Sip Trips #209: Okanagan Opus

April was highlighted by two trips to the Okanagan region of B.C., one to visit a friend and another to celebrate the end of a good buddy’s bachelor days. Let’s see what the Sip Family got up to in the month of showers:

Upon returning from Las Vegas at the end of March, we immediately departed for Peachland the next morning, with the Sipplings in tow. On our way there, we had a late lunch at Empty Keg Brew House in Merritt. Along with a great beers and fun food, the brewery also offered an awesome selection of free arcade games to play, which the Sipplings loved, even though they don’t get the concept of any of them. Board games and puzzles for various ages were also available. To eat, we all split orders of a Hot Dog with Parmesan Fries and the Chicken & Cheese Quesadilla. To drink, I enjoyed the Ruby’s Irish Red Ale, while Mrs. Sip went with the Eight Seconds Cream Ale.

Arcade Games

Over our weekend stay, another stop we made was at BNA Brewing. We had hoped to partake in their bowling alley, but were unable to get a lane. We did have a good meal and drinks in their expansive space, though, with my dinner consisting of the Kung Pao Street Fries, along with servings of the Big Mario IPA and Ace Hazy Pale Ale.

Back at home, Mrs. Sip and I received our first VCBW Beer Box deliveries. The box was full of interesting selections from around the province, with only a couple being ones I had tried previously. I’m still working my way through it all and have enjoyed the variety and quality of the picks, thus far.

As part of our Easter celebrations, Mrs. Sip and I were offered a kids-free date night, allowing us to attend Bunnies and Booze at Maan Farms. Tickets were $75 per person and included a meal and one drink ticket. I went with the Chicken Tikka Masala with Fries option, along with an Old Yale IPA. There was also a couple games for all to participate in, prior to the big Easter egg hunt. Those who collected four eggs of different colours (which was very easy to do), were given a goody bag, including chocolate treats and a can of the Farms’ own Beltzer Berry Wine Seltzer. We wrapped the evening with a pre-ordered ice cream inside a chocolate egg.

Easter Hunt

Prior to our final Vancouver Canucks game of the season, Mrs. Sip and I managed to get into the Devils Elbow Ale & Smokehouse, where we feasted on happy hour eats like their Brisket Sandwich, Pulled Pork Quesadilla and Mac & Cheese Cornbread. We also capitalized on the pricing of beers, splitting between us the Twin Sails Livin’ the Dream Fruited Pale Ale, North Point Strawberry Blonde, Townsite Mystery Reef IPA, Parkside Almost Citrus Orange Drink Beer, Driftwood Raised by Wolves IPA, and an Old Fashioned cocktail. The food was fantastic and with such a great selection of beers, everyone can find something they like.

After taking the Sipplings to an Easter event in Maple Ridge, we made sure to have lunch at the Billy Miner Alehouse, which has long been a favourite eatery of ours. I had the deliciously messy 3:10 to Yuma burger (smoked chicken, beef patty, smoked gouda, bacon, whiskey BBQ sauce, crispy onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, burger sauce), which was so freakin’ good. We also shared their famous Basket of Cornbread. To wash down the food, I had a pint of Mission Springs Red Mountain Ale.

Next up, was a stag party weekend in Summerland. We had a beautiful home rented at the Oak Estate Winery and golf games and other activities to enjoy. A fun stop I made with a couple of the guys was to Alchemist Distiller. Here, we enjoyed a tour and tasting, which included pours of their Vodka, two Gins, Apple Liqueur, Herb Liqueur, and Absynthe. I walked away with the very last bottle of the Lady Fox Gin, which was at the end of production and at a discounted rate of $25 ($10 off).

Stag

Our big night out started with dinner at Cactus Club in Kelowna, where I had a pint of Ugly Wheat Ale, paired with some Chicken Tenders with Fries. This restaurant has a great location, but we waited outside the restaurant, in the cold, for close to half an hour, despite having a reservation. Inside, they really need to fix their bathroom set-up as there was a long wait for a stall throughout the night, causing an uncomfortable bottleneck as people took their place in line.

We finished the month with our Vancouver Warriors lacrosse game, thanks to the free tickets I won previously. I can best describe the experience as a combo of a hockey game, wrestling show and rock concert all rolled into one. During the course of the evening, I had a Stanley Park Amber Ale and Spiced Rum and Coke, to go along with a glorious Footlong Hotdog.

May is already shaping up to be an interesting month, with a wedding to attend, Mother’s Day to celebrate and other festivities scattered throughout. You’ll hear about it here; same Sip time, same Sip channel!

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