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!

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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.

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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!

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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…

BC Beer Baron #177 – Dead Frog Tropic Vice Tropical Fruit 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. Fruit beers may have some traditionalists up in arms, but if they only them a chance, they would see how good the beverages can be. In putting together this feature week, I tried to incorporate as many different fruits as possible, so let’s see what BC has to offer in this realm.

While I picked up the Vancouver Island Pod Pack on my most recent jaunt to the liquor store, Dead Frog Brewing’s Mixer Pack was also in serious contention, highlighted by this new addition to their lineup.

The Tropic Vice Tropical Fruit Ale is infused with mango and passion fruit. With each sip, you get a burst of flavour from the spring seasonal. At only 5% ABV, the brew is light and refreshing and should be a hit at with drinkers of all creeds.

Dead Frog Tropic Vice Tropical Fruit Ale

The beer has been racking up accolades since its release, voted the People’s Choice Best Beer and Judge’s Choice Best Fruit Beer at the 2016 Okanagan Fest of Ale in Penticton, BC. As a result, Dead Frog is calling this brew ‘The Beer of Summer’. Along with its inclusion in the company’s Mixer Pack, it can also be found in bottled six packs.

The beverage is said to pair well with burgers, pizza, Cajun chicken, and nachos. That makes it the perfect accessory for summer barbecues, days spent lounging in the sun and even around the campfire at night.

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