BC Beer Baron #33 – Moody Ales Hardy Brown Ale

Myself, Cousin Sip and her husband recently returned to Romer’s Burger Bar (Yaletown location) for another round of their Craft Bowl competiton, which featured this beer from Moody Ales. To remind readers, the contest pits two to three beers against each other with diners getting to sample each option before picking their winner, which they then receive a full serving of.

While I chose the Hardy Brown Ale’s competitor for my full serving, it was a very tough choice and the stiff competition was evident by the nearly identical scores for both brews on the point’s board.

Moody Ales Hardy Brown Ale

The brown ale had a strong toffee-flavoured aftertaste, which I wasn’t fully sold on. Upon first sip, I had originally thought I would choose the Moody Ales option as my pick for the contest. The only reason I sided with the other Craft Bowl beer, in this case, was because I wasn’t sure how a full serving would pan out. Cousin Sip went with the Hardy Brown Ale and at the time we left the restaurant, the Moody Ales brew was holding a slight lead.

I have yet to visit this Port Moody-based brewery and have only sampled a couple of their beers. I really need to try more of the company’s wares before coming to any final conclusions on their product.

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Sip Trips #55: Dirty Dancing

The week that was, was incredibly busy with activities each night of the weekend and Mrs. Sip’s birthday on Tuesday. Things started off with a lot of laughs as we went to The Comedy Mix to see Last Comic Standing winner Iliza Shlesinger do her thing, sharing a bucket of beer over the evening.

Prior to the show, we made a trip to Romer’s Burger Bar for their ongoing Craft Bowl competition. The tournament sees each Romer’s location offering two to three beers for customers to choose their favourite in a blind taste test. The winners move on to the next round, with the ultimate champion crowned Super Bowl weekend.


The cost to play a role in the competition is only $6, which gets you a small sample of each brew, as well as a full serving of the one you choose as your pick. The three beers available for this trip were Strange Fellows Pale Ale, Postmark IPA and Driftwood Fat Tug IPA. I won’t go into too many details on the samples, as each will be featured as part of my BC Beer Baron project.

I will say that I ended up choosing the Postmark IPA, but two of our group went for the Strange Fellows Pale Ale, one went for Driftwood Fat Tug IPA, and one went completely off the board, so our tastes were quite varied. For the one who didn’t like any of the three options, Romer’s was nice enough to give him a sleeve of something else off their menu for his full serving. We will be back for another round of the Craft Bowl!

Moving on, the Dine Out Vancouver Festival (January 15-31) is currently taking over the city and when the event line-up was first released, I excitedly came home with about 10 activities penciled in for further research. Upon seeing the price of some of those proceedings, though, I whittled my list down to one activity: the Winter Beer Hall at Big Rock Urban Brewery, which we attended Saturday.

cat at table eating

For $40, we were treated to a three-course meal, accompanied by five 7 oz. cask beer samples. Big Rock was also responsible for brewing the Dine Out Van Fest Ale (a first for the annual foody festival), which was available at the Winter Beer Hall. The English-Style Brown Ale was joined by beers from some of the region’s top breweries, including Real Cask, Bridge, Doan’s, and Storm (a perennial favourite for Mrs. Sip and me). More on those selections when they come up in the 366-day BC craft beer project.

Once we were finished our meal, Mrs. Sip and I moved to a quieter part of the restaurant and ordered a couple other beverages in Big Rock’s Midnight Rhapsody (which I’ve been wanting to try for a while) and Winter Spice Ale (another choice I’ve been curious about). The night rounded out with visiting friends who live close by and sharing even more sudsy goodness.

Sunday morning, I was invited to watch the Seattle Seahawks game versus the Carolina Panthers at The Pint. While I arrived late, with the Seahawks down 31-0, the second half comeback provided some entertainment, while I enjoyed the pub’s Double Caesar, Rum and Coke and a pint of beer. All items were on special, so it wasn’t too much of a hit to the wallet, as Seattle came up short in their bid for another playoff victory.

football playoffs

The weekend wasn’t over yet, though. For Christmas, I bought Mrs. Sip tickets to the touring production of Dirty Dancing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Prior to the show, we sat down for dinner at Wild Tale, which on Sundays features a five-course lobster dinner for $50-$60. Mrs. Sip and I have become big fans of The Flying Pig chain of restaurants and Wild Tale is a member of that family. When Mrs. Sip heard about the lobster dinner, we made reservations quickly.

The meal began with seafood chowder, followed by mussels, and then a trio of salads (potato, coleslaw and mixed greens). Then, it was main event time, with your choice of one pound of lobster or one and a half pounds for $10 more. The restaurant could only procure the one and a half pound lobsters, so we received the larger size for the smaller price.

lobster delicious with butter

We made our reservation for 5pm, so as to enjoy as much of the restaurant’s 4-6pm happy hour and capitalize on discounted glasses of wine and beers. My Stanley Park Pale Ales paired quite nicely with a number of the dishes, particularly the chowder. Following dinner, it was off to the show, where one might say we had the time of our lives!

There’s never a dull moment at the Sip Advisor Offices and certainly no rest for the wicked. Tonight we will be attending Tapped Vancouver at the Yaletown Roundhouse, while this weekend will be spent celebrating Mrs. Sip’s birthday with blind wine tasting and drinks with friends. After all, there’s plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead!

BC Beer Baron #19 – Strange Fellows Talisman West Coast Pale Ale

While I picked a different beer during the Romer’s Burger Bar Craft Bowl competition round last week, both Mrs. Sip and Cousin Sip selected this Strange Fellows Brewing offering and to be honest, it was my runner-up and a strong contender for my choice, as well.

The Talisman West Coast Pale Ale is purported to be the perfect offering to win favour from the Sirens of the Seas, hopefully gaining folks “safe passage and a bountiful catch” rather than “storms and shipwrecks”. I like to play a little risky, though and there’s no way any sea creature is getting my beer!

Strange Fellow Talisman

According to Strange Fellows, this beer pairs well with absolutely anything. They did narrow that down slightly with the suggestions of burgers, cheese, fish and chips, and pizza. I had my sample with garlic fries and those two seemed to go well together.

Mrs. Sip’s Take:

I preferred this beer over my other two Craft Bowl options because it was lightly hopped compared to its IPA competitors.

Mrs. Sip and I have only been to Strange Fellows location once before and should really try to get back there, as our original visit was shortly after the brewery opened. That said, I have tried some of their other brews at bars around Vancouver and have enjoyed them. Of specific note is their Nocturnum Dark India Pale Ale, which will certainly be featured as part of this 366-day BC craft beer project eventually.

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BC Beer Baron #17 – Postmark Falconer’s Flight IPA

On Friday night, some members of the Sip Alliance ended up at Romer’s Burger Bar where they have a really neat competition going on. The Craft Bowl sees each Romer’s location have two to three beers going against each other, with customers voting for their favourite in a blind taste test. The winners move on to the next round, leading to a final battle around Super Bowl weekend.

For only $6, you get a sample of each beer and once you choose your favourite, you receive a full serving of that. While I will later cover the two other beers I had to consider, my choice amongst the trio was Postmark Brewing’s Falconer’s Flight IPA.

Postmark IPA

The beer was a combo of fruit notes and hops flavour, which I thought was very refreshing. The other two options were both good, but this brew was first up in my lineup and I couldn’t shake how much I enjoyed it. I wonder if it had been somewhere else on my tasting board, if my decision would have been different. Regardless, I’m happy with the results.

Mrs. Sip and I have enjoyed past visits to Postmark’s facility in Railtown, which also houses Urban Winery. We had a good chat with their new manager in the summer and it inspired to grab and try some of the beers they had for purchase.

As for Romer’s, it had once been a preferred stop for Mrs. Sip and I, especially when they did their weekly trivia nights. This Craft Bowl competition has won me over again and we will try to get back for other rounds of the challenge.

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