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.

Dog Banned From Park.jpg

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!

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BC Beer Baron #344 – Faculty 241 Minzeweizen

Ever since I first heard about this Faculty Brewing beer, I wanted to experience it. That opportunity finally came recently, as a friend and I toured the Brewery Creek district of Vancouver and took the plunge into the unknown.

The 241 Minzeweizen basically combines a hefeweizen with peppermint. In this case, peppermint tea was added to the recipe to create this unique beverage. The brew comes with stats of 5.2% ABV and 22 IBUs and its recipe (like all Faculty beers) is available to the public.

faculty-241-minzeweizen

Our first sips were great, but the real test would come as we worked our way through our 500ml mugs. Would the beer hold up halfway through? Would it still be okay on the last sip? I’m happy to report it all checked out.

After talking with the brewery staff, we learned that Faculty has bought some space across the street and hopes to expand to bottling products soon. Their launch has been successful so far, with their beers showing up at many nearby locations.

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

Sip Trips #72: Everything Under the Sun

It’s been a surprisingly busy past couple weeks. I thought I could take a week off from Sip Trips articles, as I do from time to time when there’s nothing to report on, only to realize I should have written something last week. Time to make amends!

Buckin’ Bronco

With Ma and Pa Sip, as well as the Sip-in-Laws coming to visit for a big family dinner, we needed a place to go. Using Open Table, Ma Sip chanced upon the Yale Saloon and good thing she did. There, we were treated to amazing food (southern barbecue dishes like pulled pork and beef brisket sandwiches and fusion cuisine, such as mac n’ cheese popsicles) and terrific service. The restaurant’s manager even inflated the ring so the Sip Advisor could ride the mechanical bull a couple times. The only criticism I can lob at the Yale Saloon is that they have absolutely no local craft beer on their menu. Perhaps that will come in time.

Bull Riding

New Brews

A couple of impromptu brewery crawls over recent times have yielded some new discoveries. This included my first visits to Vancouver’s Faculty Brewing as well as Old Yale Brewing and Chaos & Solace Brewing – which we didn’t even know existed – in Chilliwack. We also popped into the long-awaited R&B Ale and Pizza House for some drinks and food. Now all I need to do is finally get around to doing another bike tour of the Yeast Van region, where a few new operations have launched lately. For more details on our beer tours, check out the BC Beer Baron listings.

All You Need is Love

We began this week with a bang, as one of my favourite events of the year finally came around again. The Made with Love cocktail competition at the Fairmont Hotel featured not only amazing drinks, but also some great food, including freshly shucked oysters, spring rolls, tuna tartare cones, and chicken wraps, among other hors d’oeuvres. The food seemed to stop being served about halfway through the event, which is too bad because that’s exactly when some guests need it the most, as they realize just how much they’re actually drinking.

Cocktail Super Glue

My favourite cocktail of the night came from Reece Sims of Per Se Social Corner, while Mrs. Sip’s preferred bevvy was provided by Mia Gianz of Odd Society Spirits. Best of all, in a world where prices seem to rise annually, this year, early bird tickets were the cheapest I’d ever seen them, at only $45. I can’t wait for the 2017 edition.

This weekend, the Sip Advisor and Mrs. Sip celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary and the return of my annual beer pong tournament takes place. After that, there’s the Labour Day long weekend, which although we’re stay-cationing, there will be much to report on. Looks like I won’t be taking any more weeks off for a while!

BC Beer Baron #234 – Faculty 710 Oaked Stout

As the gents of the Sip Syndicate gathered for some beers while our ladies pampered themselves with massages (hey, we have our own way of relaxing), we discovered that Faculty Brewing had finally opened their doors to the public. That meant an addition to the itinerary.

Once there, the Sip Advisor tried their two beers on tap, which included the 710 Oaked Stout. The Sip Advisor loves his smoky beers and this was a good serving, thanks to the oak, which provided flavours of vanilla and roasted coffee. The beer comes with stats of 5.5% ABV and 35 IBUs, so everything was in the right ranges for me.

Faculty 710 Oaked Stout

Founded by a husband and wife team, each beer comes with a class number, borrowing from the head brewer’s experience as a professor. One member of the Syndicate thought that was the price of the beer, but thankfully, I was in the know and was able to explain. I find it neat that Faculty is sharing their complete recipes and processes for each beer, as they hope to educate and inform beer drinkers of all levels.

While the brewery only had two selections available, I look forward to more from Faculty in the future. Their 241 Minzeweizen (a hef brewed with peppermint tea) has me particularly intrigued, as I’ve never tried a brew like that.

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