Sip Trips #120: Tidings of Joy

The holiday season in really ramping up, with parties and other festivities around every corner. Leading up to the big day, here’s what Mrs. Sip and I got up to over the week that was:

On Friday, we had another Vancouver Canucks game to attend. This time, friends of ours also had tickets, so we met with them at Devil’s Elbow Ale & Smoke House prior to puck drop. At the Howe Sound Brewing restaurant, I had a pair of their Wee Beastie Scotch Ale, while ordering the Southern Fried Chicken sandwich for my meal. The fries at Devil’s Elbow come with a neat adobo ketchup, which I found myself lapping up like it was going out of style. Mrs. Sip tried their Gumbo, with a side of Mac n Cheese Cornbread (complete with cheese sauce drizzle), washed down by a Father John’s Winter Ale.

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As for the game, it was a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory for the Canucks. Mrs. Sip and I refused to let the ticket scanner snafu we encountered – which caused us and many others to miss some of the action and the first goal of the contest – dampen our spirits. Upsized servings of Central City India Pale Ale and Goose Island IPA helped with that.

The next day was our annual Sip Syndicate Christmas party and gift exchange. For my Secret Santa offering, I put together a themed package of things meant to keep you warm. This included a pair of Smart Gloves, which allow you to mess around with your phone while keeping your mitts toasty and the Postmark Brewing Winter Warmer. Our meal was fantastic, with each couple contributing a dish or two and everything turned out perfectly.

The weekend wrapped with Mrs. Sip and I meeting a friend in New West for brunch at The Hub. I tried the Hub Burger, which was very good and sipped on the Bomber Brewing Choqlette Porter. The beer was as tasty as I remember it being last time I enjoyed it.

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Tuesday evening offered our fifth and last Canucks game of December. Prior to the match, we grabbed dinner at the nearby Triple O’s restaurant, which on Tuesdays has a spectacular burger/meal deal. Original Burgers are only $3.69 each, while adding fries and a pop will set you back $8.19. On Canucks game days, you can get a burger, beer and fries for about $10, which would have been the route I took, had we not done takeout.

At our game, we may not have had the outcome we desired (a 7-5 loss), but the match versus Montreal was very entertaining and even included a hat trick for Thomas Vanek of the Canucks. Mrs. Sip and I shared an upsized Hoegaarden to start the game, which was a tasty first period treat.

This weekend is Christmas, of course. It’s always a crazy time for the Sip Family and that’s just the way we like it. From my family to yours, I wish all you little sippers a safe and merry holiday!

Sip Trips #105: Went By in a Blur

This past week was incredibly busy for Mrs. Sip and I. So busy, that my head is still spinning… and that’s not from all the booze consumed! Let’s get right down to it…

On Friday, we wrapped up work and immediately hit the road to Tacoma, Washington to watch comedian Christopher Titus perform at the Tacoma Comedy Club. We made it just in time for the 10:30pm show and beers were desperately needed for us weary travellers. Cousin Sip’s husband and I split a couple pitchers of Manny’s Pale Ale from Georgetown Brewing out of Seattle. The show was amazing, as expected. As we waited in line to meet Mr. Titus afterwards, the bar was selling pints of Budweiser for $2 and we figured, “Ah, why the hell not!”

I had also picked up a bomber of Alaskan Brewing Icy Bay IPA at a gas station en route to Tacoma, so that acted as my nightcap before grabbing a few hours of sleep and returning to Vancouver Saturday morning. I wish we didn’t have to rush the stay across the border, but with friends visiting from London, we had to be back for more fun.

morning sunglasses

After meeting up with our guests, the ladies went their way, while the gents searched for craft beer. Our first stop was at Central City’s Vancouver location. There, I paired some Chicken Strips and Fries with the brewery’s Super Stellar IPA, which made for a great combo. For dessert I ordered their Hefeweizen, bringing to mind thoughts of summer, as we wait patiently for the weather to cooperate.

Next up was a short walk to Devil’s Elbow Ale & Smoke House. Here, I was able to try the Britannia Brewing Sirens Chai Saison, which was available as a guest tap. Following that, I had the Howe Sound Jam Session Raspberry Cream Ale, another successful selection. Then, the night took a turn for the extreme with a round of tequila shots.

Feeling suitably buzzed, we rejoined the ladies for dinner at The Keg in Yaletown. Sitting on the restaurant’s rooftop patio, I enjoyed a pair of Caesar Diablo servings, made even better given their $5 daily special pricing.

Drinking Problem

On Monday, Ma Sip met me for lunch at Tap & Barrel in North Vancouver. Unfortunately, I was working, so was not able to imbibe as I usually would when visiting a T&B location. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed my PB&J Burger, which made for a nice substitute to my traditional meal of a PB&J Sandwich during the work week. The burger was messy, but totally worth the experience.

Tuesday, we finally had a meal at the Homer Street Cafe, which is located kitty-corner to my and Mrs. Sip’s humble abode. There to celebrate a friend’s birthday, I ordered their rotisserie quarter chicken meal, which was highlighted by their chicken jus for dipping. To wash it all down, I had a trio of brews, including the Howe Sound Summer Saison, Powell Street Old Jalopy Pale Ale and Storm Black Plague Stout. For a small beer menu, they sure packed some quality selections in.

It should be noted that this week’s wrap up doesn’t even include two games of baseball, Father’s Day celebrations, a trip to the theatre and another meal with our visitors from London. Busy times, for sure.

Sip Trips #87: Holiday Wrap

I’m not going to lie, my little sippers. The Sip Advisor is a little down in the dumps with the holiday season coming to a close. I know there are some amazing things on the horizon and these feelings will pass. Let’s take a look at how the Sip Alliance finished 2016.

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On Friday, Mrs. Sip and I visited Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar for a little date night and to celebrate the last working day of the year. When we had tried to eat there, following our trip to the Vancouver Christmas Market, they were hosting a private event, but we were given two drink coupons to entice us to return. While we split a meal of their Short Rib Beef Dip and Chicken Tenders, Mrs. Sip ordered the Elderflower Radler, while I enjoyed a pint of R&B Brewing’s Shake Yo Fruity Milkshake IPA (featured in the original Beer of the Week post). We also sampled the Central City Brewing Southern Cross Kiwi Sour, which I had heard was a very popular beer from the company’s Seasons Greetings advent calendar.

To ring in the New Year, the Sip Alliance made our way to Craft Beer Market for their Best of 2016 Brewmaster’s Dinner. The event featured a four-course meal with beer pairings, with the menu, as follows: Mushroom, Bacon and Bean Ragout with Delirium Tremens; Salmon Crudo with Steamworks & Craft Collaboration Kitchen Gose Mad; Braised Chuck Flat with Four Winds IPA; and Dark Chocolate Terrine with Phillips Longboat Chocolate Porter. The main course of braised chuck flat was delicious and paired nicely with the IPA, while the dessert and porter were also very good. I felt so-so about the two opening dishes, but the beers were both nice. As for pricing, early bird tickets were $65 and I thought the price was worth it… we certainly had a lot of fun throughout the evening.

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Finally, last night, I got to enjoy one of my Christmas gifts, going to the Vancouver Canucks-Arizona Coyotes game with a friend who snagged me a ticket for a Secret Santa present. Prior to the contest, we met for drinks at the Devil’s Elbow Ale & Smoke House, which has a number of culinary items I wish to try in the coming months. On this visit, the Sip Advisor paired a couple pints of Howe Sound Brewing’s Father John Winter Ale with their Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich, which was incredibly good.

As for the game, the Canucks won 3-0, with one of those goals coming on a penalty shot, which was quite exciting. Drinking wise, craft beer is hard to come by at Rogers Arena. While the stadium has been required to have 10% of their beer sales be of the craft variety, they do have a contract with macro-brewer Molson and that’s why a majority of the products available fall under that banner. Oh well, like my beloved Canucks, you can’t win ‘em all!