Recipe: Brass Fish Burger

paired with Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery

The Brass Fish burger. Fred Fung photo

Brass Fish Tavern opened last February just in time for the pandemic. Located in Vancouver’s historic Marine Building, the name takes inspiration from the building itself. It is a beautiful, unique space with memorable design elements including a whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling.

“It is a place for elevated pub food, craft beers and cocktails,” explained Chef Sarah Stewart. “We also have an Izakaya—which is a type of informal Japanese bar—so in a way it is a pub within the pub. We draw inspiration from those flavours in our core menu as well.”

For this recipe, Stewart chose “our riff on a classic fast food burger. Our chef team is passionate about using local suppliers and quality goods, and we are also really excited about trashy snacks.” While the burger was a collaboration, the signature Russian dressing recipe is her own creation.

Brass Fish Tavern chef Sarah Stewart. Fred Fung photo

The ideal beer pairing was a consensus pick among the Brass Fish staff. “Fat Tug is the beer of choice to pair with our burger. Not only do I love everything that Driftwood Brewery does, but the fruity and bitter notes of this particular beer complement and hold their own against the rich Two Rivers beef and buttery bun.”

While beer doesn’t play a part in this particular recipe, Stewart said, “I enjoy cooking with bold flavours. I love the range of acidities available in sour beers and I find the complementary fruit flavours really versatile when cooking.” She would suggest making an IPA onion and thyme jam as an additional topping for this burger, or perhaps a fruit-forward sour beer and apple mustard along with double smoked bacon.

Stewart lives in East Van, “the land of small breweries so I love to stroll around and see what is new and at my doorstep.” She prefers sour and hoppy beers: “I’m not sure if it is due to the fact that I spend most of my days tasting food that is quite rich, and I really love bold and tangy flavours as an offset to that richness. I just can’t get enough sour. The more sour and the more hoppy, the better for me personally.”

Brass Fish Tavern has an extensive beer list with a wide variety of craft beers from B.C. breweries. It also offers Happy Hour pricing on all B.C. draught beer weekdays from 3pm to 7pm. So maybe after trying to make this burger at home, head over to Brass Fish and taste the real thing there. —Joe Wiebe

Chef Sarah makes the Brass Fish burger. Fred Fung photo


Russian Dressing
• 1 cup mayo
• ¼ cup ketchup
• 2 tbsp horseradish
• 2 tbsp finely chopped dill pickle
• 1 tbsp dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp sriracha
• 1 tbsp cider vinegar
• to taste salt & pepper
• 1 tbsp chopped parsley

• 1 Martin potato roll, buttered
• 1 Two Rivers grass-fed beef patty
• salt & pepper, to taste
• 2 tbsp Russian dressing
• 4 bread and butter pickles
• ¼ cup lettuce (finely sliced)
• 2 slices Roma tomato
• 1 slice American cheddar


Russian Dressing

1. Gather everything in specified quantities.

2. Mix in a small bowl.

3. Taste and adjust to personal preference.

4. Store refrigerated for up to a week.


1. Season the burger patty with salt & pepper.

2. Sear in a hot pan or griddle, cooking 3 minutes per side approximately.

3. When the burger is almost cooked, place the cheese on the top to melt.

4. Toast and butter the bun.

5. Cover each side of the bun in sauce and top with your favourite ingredients.

6. Make and eat three more of them because they are that gosh darn good.

This story originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of The Growler, out now! You can find B.C.’s favourite craft beer and cider guide at your local brewery, cidery, select private liquor stores, and by subscription here.

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