Sip Trips #152: Scary Sipping

Mrs. Sip and I have been pretty busy lately, thus why I haven’t been able to document our adventures in recent weeks. Here’s what we’ve been up to since the last time I checked in:

A couple weeks back, we celebrated a friend’s birthday in the Port Moody Brewers Row area. We started with dinner at the nearby Taps and Tacos, where Mrs. Sip and I enjoyed their Smoked Rosemary Clover Club (black moon smoked rosemary gin, raspberry, lemon, egg white) and Chibolero (pisco, ancho reyes, lemon, blood orange, clingstone peach bitters, egg white) cocktails, respectively. Our meal was comprised of the restaurant’s Queso Fundido, along with a variety of tacos. I really enjoyed the Korean Pork variation, while Mrs. Sip’s favourite was the Moroccan Chicken.

people tacos

Following dinner, our first stop along Brewers Row was Moody Ales, making good on our promise to hit the brewery first on our next visit, following two journeys where we neglected the place. Here, I ordered pints of their Daylight Savings White IPA and Who Turned Off The Lights Black IPA, both of which I liked. In a great marketing idea, the pair are sold together in four-pack tall can sets (two of each), for those looking to try the counter-balanced beers. Mrs. Sip drank the Rauchbock (a collaboration with Gibsons Tapworks), which had a nice smoke to it, as well as the Lusty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout.

Moving on, we next popped into Parkside Brewing where I sipped on their Motel Pale Ale, which is actually classified as an IPA. With Baby Sip getting tired and a bit of a trip ahead of us to get home, we packed things in after this stop and ventured back to New West.

We were back at it the next day, visiting the newly-opened Dark Manor Inn, touted as Vancouver’s haunted whiskey bar. The cocktail joint comes from the minds behind The Shameful Tiki Room, so there is a good pedigree behind the concept. Our group was sat at the master table and went through much of the cocktail menu during our stay. Among my selections were the Pills, Potions & Quack Nostrums (house malt whiskey blend, cinnamon, ginger, lime); Visions of Apparitions (house made whiskey cream and cola, cherry, dash of soda); and Don’t Go In The Attic (butter-washed cognac, calvados, sherry, lemon, spices). Mrs. Sip selected other beverages than me, so we got to sample a large portion of their cocktail list – or Libations and Palliatives, as they call them. We also each tried their Beef Pie and were impressed with the meal, especially given its $12 price tag.

can't sleep

With cocktails ranging from $11-$14, the night was not cheap, but the experience was worth the cost. The Dark Manor Inn is really done up well, with great theming, decorations, lighting effects and music. Reservations are a must and on busy nights, you may be restricted to a two-hour sitting. There’s not a ton of food on their menu, so picky eaters may want to dine prior to their session. We all agreed Vancouver needs more themed drinking locales. Best of luck to them as they get this new expedition off the ground and we will be back to try one of their bowls, which we unavailable on this occasion.

The following weekend, Mrs. Sip and I hosted a small gathering, where each guest was tasked with collecting beers to share, which were honoured with 2018 BC Beer Awards medals. We ended up amassing quite the collection and the night was filled with sampling as much as we could from the assortment. We even had a brew slipped in from the World Beer Awards and it was quite welcomed by the Sip Advisor.

Later that week, we dropped into the Sapperton District Taphouse for their weekly trivia. The theme was Netflix programming and I’m not ashamed to say our crew does a fair bit of binge watching, so once again, we finished in first place. Our reward was a pitcher of beer, which Mrs. Sip and I ended up drinking together, abandoned by our teammates. Our selection of the Vancouver Island Hermannator Ice Bock may not have been the best choice, given its strong 9.5% alcohol content and no one to help us with the serving. This was on top of my pint of Russell Angry Scotch Ale and Great Sapper sandwich, which was very good, but would have been better on a bun, instead of Texas toast.

Netflix

The most recent weekend began with Mrs. Sip and I visiting Storm Brewing, as we both took last Friday off from work. We were a little sad to see samples are no longer available by donation and now cost $7 for six tasters, but we understand the need to make money from the operation. We tried the brewery’s Vanilla Whiskey Stout, Gingerbread Ale, Jalapeno-Lime Pilsner, Mango Lassi Pilsner, Lavender Vanilla Ale, and Raspberry Orange Blossom Pilsner. Mrs. Sip also surprised me with the fact she signed us up for their 12 Fills of Christmas, where over the month of December, we will get 12 one-litre Boston fills of unique small-batch brews, not made available to the public. Should make for an interesting holiday season!

The weekend wrapped with a visit to Dead Frog Brewing in Langley. We just had to try their recently concocted Party Paddle, which provides at least two drinkers with a flight of 16 taster glasses, comprised of everything on tap at the brewery. Among my favourites were the Moscow Mule Lime Ginger White Ale, Blueberry Blast Kettle Sour, Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout and Winter Beeracle Winter Ale.

Another series of Sip Trips adventures are in the books and the Christmas push is just beginning. The next update will feature Christmas parties, a look at my first fills from Storm Brewing and likely a couple outings that weren’t even on our radar. Stay tuned!

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Beer of the Week #18 – Bomber Superpest Double IPA

This past weekend, the Sip Alliance took to the streets of East Vancouver for the 2nd annual East Van Brewery Open House. Among our stops, was Bomber Brewing, where I sat down to a pint of this beer.

The Superpest Double IPA was very enjoyable. The edition I had was infused with pomegranate, turning up the recipe a couple notches. At 7.5% ABV and 80 IBUs, the beverage was far from an annoyance.

Bomber Superpest Double IPA

This seasonal release is available on tap at the brewery’s tasting room and in bomber-sized bottles. The Superpest took home a bronze medal at the 2014 BC Beer Awards in the Imperial IPA category.

I wish I’d kept up on Bomber’s Monday movie lineup, as April featured such hockey classics as Slapshot, Goon and Youngblood. Just in time for NHL playoff season, I would have loved to attend.

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

Beer of the Week #9 – Barkerville Demi-Mondaine Dunkelweizen

For Christmas, Mrs. Sip picked up this Barkerville Brewing beer for me, as a stocking stuffer. We only recently got around to drinking it, though, and I wish I had cracked it open and enjoyed it long ago.

The Demi-Mondaine Dunkelweizen features flavours of banana, clove, vanilla and biscuit. A slightly tart finish gives the 5.2% ABV, 12 IBUs beverage a bit of complexity, while still remaining very refreshing.

barkerville-demi-mondaine-dunkelweizen

Demi-mondaine refers to a woman supported by a wealthy lover or a woman of the demi-monde, which translates to a group of people who live obviously indulgent lifestyles. Sounds like Mrs. Sip to me!

This dark, yet mild beer is available in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores. The Dunkelweizen earned Barkerville a gold medal at the 2016 BC Beer Awards, in the German Wheat Beer category.

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Sip Trips #86: Best of 2016

Each year, the Sip Advisor fondly looks back at the best drinking nights (in order of occurrence) of the previous calendar… at least what he can remember of them. Join us as we take a moment to dissect and celebrate 2016:

Libational Learning

When a night ends with the Sip Advisor passing out on the couch, sans clothing, you know it’s been a good one! The Science of Cocktails extravaganza was a fascinating and booze-fueled evening. We wanted to return this year, but Mrs. Sip has a trial starting the next day, so that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. #Responsibilities

Family Day Festivities

Over the Family Day long weekend, the Sip Alliance explored both the Fraser Valley and North Vancouver craft beer regions, hitting more than a dozen locations. Many of these, were first time stops for our group and it opened our eyes to all the wonders that exist outside of Vancouver.

family-time

Crawling Around

Just one day after the Portland Beer & Wine Festival, we were back at it, hitting the streets of the City of Roses and searching out some of its most popular breweries. Over the course of the day, we worked our way through a half dozen tasting rooms. Eventually, we ended the journey with an Easter-themed burlesque show and Voodoo Doughnuts… because why the hell not!?

Lion City Leisure

With three nights in Singapore to start our five-week Asian adventure, we decided to spend one of those nights at the swanky Marina Bay Sands. Our hotel package included their evening happy hour, which in true Mr. and Mrs. Sip fashion, we rocked until they kindly asked us to leave. We followed this with swimming in the resort’s rooftop pool, 63 floors above the city.

The Happiest of Valleys

The fun didn’t stop there, as our cruise made a two-day stop in the vibrant city that is Hong Kong. This allowed us the chance to enjoy some nightlife, helped along by Mrs. Sip having a few friends living in the city. Coincidentally, it was also Wednesday race night at the Happy Valley Racetrack. Over a couple pitchers of beer, the Sip Advisor even picked a winning horse and took home a small prize.

horse-racing-for-rich-people

So Many Options

Arriving in Tokyo, Japan, we chose to stay near the Golden Gai district of the city. For those unfamiliar with the area, it is home to approximately 300 little bars, within a six-block radius. Our exploration led us into a few uniquely-themed watering holes, such as the one centered around horror movie and metal music cultures.

Drinking Sky High

Our fun in Tokyo didn’t stop there. The moment Mrs. Sip discovered that this attraction existed, we knew it would be a highlight of our stay in the city. At the Park Hyatt, their Peak Bar offered visitors the chance to drink all-inclusive during sunset hours, while looking down at the bustling city below, from the 41st floor. We ended up sitting next to a couple from Australia and spent the night drinking with them, as I challenged the bartender to make me her best drink with each different alcohol available.

Tipping N’ Tasting

Among my favourite annual beer festivals is the Tip N’ Taste event in Langley. It provides a chance to sample brews from companies based more in the Fraser Valley region of BC, as well as other entries from around the province. This year, we stayed overnight at the Convention Centre Hotel, which hosted the event. That meant the after party quickly moved to our room!

beer-crisper

Island Wedding

While on Prince Edward Island for a friend’s wedding, Mrs. Sip and I were introduced to a number of great people, who we partied away the weekend with. Following a meet-and-greet barbecue on the eve of the wedding, we accompanied our new associates back into Charlottetown for an impromptu night on the town, which ended much later than we had anticipated.

All You Need is Love

The Made with Love cocktail competition has become an annual tradition (three years running) for Mrs. Sip and I. It’s always a fun night out, trying the drinks of some of Vancouver’s most popular bartenders. Best of all, we get to play a role in picking the winning entry, although none of our personal favourites ever seem to come out on top.

Cruise Credits

To celebrate Sis-in-Law Sip’s birthday, we booked a one-day cruise from Seattle to Vancouver. Over the course of the evening, the Sip Advisor took in parts of four bottles of wine, a half-dozen beers, a couple cocktails, and a bottle of bubbly to boot, won through a ‘Finish the Song Lyrics’ quiz.

cruise-captain-morgan

Irish Blessings

Over the last couple years, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have celebrated my birthday in Hawaii, aboard a cruise ship, in Southern Africa, and now Ireland – although it was a couple days after the actual date. The Sip Syndicate was along for this ride and we celebrated in true Irish style with shots of Jameson Whiskey and pints of Guinness.

Fear and Loathing

Our trips to Disneyland nowadays typically include enjoying the sights and sounds (and lines) of the park with a cold beer or glass of wine in hand. In October, we were also primed for Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, which involves getting a good buzz going, prior to entering. Once that was accomplished, all we had to deal with was psycho killer clowns, a rogue’s gallery of baddies and even some Jabbawockeez!

Award Season

My first year attending one of BC’s best craft beer shindigs proved why I had missed out in previous years. Unable to attend because of vacations and other commitments, we finally made it to the BC Beer Awards, where the Sip Advisor was able to sample about 20 different beers from the wonderful breweries that make up the province’s craft industry.

awards-season

Diamond Celebration

To commemorate Ma Sip’s 60th birthday, the entire family ventured to Disneyland, which also recently celebrated the same milestone. Mrs. Sip’s aunt also had her 50th birthday on that weekend, so there was much to revel in. That included a fair bit of drinking at the park and in our hotel rooms, as we made the change from day to night wear.

Traditional Tidings

To celebrate Christmas this year, the Sip Family stayed in Leavenworth, Washington, which is famous for being a little slice of Bavaria, hidden in the mountains. The town is a haven for Christmas lovers, and it’s here that we explored the many wine tasting rooms, a couple breweries and exuded as much festive spirit as one is allowed to, by law.

2016 was an amazing year… at least drinking wise. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has to offer, even though it has quite a bit to live up to!

BC Beer Baron #320 – Coal Harbour 311 Helles Lager

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. With all the crazy brewing options out there, lagers sometimes get lost in the shuffle. That’s why the Sip Advisor is giving them their own feature week. After all, we should support and give thanks to the beers that brought many of us to this craft beer dance!

The Sip Advisor has enjoyed this Munich-style release from Coal Harbour Brewing on a number of occasions, making it a perfect selection for Lager Week. Most anything coming from German heritage is pretty good… such as Mr. Sip, himself!

The 311 Helles Lager – 311 stands for 11/11/11, which was the date of the company’s first creation – is brewed in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot (also known as the German Beer Purity Law) which outlines which ingredients should be used in beer production. The 5% ABV, 19 IBUs beverage is available in a unique eight-pack of cans for the rockin’ price of $12.49, plus taxes and deposit, at BC Liquor Stores.

coal-harbour-311-helles-lager

The product has earned Coal Harbour some accolades, such as a gold medal at the 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards in the North American Style Premium Lager category and a third place finish at the 2013 BC Beer Awards in the Session Lager class.

I really wish Coal Harbour would open a tasting room at their East Vancouver location. I enjoy a bunch of their wares (their Smoke & Mirrors being among my favourite brews) and they could ease the Parallel 49 Brewing congestion.

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

BC Beer Baron #312 – Steamworks Flagship IPA

With a Halloween party to attend last week, the Sip Advisor thought long and hard about what to bring to keep my thirst quenched. The answer was obvious, once this Steamworks Brewing product popped into my devious mind.

The Flagship IPA is very good, featuring Mosaic, Galaxy and Citra hops, for an explosive tropical fruit drinking experience. The northeast style India Pale Ale comes with stats of 6.7% ABV and 65 IBUs, making it perfect for all the hopheads out there… myself included.

steamworks-flagship-ipa

Released just last month, the brew is available in bottled six-packs, as well as the brewery’s Mash Up Tall Can Pack. The beer can also be had at Steamworks Brewpub in Downtown Vancouver and has already joined the company’s year-round lineup.

The Flagship IPA earned Steamworks the top prize at the 2016 BC Beer Awards, receiving the Best in Show accolade. All I know, is when I ended up sharing a couple bottles with friends at the party, it was a hit all around.

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

BC Beer Baron #308 – Boombox/Machine Ales Pablo Esco Gnar IPA

One of the friends I attended the BC Beer Awards with had a simple game plan going in, with sampling this Boombox Brewing and Machine Ales beverage at the top of his list. After having a taste myself, I can totally understand why.

The Pablo Esco Gnar IPA (awesome name!) is a northeastern version of the India Pale Ale. The 7.2% ABV drink is produced using oats and lactose and has instantly become a hit on the BC craft beer scene, thanks to being available at various Lower Mainland pubs.

boombox-machine-ales-pablo-esco-gnar-ipa

Boombox Brewing is currently working out of the Callister Brewing location, Canada’s first collaborative brewery. Machine Ales is a graduate of this system, where upstart operations can use the space for a year, before moving forward with their development.

The Pablo Esco Gnar IPA earned the two breweries some hard-earned recognition at those very BC Beer Awards, taking home the coveted CBC People’s Choice Award. That award was voted on by attendees of the event.

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