Brewery & The Beast: A Festival of Meat

Executive Chef Garrett Schack of Vista 18 restaurant with Sous Chefs – Jay Holder and Mike Dunlop. Preparing a Tomahawk – bone-in ribeye. Photo by Ellie Shortt


Meat and beer. It seems simple enough, and it’s this essential simplicity that’s paving the way for what is promising to be one of the most well received food events on Southern Vancouver Island. On September 23 guests are invited to Phillips Brewery for the inaugural installment of Brewery and the Beast. Local chefs will showcase a variety of meat-minded dishes from classically grilled to exotically inspired, and to accompany this protein-centric spread, guests will be provided with beverages from Phillips and Merridale Estate Cidery, as well as an assortment of homemade sodas and traditional iced teas.


It’s the brainchild of Scott Gurney, also the driving force behind the popular gastronomic event, Culinaire. “The goal is to get locals to consume locally, as well as to support local businesses, farms, and the people who depend on them,” he says. While this passion has proven successful during the last three years of Culinaire, Gurney says Brewery and the Beast will have a slightly different vibe. “This event has a specific focus on one particular genre of food type, It will certainly be a different environment, and the dishes will differ indeed. Chefs will be cooking original stuff away from their regular menu items. It’s about the meat and the chef, and the finished product will be fantastic.”


The simple relationship between meat, chef, and of course, beer, seems to hit home with the local community – the event sold out in just three days! But Gurney doesn’t seem all that surprised. “Its the new wine and cheese,” he says. “Great local beer and match it up with food of the highest quality from some of the best chefs in town! What more could you ask for?” His statement is one that many locals agree with. There no doubt that comforting and simple food has made a serious impact on the current culinary scene, and the fact that everything presented will be locally sourced, free-range, and hormone free, proves even more reason why Gurney hasn’t had to work all that hard to get people on board. These are concepts that seem integral to the success of food events and restaurants on Vancouver Island and throughout BC.  “Consuming these products is better for your health, better for the environment, reduces your carbon footprint, and is better for the local economy,” says Gurney, adding that events like this help “keep our workers and farmers in BC and Canada flourishing.”


One such highly supportive chef is Garrett Schack of Vista 18. He will be serving roasted lamb from Parry Bay Farm in Metchosin. Other dishes will include wild boar sliders by Colin Davidson at The O Bistro, duck liver ice cream by Marisa Goodwin from Organic Fair, and a house cured pastrami melt by Jeff Hetherington from Pig BBQ Joint.


If that small sample is already making your mouth water, hopefully you were one of the lucky ones to snag a ticket before they sold out. And if not, well there’s a good chance that this will be the first of many Brewery and the Beasts to come – Scott Gurney is just getting started. “I want people to walk away with a new view and attitude towards high quality meat and where it comes from,” he explains, with closing wishes that through such events guests will be able to “support the participating farms, suppliers, and restaurants where the products are available, and of course have a great time enjoying cuisine from local chefs and producers.”


*Visit EAT Magazine’s Twitter feed and Facebook Page for details on how you can WIN tickets to the sold out Brewery and the Beast event.


Brewery and the Beast

DATE: Sunday, September 23, 2012

TIME: 1:00PM-4:00PM

VENUE: Phillips Brewing Company “Backyard,” 2010 Government St


For more information on this event, check out the website at:

-Ellie Shortt











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