Sip Trips #201: September Celebrations

Well, September was a busy month, as it usually is, filled with numerous birthdays and other activities as the summer comes to a close and we try to eke out the last bits of outdoor fun. Let’s see what the Sip Family did to wrap up the season:

September began with a visit to the Great Canadian Brewhouse in Abbotsford, as we returned home from a day with the kids at Cultus Lake Adventure Park. We may have been pushing our luck after a really good but long day, as both young’uns were in no mood for us to enjoy a restaurant meal. We tried to make the best of it, but the restaurant was also out of a few of the Feature Menu items Mrs. Sip wanted to try and a beer I had hoped to have. Mrs. Sip did join their app/rewards club, which gave us access to a free order of Golden Garlic Fingers, which were very good. She also ordered the Triple Eh! Peppered Angus Steak Bites, along with a Same Team Soda, while I paired the Brewhouse Hoser Club with a Stanley Park Windstorm Pale Ale. Despite any of the issues, we returned to their Richmond location later in the month to try more of their menu.

Club Sandwich

The next week, we popped into Steel & Oak Brewing, since they had food and drink Mrs. Sip was interested in trying. While I enjoyed my Turned Out Spruce Tip Ale, Mrs. Sip finally got to try the Berliner Weisse flight with three different syrups (orange and saffron, ginger and turmeric, and spruce tip) she had been curious about for much of the summer. The Mr. Arancino food truck was also on site, so we grabbed a set of Risotto Balls from it, Arancini being one of Mrs. Sip’s favourite appetizers.

En route to visit some friends in Langley, I popped into the Clayton Liquor Store and picked up tall can four-packs of Vancouver Island Watermelon Hibiscus Blonde (Tidal Series) and Russell Strawberry & Kiwi Milkshake IPA. Both beers were perfect for a late summer outing. I had originally stopped at the store, hoping to track down the Phillips Twenty Point Buck (Barrel-Aged Blue Buck) 20th Anniversary Gift Set with commemorative glass. I was unlucky here, but did eventually find the product at the Central City Bridgeview Liquor Store.

The next day, after taking advantage of advanced voting in the Canadian federal election, we celebrated with dinner at Brown’s Social House in Sapperton. We took advantage of a few Social Hour deals, including Parmesan Garlic Fries, Crispy Cauliflower and beverages including the Social Palmer for me and Summer Social Soda for Mrs. Sip. For my meal, I went with the Florida Special (crispy chicken, avocado, bacon, Swiss cheese, tomato, and coleslaw on a toasted baguette) with Caesar Salad. For Girl Sip, we ordered a Kids Dragon Bowl, the leftovers of which became my yummy lunch the next day.

Leftovers

That weekend, The Bakery Brewing was advertising Nitro Pumpkin Spice Porter Floats, which caught the attention of Mrs. Sip. Since we were gathering with friends at a park in the area anyway, we decided to pop in for the float. We also ordered taster glasses of their Amber Ale, Strawberry Farmhouse Ale and Bavarian Hefeweizen. Once again, though, the kids were not into the prospect of hanging out at a brewery… at least until we bribed them with some ice cream!

To celebrate my birthday, we started with lunch at Kelly O’Bryan’s, taking advantage of their free birthday meal offer. I went with the Chicken Lips N’ Fries, with a Black Currant Mojito and Fernie Hit the Deck Hazy IPA to wash the food down. It was a great start to the celebrations, which would also include a Chinese dinner feast with family in the evening.

I received a number of alcohol-based gifts for my birthday, including four-can tall packs of Camp Fall Camp Smoked Amber Ale and Lazy River Watermelon Gose from Cousin Sip; the Central City Summer Weekender 24 Pack from Ma and Pa Sip; a bottle Havana Club Añejo Rum from the Sip-in-Laws; and a bomber of Barnside Heavy Horse Blueberry Milkshake IPA from Mrs. Sip and the Sipplings.

Birthday Gifts

The next day was Girl Sip’s birthday and with a My Little Pony theme, I compiled a cocktail menu for the occasion (for the adults, of course). Drinks included: Twilight Sparkle (Crème de Violette, Bubbly); Pinkie Pie (White Rum, Peach Schnapps, Pink Lemonade, Whip Cream, Garnished with Sprinkles); Applejack (Southern Comfort, Jack Daniel’s Winter Apple, Iced Tea); and Rainbow Dash (Arctic Grape Rum, Blue Curacao, Club Soda).

We continued my birthday celebrations on the weekend, getting together with a group of friends for an evening out. The expedition started with gathering at ABC Brewing for some bevvies. Between Mrs. Sip and myself, I tried their Festbier, Water Frolic Small IPA, Fest IPA and Imperial Stout. Next up, was a couple hours at the Industry Arcade next door. Here, we could play a host of pinball and arcade games, as well as Skee Ball. It was a lot of fun, with highlights for me being playing The Simpsons and Bubble Bobble arcade games.

From there, we moved onto the Sapperton District Taphouse, where I had a pair of beers, consisting of the Parkside Dreamboat IPA and Tin House High Knoll Hazy IPA. I also took the time to refuel a little, with an order of the Chicken Sliders. My night gets a little foggy here, as one would expect after drinking all afternoon, but I remember having fun with what was left of our group.

Arcade Games

With our friends all done for the evening, returning to their respective kids, but with Mrs. Sip and I free of such obligations, thanks to Ma and Pa Sip, we decided to try to take in a movie at the New West Landmark Cinemas. I say try, because the Sip Advisor ended up crashing and sleeping throughout our viewing of Free Guy. What can I say, dark theatres are my kryptonite. Thankfully, the movie has since made its way onto Disney+, allowing my to absolve the guilt I felt for missing out.

The next morning, after picking up the Sipplings, we ventured out to Richmond and the Great Canadian Brewhouse there for our aforementioned return to the chain. Meeting up with a friend, we shared an order of the Birthday Nachos we were offered through their app. I paired the giant order with a tankard of Central City Super Solar IPA, which my friend picked up the tab for, so all in all, it was a pretty inexpensive meal.

The following weekend, we travelled to the Sunshine Coast to spend four nights at a beautiful Airbnb home in Gibsons. On our first day, we had lunch at Tapworks Brewing, where Mrs. Sip and I split servings of the One Sailing Wait IPA and Backwoods Hazy Pale Ale. To eat, I selected the Crispy Chicken Bao, which was overflowing with delicious hoisin-drizzled fried chicken.

Nachos

Our next outing was a late lunch at The 101 Brewhouse & Distillery. We had a nice outdoor table, which allowed the kids to roam a little bit, as we ate and drank and supervised… well, mostly supervised! Split between our trio of parents, we ordered the Poutine, Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich and Chicken Quesadillas, which provided quite the spread. To drink, I had the Tall Faller Hazy IPA. As The 101 is also a distillery, Mrs. Sip made a point of trying one of their cocktails, selecting the 101 Coast Sour (gin, bourbon, lemon juice, mint, simple syrup, bitters, topped with Brickers Cider).

Afterwards, we hit the Persephone Brewing farm where Mrs. Sip and I had servings of the Brett Saison and Oktoberfest Lager. If not for our collection of kids, I could have stayed at the location longer, enjoying another pint or two. Even the occasional whiff of typical farm smells wouldn’t have deterred us!

For our last full day, we journeyed to Sechelt, to visit Batch 44 Brewery & Kitchen. Mrs. Sip put together a flight of their Lonely Giant IPA, The Village Altbier, Happy Wanderer Hefeweizen and an Earl Grey Cider, so I elected to go with a brew she didn’t choose, in the Frosty Morning Scottish Ale. My only complaint about the beer is it came in at a 4% ABV and I would have liked that a little higher.

Farm

The only Sunshine Coast brewery we weren’t able to visit was Powell River’s Townsite Brewing, so I picked up a tall can four-pack of their Savary Beaches Wheat Ale (Shoreline Series) from a BC Liquor Store. It helped me complete the Brewers Coast collection.

That was a wrap on a wild and eventful month. October has already started out busy and with a trip to Osoyoos in the cards, along with a number of Halloween events on the calendar, there will surely be much to write about!

Beer of the Week #46 – Persephone India Pale Ale

As Mrs. Sip and I travelled around the Vancouver Christmas Market, I was delighted to discover that Persephone Brewing was on hand, sampling five beers from their lineup. Of course, I tried them all and had a good chat with their people.

The India Pale Ale was my favourite of the bunch, with a balanced flavour experience, featuring tastes of citrus, hops and malt. The 6.5% ABV, 60 IBUs beverage hits all the numbers I like to see. The beer can be found in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores

Persephone India Pale Ale

Also available to try were the Black Lager, Persephone Pale Ale, Goddess Golden Ale, and Keller Pilsner. Of these, my second favourite was a close competiton between the Black Lager and Persephone Pale Ale, with the edge going to the Black Lager.

Mrs. Sip and I hope to get to Gibsons and the brewery’s tasting room in the near future. It was suggested we visit during the Sunshine Coast Beer Fest, which Persephone hosts each February, comprised of 17 BC craft creators.

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BC Beer Baron #354 – Persephone Wee Heavy

With the Christmas party season in full swing, the Sip Advisor has had ample opportunity to share beverages with friends and family. That has introduced me to some very good drinks, such as this Persephone Brewing release.

The Wee Heavy is of the Scotch Ale variety, featuring flavours of rich malts, sweet caramel and dark fruit. At 7.5% ABV, the drink will warm the soul through the winter and its 20 IBUs gives it a nice mild hop content.

persephone-wee-heavy

First brewed in 2013, the product can be found in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores. The beer took home a well-deserved silver medal at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards in the Scotch Ale category.

Among currently available Persephone selections I have recently come across that I would like to try is the Hop Yard Red Ale. This hoppy red ale sounds tasty, with a balance of pine, caramel and toasted notes comprising its recipe.

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BC Beer Baron #269 – Persephone Brew the Change

With some time to kill in New West (story of my life anytime I’m supposed to be meeting Mrs. Sip) I popped into the 8th Street Liquor Store, which has become a place of solace for the Sip Advisor. There, I found and purchased this intriguing Persephone Brewing collaborative release.

The Brew the Change is about so much more than simply beer. It’s an industry statement from 10 certified Benefit Corporation breweries (“for-profit companies who meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability, and who choose to use their business as a force for good”).

persephone-brew-the-change

This across North America conglomerate includes breweries from Washington State (Aslan), Portland (Hopworks), California (Bison and North Coast), Colorado (New Belgium), Michigan (Vivant), North Carolina (Bull City), Ontario (Beau’s), and New Brunswick (Picaroons).

What originally lured me to purchase this beer was its description of key ingredients: honey, cranberry juice and yerba mate. The 7.1% ABV, 14 IBUs beverage is available in bomber-sized bottles. Suggested food pairings include rich charcuterie; hard cheeses, such as cheddar; and French honey spice cake.

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BC Beer Baron #223 – Persephone Dry Stout

Meeting up with fellow CAMRA members at The Main on Main, prior to a night of Vancouver Canadians baseball, the Sip Advisor selected this beer from Persephone Brewing, for his pre-game beverage.

The Dry Stout features the flavours you would typically expect from the beer style, highlighted by notes of coffee and roasted malts. The 4.5% ABV, 30 IBUs brew is lightly carbonated, whereas the Sip Advisor prefers beers with more carbonation. That said, the drink was smooth and tasty, compensating for my desire for more bubbles.

Persephone Dry Stout

The brew has been quite successful for Persephone, pulling in back-to-back first place finishes at the 2013 and 2014 BC Beer Awards, in the Stout category. Rave reviews seem to also follow this product around, which makes it surprising that it’s only available on tap and not in bottles or cans.

Persephone, which is based on an 11-acre farm in Gibsons, is currently allowing prospective partners to invest in the enterprise. The minimum investment is $250 with a total of 12% equity in the brewery up for grabs.

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BC Beer Baron #22 – Persephone Goddess Golden Ale

Hanging out with friends last weekend, I was offered a can of this Persephone Brewing release, which I’ve routinely seen stocked in this Sip Syndicate member’s fridge.

The Goddess Golden Ale, in the Sip Advisor’s opinion, can best be described as a good, solid beer. This flagship brew is styled after an English summer bitter beer and I found it to be rather refreshing. Its IBU of 35 is a number I’m finding to be quite fond of and have seen pop up with other beers I’ve enjoyed. Don’t believe me? Well, the brew did win first prize at the 2015 Vancouver International Craft Beer Awards in the ‘Best UK Ale’ category.

Persephone Goddess Golden Ale

Persephone Brewing is located in the Sunshine Coast town of Gibsons. The brewery is named after the daughter of Zeus and Demeter (the harvest goddess) in Greek mythology. Persephone also reigns as queen of the underworld and was a vegetation goddess before that. This all makes sense (well, perhaps not the underworld part) when you look at Persephone’s business and brewing model. Based on an 11-acre farm, growing their own hops, the brewery works hard to release the freshet beer possible, using only ingredients cultivated in B.C.

I haven’t had the chance to try a lot of Persephone’s stuff, but remember liking their Rum Runner Red Ale, when I tried it last spring. The brewery is acting as hosts of the Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Festival over the Family Day long weekend and Mrs. Sip and I have designs on attending. I’ll have to keep my eye out for this budding craft brewery and their burgeoning line of products.

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