Sip Trips #94: Hard-Hitting Action

This past weekend, Mrs. Sip and I joined some friends at the World Rugby Sevens Series tour at BC Place, which is basically one non-stop party with some intense rugby action as a side attraction. We were lucky to get tickets, having to wait for when organizers released a second batch, but given we missed last year’s inaugural run of the event, we were just happy to be in attendance.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, teams have seven members on each side and play two seven-minute halves, with a very brief one-minute break in between. Once one contest is done, the next immediately begins and the day is full of boozing, costumes and other shenanigans.

The Thirsty Pigeon at BC Place

I was impressed with BC Place stepping up their craft beer game, but stadium pricing for drinks is completely out of whack. When the best deal is $16-plus for a 24-ounce pour, something needs to be changed. Although, judging by the inebriation of my fellow spectators, the pricing scheme was tolerable, if not ignorable.

I also have to commend the staff at BC Place, who had to turn this event around and clean up the stadium between day one and two of the event. You should have seen the accumulation of food and drink waste in each aisle, which builds a lot more given the event’s near 12-hour runtime, compared to your standard sporting occasion, which might last for a third of that time.

As for security, which one might expect would have been busy throughout the day, I didn’t see a single incident of fans having to be escorted out of the stadium or any issues between spectators. All in all, I think Vancouver put on a pretty good show for the weekend. Hopefully, that’s enough to earn a return engagement in 2018!

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Beer of the Week #11 – Postmark Sevens IPA

When selecting a beer to feature for this week’s article, one option jumped straight to the top of the list, given I had a handful of them at the World Rugby Sevens Series at BC Place on Saturday. That honour (and my drinking dollar) went to Postmark Brewing.

The Sevens IPA was brewed specifically for the World Rugby Sevens Series coming to Vancouver in 2016. I really enjoyed the product, going so far as to walk an extra distance to purchase it and returning multiple times over this year’s day-long event.

Postmark Sevens IPA

The 6% ABV, 52 IBUs beverage was hoppy and dry with a tasty bouquet of tropical fruit flavour. Available in both canned form and bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores and other private retailers, you don’t have to be a rugby spectator to enjoy it.

Providing the rugby tournament with its feature beer had to have been a huge score for Postmark. I like their East Vancouver tasting room, but didn’t get to feature them much in last year’s BC Beer Baron project. Hopefully, I’m making amends now.

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

Sip Trips #60: Tapped Out

It seemed the theme of the last week for the Sip Alliance was being told a beer we wanted was out. A sadder set of circumstances, I have not come across yet in this life!

Looking for a place to eat last Thursday before our Urban Rec sports and with a couple gift cards to shed, we ended up at The Shark Club in Richmond. Already not thrilled with the beers on tap, my first two orders – Granville Island Winter Ale and Red Truck Amber Ale – were both unavailable. This left me with only one remaining option, Driftwood Fat Tug IPA. I’m sure this will all resurface one day as a PTSD scenario… the time I almost had to settle for Budweiser!

Budweiser Sucks

I will say, that my chicken tenders and fries were very good and I think Mrs. Sip and the rest of our party enjoyed their nachos, but even with that order, they were asked to substitute their original choice of spicy ground beef with chicken. We were never really informed why, but with little options, they just rolled with it. While our server was very friendly and you can’t blame her for the beers being out, service was incredibly slow and the place seemed understaffed.

Our next outing was to EXP Restaurant + Bar in downtown Vancouver. Here, they did have both of the beers I wanted to order, which was quite refreshing. Deciding on what to eat was much more difficult, as the menu here has so many intriguing dishes, each themed around video games. Rather than try something new, I went with a favourite, the Classic Cheese Burger of Experience and was not left disappointed. Other items ordered at our table, included the Attack On Taco, Assassin’s Cheese Fries and Traditional Poutine, all of which looked and tasted great.

The following day, we decided to check out The Social Corner, which recently opened right across the street from my and Mrs. Sip’s building. I ordered their mushroom burger (which I was lucky to see a server bring out to another table, as it wasn’t even on their menu), while the ladies at our table shared a couple of the restaurant’s pizzas. The Stanley Park 1897 Amber Ale I paired with my meal really hit the spot and they must get that burger onto their menu.

Weekend Restaurant

Prior to Monday’s Vancouver Canucks game versus the Winnipeg Jets (which we had tickets to), we ended up at Central City’s Brew Pub, close to Rogers Arena. Here, we were continually denied the beer of our choice. I get it that kegs run out and need to be changed over, but when you have to choose another beer a half dozen times, it becomes a little tiring. The beers we did end up having were pretty good, highlighted for myself by Central City’s Scotch Ale, which I was pleasantly surprised had a smoky finish to it.

Speaking of the Canucks game, I was hoping for a better collection of craft beers at the stadium than we were able to locate. The adjacent BC Place (home of the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions and the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer) has worked hard to up their craft beer content and I figured – or at least hoped – Rogers Arena would do the same. Alas, it was not meant to be and the night was spent sipping on expensive Shocktop, while watching our beloved ‘Nucks put up a stinker.

Here’s hoping future Sip Trips aren’t as marred with unavailable menu items!