Sip Trips #205: Dome Dining

Well, the first month of 2022 is in the books and it was a pretty good one. Even with Mrs. Sip trying out a keto diet, we managed to have a lot of fun, especially since Mrs. Sip enjoyed a cheat day for her mid-month birthday. Here’s what we got up to in Januray:

To welcome 2022, on New Year’s Day, the Sip Family had a delicious meal at The Keg. My beverage of the Yellow Dog High 5 Hazy IPA combined very well with my Keg Burger with Fries. I had stopped ordering the Keg Burger a few years back when they sadly changed the beef blend the burger was made with. I’m glad I finally gave it another shot because although I still miss how the burger was done when I originally fell in love with it, it’s still a pretty damn good meal.

The next day, we met up with a friend at 3 Dogs Brewing in White Rock. I enjoyed servings of their I Like Big Mutts Hazy Tangerine IPA and K-Nein Mandarin Kolsch, as well as the walk I took with Boy Sip between the two brews, so he could stretch his legs and see the cars and trucks he has become obsessed with as he enters the toddler stage of life.

Toddler

The next weekend, Mrs. Sip and I were offered a childless night from Ma and Pa Sip. We took advantage of the occasion with a visit to Piva Modern Italian, where we used some of the gift card Ma and Pa Sip gave us for Christmas. Mrs. Sip and I split the Calamari Steak, which was very tasty with olive tapenade on top. To drink, I had the Viola cocktail (Empress Gin float, Cointreau, lemon, mango syrup, guava, soda), which was very refreshing thanks to the citrus and soda blend.

Afterwards, as Mrs. Sip did some shopping for snacks for her new diet, I went to the 8th Street Liquor Store, where I bought a single tall can of Stanley Park Deck the Malts Holiday Ale. I hadn’t had the chance to try the seasonal release prior to this and the brew came at a slightly discounted price, so how could I refuse the offer.

Another liquor shopping trip resulted in Mrs. Sip picking up two flavours of Nude Vodka Soda (Strawberry Kiwi and Watermelon), as well as Pyur Coconut Vodka Soda. I’ve enjoyed all three variations and it always feels good to get your drink on and know you’re not sacrificing too much in the calorie intake category.

Calories

Stocking up for a guys’ drinking night the next weekend, I visited the Clayton Liquor Store. There, I bought tall can four-packs of Steel and Oak Throw Blanket West Coast IPA and Boombox Paradise City Passionfruit Coconut IPA, along with a single can of Dead Frog Field Tripper Hazy Rye IPA. The Paradise City was particularly good, with a hint of coconut at the back end of each sip.

As for the guys’ night, our first stop of the evening was Farm Country Brewing. I’ve always liked Farm Country’s set up and enjoyed this stay too, with orders of the Last Call Cocktail Inspired Ale and Hoppy Tonk 2.0 Azacca Fresh Hop IPA.

Next up, was Camp Brewing. I love that Camp sticks with their theming, offering smokies and s’mores on their food menu. I took advantage of that, eating the Ranger Danger Smokie (Korean BBQ sauce, mayo, honey mustard, cilantro, sesame seeds), which really hit the spot. We stayed here for a while, enjoying the fire pit spot that opened up shortly after we arrived, with the Sip Advisor downing pints of Kodiak West Coast Brown Ale, Fall Camp Smoked Amber Ale and Winter Camp Gingersnap Ale. The only downside of the evening was a random woman coming up to us as she was leaving, informing us we had stolen their spot at the fire pit. This, after we asked a server for permission to move and had been sitting at the spot for an hour and a half before being approached. Had the woman come up to us earlier, we would have happily given up the spot in the name of good liquor karma.

Karma

Later that week, we celebrated Mrs. Sip’s birthday with the extravagant Winterlust dome dining experience at H Tasting Lounge. We began with an arrival bottle of bubbly and cheese and meat charcuterie plates. My cocktails consumed during our 2.5-hour reservation, included the Balrog’s Demise (Ardbeg Wee Beastie Scotch, Goslings Black Seal Rum, Lemon Hart 151, Cherry Heering, Averna, pineapple, lime, coconut, tiki bitters, spice), Cut The Chit Chat (Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Cynar, Campari, Apricot Liqueur, antica formula, hellfire bitters) and Isle of Man (Copper Spirits White Rye, Esquimalt Dry Vermouth, Boomsma Genever, Maraschino Liqueur, Sombra Mezcal). I also had tastes of some of Mrs. Sip’s beverages, including Bobby’s A Cinephile (ghee washed Lemon Hart 151 Rum, Angostura 5yr Rum, roasted corn lemon, vegan foamer, popcorn) and Like, Basically (strawberry jacked Absolut Vodka, O5 Elderflower Soda, Chambord, Galliano, lemon). Each cocktail was delicious and presented uniquely. This included my Balrog’s Demise being lit on fire and the Cut the Chit Chat coming in it’s own hand-painted flask, while Mrs. Sip’s Bobby’s A Cinephile was served in a popcorn bag, with caramel corn. To eat, I ordered the HTL Smash Burger and also enjoyed shared plates of Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Chicken Wings and Bread & Oil. The meal wrapped with the restaurant serving up some slices of birthday cake, which we all shared. The experience was well worth it and we had no problem surpassing the $300 minimum order, even though our group was only four people, instead of the six we had originally planned.

With the Sipplings staying over at Ma and Pa Sip’s for the night, we also managed to hit the House of Comedy for a show. As if we needed more food, upon arriving, we ordered the Chicken Tenders and Chips & Guac. To drink, I enjoyed the Dark Humor cocktail, which is their version of a Dark N’ Stormy.

We wrapped the month with a Vancouver Canucks game. Prior to heading to the arena, I needed some dinner and went to White Spot for my meal. I paired a pint of Granville Island Lions Winter Ale with a Legendary Burger Platter. It was a fantastic meal and set me up nicely for the hockey ahead.

Burger and Beer

At the game, I got a large-size Parkside Dreamboat IPA. It was nice to have the arena at 50 per cent capacity, for ease of moving around, emptier bathrooms and bar line ups, as well as using transit home. Of course, a packed stadium is good too, but I will enjoy the limited crowd while it lasts.

February promises to be a very interesting month, as the Sip Family goes on their first international vacation since November 2019. We’ll be staying at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, so that will surely provide some good material for next month’s 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.

BC Beer Baron #176 – Four Mile Tangerine Dream Ale

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. Fruit beers may have some traditionalists up in arms, but if they only them a chance, they would see how good the beverages can be. In putting together this feature week, I tried to incorporate as many different fruits as possible, so let’s see what BC has to offer in this realm.

After first sampling their wares last November at the Hopscotch 2015 Grand Tasting Hall, I was curious to try more products from Victoria’s Four Mile Brewing. When I learned that this beer was among their arsenal, I looked forward to the day when we would meet.

I finally found the Tangerine Dream Ale at the 8th Street Liquor Store in New Westminster, en route to meeting Mrs. Sip and her colleagues for a Friday afternoon happy hour. While the beverage went light on its alcohol content (only 4.25% ABV), it certainly travelled to the other end of the spectrum with its citrus flavour. I’m not sure if I’ll be dreaming about the beer anytime soon, but it was a good drink.

Four Mile Tangerine Dream Ale

The art on Four Mile’s labels are really neat, featuring forest wildlife and other creatures. The Tangerine Dream Ale, available in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores around BC, is highlighted by a noble looking fox and that’s good enough for the Sip Advisor.

I would love to check out Four Mile’s brewery when Mrs. Sip and I finally get around to doing our epic Victoria beer journey. A couple of their other seasonal releases have piqued my interest, namely the Prickly Pear Cactus Wheat Ale and Double Chocolate Porter.

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…