Beer · Brunch · Patio · Restaurants · Seafood

Dandy Brewing Company

On Friday, I suggested to L we revisit Dandy Brewing Company. Pro tip – Dandy now takes reservations through Opentable. This new change was one reason for our visit. Dandy is one of my favourite spots in the city, but it was always too difficult to snag a table. For this post, let’s listen to “Hollywood Forever Cemetery” by Father John Misty.

I ordered a flight of beer: Dandy Lager (5%, $2.25); Une Vielle Maitresse Grisette (4%, $2.25); La Peu d’Elisa Quebec style saison (7%, $2.75); and Common Crown Collab (7%, $2.50). L asked for a glass of the Dandy Ultra Pils (3%, $6.50).

beer list

Some of my descriptions below may sound odd but then again, taste is subjective. At times, even L was at a loss for my observations. However, we both agreed that all the beers we tried were well balanced.

I enjoyed L’s Crisp Pilsner (3%, $2.50). This beer is fresh, sweet, bitter and reminded me of coleslaw. The Dandy Lager is a touch too sweet for my taste. L and I like the peppery notes in the Une Vielle Maitresse Grisette.

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I’m crazy for La Peu d’Elisa Quebec style saison. I found the saison bright and lemony with an almost perfume-like note. I ordered another sleeve because it was that delicious. Look at all that creamy foam!

saison

The Common Crown Collab is a full-bodied wintery beer, most appropriate for our extreme cold weather. L tried the Black Cabin Black IPA (6.5%,$5). When I took a sip, the flavour triggered memories of the 80’s cartoon Gummi Bears and A&W root beer.

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Dandy produces unique beers without tasting artificial or fake. I’m not a beer drinker, but the beers at Dandy are so enjoyable, I actually prefer their beers over wine.

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To prove my point, I ordered a glass of Leiz Eins-Zwei Riesling ($9). The riesling was dry with a bit of zip to it. While I liked what I tasted, I preferred the Quebec saison. Coming from me, that speaks volumes.

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Dandy has an equally strong food game. Whenever I eat here, I always think its similar to Bar Von Der Fels Wine Bar, but there’s less use of cream, butter and all things decadent.

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L raved about the flavours of the Elk Tartare ($18). The crispy shallots added a garlicy, crunchy contrast to the silkness of the minced elk. The use of aioli was subtle while the brightness of the pickles added a refreshing pop. This was my first time trying elk tartare. If I had to compare elk to other meats, I’d say elk is more like lamb than beef.

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The smoky smell of the Octopus ($21) was appetizing. I appreciate how the chef chose to showcase the octopus by grilling it over charcoal, resulting in a firm but not chewy texture. The tentacles were delightfully crispy. The “smashed potatoes” were like a warm potato salad. I love the addition of the olives, red onion, and what I thought was dill or pickles.

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The Cheese Plate ($17) was stellar. Though smaller and five dollars more than Cabin Brewing Company, the cheese plate was so seductive I overlooked my beer. The cracker was more like a sheet of warm, flaky pastry. I liked all the cheeses – a mix of creamy, dry, and one that tasted a bit like blue cheese. L said what made this plate next level was the cherry marmalade and figs. I’m a purist and I prefer just eating the cheeses with the cracker.

L and I are going to continue with our mission to try all of Calgary’s breweries. To date, L’s favourite Calgary craft beers are the Jack of Diamonds by Blindman Brewing and Mount Crushmore by Banded Peak. For myself, Dandy does for it for me. Hitting the Sauce puts this brewery on her list of best restaurants in the Calgary.

The Dandy Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Restaurants

Cabin Brewing Company

L is keen to check out all the newest breweries. So on Sunday afternoon, we went for an afternoon taster at Cabin Brewing Company. For this post, let’s listen to “You don’t know how it feels” by Tom Petty.

We both ordered our own beer flights ($12). L prefers hoppy or dark beers while I picked the lighter options.

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The Retrospectrum Pale Ale (5.2%) was nicely balanced and light. This is an easy drinking ale that even my non beer drinking girlfriends would enjoy. Try not to focus on the nasty band-aid on my thumb.

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I enjoyed the Four Alive Fruited Sour (5.4%). I found this beer simple – sour and tart.

I was surprised to like the Super Duper Saturation Imperial NEPA (8%) as much as I did. The bubbles were tiny and there was a ton of flavour. This beer was neither bitter, hoppy or sweet.

I don’t normally like cider, but Cabin’s Bloom Crisp Apple Cider (6.6%) was different. The flavour was crisp and not too sweet. I thought this cider was excellent. The cider was my favourite pick of the flight.

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I also tried the Belgian Dubbel (7.8%), a collaboration between Cabin Brewery and Banded Peak. I found this beer sweet, nutty and heavy.

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I was feeling tipsy after our flight, so we ordered some food. The Cheese Pretzel with Marinara Sauce ($5) was served piping hot. The pretzel itself was soft, the topping of cheese was crispy. On a cold wintery day, this carby snack warmed me up.

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I was pleased with the Cheese Board ($12). For the price, we were given three generous chunks of cheese: Chevalier Triple Cream Brie (St. Hyacinthe, QC), Mainland two-year aged cheddar (New Zealand), and Cave-aged Gruyere Switzerland). L mentioned if we ordered this at the now defunct Janice Beaton, we would have been charged sixty bucks. The cheese board was tasty and such good value. I’d order this again.

On a cold Sunday afternoon, Cabin Brewery was packed with families. I can see why. Cabin is kid-friendly, offering the little ones plenty of games and even their own kiddy charcuterie. For only four bucks, children can snack on goldfish crackers, pizza pepperoni, fruit and a juice box.

Cabin Brewering Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer

Banded Peak Brewery

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I’m a believer of Banded Peak Brewery. I first sampled Banded Peak’s delicious beers at Full Circle Pizza. I dig the beer so much, I’d pass on a glass of vino for a pint of the Chinook Saison. I saw on Yelp that Banded Peak has a brewery. So on a rainy Saturday afternoon, my husband and I stopped by to check it out. For this post, let’s listen to a song I overheard during my visit – Bill Haley and his Comets – Shake, Rattle and Roll.

Located in an industrial area in the SE, the brewery looks kinda like a garage-style venue. There’s free popcorn at the front and a set of tables and chairs underneath a storage area. I love the music playing, a mix of the Monkees, Bill Hayley , Simon and Garfunkel, George Harrison, and the Beattles. I would return just to enjoy the playlist.

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We arrived around 3:00 pm and the place was packed. There was only one person working (one of the three owners). I felt bad for him as the stream of customers never ended. I felt the urge to ask him if I could help pour pints. To make matters worse, a customer knocked over a glass when the owner was trying to fill up a large order and a bunch of people were waiting to pay for their beers.

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We sampled three beers, the Chinook Saison, Summit Seeker and the Plainsbreaker. The Plainsbreaker was L’s favourite beer. I also really enjoyed it, it’s a pleasant, easy drinking ale with a touch of what I thought tasted like citrus.

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My favourite beer was the Chinook Saison, a Belgium-style ale that was crisp and fresh. I could drink the Saison all day long. The Plainsbreaker is a great beer for those who don’t normally like IPAs. There was touch of sweetness to it which mellowed out the hoppy notes.

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Banded Peak has only been opened for four months. However, the cat is out of the bag thanks to Shelley Boettcher, who wrote about this new local brewery in the Calgary Herald. If you are a beer drinker, you need to check this place out. How good is this place? Banded Peak makes it on Hitting the Sauce’s list of favourite places in Calgary. Note that other than popcorn, no food is served.

View my food journey on Zomato!

Banded Peak Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato