Sip Trips #213: Colonial Corruptions

August was a fun month, highlighted by a trip to Boston, Massachusetts, where Mrs. Sip and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. There were other shenanigans before and after our getaway, so let’s see what the Family Sip got up to:

With Mrs. Sip and the Sipplings back from their vacation to Italy, Mrs. Sip and I were able to do a late night date night one evening, using the rest of a gift card we had for Piva Modern Italian. My meal consisted of the Dinner Burger with Caesar Salad and Fries – I love it when restaurants give you both and don’t make you decide between the two side dishes – and an IPA from Another Beer Company.

Caesar Salad

Friends from London were visiting that weekend and brought along a very kind gift for me. It was a set of spirits from the East London Liquor Co., which we had all visited years ago. The mini bottles included a gin, rum and vodka, which I look forward to enjoying soon.

As part of that weekend’s festivities, Mrs. Sip and I finally got to visit the new Russell Brewing tasting room. I’ve been wishing for a tasting room from this brewery for many years and it finally happened after six years of efforts on Russell’s behalf. While there, I enjoyed a Raspberry White Chocolate IPA and Mrs. Sip and I shared their Taco Duo of Carnitas and Carne Mezclada. They have an interesting menu item we’ll have to try in the future, called a Table Flight, where you get a taster of each beer they have on tap, served in a hubcap.

The next week, after taking care of some errands, Mrs. Sip and I rushed to attend some trivia at the Paddlewheeler Pub. We missed most of the first half, so didn’t fare to well score wise, but still had fun. For food, I had my usual Crispy Chicken Burger, paired with a Hop Valley Bubble Stash Mountain IPA and Spiced Rum and Coke on late night happy hour pricing.

Trivia

The main event of the month was our trek to Boston, which we picked travel roulette style. While Mrs. Sip generally takes the lead on vacation planning, this journey was left completely in the Sip Advisor’s hands, except for flight and hotel bookings. Upon arriving, we walked around our downtown hotel area and had dinner at the Hub Pub. I had a tasty Country Fried Chicken Club with a pair of Shipyard Monkey Fist IPAs, while Mrs. Sip had her first of many Lobster Rolls, joined by two Blue Moons.

The next morning, I picked up some provisions for our hotel room at the Boston Wine Exchange. For Mrs. Sip, I grabbed a bottle of rose, while for myself, I purchased the Lord Hobo IPA Sampler (Life Session IPA, 617 Hazy IPA, Juice Lord IPA, Boom Sauce Double IPA).

The first stop on my itinerary was the Sam Adams Tap Room. I had to go with the Boston Brick Red, which is only available in Boston, and became my favourite beer of the trip. Mrs. Sip put together a flight, comprised of the Wicked Hazy, Cherry Wheat, House Hazy Session IPA and Light it Up Lager. Prior to leaving, I spotted a t-shirt in their merch store, which had Prost (the German version of “cheers”) on it. Given this is a popular saying for our family and I’ve never seen any item that says it, I had to buy the garment. Sam Adams is big on their Oktoberfest beer, so that probably explains the unique clothing.

Sam Adams

Next up, was Democracy Brewing, where we had a delicious late lunch, sharing the Birria Quesitacos and Sweet Chili Bao Buns. Among many contenders, this may have been my favourite meal of the trip. To drink, Mrs. Sip had a Worker’s Pint Blonde Ale, while I went with the Fighting 54th Saison.

Then, we were off to Fenway Park for a tour of the historic stadium, followed later by a Boston Red Sox game. Between our tour and game, we enjoyed some AC and beers at Cheeky Monkey Brewing. I had the 3 Landsdowne IPA and Harambe’s Ghost Double IPA, while Mrs. Sip tried the Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale (complete with floating blueberries) and Sam Adams Oktoberfest. For a snack, we split an order of Queso Verde.

At the game, I had a tall can of Night Shift Whirlpool Pale Ale, while Mrs. Sip had a Goslings Dark N’ Stormy canned cocktail. We spent a portion of the game exploring parts of the stadium, where I almost satisfied my quest to eat something Fluffernutter (a sandwich the area is known for, made of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff), as their R&D stall was offering Fluffernutter Fries. Sadly, the item had already sold out or was never available that day. Thus, I’m still chasing my white whale. Speaking of seafood, Mrs. Sip had another Lobster Roll, although this one didn’t stack up to the first one or the ones that would follow.

Fluffernutter

Following the game, we went to Yard House for our nightcap. I had servings of the House White Ale and IPA, along with an order of Shiitake Garlic Noodles that were good, but could have used a protein added to the dish.

To begin our anniversary day, I’d scheduled a North End Secret Food Tour. I’d previously tried to book the Classic Bites of Boston Food Tour (Lobster, Chowder, Baked Beans, Boston Cream Pie), but they were only accepting groups of eight or more. I won’t go into too much detail about where we ate, so as to keep the secrets of the tour, but I will discuss the items we ate. We enjoyed generous servings of New England Clam Chowder (with Cornbread), gourmet nuts, Lobster Roll, Salumi Sandwich, Cheese Pizza and Cannoli, while our fantastic guide Gabriel provided us with some of the history of the North End, also known as Little Italy. One place I will mention us eating at was the historic Union Oyster House, where we added a pint of Sam Adams Colonial Ale to our meal, as the beer is exclusive to this restaurant, the oldest in Boston. My only criticism of the tour is the drink add-on is overpriced at $35 per person. Luckily, my beverage knowledge told me we should avoid the package and just get drinks separately, if we wanted any.

Following our tour, we walked to Night Shift Brewing, where I had their Fluffy New England IPA, while Mrs. Sip went with the Pumpkin Piescraper. Fall is coming, my little sippers!

Pumpkin

Prior to our anniversary dinner, we popped into the nearby Trillium Brewing. Here, I had the Jamaica Pond IPA, while Mrs. Sip had the Oenobier, a unique brew made with Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay grapes.

Our fantastic dinner was at Row 34. They provided us with glasses of complimentary bubbly for our anniversary, which we paired with starters of Cornbread with Maple Butter and Salmon Crudo. Next up, was a pair of oysters for each of us and the amazing Poolside Splash cocktail (Citrus Vodka, Basil, Apricot, Thai Chili, Lime, Soda) for me. Dinner itself featured a scrumptious Oyster Po’Boy with deliciously-seasoned chips for moi and Warm Buttered Lobster for Mrs. Sip. We split a bottle of wine over our main course and left the restaurant quite happy.

Our last full day was spent exploring the city’s Freedom Trail, which is 2.5-mile long path, stopping at numerous sites that are important in the revolutionary history of Boston and the U.S. To loosen up for the walk, we started at the Bull & Finch Pub, better known as the Cheers bar, since it provided the exterior shots for the popular TV series. Here, I had another Sam Adams Boston Brick Red, while Mrs. Sip went with the Sam Adams Summer Ale. We also bought a Christmas ornament here, as has become a tradition for Mrs. Sip and me when travelling.

Cheers

After a few stops along the trail, it was time for lunch, so we tried Luke’s Lobster, which offered an interesting Lobster Roll Flight (Spicy Honey Butter, Truffle and Lemon Butter). Continuing on along the historic trek, we next took a break at the Green Dragon Tavern, where I had a Green Dragon Tavern Ale, while Mrs. Sip selected the Bunker Hill Boozie (Rhubarb and Strawberry Gin, Thyme Simple Syrup, Lime Juice, topped with Bubbly).

Upon completing the Freedom Trail, we met with a local friend at the Warren Tavern, the oldest tavern in Massachusetts. I went the cocktail route here, as the G.T.O.T.M. – Gin and Tonic of the Moment – comprised of watermelon, lime, basil and simple syrup really caught my eye. To share, we ordered Pretzel Sticks, Lump Crab Cakes and Nachos.

For dinner, we went to Scampo at the Liberty Hotel. Although I originally wasn’t too hungry, I devoured my yummy Lobster Pizza, which I paired with a Sam Adams Summer Ale. Mrs. Sip had an interesting Banana Rum Old Fashioned as her beverage. After our meal, we went to the upstairs Lobby Bar. All of the Liberty Hotel was the former Charles Street Jail, so many of it’s restaurants and bars are prison-themed, including Clink and Alibi.

Freedom Trail

The next day, with a few hours left before we had to fly home, we checked out the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. There, we had a drink and snack at Abigail’s Tea Room. My beer cocktail Rattle Skull (Rum, Whiskey, Brown Sugar Syrup, Lime Juice, topped with Sam Adams Lager) was interesting, while Mrs. Sip was able to try each of the five teas that were tossed overboard as part of the Boston Tea Party.

One final visit to the Sam Adams Tap Room was in order, as was one final serving of Boston Brick Red. Then, it was off to Logan Airport. Before boarding our flight, we had one final meal at Legal Sea Foods. I ordered the Double R Ranch Bacon Cheddar Burger with Fries and Coleslaw, paired with a Harpoon IPA. To sum up Boston, we absolutely loved the city. The history, the food and the drink were top notch. It’s a very walkable city and that’s the best way to get around, as traffic is bad in the downtown core.

Boston

Back home, we wrapped the month with a visit to the PNE/Playland. We started with a serving of Pop Rocks Chicken, which put pop rocks candy on top of popcorn chicken, in a curious blend. Over the course of the day, I had cans of Parallel 49 Trash Panda Hazy IPA and Stanley Park Waypoint Hazy Pale Ale. The evening wrapped with a delicious dinner at Jimmy’s Lunch, where I thoroughly enjoyed my Hardy Burger (all the fixings) and perfectly done fries. Jimmy’s is a PNE institution, but this is the first time I’ve ever eaten at the stall.

Well, that’s a wrap on our very eventful August. September looks to be just as action-packed, as we have a ton of birthdays in the family on deck, including yours truly and Girl Sip. These will be celebrated on a cruise to California, where we’ll spend a week at Disneyland!

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