On Big River Brew Pub and Beer, Beer, Beer.

I love learning!  Especially about beer!  It has such a beguiling history, and here in BC the culture just gets better every year.  I’m always up for a pint, and thrilled to discover pubs that brew their own.  Hello Big River Brew Pub in Richmond!

My sister, our friend Haley (visiting from Toronto), and I decided to wander into a part of Richmond I haven’t been to yet, so we drove down picturesque No. 6 Road and ended up at a massive entertainment complex where the road intersects with Steveston Highway.  There’s several restaurants, a huge movie theatre, a swim club, an ice rink, and a bowling alley attached to pub.  Beer and nachos were on our minds, so we settled in on their patio.

Beer first.

Although it should have been obvious from their name, I didn’t realize when we walked in that the pub has a brewmaster, Michael Stewart, who brews all of their beer.  Props!  They have this handy writeup on the menu that describes (very basically) their beer brewing process:

This is what hops look like when they’re growing – quite beautiful, aren’t they?

It took me awhile to come around to really hoppy beers, but now I enjoy a strong IPA.  I ordered the dark taster rack and Kate ordered the light, so we got a good sampling of all they offer.

Each came with five glasses: mine had a Nut Brown, Seasonal, Pale Ale, Extra Special Bitter, and a Dry Stout, while the light rack had a Blonde Ale, Pale Ale, Pilsner, Vienna Lager, and a Seasonal.  I think the seasonal brew on my rack was the Vienna Lager, and the seasonal brew on the other was the Nut Brown, though that confused me a little.  Anyways, there was some overlap between the two.

My favourites were the Pale Ale, Pilsner, and Extra Special Bitter.  I though the Nut Brown and Vienna were too sweet, and while I enjoyed the Stout, I would have preferred it to be even stronger; I love a stout that’s nearly black.  It was nice to compare the beers so easily to one another, and have a look right into the steel-laden room where the brewmaster does his thing.

Being within such a large complex, the pub is wisely in cahoots with its neighbours.  On Thursday nights, in conjunction with the Silver City movie theatre next door, you can enjoy dinner and a movie for only $18, which is a pretty sweet deal.

There’s also a bowling alley attached to the pub, so you can also make a night out of beers, burgers, and bowling balls.

Or just come in for some classic pub fare and beer, like we did.  We ordered wings to start, choosing honey garlic and teriyaki since none of us are much for raging heat.  They were messy and saucy, just as good chicken wings should be.

Our ‘main’ was a big order of nachos, which came with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.  Unfortunately, these were a let-down.  Engage me in a conversation about the fine art of nacho-layering, and you’ll be stuck with me for at least a half hour.  Nachos were the one thing I craved while living in Italy; I just love them so much.

I’m a stickler for generous amounts of cheese (good cheese), believe no chip should be left un-sprinkled, and desire lots of sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.  Unfortunately this was all lacking with the nachos at Big River; there wasn’t enough cheese, what was there was kind of flavourless, and we quickly ran out of condiments.  When we asked for more salsa to finish them off, we were charged a dollar for small second portion.

Next time I wouldn’t go with the nachos – I’d head there on a Thursday night for a burger and fries (and an Extra Special Bitter if they’ll include it in the $18 special!) then head over to Silver City to watch a movie.  Perhaps Ride Like Hell?  It’s all big thrills, fast chases, and the perfect way to convince oneself never to become a bike courier.

And a big reminder as always – whether on a bike or in a car – never drink and drive!!



Big River Brew Pub

14200 Entertainment Boulevard, Richmond BC

There’s also a second location in Coquitlam


Cash and cards accepted

Vegetarian options available


  1. Mandy2

    I’m a lover of Nachos and have yet to find any in Richmond that I can say Yummmm! But c’mon, charging an extra $1 for salsa??? What are they thinking, one can’t eat nachos without salsa! Poor business sense imo. I also noticed the salsa looks like bottled stuff… another no no, imo. It’s not hard to make a fresh salsa (nor fresh guac)and not expensive either. If I go out for food, I want something special and authentic. Doesn’t look like this place hits that mark, for food at least.

  2. KimHo

    Though it is not a dining destination, at the end of the day, it is one of those places where “comfort” is the reason to go. Who cares about fancy eats when all you want is old pub food and some entertainment tag along! As for the food…

    The chicken wings seems to be of decent size. In the last couple of weeks, I have been to some pubs where I started to wonder if they were from baby chicken. A chicken McNugget was larger than said wing!

    Nachos were the one thing I craved while living in Italy; I just love them so much.

    I have a friend from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and we met in Toronto while we were there for work reasons. The dish my friend ordered? Nachos. Reason? Because that was something she fancied and, over there, there isn’t really such type of dish. However, similar to you, if I were to eat nachos (not a big fan to begin with), one of my biggest complains is that not all tortilla chips have toppings. Instead, most restaurants just dump the tortilla chips and then the toppings. No care to make sure each chip has some topping. Oh, well…

  3. Laurette

    not a bad pub as we had our bowling lunch banquet there in May. Bowling alley is a nice one & they are becoming less common. The only good nachos are what you make at home I find. But the beer sampling sounds nice!!!

  4. Leanne

    Yes I would recommend the burger and fries. My hubs and I (huge fans of the good ‘ol Legendary White Spot burger) think Big River has a superb classic and brewhouse burger with beer braised onions. The garlic fries are fantastic. Have cravings for them sometimes…it’s fresh chopped garlic sprinkled over crispy wedge fries. They’ve been consistenly good over many years.

    Similar to the salsa issue, my family and I had really great fish and chips at Shady Island in Steveston a few weeks ago and we got a very small plastic cup of tartar sauce each. The fish was huge, about 8 inches long and the bigger eaters ordered 2 pieces of fish. Upon asking for an extra tartar sauce, the server told us it would be an extra 75 cents. We had spent $90 for lunch and they wanted to squeeze an extra 75 cents out of us. They really should have at least allowed the larger portion of fish & chips to come with an extra tartar sauce without charging.

    I’m getting hungry talking about all this food, want garlic fries now 🙂

    • lhsl

      No worries about not enough salsa at Que Pasa, their condiment bar has a selection of different kinds. All fresh and made on-site.

  5. Steph

    Great combo! Didn’t know they had that.

    Since you’re (mostly) a vegetarian and love nachos, you should definitely try Foundation’s nachos. It’s on Main St ( cross street E 7th I think and yes, I know it’s not in Richmond but it is AWESOME. Best nachos in town hands down.

    Any Thai finds in Richmond yet? Looking for a place that has killer pad Thai and basil chicken.

  6. Melanie

    I’ve never tried the nachos there, but I highly recommend a trip to Que Pasa on No.5 Road, south of Steveston Highway. It is a local Mexican food factory turning out fresh, delicious corn-based goods and excellent salsa too. They have a lunch counter, speciality grocery store area, and unique blender drinks on the premises.

  7. grayelf

    Agree Que Pasa is a good place to check out (I was so sad when they moved from Kits!). They have the best white corn tortillas I have found in the Lower Mainland, which taste great and equally importantly maintain their structural integrity when thawed — they come frozen. Essential for making fish tacos at home!

  8. L Billings

    Hello Lindsay!

    We are pleased to see you made it to this part of Richmond and wish to take this opportunity to thank you for the write up. Together as one, Big River and The Zone bring Richmond a unique experience in dining and family entertainment. Big River is excited to be working on new menus for release later this fall. Our Executive Chef, Ty Sadorsky, is working diligently in our test kitchen developing new fresh menu items, including a new version of nachos. Our customers opinions are always valued and our Chef Ty took your concerns to heart.

    We loved your excitement about the brewery. We are excited about it too!
    Michael Stewart has just released his first official beer as our new
    brewmaster the hop forward “Shore Leave” IPA. This amber beauty bursts of an abundance of hops right from the beginning and holds on to the last drop.

    We appreciate your honest feedback and look forward to seeing you here for Dinner and Movie Night to enjoy a Burger and Fries, maybe a few rounds of

Comments are closed.