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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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

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!