Craft Beer meets Kick-ass Tacos at Four Winds Brewing

Four Winds Brewing is mentally far for me but not actually far time-wise. In good traffic, it takes less than 30 minutes! That’s about the same amount of time for me to drive to Kits. Four Winds started offering tacos in their tasting room about three weeks ago, and since I was on my “staycation”, we checked them out. I’m glad to say that they’re now not only a great beer destination but a great LUNCH destination too!

Read about my very first visit to Four Winds back in June 2014 here, and their one-year anniversary pop-up restaurant here. These guys are serious about their food!

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The beers available on this particular visit (Tuesday, April 5, 2016). Their Berliner Weisse is now back and also available in 4-pack bottles. Oat porter is a personal fave, and it’s nice to see Juxtapose back. Nectarous makes all the sour beer geeks wet their pants.

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Four Winds’ new taco menu runs from Monday to Friday only, 12:00 to 3:30pm. They’re still testing things out, so menu may change. Peep that Denon turntable and Kenwood amp!

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In addition to what was written on the board, they also had a Chorizo & Potato taco. We ended up ordering TWO ROUNDS of EVERYTHING! That’s seven tacos for me and Wicca each 😀

Prices are $3.25 each or 4 for $12. It is admittedly more expensive than the townie benchmark La Taqueria but a) it’s in Delta, and b) they really go buck-wild with making these tacos great. Lots of thought and effort go into these flavours.

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My flight: Elementary Lager (4.5%), Phaedra Belgian Rye IPA (7.2%), Buckthorn Hoppy Brown Ale (5%), and Exil d’Eden Apple & Oat Table Saison (5%).

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Elementary Lager (4.5%). My first time trying Four Winds’ lager. The perfect crisp, clean, easy-drinking lager. As much as there have been attempts at making sessionable ales (ISAs, etc), nothing beats a proper well done lager. There’s a time and place for lagers…like now:

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I said, “One of each, please!” A few minutes later, these appeared. These tacos look fuckin’ legit!! It felt strange and wonderful to be eating and drinking this top-notch food and beer in the middle of an industrial park in Delta.

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The meat platter (clockwise from top): Al Pastor (pork & pineapple), Potato & Chorizo (ground pork sausage, potato, yam), Slow-Braised Pork (red chili sauce, jicima slaw, pickled onions), and Pollo Asado (grilled chicken).

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The veggie platter (clockwise from top): Mushroom 3 Ways (confit portobello, pureed cremini, crispy oyster), Braised Kale (cashews, queso fresco, aioli), and Roast Cauliflower (fried gruyere, pico de gallo, crema).

We both liked the smaller size of these tacos. They’re still jam-packed with filling. I didn’t have a ruler or measuring tape, but if my male sensibilities are correct, these were 4.5″ tortillas. Definitely not 6″. It didn’t feel like 6″ in the mouth. So I’ll go with 4.5″.

Now, individually, in excruciating detail…

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Roast Cauliflower (fried gruyere, pico de gallo, crema). This one blew both of us away! The roasted cauliflower is crumbly and looks and tastes like braised meat! Bit of pickled cabbage on top and a slice of pickled jalapeno. Not sure how the “fried gruyere” figured into it, but taken as a whole it was amazingly flavourful. THIS is how you make a vegetarian dish SING with flavour.

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I’ll be in the corner finishing this off in my mouth.

Braised Kale (cashews, queso fresco, aioli). Tender kale with meltingly soft onions. Ground cashews on top added oomph and richness. If you’re anti-kale, that’s fine. I’ll be in the corner finishing this off in my mouth.

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Mushroom 3 Ways (confit portobello, pureed cremini, crispy oyster). This is a great way to introduce the concept of a 3-way to your wife. Tender portobello atop an umami-rich cremini puree, mixed with eye-opening crispy shards of oyster mushrooms. Topped with pickled cabbage, it’s another winner.

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Now with the meats: Slow-Braised Pork (red chili sauce, jicima slaw, pickled onions). Could be a touch more tender but the flavour is there. The addition of jicima is inspired. Exil d’Eden Apple & Oat Saison was a natural pairing for this taco.

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Potato & Chorizo (ground pork sausage, potato, yam). Amazing! Potatoes and chorizo is a great Mexican breakfast dish but adding sweet yams takes it to another level. Love the grilled red bell peppers too.

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Al Pastor (pork & pineapple). Sweet, juicy cubes of pineapple and that al pastor pork flavour. Until Vancouver gets real al pastor on a spit with a pineapple on top, with a guy that cuts ‘n flicks pieces of pineapple through the air and catches them with the tortilla, this is the next best thing. Wicca has always hated the sweet pineapple in al pastor commingling with the meat but I love it!

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Pollo Asado (grilled chicken). This being chicken, it was more laidback in flavour than the rest, but I could still taste the grilled flavour. Wicca thinks a guacamole would be a good element to add to this one and I agree*. Still good, but compared to the others it pales a tiny bit. If you get this one in a platter, eat it first then ramp up to the others. Or just add one of their salsas.

*EDIT: They’ve now added an avocado puree to the grilled chicken taco!

You’ll notice that I didn’t use any salsa on any of my tacos. I wanted to taste them as-is on my first visit, then do salsas next time:

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The salsa cart: Chipotle (medium), Salsa Verde (medium), Habanero (hot), and Salsa de Molcajete (mild stone-ground red salsa). I did end up trying some of the chipotle one in my chicken taco and it tasted properly chipotle-like. But it’s great that these tacos taste flavourful and balanced on their own.

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My first time trying their Buckthorn Hoppy Brown Ale (5%) and it’s killer. Brown ales are like the brown shoes of the beer world. Can be damn boring and standard and always there in the background. But adding an extra hoppy element to it made it crazy good.

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Couple more pics showing Wicca’s “The Claw”. That lime had no chance. Neither do my balls if she ever reads this post.

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Look at those slivers of crispy fried oyster mushrooms!

Last note about the tortillas: they were all heated up properly. Soft and pliable, and not dry or mealy-tasting. I’ve had times at La Taqueria where I thought the tortillas could’ve been warmed up a bit more, so kudos to Four Winds.

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As we left, they’d just brought out their new “tacos & beer” sign! Highly recommended that you make the visit!

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