Makin' It Grain a collaborative pop-up dinner


We’re always on the lookout for food events to attend and were really excited when we found out about Makin’ It Grain. Dominion City Brewing Co., was transformed into a 100 seat pop-up dinner venue that featured five courses with beer pairings. This event was to benefit FarmWorks, a social enterprise at Operation Come Home that empowers young people with food, farming, and agricultural skills. This pop-up was a collaboration that included:

It was fun to follow along on social media while this event was being planned. It started out with a picture of those involved in with their respective trade tools pictured outside, then a few weeks later at Dominion City making a special collaborative brew with Canadian malted wheat with three different kinds of hops from a single farm in Ontario, called hopfenweisse. Finally, a few hours before the event, we saw the transformation of the industrial space into a rustic, inviting dining space for 100.

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Photo credit: Blair Gable

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Photo credit: Stephen La Salle's selfie stick.

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Photo credit: Eryn O'Neill

Upon arrival, we were greeted with the first of many beers and some nibbles from the large charcuterie board filled with meats, cheeses, and a variety of picked veggies. We enjoyed that while making our way through the brewery, checking out the brewing equipment, to find our table. We arrived to a beautifully styled table that really suited the vibe of the event. A burlap table runner ran across the length of the table on white linens with dark blue napkins. The autumn-inspired flower arrangements finished off the tables really well. It was hard not to reach for the delicious-looking bread already on the table. But we decided to wait a bit closer to dinner before trying out the three kinds available courtesy of the ladies of Bread By Us.

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We had a bit of time before dinner so we went to check out the artwork by local artist Eryn O’Neill that was displayed on the walls on the brewery. She created a series of special paintings, each themed around the pop-up team that she was working with after visiting each of their locations for inspiration. Each painting was available for sale at the event and a portion of the sales were also being donated to FarmWorks. Guests were also invited to purchase raffle tickets for their chance to win a large painting featuring the bar taps from The Albion Rooms.

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Time to eat! Here’s a look at what guests got to enjoy:

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Top to bottom: Roasted broccoli and herbed mushrooms on light rye; Curried tomatoes confit in olive oil with onions and fenugreek on sourdough; Roasted and creamed corn with dill on multigrain; Roasted acorn squash with birch syrup and pumpkin seeds on whole wheat. Paired with Supermoon Saison.

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Around the Block Butcher Shop made sausage with braised red cabbage, apples, and Devil's Brigade-soaked mustard seeds. Paired with Devil's Brigade Belgian-style Golden Ale. | Photo credit: Judy Feldman.

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Earl grey tea-encrusted albacore tuna crudo with Earl Grey Marmalade Saison tiger's milk, sweet potato, spent Dominion City oranges, shaved red onions, sunchoke chips, parsley, fresh coriander and olive oil. Paired with Earl Grey Maramlade Saison.

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Served family style: Whole-roasted pork leg for 100 served alongside poached leeks and duck fat confit potatoes, dressed kale, chicory and chickpeas, brussels, walnuts, pancetta and cheese curds (not pictured), zaatar spiced beets roasted with rosemary

We were seated very close to the make-shift kitchen the team created in the back of the brewery. It was amazing to see the organization and teamwork going on while they coordinated the serving of that many plates for that many people in a space which I’m sure if very different then what they are used to day-to-day.

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Each course was paired with a different Dominion City Beer. The highlight of this dinner was how well the beer was paired to each course. For instance, the Around the Block butcher shop sausage course was matched with a beer called Devil’s Brigade a Belgian-style Golden Ale that truly made its flavours sing. Very different and delightful beers, to go with very different and delicious courses. Forget wine pairings, the expert beer-matching going at this pop-up was impressive. It was a real showcase for the chefs and the brewmasters. Well done! The fifth and final course was served up at the bar. We made our way up there pretty quickly after dinner so we could catch the platting of them. Each dessert was serving in individual short mason jars like this:

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Liquid cheesecake with crushed beer nut brittle layered with fresh local apples and Galloping Hessian Pumpkin Brown Ale compote. Paired with Galloping Hessian Pumpkin Brown Ale.

The crushed beer nut brittle was amazing! That’s the only way to describe it. After the desserts were dished out the ladies of Bread by Us served the extra nuts in bowls in out around the bar. I found myself addicted to them and I couldn’t resist a few extra helpings. This liquid cheesecake dessert was perfectly paired with the Galloping Hessian Pumpkin Brown Ale. It was a truly delicious end to an all-around delightful experience.

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This was a great night! We enjoyed how all of the elements were distinctly different but also how they came together in this really cool collaboration between everyone involved. As always, the best part is that it was all for a great cause. A big congratulations to the team for raising a total of $3250 for FarmWorks!

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Photo credit: Stephen La Salle.

For anyone looking for a unique dining experience, I encourage you to check out try out a pop-up restaurant. It’s an experience that leaves you eager to find out when and where to find the next event. We try to share info about upcoming pop-up events so check back on our homepage often or sign up for our newsletter to keep on top of events around town as well as our own initiatives and special events.