Address: 125 Pacific Ave
The flood of new craft breweries putting our city awash in local suds has made this the year of beer in Winnipeg. While interest in local beer has been steadily growing for years, one of the first restaurants to capitalize on the brewpub concept in Winnipeg was Peg Beer Co.
Setting itself apart from the many breweries that offer taproom tasting, this brewery has a full menu of regionally focused dishes to complement
pours brewed on site. Chef Aron Epp’s penchant for local and scratch-made ingredients (excercised during his tenure at the University of
Winnipeg’s Elements)is evidenced by everything from house-pickled eggs and veg to fresh baked bread.
Despite the unlikely pairing of a brewery and a religious community, hints to this province’s Mennonite heritage appear on the menu. The
peculiarities of regionality result in dishes like Faspa (a traditional Sunday meal of buns, cheese, and cold meats) and rhubarb platz (fruit
crumble), proving that the new generation of homesteaders are a little less buttoned up.
Food that pulls from rustic, nostalgic inspiration is only fitting for the restaurant’s setting, an Exchange District warehouse whitewashed and illuminated with twinkling lights. Beer hall wooden tables and stainless steel accents give an industrial edge. The sprawling space has room for
beer production and consumption; you may be able to take a peek at the brewery, where steel tanks are happily fermenting away new batches of brews (free brewery tours take place Mondays at 7 and 8 pm, private tours can be booked for $5 a head).
With six specialty beers on tap and available by growler, it’s no wonder beer makes its way into the food. ISA (India Session Ale) lends light, hoppy flavour to an aged cheddar soup, rich without being heavy. Beet and ricotta salad is elevated by the malty edge of a citrus-stout vinaigrette.
In lieu of entrées, “large plates” encourage family style sharing. Oktoberfest spirit—no matter the date on the calendar—gets in full swing as a server lowers a platter bearing a slab of bone-in ham, glistening with honey glaze.
A smoked corned beef platter, another monster portion, is worth gathering the requisite 2-4 friends to splurge. Served on a mound of roasted veggies—carrots, parsnips, and smashed potatoes, all laced with dill—the meat is served in fist sized cubes stacked neatly under a trail of whole seed mustard. Soft housemade bread, sauerkraut, pickles and dressing are on hand for building heaping sandwiches.
A selection of flatbreads offers an option for those looking for a lighter meal. A fungus ‘za layers on the cheese with a mound of mushrooms and a scattering of bacon, all under an earthy swirl of truffle oil.
Good food and good beer brings people together, forging a bond by breaking bread and clinking glasses. Undermining the legacy of haute cuisine, regional food has always found its strength in authenticity, in how closely it aligns with the dishes lovingly prepared in home kitchens; it connects those who eat it with the land and its people. From the chatter at the filled tables of this bustling brewpub, its easy to see that Peg Beer Co is making connections.
Peg Beer Co is open Mon-Thu 11 am-11 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am-12 am, and Sun 4 pm-11 pm.