It would be an understatement to say June was an insane month. We did a ton of stuff and had our first vacations since last summer. There’s lots to cover, so let’s get right to it:
To begin the month, we took the Sipplings to Science World, finally getting to return to the playground that was shutdown for much of the COVID emergency. Following a few hours of play, we hopped onto one of the Aqua Buses and made our way to Granville Island. There, we had lunch at Popina, where I ordered a Crispy Chicken Sandwich and Fries, paired with a Hoi Polloi Lager (made by Powell Brewing for Popina), which was a happy hour special.
While in the area, we also visited Granville Island Brewing for a beverage. Having tried almost everything on the menu, I went with the Fancy Pants Pale Ale (from the brewery’s Taproom Series). On our way out, we purchased bombers of the Granvillator Doppelbock and Quad 2020 (Cellar Series), along with a tall can of Flamingo Mango Hibiscus Sour.
My last day of parental leave was partially spent at Another Beer Company, where I had servings of The Roark Revival Hazy Triple IPA and Hermanos Dark Lager. Mrs. Sip took advantage of bartender Nique being there, ordering a pair of his specialty cocktails (Bourbon-Mango and Mezcal-Aperol-Grapefruit). As we tried to leave to pick up Girl Sip from playschool, I realized I had a flat tire. Mrs. Sip quickly booked an Uber to get to the playschool, while I was left behind with Boy Sip and a wait for the tire to be changed. That’s when a beer rep for Deep Cove and Bad Tattoo, among others and the marketing manager for Locality Brewing in Langley swooped in to save me. They changed the tire, as I kept Boy Sip entertained, and wouldn’t accept any offer for me to buy them some beer to go, to show my appreciation. Thank you again to these thoughtful folks!
With the stress of the day out of the way and restaurants opened up again to serve groups of friends, a few of us met at Piva Modern Italian for a decadent meal. I enjoyed The Dinner Burger, along with a couple servings each of the Steel & Oak Red Pilsner and Royal City Blonde Ale. Much thanks to Ma and Pa Sip for looking after the Sipplings, while we celebrated the end of my work freedom.
Later in the month, we finally got to travel again, spending a handful of days in Whistler. On our way to the resort community, we stopped at Container Brewing to pick up packs of Bak’d Cookies for Father’s Day gifts to our respective dads. When in Rome, we decided to try some beers from this new-to-us brewery. Our two flights were comprised of the Origin NEIPA, Daydreamer Fruit Sour, Juggernaut Wee Nitro Imperial Stout, All Season Nitro Stout, Forty Footer West Coast IPA, Panamax ESB, Heavy Wallet Rye Saison, and Destination DIPA. The place had a nice outdoor area and cool vibe, so I’d like to go back.
Since we were out that way, we reasoned that we just had to pop into Storm Brewing, one of our all-time favourites. I had a cup of the Arnold Palmer Ale, while Mrs. Sip tried the Purple Rain Ale. Both were as creative as we’ve come to expect from the brewery. For the road, I also grabbed a tall can four-pack of the Dill Pickle IPA, which has a fantastic label of Storm’s mad scientist looking like Rick from Rick & Morty.
For dinner on our first day in Whistler, we went to Dubh Linn Gate. Ma Sip and I split the Crispy Cajun Chicken Sandwich, which was just enough for the two of us. I paired my meal with a serving of Slackwater Idleback Amber Ale, which I would ironically get when we visited the brewery a couple weeks later. I do really like Amber Ales, so I’m not surprised I went with this choice both times. Our meal was followed by the Vallea Lumina attraction, which even on a second visit is so visually and aurally stunning that I fully endorse people checking it out.
Ma and Pa Sip offered to look after the kids one of the nights we were in Whistler, so Mrs. Sip and I could enjoy a date night. I planned the occasion, starting at Coast Mountain Brewing for a pint each (Hope You’re Grapefruit IPA and Bloem Saison), to get us into the mood for our activity at Forged Axe Throwing next door. The axe throwing was a lot of fun with our guide doing his best to teach us how to properly throw and getting us to play some games while learning. Best of all, we were able to enjoy a couple drinks while throwing, each going with a tall can of Whistler Hazy Trail Pale Ale. Before heading back to the Village for dinner, Mrs. Sip ducked back into Coast Mountain to grab two tall cans of Zut Zut Chili Chocolate Stout to go.
With a little time to kill before our dinner reservation, we walked over to Basalt Wine & Salumeria for pre-dinner cocktails. Mrs. Sip had the Alpenglow (Bombay Gin, St. Germain, rosemary, lime, cranberry bitters), while I went with the Smoke Show (Montelobos Mezcal, Aperol, Luxardo Originale, lime juice). Both drinks were very good and we would have stayed to sample more of the menu if we didn’t have our reservation.
Our meal took place at Stonesedge Kitchen, where we opened with the Baked Camembert and a side of Truffle Fries. My main dish was the Fried Chicken Sando with Kale Caesar Salad (ugh, I hate kale so very much, but we’d already ordered fries as an appy), while Mrs. Sip went with the Pacific Halibut. For drinks, we ordered a bottle of Laughing Stock Chardonnay, a winery we would visit by the end of the month.
On our journey back to the hotel, we stopped into a nearby liquor store, buying some tall cans, which included a quartet from Ile Sauvage Brewing (Tropique Sour with Pink Guava & Vanilla, Nordique Rye IPA with Juniper Berries, Abricot Golden Sour with Apricots, Achtung Berliner Weisse with Passion Fruit and Hibiscus) along with the Bad Tattoo Zen Out Chai Stout.
The next day, we checked out the Train Wreck hike, where a number of train cars that derailed in 1956 have been colourfully painted. Following that trek, we popped into Whistler Brewing. I had the Sunny Daze Yuzu IPA, which was only $5 for a 20-ounce pint. Mrs. Sip had the very interesting Be Kind Butterfly Flower Lager, which was purple and had a very unique taste.
Father’s Day was our last full day of vacay and we began the annual salute to dads with lunch at the High Mountain Brewhouse. I went with the Traditional Poutine with Beef, paired with servings of the Grizzly Brown Ale and Farmhouse Ale.
On our walk afterwards, we found ourselves at the Bearfoot Bistro for a pair of cocktails in the Off Guard (Don Julio Tequila, Cachaca, passion fruit, condensed milk, lime nutmeg) and Bed of Rose’s (Ketel One Grapefruit & Rose Vodka, Lemon Vanilla syrup, rhubarb bitters). Again, the drinks were very good and had we been without kids, we may have had a couple more, but it was time to get the Sipplings into the very fun resort pool, complete with water slide.
It should also be noted, Mrs. Sip spoiled me with a trio of Father’s Day gifts. These included bottles of Bumbu X0 Rum, Aviation Gin and Lagavulin Distillers Edition Scotch. Ma and Pa Sip also gifted me a case of Vancouver Island Brewing’s Summer Outpost Mix Pack, complete with Islander Lager, Broken Islands Hazy IPA, Twisted Stalk Blackberry Helles and Beachcomber Hefeweizen.
The following week, we were on our way to Penticton (which means “a place to stay forever”). En route, we stopped at Mountainview Brewing in Hope, giving the kids a chance to get out of the car for a bit. We tried the First Blood Orange Imperial Wheat Ale and Bokeh Hazy IPA, grabbing a tall can four-pack of the Wheat Ale to go, which by name alone is an amazing brew. First Blood (the first movie in Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo franchise) was filmed in the small town, which doubled as Hope, Washington. I also finally got to see the Rambo statue at Memorial Park.
Once in Penticton, a beer run was necessary to stock up for the weekend. We dropped into Riverside Liquor Store, which had a massive selection of all types of libations. I walked away with packs of Neighbourhood Sunshine City Passion Fruit Wheat Ale, Tin Whistle Coco Galore Coconut Hopfenweisse and Russell Belgian Split Pack (comprised of the Dark Belgian Single and Belgian Tropical IPA).
Trying to stave off the oppressive heatwave the entire province was suffering through, we headed to the hotel pool, where the bar was serving up reasonably-priced double cocktails. Mrs. Sip and I shared a trio of drinks, which were all good. Sadly, the pool bar closed earlier than planned the rest of our stay, as the extreme heat caused some employees to quit and the bar became understaffed. That said, we were able to go into the nearby The Station Public House to grab drinks and return to the pool with them. More on the pub in a moment.
On our last full day of vacation, our crew went to do wine tastings at Van Westen Vineyards and Laughing Stock Vineyards. At Van Westen, the tasting took place in the winery’s freezer, which provided some great relief from the heat. The staff also provided kids with chalk and allowed them to create art around the space. Laughing Stock had a nice outdoor setting for us, but it was almost too hot to enjoy the views. I really like the theme Laughing Stock has fully jumped into, using stock-themed wine names, calling club members investors and other fun tactics to separate themselves from other wineries.
That evening, the guys got to spend some time without kids, as was our deal when we let the ladies have a wine outing the day before. Not wanting to head into town to check out the breweries, we had dinner and drinks at The Station Public House. We had ordered takeout from there the day before, with the Sip Advisor enjoying a Louisiana Chicken Sandwich with Sea Salt and Parm Garlic Fries. On this occasion, I went simple but satisfying with the Chicken Fingers and Fries. My drinks over our lengthy stay, which also included a foray to their Cornhole playing grounds, was two cocktails – a Cranberry Dark N’ Stormy and Summer Mule – and a pair of beers, including Fernie Hit the Deck Hazy IPA and Bad Tattoo Juice Bomb IPA.
Prior to making the long drive back home, Mrs. Sip and I dragged the Sipplings to a couple breweries in the downtown core. We started at Neighbourhood Brewing, trying servings of their Way of Life Hazy IPA, Finesse Belgian Blonde and Dark Magic Horchata Milk Stout. We also took advantage of the brewery’s food menu, with orders of Tatchos and the Mooana Carne Asada and Piggie Smalls Al Pastor Tacos.
Next up, was Slackwater Brewing, where Mrs. Sip went with a flight (Nautical Nonsense Pineapple Sour with Pink Sea Salt, Pool Party Margarita Session Ale, Surfcaster New England IPA with Mango, Apricots and Galaxy, Totally Pitted Smoked Peach Sour), while I drank that second pint of Idleback Amber Ale mentioned earlier. The neat thing here, was they offered a Kids Juice Flight, allowing younger ones to get in on the fun. Girl Sip isn’t much of a juice junkie, but she got to sample apple, orange, cranberry and grapefruit juices, of which she really liked the apple.
Our final stop of the day was at Chilliwack’s Farmhouse Brewing, where we shared a delicious Pepperoni Pizza and Farmhouse S’more dessert. My beverage of choice was the Hazy Session Ale ISA, which completed our meal.
That was the month. It went by in a blur, as you can see from all our activity. Will July live up to the high expectations June set? Time will only tell.