Sip Trips #70: Brewers Row

With Mrs. Sip away in Las Vegas, the Sip Advisor did not shy away from play and had a very busy weekend that went by way too quickly.

On Saturday, members of the Sip Syndicate attended the annual Deighton Cup at Hastings Racecourse. This is the city’s swankiest event of the year, with folks decked out in their finest threads, hats, fastenators and other duds.

Horse Racing

The day of races started off with a wonderful lunch, where options included a Smoked Bo Ssam Beef Brisket Sandwich or Korean BBQ Shrimp on Grits. I went with the beef brisket sandwich and absolutely loved it.

After a few good drinks and some betting wins and near misses, all seemed well, but the end of the event took a bit of a scary twist. On the home stretch of the final race, the horse I bet on crashed to the ground, injuring its jockey. I haven’t been able to find any info on the jockey, so I can only assume their injuries weren’t too severe. No news, might be good news, in this instance.

Early bird tickets to the Deighton Cup were $65, plus fees. I think the price was worth it just for the spectacle of the event, but a couple weeks prior to the big day, a Social Shopper deal came out that would have been nice to take advantage of. It offered the lunch, two drinks and gifts totalling $25, all for the same price of early bird tickets. It’s hard not to jump on tickets when they first come out, but you always have to worry about these great coupon deals becoming available later.

Early Bird Grumpy Cat

Following the races, we went for dinner at the Big Rock Urban Eatery. This was my second time visiting the restaurant in recent weeks and I have been impressed with their expanded food menu, compared to when the place originally opened. I tried their BRUeben sandwich, complete with scrumptious skinny fries and also shared some chipotle-buffalo wings with the group.

On Sunday, Cousin Sip and I travelled to Port Moody to experience their ‘Brewers Row’. The Row consists of Twin Sails Brewing, Yellow Dog Brewing, Parkside Brewing and Moody Ales, all within a five-minute walk. While I will leave beverage reviews to the BC Beer Baron project, here are some general impressions I had from our day out:

Twin Sails: Offering up Germanic brews (Kolsch, Gose, etc.), this is where Cousin Sip and I started our day. I liked their open garage door setting, with plenty of seats.

Yellow Dog: Here, we sat in the brewery’s backyard patio area, which had an abundance of picnic tables, amongst a serene shady setting (at least until a couple trains roared through).

Early Intoxication

Parkside: The newest addition to the Row also had wine and cider available to customers, as well as two guest taps, to supplement their own lineup. The brewery’s beer flights come on little benches, which are incredibly cute.

Moody Ales: Cousin Sip grabbed some delicious spring rolls from the food truck located outside the brewery, while I sampled a few beers, including a cask serving and a guest tap.

The Row, as a whole, appeared to be very family and child friendly (including pets), with a kid’s birthday going on at one location, while a baby shower was setting up at another. The beer at each establishment was very good and it’s hard for me to pick a favourite stop from the day. One thing is for sure, though: we will be back!

Sip Trips #37: Home Stretch

You would think that with a big trip approaching for Mrs. Sip and myself that this week would be calm on the drinking front and more focused on last-minute errands and packing. But you don’t know Mrs. Sip and I. No, instead, we tried to balance both ideas, visiting with friends and family and celebrating a couple birthdays along the way.

The week began with a trip to Bin 941, which specializes in shared “tapatizers”. Cousin Sip had grabbed a Groupon for the meal, which included eight beers or two bottles of wine, with the selection of six different appetizers. We decided to go the beer route and I picked one round of Mad & Noisy IPA, followed by Granville Island ISA. I’d never heard of Mad & Noisy before, but apparently they are an offshoot of the Molson Brewery. Among our appies were their mountain of truffle fries, crab cakes, fried octopus, lamb skewers, and bread and dips. Some of the dishes were smaller than I would have hoped for, especially with sharing amongst a group of four, but everything tasted pretty damn good.

relationship with food

The next night, we were back at the Central City Brewpub on Beatty Street (wow, we’ve been there a lot lately). This time, it was to celebrate Sis-in-Law Sip’s birthday with the restaurant’s monthly feature Bacon Tasting Menu. This was comprised of a salad (with beer bacon lardon), main (double smoked deep fried bacon steak), and finished with dessert (maple bacon blondie). Each dish was paired with one of the brewery’s beers, while there was a choice for the salad between a Wheat Ale or Bacon Seraph Caesar. Mrs. Sip and I went with the Caesar, which was good, but should have gone with the beer. The main was combined with an IPA and dessert was joined by a Red Ale.

The Sip Advisor’s birthday is later this month, but we will be away for it and therefore, Mrs. Sip threw yours truly a little birthday bash with friends over the weekend. For this, we attended the BC Derby at Hastings Racecourse. The afternoon was highlighted by many beers (Parallel 49 Gypsy Tears and Granville Island Hefeweizen) gifted to me by friends, incredibly tight and exciting races, and some decent food cart snacks. Mrs. Sip and I broke even with our wagers and wins, although she did better than I did. My two big wins netted 40 and 90 cents, respectively!

horse racing drinking hats

For dinner, we went to Steamworks Brewpub in Gastown, where I ordered a flight consisting of Kanadische Kolsch, Sisu Salmiakki Gose, Smokey Scotch Ale, and Oatmeal Stout. Of the bunch, the Smokey Scotch Ale was my favourite. I also ordered a pint of the Empress IPA, following dinner. The restaurant does something with the IPA that I have never seen before, combining it with Bellini mix. Usually I see this done (if at all) with a lager or lighter brew. I tasted Cousin Sip’s serving of the drink and the two opposites work together, with tastes of bitter and sweet battling it out.

With Mrs. Sip and I heading to South Africa for the next month, Sip Trips will go on a brief hiatus, but we’ll be back with a vengeance upon our return. Keep sipping, my friends!