Sip Trips #152: Scary Sipping

Mrs. Sip and I have been pretty busy lately, thus why I haven’t been able to document our adventures in recent weeks. Here’s what we’ve been up to since the last time I checked in:

A couple weeks back, we celebrated a friend’s birthday in the Port Moody Brewers Row area. We started with dinner at the nearby Taps and Tacos, where Mrs. Sip and I enjoyed their Smoked Rosemary Clover Club (black moon smoked rosemary gin, raspberry, lemon, egg white) and Chibolero (pisco, ancho reyes, lemon, blood orange, clingstone peach bitters, egg white) cocktails, respectively. Our meal was comprised of the restaurant’s Queso Fundido, along with a variety of tacos. I really enjoyed the Korean Pork variation, while Mrs. Sip’s favourite was the Moroccan Chicken.

people tacos

Following dinner, our first stop along Brewers Row was Moody Ales, making good on our promise to hit the brewery first on our next visit, following two journeys where we neglected the place. Here, I ordered pints of their Daylight Savings White IPA and Who Turned Off The Lights Black IPA, both of which I liked. In a great marketing idea, the pair are sold together in four-pack tall can sets (two of each), for those looking to try the counter-balanced beers. Mrs. Sip drank the Rauchbock (a collaboration with Gibsons Tapworks), which had a nice smoke to it, as well as the Lusty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout.

Moving on, we next popped into Parkside Brewing where I sipped on their Motel Pale Ale, which is actually classified as an IPA. With Baby Sip getting tired and a bit of a trip ahead of us to get home, we packed things in after this stop and ventured back to New West.

We were back at it the next day, visiting the newly-opened Dark Manor Inn, touted as Vancouver’s haunted whiskey bar. The cocktail joint comes from the minds behind The Shameful Tiki Room, so there is a good pedigree behind the concept. Our group was sat at the master table and went through much of the cocktail menu during our stay. Among my selections were the Pills, Potions & Quack Nostrums (house malt whiskey blend, cinnamon, ginger, lime); Visions of Apparitions (house made whiskey cream and cola, cherry, dash of soda); and Don’t Go In The Attic (butter-washed cognac, calvados, sherry, lemon, spices). Mrs. Sip selected other beverages than me, so we got to sample a large portion of their cocktail list – or Libations and Palliatives, as they call them. We also each tried their Beef Pie and were impressed with the meal, especially given its $12 price tag.

can't sleep

With cocktails ranging from $11-$14, the night was not cheap, but the experience was worth the cost. The Dark Manor Inn is really done up well, with great theming, decorations, lighting effects and music. Reservations are a must and on busy nights, you may be restricted to a two-hour sitting. There’s not a ton of food on their menu, so picky eaters may want to dine prior to their session. We all agreed Vancouver needs more themed drinking locales. Best of luck to them as they get this new expedition off the ground and we will be back to try one of their bowls, which we unavailable on this occasion.

The following weekend, Mrs. Sip and I hosted a small gathering, where each guest was tasked with collecting beers to share, which were honoured with 2018 BC Beer Awards medals. We ended up amassing quite the collection and the night was filled with sampling as much as we could from the assortment. We even had a brew slipped in from the World Beer Awards and it was quite welcomed by the Sip Advisor.

Later that week, we dropped into the Sapperton District Taphouse for their weekly trivia. The theme was Netflix programming and I’m not ashamed to say our crew does a fair bit of binge watching, so once again, we finished in first place. Our reward was a pitcher of beer, which Mrs. Sip and I ended up drinking together, abandoned by our teammates. Our selection of the Vancouver Island Hermannator Ice Bock may not have been the best choice, given its strong 9.5% alcohol content and no one to help us with the serving. This was on top of my pint of Russell Angry Scotch Ale and Great Sapper sandwich, which was very good, but would have been better on a bun, instead of Texas toast.

Netflix

The most recent weekend began with Mrs. Sip and I visiting Storm Brewing, as we both took last Friday off from work. We were a little sad to see samples are no longer available by donation and now cost $7 for six tasters, but we understand the need to make money from the operation. We tried the brewery’s Vanilla Whiskey Stout, Gingerbread Ale, Jalapeno-Lime Pilsner, Mango Lassi Pilsner, Lavender Vanilla Ale, and Raspberry Orange Blossom Pilsner. Mrs. Sip also surprised me with the fact she signed us up for their 12 Fills of Christmas, where over the month of December, we will get 12 one-litre Boston fills of unique small-batch brews, not made available to the public. Should make for an interesting holiday season!

The weekend wrapped with a visit to Dead Frog Brewing in Langley. We just had to try their recently concocted Party Paddle, which provides at least two drinkers with a flight of 16 taster glasses, comprised of everything on tap at the brewery. Among my favourites were the Moscow Mule Lime Ginger White Ale, Blueberry Blast Kettle Sour, Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout and Winter Beeracle Winter Ale.

Another series of Sip Trips adventures are in the books and the Christmas push is just beginning. The next update will feature Christmas parties, a look at my first fills from Storm Brewing and likely a couple outings that weren’t even on our radar. Stay tuned!

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Sip Trips #141: Fraser Valley Fun

The Sip Advisor and family spent a fair bit of the last week in the B.C.’s Fraser Valley region, checking out movies, wineries, breweries and restaurants. Here’s how the week played out:

On Friday, we made our way to Aldergrove’s Twilight Drive-In, the only remaining outdoor theatre in the Lower Mainland. The films on the docket included Ocean’s 8 and Tag, both of which were fun films. The theatre has recently raised their prices slightly, as it cost us $26 (one dollar more) for Mrs. Sip and I to attend than it had just a couple months back.

Sunday, of course, was my very first Father’s Day. The occasion began with Mrs. Sip and Baby Sip gifting me a collection of bomber beers that spelled FATHER. These included: Fat Tug IPA (Driftwood), Amber (Dageraad), Tangerine Dream Ale (4 Mile), Heather Ale (Salt Spring), East Coast Squeeze IPA (Foamers’ Folly), Rotating Hop (Bridge).

Father's Day

From there, we were off to Backyard Vineyards, joined by Ma and Pa Sip and the Sip-in-Laws. The first 100 fathers received a free box of Lindt chocolates and we arrived just in time to reap that reward. We enjoyed a couple bottles of wine, as well as some flatbreads from the German Pizza food truck that was onsite.

On Tuesday, we were back out in Langley, where I dropped Mrs. Sip off for work and was then on standby to pick her up when that had wrapped. To fill the time, we decided to visit a couple of the city’s craft breweries. First up, was Dead Frog Brewing’s new Langley location, which has only been operating for a couple weeks and hasn’t even celebrated their grand opening. I ordered a flight of beers here, comprised of their Fresh Pressed Pina Colada Hazy IPA, CREAM Key Lime Milkshake IPA, Reina De Fuego Mexican Chocolate Porter and Winter Beeracle Winter Ale. The Fresh Pressed was my favourite of the bunch, with a nice coconut finish to the drink.

We also popped into Trading Post Brewing, taking advantage of their Tuesday special of $5 16oz beers. I selected the White IPA, which was the company’s newest release. The beer was good and it was nice to sit on their outdoor patio on this gorgeous afternoon. Prior to leaving the brewery, I snagged two bottles of Vikram’s Weissen, brewed in partnership between Trading Post and Vikram Vij, the popular Indian restauranteur.

Indian Food

The day wasn’t over yet, though, as I received tickets I had previously been waitlisted for to attend the Three Rounds event at Red Truck Brewing, co-hosted by Panago Pizza. Panago was showing off their two newest pizza releases – Trippple Pepperoni and Triple Pepparugula – while Red Truck offered beers from their summer lineup – Endless Summer Golden Ale, Citra Down Blonde Ale and Czech Point Red Pilsner. The event was free and despite some confusion regarding how to get the pizza and beers upon arriving, we left well-fed and with our thirst quenched.

To finish the evening, I picked up a tall can of Old Yale Pina Colada Hazy ISA, thanks in part to enjoying my previous serving of Pina Colada-based beer earlier in the day. The Old Yale product is part of their Trailblazer Series, which I have previously enjoyed. This beer was stronger on the pineapple flavours than the Dead Frog version and was very light on coconut notes.

This next week will be another busy one, with Cask Wars at The Portside Pub, a baseball tournament, a friend’s birthday picnic and more already on the schedule. Sometimes, it’s enough to make your head spin… and that’s before you add all the drinks to the equation!

Beer of the Week #7 – Dead Frog Reina De Fuego Mexican Chocolate Porter

The Sip Advisor is far from a Twitter junkie, but sometimes I’m checking my feed at just the right time. Such was the case the other evening when this Dead Frog Brewing product hit the market and went viral.

The Reina De Fuego (‘Queen of Fire’) Mexican Chocolate Porter combines Mexican chocolate and chili peppers. The result is flavours of chocolate and toffee, with a little spice and heat on the back end of the 6% ABV, 34 IBUs beverage.

dead-frog-reina-de-fuego-mexican-chocolate-porter

The limited edition small batch is available in bomber-sized bottles at the Dead Frog brewery and tasting room in Aldergrove. It can also be found on tap at some locations around British Columbia, arriving in Alberta in mid-February.

Debuting in December 2016, suggested food pairings for the brew include Mexican chocolate, brie cheese and roast beef. The drink won’t be around for long, so make sure to grab a serving while supplies last.

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

BC Beer Baron #352 – Dead Frog Winter Beeracle Winter Ale

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. Already the best time of the year, the fact it’s Winter Ale season makes it that much better.

At this time of year, everyone is hoping for a miracle and that can be found in liquid form thanks to the folks at Dead Frog Brewing. Despite being a holiday tradition since 2012, this was the first time the Sip Advisor tried the product.

That’s okay, though, as the Winter Beeracle Winter Ale’s recipe changes each time it’s manufactured, creating a new drinking experience every year. The 2016 version features flavours of chocolate and orange to go along with stats of 7.5% ABV and 24 IBUs.

dead-frog-winter-beeracle-winter-ale

“A celebration of all the good things winter brings. Complex beers, warm fires, close family, and good friends.” Suggested food pairings include shortbread cookies, Nanaimo bars and turkey dinners with all the sides. Does it get much more festive than that!?

The seasonal single batch release is available in bomber-sized bottles from BC Liquor Stores and can be located annually, starting in November. Dead Frog even has a Museum of Labeology, where previous labels for the beer can be viewed.

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

BC Beer Baron #282 – Dead Frog Weeping Reaper Blood Orange Helles Bock

When the Sip Alliance recently visited Dead Frog Brewing’s Aldergrove tasting room, Mrs. Sip allowed me to take one souvenir home with me, for a later treat. After all, she knew the tantrum I would throw if not otherwise placated.

Among stiff competition, I grabbed the Weeping Reaper Blood Orange Helles Bock, which although technically out of season, was a selection I really wanted to try. The strong ale (7% ABV) had a light orange taste on the finish, which made for a decent lager-style beverage. The blood orange addition was selected to provide an option to all the pumpkin-flavoured beers currently on the market.

Dead Frog Weeping Reaper Blood Orange Helles Bock.png

Released every September, the beer was inspired by German bock brews and designed to transition drinkers from summer to winter… sometimes viewed as the death of a year’s seasonal cycle. The logo for this product features great artwork of Death, himself, and challenges customers to: “Prepare for the bittersweet embrace of the reaper.”

Food pairings include duck à l’orange, lechon, marmalade-glazed ham, and caramel flan. I’m not sure any of those really appeal to me, but not wanting to make the Grim Reaper cry, I’ll just drink the beer and make peace with the Deadman!

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

Sip Trips #73: Around the World at Home

As it is with most weeks for me and Mrs. Sip, the last one was pretty darn busy. We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary, co-hosted the Sip Advisor’s annual beer pong tournament, participated in a Disney trivia event, and had a fun meal out in New West. Here are some notes from the week that was:

Four Years Strong

Mrs. Sip has always wanted to try Lupo, an upscale Italian restaurant in downtown Vancouver. I figured with our anniversary approaching, it might finally be time to book a reservation. We had a wonderful meal – prior to watching Book of Mormon – which included a shared Bufala Mozzarella Salad to start, Ricotta Gnocchi (with pork cheeks) for Mrs. Sip and Taglierini (with wild mushrooms and chilies) for myself, and finished with a Gelato trio for dessert. The meal was washed down with a very nice bottle of Italian pinot grigio.

Italian Food

SIP-A-Dee-Do-Da

When the Sip Alliance first heard about Disney trivia, hosted at The Pint, we were keenly interested, as Disney love runs in the family. This event proved to be so popular that they kept adding dates and one night quickly grew to four, thanks to the massive waitlist. Unlike some other trivia activities around town, there was a $5 entrance price for this one, but we were just happy to have a spot.

While we finished just outside the top three teams, I was impressed with The Pint’s food menu. This includes a number of great options, perhaps best highlighted by being able to order wings, chicken strips, rice bowls, pulled pork, and other items, done 40 different ways (varying sauces and dry rubs). On Tuesday’s, you can get their Team Platters for $19, instead of $32, while pitchers are only $15. My only complaint would be that their craft beer lineup is lacking, especially for a place called The Pint.

Dipping Sauces

Taco Time

With the week being as busy as it was, Mrs. Sip and I decided we needed a little one-on-one time. Therefore, I made the trip out to New West, where the bronzed goddess works, to join her for a meal at Originals Restaurante Mexicano. We both ordered taco platters, trying a total of six different styles, with our mutual favourite being the Carnitas (slow cooked fried pork in cinnamon and orange). The restaurant also had three craft beers on tap and it was far from your typical selections. Ridge Brewing, Dogwood Brewing and Dead Frog Brewing were all represented. Best of all, the eatery has two happy hours, from 3-6 and 8-11, where these beverages can be had for only $4.

This upcoming Labour Day long weekend will provide a rare stay-cation for Mrs. Sip and I. All that really means is that there is much trouble we can get up to. Check back next week to see exactly how we handled the time off!

BC Beer Baron #207 – Dead Frog Big Stump Spruce Golden Ale

As the Sip Advisor has written previously, I was very impressed with the brewery lineup compiled for the recent Tip N’ Taste event in Langley. Among the vendors was Aldergrove-based Dead Frog Brewing, the regions first and, for a time, only craft beer producer.

Among the beverages Dead Frog offered for sampling was their Big Stump Spruce Golden Ale, which I had never experienced before. While the brewery jokes that “no stumps were used or harmed in the making of this beer,” the 6.5% ABV, 26 IBUs drink was concocted using Sitka spruce tips, found just 10 minutes from Dead Frog’s facilities.

Dead Frog Big Stump Spruce Golden Ale

First released in 2014 and returning to the brewery’s lineup each June, the beer is brewed to celebrate the west coast’s abundance of nature (after all, the province’s tagline is ‘Beautiful British Columbia’). Brewer Nick Fengler was inspired by trips into the forests of BC.

The result is a balanced and refreshing beer, perfect for sitting around a campfire… or at least giving you the impression that you are out amongst nature. Suggested food pairings include cedar plank salmon, Greek-roasted lamb, pesto pastas, and Asiago or Manchego cheeses.

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