Last night, the seventeen (or more?) Chowhounds from Vancouver and Calgary met at the Alibi Room, the unofficial headquarters of craft beer in Vancouver. This was a great event with lots of convivial banter about food, eating, and beer....these Chowdowns just keep getting better and better. The event was also quite educational as a prominent expert in craft beer was in attendance to field questions and add great commentary on the scene here in town.
The Alibi Room is equipped with the largest number of taps in town and all of them are dedicated to craft beer. Nigel - originally hailing from Yorkshire - is the owner and passionate craft beer fanatic behind this operation. He told us that more taps will be installed soon for an even larger selection. All night long, flights of craft beer were...um...flying in to our table from the bar behind us. Looking down our long table, I could see that all of us were enjoying our beer in flights.
I asked Nigel to provide me with some of his favourites to start - sort of like asking "omakase" at a sushi bar. He provided me a flight "bat" (what the heck are these things called anyway?) of a selection of four beers from light to dark. The focus here is on local craft beers, but we had beers from outside BC and down into the States as well.
The flights are a great way to sample many different beers (without getting too drunk!) It was really interesting to savour the pairings - take a bite of your food, sip one beer....another bite, the sip the next beer on that "bat"...and so on.
I had ordered the bison sandwich au jus which Nigel paired that with a flight of darker beers. I had a molten chocolate cake for dessert which he paired with a dark Old Rasputin stout. I did not make the effort to try to remember all the beer I had sampled - but they were all delicious and very different from each other.
I highly recommend the Alibi - especially if you are in the beer doldrums. Your tastebuds will not get bored here.
The others who attended should come along shortly to provide their own experiences with their selections. We all had a lot of fun and some of us made a full evening of it and headed down to The Diamond for a couple of cocktails. (I was actually at the Diamond as a prelude to this Beerdown...The Diamond will be subject of another post.)
157 Alexander St, Vancouver, BC V6A1B8, CA