About Daniel Wilson

I love making drinks for my friends and family, and, of course, sampling my concoctions myself! Finding and playing around with recipes is a favourite past time of mine and I hope to share that passion with all my readers.

Sip Trips #202: October Ovations

Well, the Halloween month has come and gone and it wasn’t actually as active as I thought it would be, at least when it comes to boozy activities. Perhaps, that’s because much of the latter half of the month was spent doing family activities at community centers and the like and sadly, liquor doesn’t flow on these occasions. Here’s what the Sip Family got up to:

October began with my first trip to Rogers Arena since March 2020, to watch a pre-season NHL contest between the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets. To celebrate the return – and also to not have to wear a mask for the entire game – me and Pa Sip took turns paying for rounds of Captain Morgan and Coke beverages. I went with Spiced Rum, while Pa Sip selected the Dark Rum. The Canucks won the game too, so it all made for a pretty good way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Later that week, Mrs. Sip and I met up with a friend on Port Moody’s Brewers Row. On this visit, we achieved a new feat, by doing the entire Row (which I had only done twice before), including the distillery for the first time ever. We began our adventure at Yellow Dog Brewing, where I had the Flora & Fauna Gin Botanical IPA, while Mrs. Sip chose the Octoberish Festbier (a Neighbourhood Brewing guest tap).

Walk

Next up, was Twin Sails Brewing, where Mrs. Sip and I shared a flight comprised of the Blue Crush Blueberry Wheat Ale, Would Crush Raspberry Wheat Ale, Cookie Jar Oatmeal Fudge Stout and Low Life Festbier. Our following stop was Rocky Point Spirits. I elected to have a Moscow Mule and we each imbibed in one of their Vaccine shots, celebrating another pandemic era gathering.

From there, we moved on to Parkside Brewing for pints of their Dreamboat Hazy IPA for me and Pleasantside Mixed Berry Ale for Mrs. Sip. With time running out, we quickly moved on to The Bakery, where I enjoyed their Fresh Hop Amber Ale. The night ended with a last minute stop into the about-to-close Moody Ales, completing the Brewers Row circuit. Here, I enjoyed a celebratory London Red (Cask) Red Ale.

For the Thanksgiving long weekend, the extended Sip Family travelled to Oliver/Osoyoos for a getaway that included a number of winery stops. Our first sojourn of the vacation was Covert Farms, which offered an animal tour and other options geared towards kids. I did manage to have a glass of their Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, as the ladies in our group enjoyed an extended tasting experience.

thanksgiving

Following the winery, where I largely chased the Sipplings around, I was owed a little brewery time, so we popped into Firehall Brewing. The visit wasn’t as relaxed as I would have wanted, but the kids were understandably done with sitting patiently, following a long drive and getting to play at Covert Farms. I did enjoy my Stoked Ember ESB and also got to try Mrs. Sip’s White Hat Witbier.

The next morning was spent hitting a few more wineries in the Oliver area, including Gehringer Brothers, Hester Creek and Castoro de Oro. Again, I was mostly on child care duty and only had a few sips of vino along the way.

For lunch, we went to the District Wine Village, which will be a really neat destination once they work out a few kinks. There’s basically a large central courtyard, surrounded by various winey tasting rooms. One of the issues is a lack of food options. We ordered a couple pizzas from the Trading Post Brewing location there (along with an Amber Ale), but a few other eating choices would be great, such as a burger place. It was also weird to not be able to take your drink with you to your table and have to be escorted by an employee, but it must have something to do with their liquor license.

pizza

En route back to our hotel, I picked up a tall can four-pack of Highway 97 Mountain Man Cranberry & Orange Witbier, which I enjoyed quite a bit during our nightly happy hours. The next morning, we started at Intersection Vineyards. I was stuck in car with a napping Boy Sip, so also enjoyed a little snooze myself.

Sadly, the one brewery we wanted to visit in Osoyoos, North Basin Brewing, was unexpectedly closed when we tried to hit it. We knew they would be shutdown on the holiday Monday, but when we tried to go there on the Sunday, there was a closed notice on the door. Had we known it would work out that way, we would have made more of an effort to get there on the Friday or Saturday.

After some hotel pool time for the kids, we got an adult afternoon out and went to the nearby Tumbleweed Spirits. While they weren’t serving cocktails during our visit, we did try a series of their libations. My set included the Fireweed Whiskey as well as Blueberry, Cherry, Raspberry and Maple Moonshines. Following the tasting, we bought bottles of the Raspberry and Maple Moonshines, which I look forward to experimenting with soon.

moonshine

Not content to return to our little monsters just yet, we also did a tasting at Lakeside Cellars. This sitting was comprised of their 2020 Bubbles, 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, 2019 Portage White, 2020 Rose, 2017 Portage Red, and 2016 Provenir.

In the middle of October, we began binging Squid Game on Netflix. To fully embrace the Korean spirit of the show, I picked up a couple bottles of Soju (Strawberry and Mango), a bag of Korean BBQ potato chips and we picked up dinner from Chicko Chicken. We enjoyed the chicken so much, we ordered it again following trick-or-treating on Halloween night.

Near the end of the month, we finally got to enjoy a portion or Mrs. Sip’s January birthday gift, which was unfortunately originally cancelled due to pandemic restrictions. Prior to our fun magic show at the Hidden Wonders Speakeasy, we had a small meal at El Santo, sharing orders of the Enchiladas Suizas and Al Pastor Tacos. My beverage of choice was the Batanga (tequila, Ancho Reyes verde, lime, cola, salt rim), which I liked. As for the show, my only complaint was not being able to have a speakeasy cocktail, but perhaps these are offered when outside of pandemic restrictions.

speakeasy

Our last event of October was attending the Vancouver Canucks vs. Philadelphia Flyers. This would be Boy Sip’s first live hockey game, given he was born right as the pandemic was sweeping the world. After a mix up regarding us bringing in Boy Sip’s diaper bag, Mrs. Sip calmed her frustration by grabbing us some brews, which for me consisted of the Stanley Park 1897 Amber Ale.

The calendar for November is already filling up, with two trips to Whistler (including a much-needed vacay sans kids) and a friend’s 40th birthday. All of which should be a ton of fun as we also gear up for another crazy Christmas!

Sip Trips #201: September Celebrations

Well, September was a busy month, as it usually is, filled with numerous birthdays and other activities as the summer comes to a close and we try to eke out the last bits of outdoor fun. Let’s see what the Sip Family did to wrap up the season:

September began with a visit to the Great Canadian Brewhouse in Abbotsford, as we returned home from a day with the kids at Cultus Lake Adventure Park. We may have been pushing our luck after a really good but long day, as both young’uns were in no mood for us to enjoy a restaurant meal. We tried to make the best of it, but the restaurant was also out of a few of the Feature Menu items Mrs. Sip wanted to try and a beer I had hoped to have. Mrs. Sip did join their app/rewards club, which gave us access to a free order of Golden Garlic Fingers, which were very good. She also ordered the Triple Eh! Peppered Angus Steak Bites, along with a Same Team Soda, while I paired the Brewhouse Hoser Club with a Stanley Park Windstorm Pale Ale. Despite any of the issues, we returned to their Richmond location later in the month to try more of their menu.

Club Sandwich

The next week, we popped into Steel & Oak Brewing, since they had food and drink Mrs. Sip was interested in trying. While I enjoyed my Turned Out Spruce Tip Ale, Mrs. Sip finally got to try the Berliner Weisse flight with three different syrups (orange and saffron, ginger and turmeric, and spruce tip) she had been curious about for much of the summer. The Mr. Arancino food truck was also on site, so we grabbed a set of Risotto Balls from it, Arancini being one of Mrs. Sip’s favourite appetizers.

En route to visit some friends in Langley, I popped into the Clayton Liquor Store and picked up tall can four-packs of Vancouver Island Watermelon Hibiscus Blonde (Tidal Series) and Russell Strawberry & Kiwi Milkshake IPA. Both beers were perfect for a late summer outing. I had originally stopped at the store, hoping to track down the Phillips Twenty Point Buck (Barrel-Aged Blue Buck) 20th Anniversary Gift Set with commemorative glass. I was unlucky here, but did eventually find the product at the Central City Bridgeview Liquor Store.

The next day, after taking advantage of advanced voting in the Canadian federal election, we celebrated with dinner at Brown’s Social House in Sapperton. We took advantage of a few Social Hour deals, including Parmesan Garlic Fries, Crispy Cauliflower and beverages including the Social Palmer for me and Summer Social Soda for Mrs. Sip. For my meal, I went with the Florida Special (crispy chicken, avocado, bacon, Swiss cheese, tomato, and coleslaw on a toasted baguette) with Caesar Salad. For Girl Sip, we ordered a Kids Dragon Bowl, the leftovers of which became my yummy lunch the next day.

Leftovers

That weekend, The Bakery Brewing was advertising Nitro Pumpkin Spice Porter Floats, which caught the attention of Mrs. Sip. Since we were gathering with friends at a park in the area anyway, we decided to pop in for the float. We also ordered taster glasses of their Amber Ale, Strawberry Farmhouse Ale and Bavarian Hefeweizen. Once again, though, the kids were not into the prospect of hanging out at a brewery… at least until we bribed them with some ice cream!

To celebrate my birthday, we started with lunch at Kelly O’Bryan’s, taking advantage of their free birthday meal offer. I went with the Chicken Lips N’ Fries, with a Black Currant Mojito and Fernie Hit the Deck Hazy IPA to wash the food down. It was a great start to the celebrations, which would also include a Chinese dinner feast with family in the evening.

I received a number of alcohol-based gifts for my birthday, including four-can tall packs of Camp Fall Camp Smoked Amber Ale and Lazy River Watermelon Gose from Cousin Sip; the Central City Summer Weekender 24 Pack from Ma and Pa Sip; a bottle Havana Club Añejo Rum from the Sip-in-Laws; and a bomber of Barnside Heavy Horse Blueberry Milkshake IPA from Mrs. Sip and the Sipplings.

Birthday Gifts

The next day was Girl Sip’s birthday and with a My Little Pony theme, I compiled a cocktail menu for the occasion (for the adults, of course). Drinks included: Twilight Sparkle (Crème de Violette, Bubbly); Pinkie Pie (White Rum, Peach Schnapps, Pink Lemonade, Whip Cream, Garnished with Sprinkles); Applejack (Southern Comfort, Jack Daniel’s Winter Apple, Iced Tea); and Rainbow Dash (Arctic Grape Rum, Blue Curacao, Club Soda).

We continued my birthday celebrations on the weekend, getting together with a group of friends for an evening out. The expedition started with gathering at ABC Brewing for some bevvies. Between Mrs. Sip and myself, I tried their Festbier, Water Frolic Small IPA, Fest IPA and Imperial Stout. Next up, was a couple hours at the Industry Arcade next door. Here, we could play a host of pinball and arcade games, as well as Skee Ball. It was a lot of fun, with highlights for me being playing The Simpsons and Bubble Bobble arcade games.

From there, we moved onto the Sapperton District Taphouse, where I had a pair of beers, consisting of the Parkside Dreamboat IPA and Tin House High Knoll Hazy IPA. I also took the time to refuel a little, with an order of the Chicken Sliders. My night gets a little foggy here, as one would expect after drinking all afternoon, but I remember having fun with what was left of our group.

Arcade Games

With our friends all done for the evening, returning to their respective kids, but with Mrs. Sip and I free of such obligations, thanks to Ma and Pa Sip, we decided to try to take in a movie at the New West Landmark Cinemas. I say try, because the Sip Advisor ended up crashing and sleeping throughout our viewing of Free Guy. What can I say, dark theatres are my kryptonite. Thankfully, the movie has since made its way onto Disney+, allowing my to absolve the guilt I felt for missing out.

The next morning, after picking up the Sipplings, we ventured out to Richmond and the Great Canadian Brewhouse there for our aforementioned return to the chain. Meeting up with a friend, we shared an order of the Birthday Nachos we were offered through their app. I paired the giant order with a tankard of Central City Super Solar IPA, which my friend picked up the tab for, so all in all, it was a pretty inexpensive meal.

The following weekend, we travelled to the Sunshine Coast to spend four nights at a beautiful Airbnb home in Gibsons. On our first day, we had lunch at Tapworks Brewing, where Mrs. Sip and I split servings of the One Sailing Wait IPA and Backwoods Hazy Pale Ale. To eat, I selected the Crispy Chicken Bao, which was overflowing with delicious hoisin-drizzled fried chicken.

Nachos

Our next outing was a late lunch at The 101 Brewhouse & Distillery. We had a nice outdoor table, which allowed the kids to roam a little bit, as we ate and drank and supervised… well, mostly supervised! Split between our trio of parents, we ordered the Poutine, Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich and Chicken Quesadillas, which provided quite the spread. To drink, I had the Tall Faller Hazy IPA. As The 101 is also a distillery, Mrs. Sip made a point of trying one of their cocktails, selecting the 101 Coast Sour (gin, bourbon, lemon juice, mint, simple syrup, bitters, topped with Brickers Cider).

Afterwards, we hit the Persephone Brewing farm where Mrs. Sip and I had servings of the Brett Saison and Oktoberfest Lager. If not for our collection of kids, I could have stayed at the location longer, enjoying another pint or two. Even the occasional whiff of typical farm smells wouldn’t have deterred us!

For our last full day, we journeyed to Sechelt, to visit Batch 44 Brewery & Kitchen. Mrs. Sip put together a flight of their Lonely Giant IPA, The Village Altbier, Happy Wanderer Hefeweizen and an Earl Grey Cider, so I elected to go with a brew she didn’t choose, in the Frosty Morning Scottish Ale. My only complaint about the beer is it came in at a 4% ABV and I would have liked that a little higher.

Farm

The only Sunshine Coast brewery we weren’t able to visit was Powell River’s Townsite Brewing, so I picked up a tall can four-pack of their Savary Beaches Wheat Ale (Shoreline Series) from a BC Liquor Store. It helped me complete the Brewers Coast collection.

That was a wrap on a wild and eventful month. October has already started out busy and with a trip to Osoyoos in the cards, along with a number of Halloween events on the calendar, there will surely be much to write about!

Sip Trips #200: August Awe

Wow, I can’t believe this is the 200th Sip Trip post. We’ve documented so many adventures since I started doing them, with the best still yet to come. Typically, I’ve been posting Sip Trips monthly, but an event we attended this week is being run twice more before the end of August and I want to get my thoughts out there to anyone who may want more info on it. So, here’s what we’ve been up to for most of the month:

Our first journey took us to the Langley Farmers Market, which was featuring a Craft Beer Crawl. In attendance from Langley’s burgeoning craft beer scene was Camp, Dead Frog, Smuggler’s Cove, Five Roads, Locality, and Farm Country. We bought tall can four-packs from four of the breweries, which has stocked us well for the last couple weeks. We also enjoyed some neat ice cream from Rolled West Coast, going with the Cookie Monster offering.

farmers market

Following the market, we went for dinner at the newly-opened The Barley Merchant. I targeted a serving of Dead Frog Big Melon, Little Berries Watermelon Blackberry Imperial Pilsner, which was very good. It also paired well with my The Dirty Bird fried chicken burger with fries. I look forward to return trip to the eatery, which offers 50 taps of beer and ciders.

The event I want to highlight for this Sip Trips was the Sip n’ Dip (aka Sip & Swim) at the Otter Co-op Outdoor Experience waterpark in Aldergrove. $15.75 plus tax paid for admission and one drink ticket, with additional tickets costing $5 each. There was only 200 spaces available for the event, with registration opening a week prior. Folks should get there early, as you have to sign in and buy your extra drink tickets before entering. We picked up an extra six tickets, with me theory that we would go through a drink each half our portion of the two-hour event. I used my tickets on Trading Post Helles Lagers and Farm Country Everyday Ales. They also had two flavours of White Claw Hard Seltzers, a cider and wine available.

I thought the event was pretty well run, but three hours instead of two would have been great. As Mrs. Sip put it, three hours is not long enough for people to get too messed up and long enough for people to pace themselves better, not that I saw any issues with that over the course of the evening. A Triple O’s food truck was on site for those who wanted to eat. One issue was that only small “wallet size” lockers were available to those who wanted to secure their items. Other than that, I can’t think of any other problems.

livin the dream

Following the Sip n’ Dip, we went to the Townhall Pub in Langley for some late night happy hour treats. I had an order of Chicken Tenders with fries, while also sharing some of Mrs. Sip’s Pulled Pork Hushpuppies. It was a decadent meal, with multiple $3 highballs and finished with slices of Oreo Cheesecake.

That wraps this mid-month report. Despite our wedding anniversary coming up soon, I’m not sure we’ll get to do much for it, as Ma Sip is scheduled for hip replacement surgery the day after, along with Mrs. Sip celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday over the occasion and going away on a girl’s trip. I want to wish Mrs. Sip a fun time away and Ma Sip all the best in her recovery.

Sip Trips #199: July Joys

Well, July was busy (what’s new), but not nearly as crammed full of outings as June had been. I guess that’s what happens when you stay close to home and don’t take two trips out of town. Here’s what we got up to over the first full month of summer:

BC Liquor Stores is currently celebrating their 100th Anniversary, featuring some unique products made exclusively for the occasion. One of these items, a tall can four-pack of Strange Fellows Moon Rabbit Szechuan Saison, caught my eye to begin July and I just had to pick it up. I love spice and I love saisons, so it was a no-brainer to give the release a shot. There’s some other goodies that look neat too, so I’ll have to try some more of them.

100th Anniversary

One big night of the month saw the Sip Advisor and a friend meet at Kelly O’Bryan’s for a debaucherous night of drinking. We met at about 6pm and while the original plan was to have dinner and a couple drinks, then go our separate ways, we ended up at the pub until 1:30am, half an hour after the place had closed. Over the course of the night, I believe I had 10 brews, comprised of many Red Truck Pale Ales and a few Whistler Grapefruit Ales (thank you late night happy hour!). To sustain this drinking session, I enjoyed my order of Chicken Lips N’ Fries, which is their version of chicken fingers – the joke being that chickens don’t have fingers, much less lips.

Another notable day was when we finally got to hold Boy Sip’s first birthday, four months after it occurred. For the occasion, I produced a trio of cocktails, along with a mocktail punch. The drinks for the Alice in Wonderland-themed Very Merry Unbirthday party included the Mad Tea (Hey Y’All Black Tea Vodka, Yuzu Liqueur, Club Soda), Off with Their Heads (Crown Royal Vanilla Whiskey, Blackberry-Blueberry Juice, Ginger Beer) and Through the Looking Glass (Aviation Gin, Strawberry Lemonade, Tonic Water), while the mocktail punch was called Futterwacken and consisted of equal parts White Tea Lavender, Watermelon Juice and Lemon-Lime Soda. We also had beer, wine, vodka sodas, and other non-alcoholic beverages available for guests.

A few days later, Mrs. Sip and I received our second COVID-19 vaccinations. To celebrate, we went across the street to Hops Pub, which had Burt Reynolds shots on special, so we each imbibed with one. Spiced Rum well drinks were also being featured, so I went with a Spiced Rum and Coke, while Mrs. Sip had a Spiced Rum and Ginger Ale. To eat, we split an order of their Loaded Italian Fries with Meat Sauce. It was our first trip to this local pub and we enjoyed the stay on their patio.

Rum

To end the month, the Sip Family headed to White Rock/South Surrey for a pair of first visits, starting with the newly-opened Galaxie Brewing. Mrs. Sip and I shared two flights, allowing us to try each of the brewery’s eight beers. These included the Atomic Bomb Hazy Ale, Nebulous Hazy IPA, Zero Gravity Lime Radler, Lite Year West Coast IPA, Blue Moon Blueberry Ale, Haileys Comet White IPA, Black Hole Chocolate Stout, and Interstellar Pale Ale. Galaxie is really taking advantage of their space theming, with neat decorations inside the tasting room and I especially love their bottle cap planet logo. While we didn’t have anything to eat this time around, they do offer pizzas, paninis and charcuterie boards. Galaxie also has wine, cider and craft sodas available.

Next up, was the Mainland Whisky tasting room, where we were drawn in by the prospect of craft cocktails, live music and most importantly, Po Boy sandwiches. Mrs. Sip and I shared Blackened Chicken and Blackened Shrimp Po Boys, to go along with a trio of cocktails, comprised of the Iced Normando (Cherry Whisky Liqueur, Amaretto, Dr. Pepper), Cocorita (Corn Whisky, Triple Sec, Lime, Pineapple, Coconut) and Strawberry Mint Julep (Time Machine Whisky, Strawberry, Mint, Soda). The food was fantastic, the drinks delicious and the live music provided the perfect finish to our visit. Next week, they’re cooking up barbecue chicken and ribs and if we didn’t already have a family barbecue to attend, we may have returned for another enjoyable evening.

So, that was the month. Not a ton going on, but what did happen was very memorable. If August can provide the same blend of occasional events, mixed with good times with friends and family, I will be one happy Sip Advisor!

Sip Trips #198: June Jubilations

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.

cat flat tire

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.

cookies

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.

axe throwing

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.

sour beers

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.

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).

beer run

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.

cornhole

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.

What I Missed Most During the Pandemic – COVID-Ninetini

As the light at the end of the tunnel approaches and we begin our long-awaited return to normalcy, I spent some time reflecting on what I missed most during the last 15 months of pandemia. In no particular order, here’s what the Sip Advisor is craving:

Beer/Cocktail Events

Mrs. Sip and I love a good booze bash, going to many throughout each year. I can’t wait for a few festivals to start dotting the calendar again. Some I eagerly await returning are Battle of the Brews in Surrey and Caskival events at Vancouver’s Craft Beer Market.

Sports

To start seeing live audiences at games again almost brings a tear to my eye and highlights how much the atmosphere has been missed as leagues forged ahead in empty arenas and stadiums. Boy Sip, born right as the pandemic was taking effect around the globe, has yet to see a live game, while his older sister had been to a handful of hockey and soccer games well before she could even walk.

Crowds

Movies

We didn’t go to many movies after having children, but we managed to get to the odd film here and there. I’ve also found that with theatrical releases on hold, the offerings on streaming services have suffered in quality and quantity. Typically, each week, I would find a bevvy of new items to add to our watch lists, but those additions have dwindled as the pandemic has crawled along.

Seeing Friends

While it was nice for a time to focus inward on family, especially with a newborn and toddler, nobody wants to spend THAT much time with your home unit! Seriously, though, I feel some periphery friendships have suffered irreparable harm with not being able to keep in contact over this extended time.

Concerts

Mrs. Sip and I had began going to concerts more regularly leading up to the pandemic, seeing acts from our younger years (Bush, Stone Temple Pilots), as well as before our time (Tom Petty, Lynyrd Skynyrd). Seeing who was coming to town was something I was quite enjoying and I was working my way through a bucket list of sorts of groups/musicians I wanted to see.

Concerts

Comedy Shows

Much like with the concerts, I always had on my radar which comedians were coming through Vancouver and its surrounding suburbs. Now that clubs are able to start booking acts again, I’ve already identified a show or two which we will try to be at.

Travelling

From simple trips across the border and within our own province, to crossing oceans and continents, Mrs. Sip and I definitely felt the sting of a year without travel. As tourism within our province opens up again, we already have two upcoming vacays to look forward to and even more in the early planning stages.

COVID-Ninetini

COVID-Ninetini

  • 1.5 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz Coconut Rum
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with a Mask

What have you missed throughout the state of emergency? On the flip side, there are many things I will happily bid adieu to as we return to normal life. Among them, I will definitely not miss people using the pandemic as an excuse for behaviour they were known for before COVID-19. Also, I can’t wait for a day where the words pandemic and COVID-19 are no longer part of our daily language and conversations.

Sip Trips #197: May Mania

May was my last full month on parental leave and with pandemic restrictions likely to lessen after the May long weekend, we were hoping to capitalize on the improving weather as much as possible. Let’s see what the month had in store for us:

Early in May, a friend and I visited Camp Brewing, where I enjoyed pints of their Cherry Brut Ale and Anorak IPA. We were impressed with how quickly we were able to get a seat at the popular brewery and it was nice to see the additions they’ve made to expand their outdoor space.

That week, Mrs. Sip took a couple days off from work to join me and the Sipplings. Each day, we stopped somewhere local for lunch, with our first eatery being Burger Heaven in New West. I had a very interesting and tasty Thai Beef Burger, which I paired with a pint of Steel & Oak Shiny Things IPA. The restaurant’s Potato Wedges were also good.

potato wedges

The next day, we went to Central City Brewing, taking advantage of their new patio area. From the onsite food truck, I ordered a Nashville Chicken Burger, which I really liked. My beverage of choice here was the Mango Ale, which was quite juicy and flavourful.

For Mother’s Day, I created the Mother’s Little Helper cocktail, featuring Bayou Pink Rum, Lime Juice, Lemonade, Club Soda, and finished with a float of Galliano. It all came together quite well taste and scent wise, but the pink colouring I was going for was lost once the yellow ingredients took over. Still, the final product was enjoyable, so I made peace the presentation concern.

Later in the month, after riding the SeaBus to North Vancouver, we ate at Tap & Barrel: Shipyards. Enjoying a seat on their back patio, I had a pint of Superflux Happyness IPA, to go along with an order of Chicken Strips and Fries. Both were delicious and the strips were served in Mrs. Sip’s preferred light breading style, so she was happy to steal from my plate.

chicken strips

For the May long weekend, I did a fair bit of liquor shopping, making sure we’d be well-stocked for our stay at Ma and Pa Sip’s place. For Mrs. Sip, I grabbed the Unibrou Mix case (two each of six different beers). For myself, I picked up the Four Winds Notus Series 8-Pack (two each of four different 4.5% beers), as well as the Spinnakers Peach Paradise Hefe tall can four-pack. The Hefe also comes with a 4.5% ABV, which is a summer sweet spot for me.

The month ended with me getting to enjoy a day off from everything, as Mrs. Sip and I gifted each other one kid-free, spouse-free day for Mother’s/Father’s Day. In preparation for my day, which had to be used early because of other plans each weekend leading up to Father’s Day, I bought a bottle of Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum, which has been missing from my bar for far too long.

rum

My day off began with watching a Ron White comedy special on Netflix, over Burger King lunch and a pair of Spiced Rum and Cherry Cokes. Next up, was time spent on our balcony, listening to music and sipping a set of Bramble Gin and Tonics. This was followed by watching the Toronto Maple Leafs-Montreal Canadiens playoff game with Chinese dinner from Chan’s Garden and a Fernie Session IPA. With the game over and me elated the Canadiens extended the series (or at least that the Leafs lost), it was back onto the balcony for sunset. Once the weather got a little chilly, I hunkered down on the couch to watch a couple episodes of Dark Side of the Ring, with a couple Mandarin Orange Dark N’ Stormys. Selfishly, I can’t wait to have another of these respites.

I’m now back at work, but June has a few vacations on the schedule to look forward to. Exploring Whistler and Penticton should provide many drinking opportunities, all of which you’ll hear about in the next Sip Trips!

Sip Trips #196: April Assortments

April was nowhere near as hectic as March for the Sip Family, but we still got around quite a bit, trying new places and revisiting old favourites. I also bought several new and interesting products while out and about. Here’s what we got up to as spring arrived in these parts:

We began the month with a trip to the weekly New West Farmer’s Market, where I picked up a few liquor items throughout the month, along with tasty treats and delicious meals. My purchases at the market included bottles of Odd Society Spirits Crème de Cassis and Mainland Time Machine Whiskey, along with some cans from Humblebee Meadery (Champion of the Sun Saffron and Orange, The Bee’s Knees Green Tea and Kaffir Lime and Monkberry Moon Delight Lingonberry and Elderberry).

On our next excursion out, I popped into the 8th Street Liquor Store with a $15 gift we won through a River Market scavenger hunt burning a hole in my pocket. I put together a set of tall-can beers, compiled of Bomber Dyed in the Wool Fresh Hop Red Ale, Sundown/Boombox Mystical Machine Double Hoppy Hefe, Phillips Zonkey Barrel Aged Ginger & Lime Brown Ale (inspired by the Kentucky Mule cocktail) and Duclaw Sour Me Unicorn Farts Glittered Sour Ale (brewed with fruity cereal and edible glitter). I like the Duclaw – from Baltimore, Maryland – motto of “Craft be cherished. Rules be damned.”

Unicorn Farts

Next up, was a visit to a BC Liquor Store, where I continued my supply drive with cases of Bomber Mixpack (Outspoken IPA, All The Things Amber, Pixie Cut Pale Ale) and Hey Y’all Hard Iced Tea Porch Pack (Original, Iced Tea and Lemonade, Georgia Peach, Kentucky Blueberry). I particularly liked the Bomber Amber Ale and enjoyed my first foray into hard iced teas, as I’m dubbing this summer ‘The Summer of Pre-Mixed Drinks’ (hard seltzers, sodas, iced teas and more).

In the middle of the month, Mrs. Sip’s job took us out to Port Coquitlam and Patina Brewing for an afternoon on their patio. I ordered the Gin Saison, while Mrs. Sip went with the Black Lager and we shared an order of Pulled Pork with a side of Southern Cornbread.

My next shopping trip took me to Jak’s Liquor Store, where I grabbed a case of the new Stanley Park Fruit Stand. This set is neat, as they took the popular SunSetter Peach Wheat Ale and also made Melon and Mango versions of the brew. The Mango is particularly good, while I’m still unsure how I feel about the Melon variation. While at the store, I checked to see if they had the Bombay Bramble Gin (made with blackberries and raspberries) I had recently learned about and sure enough, they did, making me one happy Sip Advisor. I returned to Jak’s at the end of the month to pick up the Nude Vodka Soda V2 pack, featuring Classic Lime, Mandarin, Cran Raspberry and Watermelon flavours. Both the beer and vodka soda cases were under monthly special pricing.

Vodka Soda

On one of Mrs. Sip’s days off this month, while Toddler Sip was at playschool, we had lunch at the Paddlewheeler Pub. My meal consisted of a pint of Hop Valley Bubble Stash IPA, paired with a scrumptious Spicy Southern Fried Burger with Fries. The pub had amazing food and great service, with both Mrs. Sip and I hoping to return soon.

That weekend, with Ma and Pa Sip taking the kids for an evening, I had hoped to finally do my long-awaited Columbia Street crawl, but alas, weather did not cooperate. We did drop into Piva Modern Italian for happy hour, enjoying a meal of their Arancini Balls, Polenta Fries and Duck & Fig Pizza, along with beverages including The Garden cocktail and wine for Mrs. Sip and Steel & Oak’s Royal City Ale and Red Pilsner for me. This was another stop with very good service from staff.

Not quite ready to round up the Siplings the next day, we had brunch at the 120 Pub in Delta. I ordered the 120 Wheat Ale (on Sunday all-day happy hour pricing), along with the Chicken Kung Pao bowl. Unfortunately, the weather remained inclement and with only having patio seating available to us, due to the current pandemic restrictions, we rushed through our meal pretty quickly.

Bad Weather

To end the month, Mrs. Sip took another day off and we took the kids to Science World. Afterwards, we went to the R&B Brewing Pizza & Ale House for lunch, taking advantage of their Tuesday special of Pizza and Pint for $20. Our eats included the Pulled Pork and Prosciutto and Arugula Pizzas, along with pints of their Manganero Hazy IPA and Bouquet of Hummingbirds Belgian Tripel. I absolutely love R&B’s Pulled Pork Pizza, complete with jalapenos and garlic mayo drizzle. It paired very well with my spicy beer. Upon leaving, we also bought two bottles of their Rue de la Soif Belgian Tripel, one to drink whenever and the other to age, which the brewer suggests can be kept for up to three years.

My final purchase of April was done at hometown brewery Four Winds, which has collaborated with fellow Delta brewery Barnside to make the We Love Delta IPA. As someone who lived their entire young life in Delta, I just had to pick up a six-pack of this release, supporting both breweries.

May is my last full month on parental leave, so we’ll have to make the most of it. That should be easy to accomplish as the calendar is filling up quickly with events such as Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and others.

Sip Trips #195: March Milestone

We ended February needing to get Baby Sip to 11 more breweries to hit 52 (one per week) in the first year of his life. Did we achieve the feat? Read along and find out, as we look at the Sip Family’s March madness:

Things all began with a trip out to Steveston and Britannia Brewing. I took advantage of their Dine Out Vancouver menu, with my selections being Crispy Buttermilk Chicken, Crab & Chili Spaghettini and Sticky Toffee Cake. Mrs. Sip started with some Truffle Popcorn, followed by a bowl of Clam Chowder. All of the food was delicious, which we paired with the Sirens Chai Saison and Blackberry Saison, split between the two of us.

On our way back home, we dropped into Fuggles & Warlock Brewing for a flight. Our board included the Mountain View Black Currant Sour, Plasma Blaster Pale Ale, Mexican Saison and The Dark Cow Chocolate Hazelnut Belgian Stout. Of the bunch, I particularly liked The Dark Cow.

Flight of Beers

Our next outing took us through Abbotsford, Chilliwack and even Hope. The day started with a visit to Ravens Brewing and a flight consisting of their Target Practice Wheat Ale, Three Monks Belgian Triple, Jackalope Kviek IPA and Corvus Lingonberry Lime Gose. Had we not had a long day ahead of us, I could have stuck around to try a few more things, but we were on the road again quickly.

Next up was Bricklayer Brewing in Chilliwack. Mrs. Sip and I built a flight of the Burnin’ Down the House Smoked Table Beer, 20/20 Till Infinity Gin DIPA, I’ve Been Thinking Raspberry Brut IPA, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover Date Doppel Bock, and added the Guava Coconut Hazy IPA (a collab with Mountainview and Farmhouse for International Women’s Day). We also tried their Focaccia-Style Pepperoni Pizza, which hit the spot. For the road, we grabbed a crowler of the DIPA.

Our final stop of the Journey took us all the way out to Hope and Mountainview Brewing. Our flight here included the Sweethearts IPA, Dark Side Schwarzbier, Gentle Giant Mint Chocolate Stout and Staycation Guava and Coconut Hazy IPA. We also ordered a couple snacks, such as an Everything Bagel Pretzel with Mustard and Queso and a Spinach & Feta Roll. The only downside of the entire trip was the Rambo statue in Hope (where the first movie was filmed) was put away for the winter.

Flight Attendant

The next day, we were back at it, heading out to the Tri-Cities area. We began our day on Port Moody’s Brewers Row and a stop at Twin Sails Brewing for pints of the Would Crush Raspberry Wheat Ale and Stiff Peaks Double Milkshake IPA with Cherry. Next up was Mariner Brewing in Coquitlam for a flight consisting of their Blueberry Sour, Mystery Pale Ale, Belgian Strong Ale and Salted Caramel Stout.

After many months of silence, I finally received another BevTri sample, in the form of Canadian Club Rye. Arriving along with a bottle of Fever-Tree Sicilian Lemonade, this allowed for making a CC Whiskey Sour, which was tasty. I really like when a mixer and suggested recipe are included with the liquor sample, as has happened for two of three received mini bottles.

With only a few more breweries needed to get Baby Sip to his 52, we took another trip out to the Mission and Chilliwack areas, starting our day with lunch at Mission Springs Brewing. Ma Sip and I shared the pub’s Teriyaki Gourmet Fries, which I paired with a pint of White Owl Pale Ale. I love these fries and get them anytime I’m at Mission Springs or one of the other eateries owned by the Springs Group.

Fries

After lunch, we made our way to Farmhouse Brewing in Chilliwack. They have a beautiful space, particularly their outside picnic area. As this was my first visit there, I put together a flight to try a cross-section of their offerings. My board included the Marzen (a collab with Old Yale), Mandarin Ginger Sour, Grove Dry Hopped Lemon Wit and Nightfall Dark Lager. One of the brews I had hoped to order was sold out, but that just means a return trip is necessary.

Our last stop was Old Yale Brewing, where I had a pint of their Tropical Coconut IPA. At this point of the day, the kids were a little tired of being stuck in cars and breweries, so most of my attention (along with Ma and Pa Sip’s) was spent keeping the little ones happy and the visit was a little quicker than I would have liked.

Brewery #52 came the next day, as we dropped into Dogwood Brewing for lunch. Mrs. Sip and I shared yet another flight, comprised of all of their available brews: Honey Lager, Coffee Amber Ale, Coconut Chai, Just Chai Golden, London Fog, and Woodstock IPA. We also ordered the Meat Lovers Pizza and a pair of Samosas, all of which was scrumptious.

Pizza

Not content to stop at 52 breweries, we also checked out the newly-opened Studio Brewing in Burnaby. It looks like it will be a great new space with a patio for nice days. We sampled a trio of their brews, including the Daisy Chain Saison, Embarrassment of Riches IPA and Sleeveless Errand Hoppy Table Beer.

On Baby Sip’s first birthday, part of our celebration was a stop at Dead Frog Brewing. I enjoyed a pint of the Five Frogs Imperial Brown Ale (a collab with Five Roads Brewing), while munching away at Mrs. Sip’s Brewer’s Popcorn. Remember, the Sip Advisor is not a popcorn guy, so it has to be really good stuff for me to indulge in it.

That weekend, we were afforded some time without the kids (thanks Ma and Pa Sip!), so Mrs. Sip and I ventured to Glass House Winery in Langley. Over a meal of their delicious Glass House Burger, I had pints of the Stanley Park Parkbeer Pinot Gris Pils (a collab effort with Glass House), Field House Dutch Pale Ale and Field House IPA. I really liked the set up at Glass House and being able to have a few beers at a winery was a welcome win for me. More wineries should do this, as many breweries offer wine, but reciprocation seems to be rare.

Drinking

Before heading home, we also popped into Backyard Vineyards, where I built a flight of their 2019 Pinot Gris, 2019 Rosé, 2018 Syrah and 2017 Reserve Syrah. I particularly liked the Rosé and Reserve Syrah, so we bought a bottle of each for future drinking.

That wraps a very busy March with visits to 13 breweries in 18 days. April has definitely seen less action so far (even though I’m finally getting this online halfway through the month), which could, in part, be due to the current pandemic restrictions on the province. We’ll have to see if the second half of the month ramps up or not.

Sip Trips #194: February Freezing

The shortest month of the year is in the books and the Sip Family was busy throughout it. Despite the cold – we even got a few snow days – we managed to get out and about to a number of locales. Here’s what we were up to in February:

Our month began with checking out Fraser Mills Fermentation, one of the newest breweries to the province. There, we tried pints of their North Pacific Brown Ale and Dynamic Dubbel, while also taking home cans of the Rosehip Hibiscus Wit. Best of all, a Truckin’ BBQ food truck was onsite, allowing me to get some Pulled Pork Poutine to enjoy with our beverages.

Throughout February, we picked up a few products from Steel & Oak Brewing, including their Blush Rosé Saison and Lager de Blancs Pinot Lager, which are released annually around Valentine’s Day, using grapes from Pacific Breeze Winery, neighbours of Steel & Oak. Another bomber I picked up from the brewery was the Grove Pale Ale, a collaboration with Field House Brewing.

Beer Wine Water

To use for our Indian-themed date night at home, I picked up Parallel 49’s Pic a Hop pack, featuring beers made with four different styles of hops. I also crafted an original cocktail, which I dubbed Chai Times (Pineapple Rum, Triple Sec, Chai Tea Latte, Lime Juice, Club Soda). The cocktail was very good and multiple servings were enjoyed.

Our next adventure was a trip out to the Trading Post Eatery in Fort Langley. While sipping a pint of Blood Orange Wheat Ale, I devoured their TP Classic Burger with Truffle Cheese Fries. The only pain of the excursion was trying to find parking, which I’ve always found to be an issue in the area.

For 10 days in early February, Another Brewing Company held the Sapperton Haze event, serving up only IPA beers of their own creation, as well as offerings from guest breweries. While I enjoyed ABC’s The Cold IPA and Because the Internet IPA (a Boombox collab), Mrs. Sip had a trio of cocktails, as well as some IPA-infused foam. Her Brewers Daiquiri, featuring the Because the Internet IPA, was particularly delicious, made by ABC’s in-house bartender extraordinaire, Nique.

Beer Vitamins

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we attended a blind wine tasting at Township 7 in Langley. The set-up was really well done, especially given pandemic restrictions. I didn’t get any of my four white wines correct, but Mrs. Sip went an impressive 2-for-4 in the red wine category.

Our Valentine’s Day celebrations continued the next day, with dinner at The Keg. We both went with the restaurant’s Dine Out Vancouver menu, with my selections comprised of Caesar Salad, Sirloin and Lobster Tail with Fries and Billy Miner Pie for dessert, all for only $50. Over our meal we split a bottle of Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir, which paired very nicely with the steak, in particularly.

Looking for something to do while Mrs. Sip took a day off from work later that week, we journeyed to Patina Brewing in Port Coquitlam. Our three shared beers included their Blueberry Wheat, Thai Lager and Juicy IPA, which all went nicely with the brewery’s delicious barbecue menu. Our eats were comprised of Chorizo con Queso with Warm Tortillas, Pulled Pork Poutine with Garlic Mayo (one of the best poutines I’ve had) and Southern Cornbread.

Pulled Pork

With Mrs. Sip taking another day off later in the month, we decided to make our way to Port Moody’s Brewers Row, which was hosting the famous BeaverTails food truck. Our first stop was Yellow Dog Brewing, where I had a pint of their Ferocious Wild IPA. We also brought in tacos and a quesadilla from the BC Taco food truck, located nearby.

Next up, was Parkside Brewing, where we had wanted to try their recently released BFF Strawberry Kiwi Ale. While there, we grabbed a Beaver Dog for Toddler Sip and the Triple Trip BeaverTail from the truck outside. Both were very good and I wish there was more to share amongst our crew.

Our final stop was The Bakery Brewing, which continued to impress me with their extensive selection of interesting beers. We tried tasters of the Rye Chocolate Lager, Cherry Rosé Saison, Blackberry Witbier, Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Stout, Strawberry Lemon Brut, and Sauv Blanc White Ale.

Beer Wounds

When we got home, Mrs. Sip surprised me with a Port Moody Brewers Row t-shirt, which she had covertly picked up while I was at the nearby playground with Toddler Sip. The shirt features each of the five breweries along Murray Street and I wish more beer districts put together a similar product. You could have one for Yeast Van, another for Brewery Creek and many others.

This past weekend, we found ourselves in Surrey to check out a play café for the kids. While in the area, we also popped into Big Ridge Brewing for a beverage each, which included their Cream Ale and 2 And 2 Pale Ale, both seasonal offerings.

As we enter March, Baby Sip has been to 41 breweries, 11 shy of 52 (one for each week of the first year of his life). Born on March 18, we’ll be hard pressed to get the feat done, but Mrs. Sip and I love a challenge!