing is one of the Comox Valley’s most beloved institutions. It’s the flagship brewery of the North Vancouver Island craft brewing scene and it’s an absolute blotch upon EDB’s already sketchy reputation that we’ve only just got around to discussing them. For shame!

I’m definitely familiar with the brewery’s work. In fact I’ve drank quite a bit more of Gladstone’s beer at various local restaurants than I have almost any other local brewery. I’ll also admit to frittering away more than a few afternoons at the brewery proper, debating proper pizza dough thickness with Chef Matt while quaffing some seriously tasty craft beer. (more…)

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Forbidden Brewing Co. (Courtenay, BC)

The Vancouver Island brewing scene is evolving at such a breakneck pace that every month or so I have to take a breath, go online or crack open a copy of The Growler and catch up on all the new trends, breweries, beer styles and lingo that I’m already ignorant of. Case in point: The term “Nano brewery” is the handle for a new crop of breweries that (according to this killer Paste article) “makes very, very little beer (say, between one and three barrels, or roughly ninety gallons at a time and boasts an ultra-limited distribution footprint.

This fits Courtney’s Forbidden Brewing perfectly. It’s ity-bity! There’s just enough room inside their tasting room for six tables plus a pool table (watch your back!) and a bitchin tabletop Space Invaders game machine. Despite these physical limitations the Forbidden crew make the absolute most of everything their situation can accommodate.

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We Are the Party – Notes From the 2016 BCSGA Shellfish Gala

BannerTwo weeks ago an army of talented local chefs, sous-chefs, servers, sommeliers and a mob of hungry guests converged on the pristine Fillberg Park for a night we’re all still recovering from in one way or another. *laughs* It was time again for the BCSGA Shellfish Gala Dinner, the island’s annual wine-soaked celebration of all the good things that come from the sea! (more…)

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The White Whale (Courtenay, BC)

via The White Whale on facebook
via The White Whale on facebook

Only a quick forty five minute drive away from our house, the local foods epicenter of the Comox Valley might as well be across the ocean for my wife and me when planning a dinner trip. After we factor in the time and money it takes to get a hotel (dinner does mean drinking after all!) and the commute after a hard work day it just never seems worth it… So, we just go and eat at Beijing House.

And yet, there is always an exception; A day apart , and afternoon perfectly sequenced into our overly-scheduled lives, a dinner-window where we can just kick back and enjoy whatever we damn well please.

So on a rare Saturday off in October there we were: Already in Courtenay, hungry as all get out (early breakfast and no lunch) and in that strange not-quite-dinner time before 7:00pm; plenty of time to have a meal and a couple ‘o drinks before heading home. Finally, the opportunity I’d been waiting for to hit up Chef Aaron Rail’s critically acclaimed new restaurant The White Whale. (more…)

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Crashing The Party – Notes From The BCSGA Gala Dinner

BannerI’ve spent the last decade on this rock doing two things related to birthdays: Spending them in kitchens and denying they exist. This has worked pretty well for me as I don’t like fuss or obligation or having to admit that I’m getting old. Win freakin win.

This year was a bit different. My chef Matt MacDonald offered me not only a day off, but an invitation to one of the Comox Valley’s most celebrated and exclusive parties; The BC Shellfish Gowers Association Gala Dinner! Six of the raddest chefs in BC (hell, in all of Canada!) were converging on Filberg Park to showcase local seafood paired with local wine. I couldn’t refuse! (more…)

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