My friend Dan has been extolling the virtues of Central City for awhile now. So last Friday, when in search of dinner and drinks, we gathered up a small group willing to brave the wilds of Surrey to visit the Central City Restaurant & Pub. It was super easy to get to on the Skytrain, only about 50 metres from the Surrey Central station. There was also the added bonus of heading in the opposite direction from the crowds going into Vancouver for the evening; we walked right in and immediately got a nice roomy booth for five.

The beer selection was quite wide with ten of their microbrews on tap. Unfortunately, I only had time to sample two of them.  The menu to accompany the beer was comprised of pretty standard fare. I ordered the Central City Burger with fries. It was simple but good, especially the fries. Everyone else seemed to enjoy their dinners as well.

All in all, this brewpub is definitely worth the trip out to Surrey. I think we will all be visiting again in the near future and in the meantime picking up a few six-packs of their beer.

The Beers:

Central City Empire IPA

empire_ipaCentral City Empire IPA was voted the Best Beer in BC in 2008 by CAMRA. They just might be right. This was a very good beer which reminded me of the IPA’s of Oregon that I so enjoy.

It had a medium copper colour with a floral and citrus aroma. Once I was drinking it down, it had that hoppy citrus flavour with very strong notes of grapefruit, but nicely balanced with a bready malt. It was quite bitter, but in a good way. One of the best BC IPA’s I have tasted.

Central City Boomers Red Aleboomers_redale

Bitter’s are quickly becoming a favourite of mine, and my growing appreciation was definitely helped along by the Central City Boomers Red Ale.

This ale had a reddish amber colour with a good frothy head. It had a nice medium bitterness and was slightly sweeter than the IPA. There was a good mix of hops and a lightly roasted malt with a dry finish. If we hadn’t had to catch the train back to Vancouver, I could have had quite a few.


ruination-ipaThe last of the beer we brought back from the Beer Road Trip, Stone Ruination IPA promised “A liquid poem to the glory of the hop!” While it didn’t inspire poetry, it was a decent double IPA that I would drink and buy again. But, it is pretty strong at 7.7% so maybe just a pint!

It is a hazy orange colour in the glass with a zippy pine smell. The first taste is a “hoppy kick in the a$$”* but with a surprisingly mellow finish which makes it quite drinkable.

But keep in mind that it is a double IPA, so if you don’t like hops, you won’t like this … at all.

*as colourfully described by my boyfriend

This was my turning point beer. The beer which made me realize that beer was tasty; not “drink a lot of it to have a good time tasty” or “refreshing on a hot day on a patio tasty”, but “something to be enjoyed for is delicious flavour tasty.”

I first had Widmer’s Broken Halo IPA on an August Long Weekend road trip in 2007. We had randomly purchased a local brewery sampler case at the Safeway in Tillamook, Oregon and cracked the first beer sitting around the campsite in Manzanita and WOW! It tasted refreshing and slightly like grapefruit and I loved it. Thus, began my beer adventure and my love affair with hops.

(more detailed beer reviews to come…tomorrow marks the start of my “Beer Tasting and Education 101” class at the university – give me a few classes and i’ll be able to report on such “beery” things as aroma and mouthfeel)