Biera – The Classy Gastropub
Biera is a local brew pub located inside Ritchie Market. ( 95 Street and 76 Avenue) Blind Enthusiasm is the brand name behind the brews. Biera is where you can go to enjoy the beer as well as locally sourced and crafted small plates.
Ritchie Market also houses Acme Meat Market and Transcend Coffee. These two wonderful local producers are used in the menu for Biera.
Not your normal “gastro pub”. This is a great date night because the menu is based around plates for sharing. They have won awards for “best new restaurant” on their first year and continue to win accolades. The team is passionate about their beer and their food, and it shows!
The ambience is a little higher class than a normal pub. I love the funky, minimalist, up-cycled “industrial” feel of the decor. It is a very community based atmosphere. It has a bit of a hipster vibe. Reservations are recommended; this place is popular.
Sample flights are available if you can’t decide what you want to try, or just want to try it all!
Chef Christine Sandford is the creative force behind the menu. Culina Mill Creek and De Superette in Belgium are a couple of the places where she used to create. You can see the European influence on the Biera menu.
Locally sourced ingredients on the menu include: Prairie Gardens, Vital Greens Organic Dairy, Acme Meat Market, Bonjour Bakery, Effing Seafoods, Meuwly’s, Galimax Trading, Mo-Na Foods, Grain Works, August Organics, Seasons Harvest, Blue Hour Tea, and Color de Vino.
Good food that is locally sourced is going to be a bit more expensive. Be prepared to shell out about $50 per person for a couple of drinks and food. That being said, it is worth every penny! The presentation is absolutely stunning and the food is amazing and delicious.
The menu choices are a very unique selection of textures and flavours. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable with the beer and the menu.
They have the best tartare that I have had the pleasure of eating in this city. A blend of various cuts, including the heart to add texture, and flavour. It is made even more delicious by a ring of smoked, rendered fat around the mound of meat. If you are a fan, try it! I hope that you love it as much as I do.
We also tried the Boudin Noir with Pink Lady apple, rosehip and oxalis. This was also beautifully plated and delicious. It is a version of blood sausage. This paired very well with the “ZestyZee” with banana and spice notes.
Dessert was Goat Kefir Curd Tart; with Elderflower meringue & pink lady apple. It was again beautifully plated. This was a nice, light and not overpoweringly sweet dish. The elderflower meringue offered a nice texture change and the apples gave it a bit of tartness. It was a pretty plate to end a taste experience.
Upstairs is the “Barrel Room” dedicated to melding beer with the flavors of wine and spirit barrels next to The Community Table, a room reserved for special events, with charities being a particular focus.
Located just blocks away, “The Monolith”, a brewery and barrel house designed from the ground up to create barrel-aged sour beers via spontaneous fermentation.
If you are a beer person like myself, this is an awesome place to enjoy some very creative brews!
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