Sip Trips #129: In Transition

As the Sip Advisor began my first official week of parental leave, there was plenty of action… and we’re not even counting taking care of a baby full-time! Here’s what we got up to:

The Vancouver Whitecaps season opener took place on the first Sunday of March and the Sip Advisor was in attendance. The outing began with a stop at the beer garden outside BC Place stadium, where I bought a can of Stanley Park Day Trip Lager. This snapped my five-day dry streak, as I was hoping to lower my tolerance level for our upcoming Las Vegas getaway. Once inside the stadium, I picked up a 24oz serving of Postmark West Coast Pale Ale, which lasted me most of the contest.

A couple days later, I met Ma Sip for lunch at Mahony & Sons along the Downtown Vancouver waterfront. I really enjoyed my Fish & Chips meal, paired with a pint of Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale. With ordering this drink, I was entered into a draw for a trip to Ireland. This was a nice little bonus from the visit.

Fish & Chips Deal

Later that day, the Sip Alliance attended the Craft Beer Launch at Craft Beer Market. Tickets were only $5 (plus taxes) and featured 18 new menu items available to be sampled. All proceeds went to the YMCA Annual Campaign and I felt the event was well worth it, despite a couple hiccups.

The beers were mostly comprised of IPAs and sours, so if you weren’t into those two styles of beer, you were kind of out of luck. Among the brews, my favourites were the Boneyard Incredible Pulp, Ninkasi Juicy IPA, Beau’s Fulltime IPA, and Gigantic Imperial IPA. A cider, red wine and even gin could also be tried.

Aside from the beverages, a number of Craft’s appies were served, including BBQ Beer Can Chicken Sliders, Proscuitto Arugula Flatbreads, Wings, and Veggie Platters. Our group arrived close to the start of the event and staked out a spot near what became the food table. This was very fortunate, as whenever items were served, they didn’t last very long with the buzzards circling. Also, there was about an hour gap at one point where no food arrived.

Buzzard Loyalty

The biggest issue was that some of the company reps ran out of supplies before the three-hour event was halfway through. That left me wondering: “If these were the new products available at the restaurant, how could they possibly run out?” We were impressed to learn that the Whistler Brewing rep went across the street to Legacy Liquor Store to buy more beer when her stock dried up, while other servers gave out half glasses from the start, to make sure their wares lasted throughout. The woman running the Copper & Theory table was hands down the MVP of the night, serving brews right up to the end, which meant she was incredibly busy as the other tables closed up shop early.

The week ended with some shopping and new product discoveries. Ma Sip informed me of Mott’s Clamato Verde being in stores. I’m assuming the green mixer is available for St. Patrick’s Day Caesars, but can’t confirm as there’s no mention of the drink on the Mott’s website. The drink is tasty and interesting, reminding me of a green salsa-based beverage. I also came across Crown Royal Salted Caramel Whiskey, while perusing a BC Liquor Store. Given the release is of the limited edition variety and there was only one box left, I felt things were meant to be and I had to buy the treat for myself. I can’t wait to do some mixing with it when the opportunity arises.

Next up, Mrs. Sip and I (along with Baby Sip) will be in Las Vegas. You can expect at least a two-part Sip Trips upon our return home!

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Sip Trips #121: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

With Christmas closing in, the Sip Advisor decided to take some time off work… but it certainly wasn’t spent relaxing. Here’s what we got up to in the lead up to the big day and how we fought off the post-holiday blues:

Last Thursday, the Sip Family crossed the border to do some last minute shopping in Bellingham. We hoped to start our visit with drinks at Menace Brewing, but it wasn’t open for the day yet. Lucky for us, Mrs. Sip spotted yet another brewery across the street. Melvin Brewing (a Jackson Hole, Wyoming brewery with a brew pub in Bellingham) hosted us for lunch. Mrs. Sip and I each ordered from their $10 lunch menu, with her selecting Fish & Chips, while I went with the Sandwich & Soup combo (Beef Dip with substituted Fries). For drinks, we passed around pints of their Block Away Brown Ale and Mash Murder Stout ($3 beer of the day special), while also sampling the Peaches Innit Pale Ale. All beers are brewed onsite and we quite good.

Christmas Shopping

On Christmas Eve, en route to a family dinner, we first met Sip Syndicate members at Central City Brewing in Surrey. Mrs. Sip and I had won a tour and tasting experience for six people at one of Central City’s trivia nights at their Downtown Vancouver brew pub in the summer and had to use the pass prior to the end of the year. For those keeping track, this was Baby Sip’s fourth craft brewery visit already. My flight of beers included the Smore Stout, Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine, Imperial IPA and Super Solar IPA. It was a very nice and relaxing setting to enjoy some drinks together and could become a yearly holiday tradition.

Finally, the big day arrived. As for liquor-based Christmas gifts, Mrs. Sip gave me the Central City/Parallel 49 Great White Wonder Adventure Pack (their annual collaborative advent calendar), which was marked down, given the month had come and gone. That doesn’t mean the beer can’t still be enjoyed, though. Last year, I picked up some of the individual bottles from this set and I’m hoping for some enjoyable beers this time around. Mrs. Sip also gifted me a Groupon for Andina Brewing, which provides a set of tasters for two people, as well as a growler and fill. I also received a bottle of Serbian Honey Brandy, which I’m looking forward to experimenting with. As for the gift of giving, I picked up the Erdinger Variety Pack for Mrs. Sip, along with a few other treats.

Christmas Spirit.jpg

The week ended with an impromptu visit to Craft Beer Market for a holiday wrap-up with friends. On Wednesday, the restaurant offers $8 wings and $5 BC craft beers, which is a terrific combo. Mrs. Sip and I split an order of Salt & Pepper Wings and their Gaucho Chicken Flatbread, while I selected the Torchlight Broadside IPA and Whistler/Craft Snowed In White IPA (with $1 going towards the Greater Vancouver Food Bank) for my beverages. Mrs. Sip went with the Storm Vanilla Whiskey Stout and Moody Ales Lusty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout for her drinks.

This weekend will be another busy one, with a birthday/housewarming to attend, drinks with the guys on the schedule… and, oh yeah, that minor hidden-on-the-calendar event we call New Year’s Eve!

Beer of the Week #35 – Yellow Dog High Five Hazy IPA

I have now had this Yellow Dog Brewing selection a couple times, in two different formats. If a third opportunity presents itself, I won’t hesitate to drink it again no matter what form it comes in.

The first time I had the High Five Hazy IPA was as a mango-flavoured variation at Craft Beer Market’s Caskapalooza 2017. The next was from the brewery itself, as we recently visited Port Moody’s amazing Brewer’s Row.

Yellow Dog High Five Hazy IPA

Both times, I greatly enjoyed the 6.8%ABV, 50 IBUs beverage. It is available at many of the more notable craft beer establishments around Greater Vancouver and can also be found in tall can format at the brewery.

I was happy to see that Yellow Dog finally got their website up and running since I last covered the brewery as part of the BC Beer Baron project. For far too long, the site was under construction.

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

Sip Trips #112: Summer Sizzle

For Mrs. Sip and I, I’ve coined the phrase: Weekend Warriors, Weekday Legends! Our insanely busy last week is a perfect example of our quest to live life to the fullest. Here’s a recap of all the action, which still has my head spinning:

The week that was started with the Sip Alliance attending Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in concert. Prior to the show, we met for dinner at The Kingston Taphouse, where Mrs. Sip and I shared their delicious Chicken Caesar Flatbread, followed by a slice of fantastic Oreo Cheesecake for dessert. Looking to build a buzz for the concert, I started with a serving of Original 16 Pale Ale and then doubled down with a Spiced Rum and Ginger Ale, which came with the lightest splash of the mixer.

Tom Petty.png

As for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (with special guest The Lumineers), the show was absolutely amazing. The band went through all their hits and had the place rocking from start to finish. Should they return to our beautiful city, I would certainly attend again. During the performance, I shelled out big bucks for a couple Stella Artois pilsners, which was simply the price of doing business.

On our way home afterwards, still feeling the adrenaline, we decided to go for a nightcap at The Loose Moose. There, I had a pair of Stanley Park Windstorm Pale Ales, while the bar filled the area with rock music, including my favourite Tom Petty track, Running Down a Dream.

On Saturday, Ma and Pa Sip hosted our Baby Shower Beer Garden. In the weeks leading up to the celebration, I lost sleep over my concerns that we’d run out of brews. The night before, I even made a run to get another two cases for additional coverage. In the end, we survived the night, thanks to mixed packs from Phillips, Whistler, Vancouver Island, Bowen Island, Central City and Big Rock breweries. We also had some ciders, coolers, wines, etc. to cover all the bases. Our guests really enjoyed the set-up and being able to try a variety of beverages. A huge thanks to both our sets of parents for their help with the party and to all those who attended and were so generous with gifts for our little one.

Biergarten.jpg

The next day, I was right back at it, meeting up with the guys at Colony on Main for a couple beers, prior to attending a Vancouver Canadians game. While at the stadium, I visited the amazing Craft Beer Corner on multiple occasions, grabbing servings of Big Rock Citradelic IPA, Whistler Grapefruit Ale, and Steamworks Summer Ale and Flagship IPA. While I’m still not the biggest baseball fan, there’s something so appealing about foot long hotdogs, a beautiful day and drinking at the ballpark.

Following the contest, which the Canadians won, we visited Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub for a wrap-up. There, I had a pair of their Gatekeeper Caesars (complete with chorizo stick and pickled spiced bean), which were on special. The drinks provided a perfect finish to the hectic, but oh so memorable weekend.

Did things get lighter with the work week arriving? Heck no! Remember, the Weekday Legends portion of our credo? On Tuesday, Cousin Sip and I attended Caskapalooza 2017 at Craft Beer Market. The event featured 36 casks, with all the industry’s big players on hand. Tickets were $25 each – with partial proceeds going towards the Dress for Success charity – and included 12 tokens. With Cousin Sip’s help, we tried more than two-thirds of the available beverages, with my favourites being Yellow Dog’s Mango High Five Hazy IPA and Granville Island’s Porter Con Chocolate Picante.

Beer Work

The week wrapped up with a return to Darby’s Gastown for their pub trivia night with Mrs. Sip’s work crew. Over pints of Fuggles & Warlock Agent Orange IPA and Steel & Oak Towers and Trains IPA, our team put up another valiant effort, but finished tied for fourth place. Still, this earned us a set of passes to one of the local Escape Room companies.

On tap for another busy week upcoming is our first Dinner en Blanc; our fifth wedding anniversary, celebrated by visiting the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) for the first time in 15 years; a baseball tournament, complete with beer garden; our one-day pre-natal course (we’ll find a way to make things fun); and a return to Port Moody’s Brewer’s Row!

Sip Trips #92: On the Prowl

With Mrs. Sip out and having a girl’s sleepover, I took full advantage of the situation and put together a guy’s night out of my own:

The evening started with dinner at Chronic Tacos. I love this place, but don’t often get to eat there, as the location that was walking distance to me shutdown a couple years back. I paired my Al Pastor Burrito with a serving of Parallel 49 Jerkface 9000 IPA and it was a good base to start the evening’s festivities.

chronic-tacos-burritos

Moving on from our meal, we made our way to 33 Acres Brewing, where their 33 Acres of Resin Double Red Ale caught my attention, as I always lean towards trying whatever new release the brewery has available. 33 Acres is the only place I know of that offers 24 oz servings, which is quite the amount of beer to down when you’re drinking a 7% ABV, 70 IBUs concoction.

After encountering long lines to get into Faculty Brewing and the R&B Ale & Pizza House (not to mention the usual horde of folks trying to get into Brassneck Brewing), our next stop was Main Street Brewing, which has always been a reliable watering hole for the Sip Advisor. Here, we quickly got seats and I started the visit with their Harlot Red Rye Tart Saison, which was a little more sour than I prefer, but it did grow on me with each sip.

Electing to have one more brew before the place closed for the night, I went with an item that had caught my eye as we chatted. As a fan of the brewery’s Naked Fox IPA, I just had to try the Hyper Fox Double IPA, which was also available in cask form and was suggested by the server that I go that route.

main-street-brewing-logo

As we lost one of our group to the rigors of a night out following a work day, the remnants of our party stopped into Craft Beer Market for a nightcap. As soon as I saw the Boneyard RPM IPA on their menu, I promptly ordered a pint. Boneyard has quickly become one of my favourite breweries and I’m saddened it’s located in Oregon and not in my own backyard. Their Bone-A-Fide West Coast Pale Ale may be my favourite beer of 2017, thus far.

Deciding that the previously mentioned nightcap was going to turn into yet another drink, the bartender suggested pints of Vancouver Island’s Hermannator Ice Bock. My drinking partner wasn’t a fan of the beer, which meant I ended up with a pair of the 9.5% ABV beverages… because that’s what friends do for each other!

Our little bar crawl ended with a hazy cab ride home and the devouring of a Double Decker chocolate bar. The next day, I jokingly accused Mrs. Sip of finally eating the treat without sharing, only for her to point out that I was in fact the guilty party. Ah, good times!

Sip Trips #87: Holiday Wrap

I’m not going to lie, my little sippers. The Sip Advisor is a little down in the dumps with the holiday season coming to a close. I know there are some amazing things on the horizon and these feelings will pass. Let’s take a look at how the Sip Alliance finished 2016.

repeat-last-years-mistakes

On Friday, Mrs. Sip and I visited Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar for a little date night and to celebrate the last working day of the year. When we had tried to eat there, following our trip to the Vancouver Christmas Market, they were hosting a private event, but we were given two drink coupons to entice us to return. While we split a meal of their Short Rib Beef Dip and Chicken Tenders, Mrs. Sip ordered the Elderflower Radler, while I enjoyed a pint of R&B Brewing’s Shake Yo Fruity Milkshake IPA (featured in the original Beer of the Week post). We also sampled the Central City Brewing Southern Cross Kiwi Sour, which I had heard was a very popular beer from the company’s Seasons Greetings advent calendar.

To ring in the New Year, the Sip Alliance made our way to Craft Beer Market for their Best of 2016 Brewmaster’s Dinner. The event featured a four-course meal with beer pairings, with the menu, as follows: Mushroom, Bacon and Bean Ragout with Delirium Tremens; Salmon Crudo with Steamworks & Craft Collaboration Kitchen Gose Mad; Braised Chuck Flat with Four Winds IPA; and Dark Chocolate Terrine with Phillips Longboat Chocolate Porter. The main course of braised chuck flat was delicious and paired nicely with the IPA, while the dessert and porter were also very good. I felt so-so about the two opening dishes, but the beers were both nice. As for pricing, early bird tickets were $65 and I thought the price was worth it… we certainly had a lot of fun throughout the evening.

new-years-eve-pro

Finally, last night, I got to enjoy one of my Christmas gifts, going to the Vancouver Canucks-Arizona Coyotes game with a friend who snagged me a ticket for a Secret Santa present. Prior to the contest, we met for drinks at the Devil’s Elbow Ale & Smoke House, which has a number of culinary items I wish to try in the coming months. On this visit, the Sip Advisor paired a couple pints of Howe Sound Brewing’s Father John Winter Ale with their Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich, which was incredibly good.

As for the game, the Canucks won 3-0, with one of those goals coming on a penalty shot, which was quite exciting. Drinking wise, craft beer is hard to come by at Rogers Arena. While the stadium has been required to have 10% of their beer sales be of the craft variety, they do have a contract with macro-brewer Molson and that’s why a majority of the products available fall under that banner. Oh well, like my beloved Canucks, you can’t win ‘em all!

BC Beer Baron #197 – Moody Ales Intrepid Matcha Saison

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 so many brewery options out there, a game of one-upmanship sometimes occurs and from that, the world is treated to some very unique experimental releases.

On a recent trip to Craft Beer Market in Vancouver’s Olympic Village, I selected this Moody Ales brew off of the restaurant’s Rotating Taps menu.

While I’ve never been a green tea – or any tea, for that matter – connoisseur, I did enjoy the Intrepid Matcha Saison, even picking it over another option I had sampled prior to ordering. Brewed using organic lemon matcha tea, green tea characteristics come through on sight (an olive hue), smell, and taste, resulting in a smoky aroma and mildly spicy flavour. The Moody Ales website lists the beer at 6.9% ABV, but the bottles label says 7.5% ABV… my guess is the truth falls somewhere between the two figures and one thing is certain: it’s a strong beer. At 35 IBUs, it has a medium hoppiness, to boot.

 

Moody Ales Intrepid Matcha Saison

Homebrewer Steve Sheldon constructed the recipe and Moody Ales was more than happy to share it with the rest of the community, being proud of their own homebrewing beginnings. Outside of visiting the brewery and sampling the beer or filling a growler, the beverage can also be found in bomber-sized bottles. Suggested food pairings include light pasta, seafood, sushi, and fresh fruit and vegetables.

I’ve been meaning to get out to Port Moody and visit the cluster of three breweries (Moody Ales, Yellow Dog, and Twin Sails) in that region, but just haven’t had the time this year. While Mrs. Sip and I have popped (almost wrote pooped, which is kind of funny when you think about it) into Yellow Dog before, we have never completed the trifecta of operations on that block.

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