Sip Trips #148: The Next Chapter

As Mrs. Sip and I wrap up our moving out from Downtown Vancouver, things have been insane around the Sip Advisor Headquarters, and that’s probably putting it lightly. Still, we managed to squeeze some fun into the chaos, especially with the celebration of our sixth wedding anniversary. Here’s what we got up to in our last couple weeks living in Vancouver:

For the second year in a row, we attended Caskapalooza at Craft Beer Market and it was a very, very good event. Like last year, tickets were $25 (plus taxes and fees) and included 12 tokens. Between myself, Mrs. Sip and Cousin Sip, we tried nearly every beer of the 36 available. My favourites included a Smoked Apiary Dunkelweizen from Foamers’ Folly, Mariner’s Cuban Night Sky, and a Ginger-Cinnamon Rye Amber Ale from Trading Post. There were so many good and unique beers here that we are definitely planning on attending the 2019 Caskapalooza. The only minor tweak I’d like to see, if possible, is for the Caskport document, which allows drinkers to jot down what each brewery is offering, to already be filled out. This would a) advise folks of what is available and b) eliminate people stopping at the front of a lineup to write in the available information.

Keg Safety First

Following the event, we stuck around for a drink and some food. Mrs. Sip and I split the delicious BBQ Beer Can Chicken Sliders, while my beverage was the Electric Bicycle Frosty Mugs Brown Ale. This was the second time I’ve been able to try a brew from Electric Bicycle and both have been unique and quite tasty. I have to try to visit their tasting room soon.

Last Friday, Mrs. Sip and I hosted a moving out party of sorts, where our goal was to finish and get rid of all our mostly consumed liquor bottles. We ended up with about 25 bottles that had minimal liquid left and throughout the night, we all did our best to put those bottles out of their misery. I had a great time playing bartender and coming up with unique, but simple cocktails for the crowd to enjoy. Over our last week in the place, I managed to finish each and every bottle we were hoping to go through. Mission accomplished!

To celebrate our previously mentioned sixth wedding anniversary, we attended the Battle of the Brews competition in Surrey. The event started a little rough for us because as we arrived at our Skytrain station, I spotted the beer tents and it dawned on me that this was an outdoor event, on the one day in recent memory it rained. Things quickly turned around; however, as the organizers had planned for such a scenario and had ponchos ready for any guest that wanted one. The Battle offered a great selection of beers from a number of breweries, as well as awesome food from Brown’s Social House, Cactus Club, Dublin Crossing, Milestones, and many more. My favourite beer was Parkside’s Human’s – An IPA for the People, while my top food choice was Cactus Club’s Mini Crispy Chicken Sandwich. With all that going on, I thought the $50 we paid per ticket was very much worth it. My only complaint here was they need more on-site bathrooms, as five porta-potties is not enough when hundreds of people are drinking all afternoon. At least the long lines could be avoided if you learned about the washrooms in the adjacent Surrey City Hall.

Porta-Potties.jpg

We wrapped up our Vancouver life with one final meal on the rooftop patio at The Keg’s Yaletown location. I order the Prime Rib Sliders at their $13 happy hour price (with side of fries) along with a Keg Caesar, also on special. Our group also split a bottle of Danzante Pinot Grigio and to top off the meal, we were given a slice of Billy Miner Pie for dessert, on the house because we were celebrating our anniversary.

I will certainly miss living in Vancouver, as my years running this site have documented all the great experiences we’ve been able to partake in. That said, we’re on to another exciting chapter in our lives and only time will tell what that has in store for us!

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Sip Trips #25: HOME!

Well, this last week brought some good news and some bad news. On the good side, Mrs. Sip and I were finally able to move back into our place, seven weeks after our kitchen sink suffered a burst pipe and a small flood ruined our apartment. On the bad side, Mrs. Sip left for a European vacation before this even happened, so the Sip Advisor was left to deal with the whole return by himself. At least I have sweet lady liquor as a companion and coping mechanism!

The evening before moving back in, Ma Sip and I shared a few appetizers at The Union. Although Mrs. Sip and I had lived right above this restaurant during our exile from home, we had never managed to actually eat there. The place features an Asian-fusion type menu, such as spring rolls, Thai chicken wings, and sweet and sour pork tacos. To wash it all down, I ordered a pint of their rotating tap, the Persephone Rum Runner Red Ale. It was a very enjoyable beer, so I’m glad I lucked upon the menu item.

Chinese Food

The next night, to show I had no favouritism to one parent over the other, I sat down to dinner with Pa Sip at one of the many Cactus Club locations. Over a delicious burger, I had sleeves of both the Ugly Wheat Ale and Pemberton Pilsner. Both beers went down easy, but I can’t say that either overly wowed me. Maybe that’s because I was enjoying my meal so much.

Long a fan of wheat beers, this weekend I picked up the recently released Okanagan Springs Hefeweizen Pack, featuring Sonder (banana-clove), Ginger, and Lime variations. Of the three, I think I liked the Lime option best, as it just goes so naturally with a wheat beer and especially when you’re drinking outside, in the sun and poolside at Ma and Pa Sip’s place.

Since the weekend, I was itching to get back on my bike and do some touring. On Tuesday, I finally had the opportunity and made my way over to the Granville Island Brewery, which has launched a few new releases recently that I wanted to try. I ordered a set of tasters that included the Two Tides ISA and Shipload of Hops Imperial IPA, as well as a couple old favourites in the False Creek Raspberry Ale and Hey Day Hefeweizen. I liked all four beers, with each bringing something new to the game, as I rotated around the set. Unfortunately, GIB’s Kellerbier was only available for growler fill, so I’ll have to try that another time.

bike crash

After leaving the island and en route to returning home (still feels weird to say after seven weeks out of our apartment), I made a pit stop at Legacy Liquor Store to see what was new in stock. There, I grabbed the Parallel 49 Apricotopus – an apricot-flavoured sour saison – and Russell Smokey the Beer rauchbier. I love my wheat and smoky brews, so I’m looking forward to trying both these offerings.

I’ll wrap things up this week with a quick product review: A few months back, Ma Sip bought me a bag of Guinness potato chips and they were amazing. Recently, she tracked down their Rich Beef Chilli variety and gifted me a bag. These were also quite enjoyable with a strong taste of chilli meat, mixed with the Guinness stout flavouring. It was a hit with this chippy monster. I just wish the Guinness products came in bigger bags!