Sharing B33r Jars - 2016/11/03

Jam Jar, 2280 Commercial Drive, was brought to life with the desire to share a social concept behind the doors of traditional Lebanese culture—an aspect you would only truly experience inside someone’s home, not by eating out at a restaurant. When seasonal Lebanese produce is plentiful and affordable, it is often collected for canning. These jars are then distributed among the community, and a natural act is to bring a jar of whatever you chose over to the home of a neighbour, a friend, or a family member.

Inviting this concept into its doors on Commercial, Jam Jar’s jar program is similar to the concept of growler fills at a brewery: it enables people to take out and refill a variety of different hummus creations and dips. Meanwhile, the menu and layout of the sit-down restaurant are structured in such a way, through share plates and communal tables, to encourage connection.

In a small but inviting space, Jam Jar facilitates cross-cultural connections that highlight each particpant’s strengths. Quality of ingredients is paramount, allowing the ethnic tastes to invite us in, let us stay a while.

Said to be drawn to a mutual company ethos, owner Fadi Eid brought on 33 Acres of Ocean as a fit for the menu to pair well with many different dishes, including Makanik; lamb sausages and Shish Tawouk; chicken skewers; Mujadra lentil stew; Batata Harra and roasted potatoes.

Jam Jar focuses on the big without losing sight of the start. It pairs timeless with contemporary. Hummus is classic, traditional, and simple, but to be done right, it must have the fundamental quality, the freshest ingredients. Then you can adapt for flavour and texture. And then we thought: why not b33r hummus? Try it for yourself. 3ND

1 1/2 garlic clove, Juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp salt, Beer cubes 250ml, 500 gr chickpeas, 50ml tahini

1. Start by boiling/cooking your own chickpeas with a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Run under cold water to cool before using to make hummus. Canned chickpeas can also be used, but by boiling your own with baking soda, you are ridding them of the enzymes that often create gas in the stomach.
2. Make 33 Acres of Ocean ice cubes: fill your ice cube tray with 250ml/1 cup of Ocean. Freeze.
3. In a food processor, combine Ocean ice cubes, chickpeas, garlic, salt, and lemon juice. Blend slightly, until texture is a bit chunky—don’t smooth until tahini is added.
4. Add tahini and mix to smooth.
5. Add olive oil while food processor is going. This will further smooth the hummus.
6. Serve with pita bread, taco chips, or in this case, a nice big pretzel aside a growler of Ocean for a great appetizer.
7. Serve within three days.

33 Acres of Centennial - 2016/10/14

To the point. We love Centennial hops! We got our hands on a bunch this fresh hop season grown locally by our friends at Chilliwack Hop Farms. This Single Malt, Single Fresh Hop North West Pale Ale is a showcase to feature this special hop. Available now in our tasting room only for glasses and fills.

Colour: Orange
Alcohol: 7.0% by volume
Aroma: Geranium and Rose flowers
Flavour: Lemon and pine bitterness, lingering lemon and floral flavour, mild “golden sugar” finish.

Emergence – Access Gallery - 2016/10/04

Emergence – Access Gallery
Written by Alison Sinkwicz

“Emerging artist” is a term thrown around quite often. Printed in exhibition descriptions, tossed into conversations—or, god forbid, used on Linkedin profiles—the label carries many connotations, but very little weight. Exactly what are these artists “emerging” into?

Access Gallery, which surfaced in 1991, has been asking this type of question of its artists, collaborators, and audiences since the very beginning. “Access was started by a group of recent University of British Columbia grads because they really needed the space—a place to discourse,” says current director and curator Kimberly Phillips, who joined in 2013. “So it was born more out of a particular need for space literal space, but also discourse space. And it’s been a really scrappy institution since then.” Joining other long-standing artist-run-centres in Vancouver, Access fosters the ability for engaging, provoking work to exist and thrive in the city.

For Access, “emerging artist” is definable, but certainly not rigid. “We understand an artist or a practice to be emergent when it can demonstrate a rigour and criticality, but hasn’t had big opportunities yet, or is in need of visibility,” explains Phillips. An artist could be a recent graduate or, perhaps, have made a departure from previous practices. As Phillips puts it: “We always ask the question: does this practice/artist need the platform of Access to generate meaningful, critical conversations around their work?”

Through the decades, the gallery has continued its mandate—a task that is becoming increasingly difficult in the city’s seemingly endless reduction of affordable land. For Phillips, however, the issue of space poses a compelling challenge. “As a curator I’m really interested in working with constraints, and there are a lot of constraints at Access: spatially, fiscally, and otherwise—but those constraints can be really exciting and enabling,” laughs Phillips. In the centre’s 23 Days at Sea residency, Access, in partnership with the Burrard Arts Foundation and the Contemporary Art Gallery, plays with the concept of restraint, and what can be produced within a limited environment. Chosen artists work for 23 days aboard a Reederei NSB container ship that travels from Vancouver to Shanghai. Under these very constricting circumstances, and cut off from the usual lines of communication, the artists produce a series that reflects on their solitary time on the ship. “[The residency] is in part motivated by the inability to do things,” Phillips says. “We can’t afford to host people here, but it allows us to ask questions about: Where is creative space? Where does it get constituted?”

While there are constraints, Access is doing what it can on the home front. By inviting more established thinkers and artists such as Liz Magor and Ian Wallace to converse with exhibiting participants, Phillips has expanded the audience of the centre. “What’s been amazing is these established artists always say that they learn a lot from those conversations,” she says.

Dialogue, after all, is perhaps the most important function of the artist-run-centre. Unlike profit-motivated galleries, this shared-space format both responds and reacts to its environment with more immediacy. “It’s really important to pay attention to the way practices change, and they change constantly,” Phillips says, thinking about the future of such establishments. “So it may be that the nature of how you need or require or articulate space changes, and that could change remarkably over the next 10 years. I think you need to continually ask yourself those questions: Why you do what you do?”

For Access, and more specifically for Phillips, facilitating those types of queries and adaptations is a critical part of her work. Rather than dictating direction, her role requires a lighter touch. “I kind of think often of my work as akin to that of a choreographer,” she muses. “You have an idea of what bodies you want to put in the room, and you kind of choreograph to the best of your ability a series of actions.” She continues: “But then those forces have their own way of interacting, and the forces that are created have reverberations that are out of your control, which is really exciting.” Where we end up may be unknown, but incredible talent will surely emerge.