‘The living room of Sidney’; Small Gods Brewing Co. reads into things

‘The living room of Sidney’; Small Gods Brewing Co. reads into things

“I’m hoping to be astonished tomorrow by I don’t know what.” 

That quote is from the late American poet Jim Harrison’s book, In Search of Small Gods. Now, it’s a sign that something good is brewing on the corner of Third Street and Sidney Avenue.

Small Gods Brewing Co. is run by Chris Bjerrisgaard (who co-founded Vancouver Craft Beer Week), award-winning writer Sierra Skye Gemma, and head brewer Jonny Kostiuk—formerly the head brewer of Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers. 

With 16 taps, a 60-seat patio, and an 80-seat tasting room, it is the latest brewery on Third Street, alongside Beacon Brewing—which, at first, opened to the chagrin of some Sidney residents. 

Photo: Ryan Hook

According to Small Gods Taproom lead Tiffany Healing, those issues have blown over, and now residents see the upside to having a pair of breweries around.

“Some of the people that were [against the brewery] are coming in now,” Healing said. “And young people in the area are coming out of the woodwork too.” 

Part of the appeal to Small Gods is how it honours the literary side of Sidney—an area they say has the most bookstores per capita. “The intention is to have Small Gods be the living room of Sidney,” Healing said.

The tasting room—with its checkerboard floor and two five-foot mid-century modern mirrors—hosts monthly events, including author readings, literary trivia nights, and a book club. There’s also a small library with children’s books, too. 

Small Gods Brewing Co.’s taproom, where they hold monthly readings and book clubs.

 As such, beers on tap are named after literary masterpieces, such as the A Many Splendored Thing tangerine saison or the Promised Land hazy pale ale—a not-so-subtle hint to the owner’s ambitions for the brewery.

“We really wanted to have something available for anyone,” Healing said. “If you want something hoppy—we’ve got that; and if you want something malty we’ve got that too. There’s just something for everyone.”

On an unusually hot fall day, I sat on the patio and tried the Tangerine Saison. Contrary to the sweeter and lighter saisons I’m used to, this one was hoppier.

Funny enough, while the beer is quite literally the cornerstone of Small Gods, the brewery’s sandwiches have become a staple for people stopping in at Sidney.

“Our food has taken off a lot more than we thought it would. And if the people want it the people get it,” Healing said. “I think we’re a lot more food-heavy than we ever intended to be … it’s been very well-received.” 

For good reason, since for lunch, I decided on the featured sandwich: The Bobbie.

Brimming with Thanksgiving favourites like beer-brined pulled turkey, stuffing, roasted yams, brussels slaw, with cranberry blueberry sauce and garlic butter, The Bobbie was a perfect blend of savoury and sweet packed into an eight-inch sandwich. 

Surprisingly, the best part was the bread, which is baked in-house and is a perfect balance of crunchy and soft. Also, stuffed with ingredients, the sandwich held together without ending up a total mess on my plate or my face.

Right: A Many Splendored Thing tangerine saison, Left: The Bobbie, a delicious Thanksgiving dinner sandwich

It’s not surprising that Small Gods Brewing Co. is already establishing itself as a premier place in Sidney for good beer and great eats.

Small Gods Brewing Co. is located at 9835 Third St. and is open seven days a week from 11am to late. 

Written by

Ryan Hook

Ryan Hook