Sip Trips #172: Brewery Brawling

This summer has been flying by and another couple of weeks are in the books with events attended and road trips taken. Here’s all the shenanigans the Sip Advisor and associates have been up to in that time:

A couple weeks back, a buddy and I attended Parallel 49’s Brawl at the Brewery, combining two of my favourite worlds: professional wrestling and craft beer. Hosted at the brewery’s outdoor beer garden, what started out as a dreary looking day turned into a decent one, as the rain subsided long enough for the wrestling to start. As we watched the first ever P49 Champion be crowned with a 20-person battle royal, among other matches, I enjoyed a number of servings of the Jerkface 9000 Northwest Wheat Ale. Not knowing what to expect from the event and our $20 general admission tickets, we came away quite happy. If this event becomes a yearly tradition, we would likely spring for the $35 front row tickets next time around, so we can have a seat for all the action.

wrestling belts

Following the wrestling, we weren’t ready to wrap the night up yet, so delved further into the Yeast Van area. Our first stop came at Odd Society Spirits, where we ordered the Rye Thai and Fat Panda cocktails. Both drinks were interesting, featuring infused spirits and a classy presentation. Our second and final stop was Powell Street Brewing, where we managed a couple quick beers before the place shutdown for the night. My servings were the Ode to Citra Pale Ale, which has always been a preferred brew of mine.

This past weekend, we joined friends at their family cabin in Birch Bay, Washington. For my drinking enjoyment over the weekend, I picked up a case from Seattle’s Redhook Brewing, which included the Mothers of the Sun Raspberry Saison, Tangelic Halo Tangerine IPA, El Sonido Mexican Lager and Bicoastal IPA. I really liked this case, particularly the flavours offered by the Raspberry Saison and Tangerine IPA. We also popped into Bellingham’s Elizabeth Station beer store, where I grabbed a can of Rogue Ales Hazelnut Brown Nectar Ale for nightcap purposes.

This upcoming weekend will be a busy one, as Mrs. Sip and I are set to attend the 2019 Battle of the Brews in Surrey, as well as celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary with a surprise outing I have planned. I can’t wait for it all to arrive!

2018 Site Update

Today marks the fifth anniversary of this website. Over that time, we have created over 700 cocktails and shots, while also taking the time to profile over 400 BC craft beers. Additionally, little sippers have lived vicariously through the Sip Advisor with 121 Sip Trip adventures documented.

So, what could possibly be next? Well, the Cocktail Corner feature will return following a couple years of hiatus. A new segment, Love & Hate, will also debut in 2018, highlighting three items I love and hate within a certain subject matter (ex. airports, comedians, chocolate bars, etc.). These items will be posted as regularly as I can, even with Baby Sip consuming much of my free time.

Speaking of Baby Sip, I’m hoping to continue my Baby Beverages articles, especially as I move into the role of primary parent, while on paternal leave. And don’t dare to think our Sip Trips will cease. No, there are many more exploits ahead.

Let me wrap by wishing all of you out there a very happy New Year and all the best in 2018!

New Year's

Mixer Mania #33 – Foaming at the Mouth

The Sip Advisor considers Egg Whites to be a hidden gem in the cocktail world, adding a thin layer of foam that is both pleasing to the eye and the taste buds. Perfect in various Sours and Fizzes drinks, here are some other amazing foam-like substances:

Bols Foam

When Mrs. Sip and I came across this line of cocktail foams in Germany, from the House of Bols, I knew I’d be picking one each of the two flavours they had available: Blue Curacao and Crème de Banana. According to Bols, the foam can hold for up to 15 minutes, with other varieties including Crème de Cassis, Amaretto, Peppermint and White Cacao.

Bols Foams

Crunchie Bar

There was a short time, as a wee little sipper, when this was my favourite chocolate bar. Made with a honeycomb center that is similar to Sea Foam Candy, the bar has a unique taste and texture. Add delicious Cadbury chocolate to the treat and you have the makings of a very good snack.

Foam Soap

Say goodbye to bars of soap forever! I love foam-based soaps, such as the ones sold at Bath & Body Works outlets across North America. With a variety of scents, it’s often hard to settle on a favourite, and their constant deals and promotions keep you coming back time and time again. Cleanliness is next to godliness, after all.

Foam Finger

Is there a better way to tell the world that your team is number one? If there is, the Sip Advisor hasn’t come across it yet. This iconic piece of sports memorabilia and history can still be found at stadiums and arenas to this day, with one variation extending the middle finger.

Foam Finger

Nerf Products

Growing up, in the late 80s and early 90s was amazing. Among the great fads I got to live through, included the Nerf revolution. Nerf lives on today, with a revival in their weapons arsenal and also the use of the company name when describing something that has been made easier for users, particularly video game levels.

Beer Head

While some people can’t stand the “head” that comes with a beer, it should be noted that a properly poured frosty beverage will have this and it is actually a good thing. The foam allows for the brew’s aroma to be released, adding another element to the drinking experience.

Mixer Mania #33: Clover Club Cocktail

Clover Club Cocktail.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Raspberry Syrup
  • 1 Egg White
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wheel

What’s your favourite foam? Of course, I couldn’t include any scare foams, like frothing at the mouth because of rabies or some other ailment. No, sticking to the good foams was the better idea!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I decided to use some Raspberry Vodka, rather than Raspberry Syrup, as the only Raspberry Syrup I had on hand was of the Blue Raspberry variety. The drink was good, as you would expect from such a classic cocktail. Next time, though, I won’t alter the ingredients.

Snack Time #32 – Lays Sizzlin’ Szechuan Potato Chips

Every time Lays Potato Chips brings out new flavours (often part of ‘Do Us a Flavour’ contests), the Sip Advisor gets excited. Sure, some of the products produced are misses, but there always at least one option that hits the spot.

The Sizzlin’ Szechuan variety is pretty tasty with a sweet and spicy red pepper burn that lingers at the end of each bite. Also part of the line this year is Paprika & Sweet Onion, which Ma Sip has purchased, but I haven’t cracked into just yet.

Lays Sizzlin Sezchuan.png

In the US, 2017 ‘Do Us a Flavour’ options include Crispy Taco, Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese, and Fried Green Tomato, none of which I’ve experienced for myself. Of those, I think the Crispy Taco sounds the most appealing.

As for previous incarnations of the competition, I still like the Chicken & Waffles, Southern Biscuits & Gravy, and Creamy Garlic Caesar releases. Only the last of those three came from the Canadian-based promotion.

For more Snack Time articles, please visit our main page…

Mixer Mania #19 – Dirty Deeds

Coca-Cola and Pepsi. The two are synonymous with one another, and have waged one of the greatest feuds of all-time. Let’s take a look at some of the tactics used by each company during the infamous Cola Wars, which has been simmering for decades:

New Coke

Looking to update their traditional recipe and leave Pepsi behind in their dust, Coca-Cola released New Coke. Despite a large marketing campaign, featuring the likes of Bill Cosby, this reboot backfired greatly on the company. Cosby even ended his relationship with Coke, stating that his credibility had suffered after endorsing the relaunch. Little did he know his character would fall to much greater depths years later.

New Coke.jpg

Exploiting Santa Claus and Polar Bears

Coca-Cola has often used cute mascots in its advertising. Heck, they are credited with creating the likeness that we now identify Santa Claus as. Their polar bear family has also been quite popular and Pepsi hasn’t crafted their own character, in reply.

Pepsi Challenge

Touring North America, the Pepsi Challenge tested consumers tastes over whether they preferred Pepsi or “the other brand”. It certainly increased the awareness of Pepsi and the original Pepsi Challenge is often cited as the impetus for the New Coke debacle.

Pepsi Points

The Pepsi Points initiative allowed drinkers to collect points from the products and redeem them for prizes. In response, Coca-Cola launched the Coke Rewards program. One funny story involved a Pepsi Points collector suing the company when he attempted to redeem the jet plane (with an advertised price of seven million Pepsi Points) featured in one of the commercials for the campaign.

Pepsi Points


On one side of the battlefield, you have General Coke, Sergeant Sprite, Brigadier Barq’s, Major Minute Maid, Private Powerade, and other enforcements. Their counterparts, of course, include Pepsi, 7-Up, Mug, Tropicana, Gatorade, and the rest. And that’s without even delving into their snack food businesses and other tentacles of the conglomerates. For every addition to one company’s line, there is a counterpoint from the opposition.


One of the biggest pissing contests between the two companies can be seen in who they pay to endorse their products. While Coke seems to be the athlete’s choice, with LeBron James and Wayne Gretzky coming onboard, Pepsi has reeled in top music acts, such as Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Kanye West, and Beyonce.


You’d think each company’s slogans wouldn’t matter too much, but they are loaded statements. For example, for Coke to call itself, “The Real Thing”, they’re pretty much saying that Pepsi is a copycat or fraud. On the other hand, Pepsi has gone so far as to use the catchphrase “The Best Drink Created Worldwide”… there’s no ambiguity with that.

Mixer Mania #19: Kalimotxo


  • 4 oz Red Wine
  • 4 oz Cola
  • Garnish with a Watermelon Slice

The war rages on to this day, with both companies battling for big-time sponsorship deals and getting into various venues as the exclusive beverage provider. I will admit that I’ve always been a Pepsi fan and find Coca-Cola to only be a tolerable substitution when there’s no other option to be had.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Also known as Calimocho, this drink – simple as it is – has become a hit within Spanish culture, so I had to give it a shot. Other recipes for the cocktail include a splash of Lemon Juice, but I didn’t have any on hand. The drink is actually quite tasty, reminding me of a Sangria-like beverage. Mrs. Sip, a member of the anti-pop lobby, even tried a quick sip and liked it. The Watermelon garnish was the result of that being the only fruit I had in the fridge.

Beer of the Week #12 – Vancouver Island Carmanah Ale

Vancouver Island Brewing seems to be going through a bit of a rebranding, featuring a few old favourites with new names. Of those included in the new campaign is this product, which I picked up a six-pack of recently.

The Carmanah Ale is of the amber ale variety, featuring flavours of pine “as deep as a forest of Sitka spruces”. The 4.8% ABV easy drinking beverage was perfect for a long day of sipping, including drinking games, providing longevity and durability.

Vancouver Island Carmanah Ale

Joining the Carmanah Ale (aka Sea Dog Amber Ale) with new packaging is the Piper’s Pale Ale and 48 Dark Lager (formerly Hermann’s Dark Lager). The movement is using geographic coordinates, along with the tagline: “Where’s Next?”

The brewery did change ownership last summer, thus the company reboot. This particular release is named for Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, located on Vancouver Island. The park features numerous hiking trails.

For more Beer of the Week articles, please visit our main page…

Snack Time #5: Hidden Valley Honey BBQ Ranch

While dressing is not a snack in a traditional sense, when it’s used on a variety of snack items, it can become an extension of that amazing family. Such is the case with this delicious product from Hidden Valley Ranch.

On a recent trip to shop in the US, the Honey BBQ Ranch dressing caught my eye and I have since returned to grab another bottle. The sauce is a beautiful blend of sweet from the honey, spice from the BBQ and tang from the ranch.

Hidden Valley Honey BBQ Ranch.png

Hidden Valley has released a number alternative ranch dressing offerings. This includes Cilantro Lime, Buffalo, Sriracha, Avocado, Cucumber, Roasted Garlic, Buttermilk, Bacon, Spicy, Fiesta Salsa, Cracked Peppercorn, and Sweet Chili.

The Sip Advisor is a sauce junkie (our fridge is filled with flavours) and therefore, this product will be a permanent staple of my south-of-the-border shopping lists. I suppose there are worse things to be addicted to.

For more Snack Time articles, please visit our main page…