Brickhouse Frontman Rob Bracken Brickhouse fans from the Queens Cross Pub have been showing their affection for the band for years by attending the now infamous summer boat party known as The Blues Cruise . Each year, a bus load of live music fans make the trek from North Vancouver to False Creek to board a rickety old boat to bask in the sunshine, drink cold beverages and raise their cups to the Vancouver sunshine and one of the best party bands the city has known. For four hours, loyal followers sing and dance to a 20 year catalogue of original songs that have become blues standards in their own right. Founding member and infamous front man Rob Bracken takes his job as vocalist, harmonica player and ring leader very (un)seriously and is often found mingling and joking with the crowd on and off stage. Backed by some of Vancouver’s most talented and hardest working musicians, the bands sound can only be described in one way – Brickhouse! When the sun isn’t shining and the weather turns cold, the band can be found warming up the dance floors of venues like The Fairview Pub on Broadway, the now closed-for-renovations Yale Hotel, Vancouver’s Fanclub, and various pubs and clubs across BC and Canada. Original members include Oz Zitek on saxophone, Ray Keesh on Bass, Neil Cruickshank on guitar with guest appearances by Todd Taylor. Rounding out the famous Brickhouse sound is keyboard player Darryl Havers and Johnny Edson on drums. Brickhouse returns to the Queens Cross on Saturday, February 23, and with a capacity of slightly more than 100, tickets are expected to sell out quickly. To purchase tickets online visit our event page here and follow the link to the PayPal gateway. Tickets are available for $10 online and will be sold at the pub 10 days prior to the event for $15.
An award winning Vancouver bartender and mixologist will be preparing some elaborate cocktails for the patrons of the Queens Cross Pub this Sunday evening, December 16, 2102. Robyn Gray, a veteran Vancouver barman with deep roots in the North Shore bar and restaurant scene will showcase some of his signature libations that will surely satisfy the taste buds of its willing recipients. Robyn has been working in pubs, restaurants and lounges throughout the lower mainland and Scotland since 1998 and developed a passion early in his career in the art of mixology. He currently resides as head bartender at Reflections Lounge at Vancouver’s Rosewood Hotel Georgia where he provides an unforgettable guest experience at one of the cities premier cocktail lounges. Robyn will be mixing four of his delicious recipes starting at 6pm – December 16, 2012 and will be accompanied by the music of Adam Woodall who starts his set at 8pm. The TV’s will be blacked out to create a festive lounge atmosphere.
I like beer. I’ve drunk a lot of it over a great many years in a great many places and I am thrilled by the current explosion of distinctive craft beers here in British Columbia. Yet I am not, I hope, the stereotypical pot-bellied pub purist who clings to some some imagined “real ale” heritage. Full disclosure: I started drinking in my native England — at a local called The Happy Man — and I’m from the era when the Campaign for Real Ale was launched to promote alternatives to the mass production of bland and boring booze.What I am, I hope, is an easy-going, convivial kind of guy who enjoys good company in a good pub in equal measure to good beer. I recognize that beer preferences are personal and it is not the intention of this blog to bore you with mine. The aim is to explore and celebrate our ever-expanding beer options and, perhaps, nudge some readers to leave their comfort zones and sample something different once in a while.In that vein, allow me to pour a barrier-busting craft beer from East Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing Company called Hoparazzi, recently added as one of the 24 taps at my local, The Queens Cross Neighbourhood Pub in North Vancouver. As a veteran newspaperman (more than 40 years of ink-stained toiling), I can’t resist the name which is a play on paparazzi, the wretched low-lifers of the media who hound celebrities in pursuit of sordid gossip and candid photographs. The Hoparazzi coaster features a vaguely European-looking gent with a press pass in his hat and a camera around his neck. Only three grain sheaves in his shirt pocket allude to the content of the brew. The beer has a hoppy tang which is not to everybody’s taste, although in this case it is not overbearing. What is very different is that it also has the smooth, light finish of a lager. In fact, it bills itself as an India Pale Lager, a cute and comfortable mingling of traditional over-hopped India Pale Ale with the pilsner-style still favoured by a majority of drinkers on both sides of the Atlantic.As you may know, extra hops were originally added to IPA for their preservative properties — the export ale had to survive a long, hot voyage from the Old Country to British troops in India — but these days hops are valued more for their ability to import bitterness, flavour and bouquet. When you can get all of that in a lager, what’s not to love.