With weekends as busy as the ones Mrs. Sip and I have, we almost need the work week to catch up on rest… but that time is even crazier. Clearly, there is no rest for the wicked, so let’s get this recap started:
The weekend began with Fuse at the Vancouver Art Gallery. This event – run four times per year – allows adults to peruse the exhibits in a more sophisticated setting. Translation: no kids running around! I have to admit that I am not an art lover and have found this event frustrating in the past, partly due to set-up and execution and partly due to my fellow attendees. Add on top of that, the fact that you can’t even have a drink with you as you explore and you have one grouchy Sip Advisor. If you want to enjoy a beverage, you are confined to the cafeteria or lounge. Even worse, friends of ours bought a couple drink tickets they couldn’t use, as the lounge was shutdown early, due to capacity issues.
On Saturday, we took our new bikes out for their first spin, journeying to Legacy Liquor Store in the Olympic Village. There, we stopped for their tasting event, featuring Les Trois Mousquetaires (The Three Musketeers) Brewing from Quebec. Two of their beers were available for sampling, including the Dopplebock and Baltic Porter. Both brews were strong, but delicious and complex. Apparently, they come in and out of the B.C. market, so keep your eyes peeled for them.
After returning our bikes back home, we walked over to Long Table Distillery, which we had heard good things about from a number of folks, before finally getting the opportunity to visit. Saturday is their Cocktail Hour, which means they’re making wonderful drinks from 3-9pm and we took full advantage of this occasion. Our selections included the Anthos , Winds of Arakkis, and their daily unnamed special. The bartenders were very attentive and I think their most interesting ingredients are their infused syrups.
Sunday provided an opportunity to do an East Vancouver craft crawl, with Mrs. Sip’s little sister in tow. The area was formerly known as Cedar Cove, but now goes by the name East Village and features a plethora of stops for beer and cocktail enthusiasts. We started with Powell Street Brewing (the lone location on our route that we had no prior experience with) and I have to say that all their beers were good. I particularly liked their Hopdemonium IPA and Seasonal Stout. The atmosphere of the place was also great and very relaxed.
Up next, was Odd Society Spirits. After previously writing about the distillery in another Sip Trips article, Mrs. Sip and I were invited back to do a tasting of their liquors. This included their Vodka, Gin, Oaked Gin, Crème de Cassis, and Bittersweet Vermouth. I loved how each alcohol had its own glassware. We also purchased a selection of their cocktails, with each more delicious than the last.
Afterwards, it was back to beers, with Parallel 49 Brewing. This company has a wide selection of beers, so figuring out what we had ordered (one of everything), with no guide provided by the bartender, was both fun and frustrating at the same time. I understand that they were pretty busy, but it would have been nice to have some kind of labelling. We figured things out with a little trial and error, but it caused Mrs. Sip and I to fondly reminisce about some of the places we had been to recently in Portland, where the customer writes out their own flight selections and then there is no mystery. My favourite beer here was the smoky Kellerbier, a collaboration between Parallel 49 and Steel & Oak.
We wrapped things up with Storm Brewing, which has some of the most unique beers you will find anywhere, let alone the Vancouver scene. For a donation, you can try up to six of their creations. The three of us sampled about 10 brews total, including flavoured stouts, IPAs, and sour beers. The place is constantly changing their menu, so every visit is a completely different experience.
I have to caution anyone looking to replicate out trip, as parts of the area can be sketchy. Mrs. Sip thinks at one point on our walk home, that a rough-looking woman was being advised by a man to steal her and her sister’s purses. There are routes that allow you to avoid much of the dodgier sections of East Van, so make sure you stick to them.
This weekend, we are off to B.C.’s Okanagan region for the Bacchanalia Food & Wine Festival. This all-inclusive evening promises to be an extraordinary experience, so guess what all you little sippers will be hearing about next week!