Sip Trips #143: Ends of Eras

Canada Day has come and gone and the week was another busy seven days for Mrs. Sip and I. Here’s a recap of the week that was:

We began the week with dinner at EXP Restaurant + Bar, which after months of speculation, in fact closed their doors for good at the end of June. This was a very sad revelation for the Sip Family and we just had to dine at the eatery one more time, in spite of a long wait for a table. Once seated, Mrs. Sip and I ordered servings of Hoyne Dark Matter and Postmark Spruce Tip Ale, respectively. For food, I went with my all-time favourite Triforce Burger (beef patty, chicken breast and bacon), while Mrs. Sip had the Little Mac N Cheese with Pulled Pork. We hope EXP pops up again in a different location and we will definitely be regular visitors again, if that occurs.

Mac N Cheese.jpg

The next day, I attended a retirement party at Finch & Barley in North Vancouver. While I wasn’t able to stay long, I did manage glasses of Steamworks Flagship IPA and Driftwood White Bark Witbier, prior to returning home. The place had some interesting food menu options that I just didn’t have time to try out, but may be able to at a later date.

Canada Day weekend ended up being a bit of a bust weather wise, but we made the most of the time off, visiting Ridge Brewing in Maple Ridge. Mrs. Sip and I split a flight of brews, including Let the Beat ISA, Hairy Dona Amber Ale, Café Morena English Brown Ale and Dark Science Orange Stout. The set was good, although I was hoping for a stronger orange flavour from the stout.

Canada Day

The week wrapped with dinner at Britannia Brewing in quaint Steveston. Along with another flight of beer (comprised of their Watermelon Sour, Sirens Chai Saison, Riptide Rye IPA and Ashore Rye Porter), we enjoyed orders of Truffle & Parmesan Popcorn, Clam Chowder and Fish & Chips. We really liked the restaurant, particularly our food selections, and look forward to returning in the future.

The coming week features another full schedule, including: the Vancouver Canucks Summer Showdown, another trip to the drive-in theatre, a Vancouver Whitecaps game, baseball, a trip to the U.S., watching the 2018 New West Grand Prix, and probably an event or two I’m forgetting. Exhausting, huh!?

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Sip Trips #132: Celebrations Galore

The Sip Family has been super busy the last couple weeks. So busy, that I’m just now getting a chance to document our recent adventures. Here’s what we’ve been up to since I was last able to write:

A couple weekends’ ago, we celebrated Father-in-Law Sip’s birthday, taking our revelry to Backyard Winery, followed by Township 7 Winery, in Langley. While at Backyard, where we enjoyed a couple bottles of Pinot Gris and charcuterie platters, Mrs. Sip rejoined their wine club now that she’s no longer pregnant and breastfeeding. At Township 7, our group did a wine tasting, while I toured the grounds with Baby Sip, who was visiting the fifth winery of her young life.

Later that week, we enjoyed a meal at EXP Restaurant + Bar. There has been some concern the place will be forced out of business, due to Vancouver’s ridiculous rent prices, so we wanted to visit before anything tragic occured. We ordered a round of Harry Potter-themed cocktails that were all pretty tasty. My favourite was the Gryffindor’s Liquid Courage, thanks to the Jack Daniels Whiskey base. To eat, I ordered the Triforce Burger, which is comprised of a crispy chicken breast, beef burger and bacon. It’s quite the meal, but oh so delicious.

Triforce

Heading into Easter weekend, I picked Mrs. Sip up from work and we enjoyed a drink at Steel & Oak Brewing. The brewery has recently completed renovations to allow for more patrons and the space is much-needed, as the place is often packed. We ordered the Encore collaboration with Yellow Dog Brewing and really enjoyed the beer. That’s really no surprise, as the two breweries are among my favourite in the province.

The next day, Mrs. Sip and I celebrated our 16th dating anniversary. We began the occasion by using the Groupon I had purchased for Big City Hunt, which offers scavenger hunts in a number of big cities. Even though we’re locals, we learned some neat things about downtown Vancouver, as we embarked on the two-hour tour, featuring trivia and photo challenges.

The main event of our anniversary was dining at the Top of Vancouver rotating restaurant. We split a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, along with a starter of Baked French Brie and mains of Duck Duo for me and Baked Whole Lobster for Mrs. Sip. The dinner was not cheap, but you’re partly paying for the view, which we enjoyed for over two hours and three full rotations of the restaurant.

Lobster Immortal.jpg

We wrapped our evening out by stopping at Nero Belgian Waffle Bar, where the alluring smell of fresh waffles forced us to investigate further. We split their set of seven Mini Liège Waffles, which provided the perfect dessert to our earlier feast.

The following day, we journeyed back to Langley to celebrate Mrs. Sip’s grandpa’s 93rd birthday at one of his favourite restaurants, Andreas. This place has an amazing menu and I can’t remember not liking any item that I have ordered. On this visit, I combined their French Onion Soup (which may have been the best serving I’ve ever had of the delicacy) with Chicken Fingers and Fries. The meal was decadent and the prices were all very reasonable.

On Easter Sunday, we met with friends at Big Ridge Brewing in Surrey. Having eaten recently, Mrs. Sip and I split an order of their Beer Battered Garlic Fries. These paired nicely with our beer selections of Viking Funeral Norwegian Ale for me and Vanilla Bean Porter for Mrs. Sip. Next time we’re out that way, I’d like to try something from their Asian Kitchen menu.

Chows Mane

Afterwards, we were off to Baby Sip’s first drive-in movie experience at Twilight Theatre in Aldergrove. Our films included Ready Player One and Game Night, both of which were enjoyable, despite some inclement weather, including a touch of hail during the shows.

Last, but not least, we also attended three Vancouver Canucks games in the last week, including the emotional final home game for the Sedin twins. This magical night will live long in my memory and Daniel and Henrik deserve every bit of praise they have received since announcing their impending retirements. Thank you to both of them for their 18 years of service, both on and off the ice.

The coming week remains loaded with commitments and activities, which you can read all about in next week’s Sip Trips!

BC Beer Baron #325 – Parallel 49 Jerkface 9000

On a recent visit to EXP Restaurant + Bar, I indulged their expansive video game-themed menu (featuring so many tempting meals) with a serving of this Parallel 49 Brewing year round release.

The Jerkface 9000 is classified as a Northwest Wheat Ale, but I like to think of it as an IPA/wheat beer hybrid. That’s because it is dry hopped and gives all the impressions of being an IPA, with the added bonus of a wheat taste up front. Despite the telltale marks of an IPA, the beer comes in at a moderate 5% ABV and 37 IBUs, so it’s probably classed exactly as it should be.

parallel-49-jerkface-9000

Knowing that some of Parallel 49’s products are named after members of their staff, I have to wonder who might be the inspiration for Jerkface 9000… and also hope I never have a run-in with said employee. Especially if he looks anything like the logo for this product.

The last time the Sip Advisor tried to get into Parallel 49’s tasting room, there was a line-up well outside their front door and so we quickly moved on to another stop. I’ve been meaning to get back since, but the stars have yet to align on that. Luckily, P49 beverages are pretty easy to come across all around Vancouver.

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

BC Beer Baron #96 – Whistler Bear Paw Honey Lager

One of my beverage selections as we recently ate at EXP Restaurant + Bar was this Whistler Brewing release.

The Bear Paw Honey Lager was a decent beverage, but a little on the sweet end of the spectrum, thanks to being fermented with 100% organic BC honey. The brewery writes: “Whistler really is bear country and it’s quite common to meet a hungry bear on the Whistler Valley Trail. Which is fine, unless you happen to be carrying a Whistler Bear Paw Honey Lager; ‘cause we all know bears love real honey, right???”

Whistler Bear Paw Honey Lager

Speaking of carrying the beer, it’s available in six-packs of bottles and will soon be joined with canned six-packs. “Just make sure you don’t walk home via the Whistler Valley Trail,” Whistler Brewing warns. Suggested food pairings (honey bears don’t give a damn about pairings!), include turkey, pizza, lasagne, steak, and calamari.

Featuring a logo with a bear chowing down on honey, how can you not fall in love with this brew. Sure, traditionalists will tell you that it’s all about the beer and not the package, but I’m a softy!

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

Sip Trips #60: Tapped Out

It seemed the theme of the last week for the Sip Alliance was being told a beer we wanted was out. A sadder set of circumstances, I have not come across yet in this life!

Looking for a place to eat last Thursday before our Urban Rec sports and with a couple gift cards to shed, we ended up at The Shark Club in Richmond. Already not thrilled with the beers on tap, my first two orders – Granville Island Winter Ale and Red Truck Amber Ale – were both unavailable. This left me with only one remaining option, Driftwood Fat Tug IPA. I’m sure this will all resurface one day as a PTSD scenario… the time I almost had to settle for Budweiser!

Budweiser Sucks

I will say, that my chicken tenders and fries were very good and I think Mrs. Sip and the rest of our party enjoyed their nachos, but even with that order, they were asked to substitute their original choice of spicy ground beef with chicken. We were never really informed why, but with little options, they just rolled with it. While our server was very friendly and you can’t blame her for the beers being out, service was incredibly slow and the place seemed understaffed.

Our next outing was to EXP Restaurant + Bar in downtown Vancouver. Here, they did have both of the beers I wanted to order, which was quite refreshing. Deciding on what to eat was much more difficult, as the menu here has so many intriguing dishes, each themed around video games. Rather than try something new, I went with a favourite, the Classic Cheese Burger of Experience and was not left disappointed. Other items ordered at our table, included the Attack On Taco, Assassin’s Cheese Fries and Traditional Poutine, all of which looked and tasted great.

The following day, we decided to check out The Social Corner, which recently opened right across the street from my and Mrs. Sip’s building. I ordered their mushroom burger (which I was lucky to see a server bring out to another table, as it wasn’t even on their menu), while the ladies at our table shared a couple of the restaurant’s pizzas. The Stanley Park 1897 Amber Ale I paired with my meal really hit the spot and they must get that burger onto their menu.

Weekend Restaurant

Prior to Monday’s Vancouver Canucks game versus the Winnipeg Jets (which we had tickets to), we ended up at Central City’s Brew Pub, close to Rogers Arena. Here, we were continually denied the beer of our choice. I get it that kegs run out and need to be changed over, but when you have to choose another beer a half dozen times, it becomes a little tiring. The beers we did end up having were pretty good, highlighted for myself by Central City’s Scotch Ale, which I was pleasantly surprised had a smoky finish to it.

Speaking of the Canucks game, I was hoping for a better collection of craft beers at the stadium than we were able to locate. The adjacent BC Place (home of the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions and the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer) has worked hard to up their craft beer content and I figured – or at least hoped – Rogers Arena would do the same. Alas, it was not meant to be and the night was spent sipping on expensive Shocktop, while watching our beloved ‘Nucks put up a stinker.

Here’s hoping future Sip Trips aren’t as marred with unavailable menu items!