Beer of the Week #30 – Longwood Steam Punk Dunkelweizen

While relaxing at Ma and Pa Sip’s place recently, it was nice to sit back with this Longwood Brewing beer. The fact Mrs. Sip was kind enough to pick it up for me during a friend’s liquor store run was the icing on the cake.

The Steam Punk Dunkelweizen was very refreshing, made with 35% Canadian grown wheat, five different malts and Longwood’s in-house ale yeast. The 5% ABV, 19 IBUs beverage is just right for outdoor enjoyment, cooling down while in the sun.

Longwood Steam Punk Dunkelweizen

Available at BC Liquor Stores, I appreciate that Longwood products come in 568ml extra-tall cans, giving you that much more beer than the average serving. This is one of the brewery’s core products and can be found year round.

Some folks out there don’t know that a dunkelweizen is the darker, more sinister version of a hefeweizen. Okay, sinister may be a stretch, but it is definitely the darker twin brother of the hef, yet just as enjoyable.

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Sip Trips #111: Long Weekend Lounging

While the August long weekend was busy, there was actually far more time for rest and relaxation than I had originally anticipated. Still, it wasn’t all laid back and lazy:

On Friday, Mrs. Sip and I enjoyed a bit of a date night at local favourite Patron Tacos & Cantina. Straying slightly from our usual order, we split their Queso Fundido and Chicken Quesadilla dishes, while Mrs. Sip satisfied her craving for Horchata and I downed a pint of their Patron Lager. The meal was very filling, so we even took home some leftover with us.

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The next evening, the Sip Syndicate gathered at The Yale Saloon for dinner. Here, I paired a Granville Island Pale Ale with their BBQ Sample Plate (split with a friend), which included a serving of brisket with jalpeno cornbread, coleslaw, baked beans and potato salad. My only complaint from visiting the Yale Saloon last year remains the same, as it would be great to see more local craft beer added to the menu. At least a Granville Island selection is now available.

Following the meal, we made our way to Sunset Beach for the Celebration of Light fireworks. First, a quick liquor store stop was necessary, where we grabbed a pair of Postmark West Coast Pale Ale tall can four-packs to consume while watching the show in the sky. I was hesitant about attending the long weekend Saturday show (we typically see the lone Wednesday presentation for lighter crowds), but things weren’t anywhere near as bad as I feared. Best of all, the Team Canada contingent put on a fantastic show.

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On Sunday, Mrs. Sip and I decided to get some of the shopping out of the way for our Baby Shower Beer Garden. I’ve been stressing over having a good mix and the right amount of brews for the event, so it was relieving to make a few decisions. Wanting to have a fair variety, we grabbed mixed packs from Big Rock, Central City, Bowen Island, and Vancouver Island breweries. We also picked up some traditional options in Blue Moon, Budweiser, Canadian and Strongbow Cider, to cover all our bases. Also while out, I nabbed the Phillips Hop Box for myself, along with an extra-tall can of Longwood’s Berried Alive Raspberry Ale.

Sadly, the long weekend couldn’t last forever, but that didn’t mean the fun halted. With the work week back in full swing, we took time out to attend the brand new IQ2000 trivia night hosted at the Central City Brew Pub on Wednesdays. Our team put on a pretty good performance, finishing third and earning a pass for six people to enjoy a tour and tasting at the brewery’s impressive Surrey location. As for food and drink, I was saddened to learn that my Crispy Crunch Burger is no longer on the menu. I settled for their Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich, which was also good. My beverage selections included the Mystery Tap (the cheapest brew on the menu for adventurous drinks), which turned out to be Central City’s Lemon Groove Golden Ale, followed by their White Ale. We’ll be back in a couple weeks to take home top prize!

Beer of the Week #29 – Twin Sails Hot Take IPA

While at Darby’s Gastown’s weekly trivia night recently, I planned ahead and selected this beverage off the menu. From Twin Sails Brewing, a particular claim moved this ale to the top of my list, leapfrogging other options.

What drew me to the Hot Take IPA was that it’s IPU count was zero… and that wasn’t a misprint. By adding hops after the beer’s boil, the brew still had many earmarks of an IPA, such as a 7% ABV and mix of fruit and hop flavour.

Twin Sails Hot Take IPA

I’d be curious to see friends of mine, who loathe IPAs and anything with a bitter taste, try this release. Would they love it, still hate it, or find it acceptable. For those curious, the beer is only available on tap at select locations.

You could always visit the brewery. I’m due for another trip to Port Moody’s Brewer’s Row, which Cousin Sip and I explored last summer. To have four solid operations with a five-minute walk of each other is a beer lovers dream!

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Sip Trips #110: Rest & Relaxation

While last week was insanely busy, this one was far less so. However, that may just be the calm before the storm with a booze-fueled long weekend approaching. Let’s see what we recently got up to:

To celebrate a friend’s birthday on Saturday, we started with dinner and drinks at The Diamond in Gastown, known for their exquisite cocktails. For my meal, I went with the Classic Cuban sandwich, which was delicious. My beverages included the Ancho Ready (tequila, cacao, mezcal, grapefruit oil, ancho chili) and Fog Cutter (cognac, dark rum, gin, sherry, citrus, orgeat), with both being very nicely crafted and presented. I also had sips of the Vancouver (gin, vermouth, Benedictine, orange bitters) and the $25 Premium Penicillin (two types of Scotch, lemon, ginger, honey), which earned its standing as a ‘notorious’ cocktail on the lounge’s menu.

8 Cocktails

For dessert, we moved over to Mosquito. While the rest of the crew scarfed down lavish desserts, I occupied my time with another drink, the Gambit (bourbon, peach, honey, lemon, habanero). I also had a glass of Steel & Oak Dark Lager from the birthday boy’s 650ml bottle order, a solid nightcap for the evening. Despite living relatively close to the Gastown district, we tend to stay closer to our Yaletown home, but after being there twice this past couple weeks, we’ve realized we’re missing out on some gems and will have to frequent the area more regularly.

The weekend also included some liquor store shopping. I picked up a bomber of Vancouver Island Brewing’s Juniper Lime Ale, which attempts to recreate a Gimlet cocktail experience. I also grabbed a tall can four-pack of Spinnakers Brewing’s Juice Monkey IPA, which made for good drinking at Ma and Pa Sip’s place Sunday afternoon, as I hosted our baseball team for some fun in the poolside sun. Mrs. Sip also picked me up a tall can of Longwood Brewing’s Steam Punk Dunkelweizen for the gathering.

That about wraps things up, as the rest of the week was fairly laid back. You can expect much more from the Sip Advisor in next week’s Sip Trips article, as the upcoming calendar is pretty stacked and full of potential mayhem!

Beer of the Week #28 – Green Leaf Weizenhower Wheat

Working in North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay certainly has its perks. One of those being Green Leaf Brewing, where some co-workers and I stopped for a couple drinks recently to celebrate surviving another week.

The Weizenhower Wheat, brewed with coriander and orange peel, was very refreshing and perfect for a summer afternoon drinking session. Of the beer, the brewery writes: “You know how a bright, beautiful sunny day looks and feels? Meet sunshine in a glass.”

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The 5% ABV, 6 IBUs seasonal release is only available on tap in the tasting room, according to Green Leaf’s website. That said, I believe the product has been bottled in bomber-sized servings at some point in its existence.

For my second beverage, I went with the Burning Rock Ale, which has one of the most unique brewing methods I’ve ever come across. The beer has limited availability, so those interested should stop by the brewery soon.

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Sip Trips #109: Marathon Man

This past week was extremely busy and that’s coming from someone who is booked up nearly every day to begin with. Let’s take a look at what the past seven days brought to the social calendar:

On Thursday, I decided to take my bike out for a ride of Vancouver’s sea wall, but only reached Sunset Beach when issues with my cycle made me have to abandon the ride. Just as I decided to turn around, a Kraken Rum rep approached and offered me a sample mini bottle of their Black Spice Rum. I believe this was a liquor karma reward, as had I not turned around there, the exchange would have never occurred.

Friday saw a more successful journey, as I joined a friend – on foot this time – in the Brewery Creek area of Vancouver, first stopping at Faculty Brewing. There, I had a 500ml serving of their IPA, before we ventured onwards. Looking to enjoy some drinks in the great outdoors, we stopped by R&B Brewing’s growler fill station, picking up a four-pack of Dude Chilling Pale Ale tall cans to be consumed in a nearby park. This was a nice, relaxing way to get the weekend started.

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Following that, we were off to BierCraft Bistro on Cambie Street for dinner. I hadn’t been to the restaurant for a few years, so it was good to return. While waiting for our wives to show up, we delved into a couple pints of Dageraad De Witte. For my meal, I went with the French Onion Soup, being a big fan of the style and not always being able to find it when out. Our evening concluded with a show at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club. While the show was far from the best thing I’ve seen there, we still had a decent time, helped along by a bucket of Red Truck Golden Ale bottles.

We spent some time on Sunday at Metrotown Mall, finishing our baby registry, doing some clothes shopping and grabbing some groceries. Our time there started with hitting the food court, which is one of the best I’ve ever dined in. There are so many options to choose from and I settled on Chronic Tacos, which I have only seen before as restaurant locations. My Al Pastor Burrito (made with spicy adoba pork) was spectacular and greatly satisfied my huge appetite at the time.

Looking to have a date night together, Mrs. Sip and I had dinner at St. Augustine’s prior to a movie at the Rio Theatre on Monday. I love St. Augustine’s live tap menu, which lets you know which beers are available and how much of each is left, but it can also be a tease, as you learn which brews you narrowly missed out on. Thankfully, I was able to try Storm Brewing’s Chicken Wing IPA (only that crazy crew could dream up such a flavour), with only 3% remaining and the keg being tapped out by the time we left the restaurant. Also among my flight was the Steamworks Killer Cucumber Ale and a pair of Old Yale Brewing options: the Cardamom Mango Wheat and Double Double Amber Ale.

Dinner and a Movie

As for the movie portion of the evening, we watched The Little Hours, which was very funny and I’m surprised it hasn’t received more mainstream attention. The Rio Theatre is licensed for alcohol sales, which means you can get a Big Kid Combo consisting of small popcorn, candy and a draft beer for $9. Not a bad deal, at all.

Tuesday was supposed to be a relaxing night at home, but late in the day, a friend advised he had a block of free tickets to see Bob Dylan and His Band (that’s literally the band’s name) at Roger’s Arena. So, we ended up out again. While the music was good and I’ll be able to say I saw a legendary performer, Mr. Dylan shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a microphone anymore as nearly his entire set was unintelligible.

The week that was wrapped up with a trivia night at Darby’s Gastown. It was my first time at any of the Darby’s locations and I really enjoyed my meal of their Pulled Pork Sandwich with Cajun Chips and their expansive beer menu. Best of all, we came in second place after losing a tie-breaker to the winning team, which meant each member of our crew was comped a free BC beer. This removed both of my servings (the Luppolo Double IPA and Twin Sails Hot Take IPA) from the tab, thanks to using Mrs. Sip’s credit, as well.

Did I mention I also squeezed games of golf and baseball, a Game of Thrones viewing and family dinner into the week. No wonder I’m ready for a little break!

Beer of the Week #27 – Storm Chicken Wing IPA

Yes, you read that right… your eyes are not deceiving you. While dining at St. Augustine’s earlier this week, I was able to try this very odd beer, dreamt up by the crew at Storm Brewing, who may have the most fun in the industry.

I was lucky to get my hands on the Chicken Wing IPA. When we first arrived, according to the restaurant’s live beer menu, there was only 3% remaining in the keg and by the time our meal finished, it was gone. I was very happy to contribute to the keg being drained.

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The 7% ABV beverage is vegan-friendly (no chickens were harmed in the making of the ale, according to Storm) and is made using the company’s own hot sauce, sour ale and cayenne pepper. The brew has a spicy aftertaste, which dominates the overall flavour.

Other bizarre concoctions I’ve been able to enjoy from the brewery’s Brainstorms lineup, include a Margherita Pizza IPA, Vanilla Whiskey Stout, Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ale, and Mojito Pilsner. Don’t stop dreaming Storm!

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