Sip Trips #152: Scary Sipping

Mrs. Sip and I have been pretty busy lately, thus why I haven’t been able to document our adventures in recent weeks. Here’s what we’ve been up to since the last time I checked in:

A couple weeks back, we celebrated a friend’s birthday in the Port Moody Brewers Row area. We started with dinner at the nearby Taps and Tacos, where Mrs. Sip and I enjoyed their Smoked Rosemary Clover Club (black moon smoked rosemary gin, raspberry, lemon, egg white) and Chibolero (pisco, ancho reyes, lemon, blood orange, clingstone peach bitters, egg white) cocktails, respectively. Our meal was comprised of the restaurant’s Queso Fundido, along with a variety of tacos. I really enjoyed the Korean Pork variation, while Mrs. Sip’s favourite was the Moroccan Chicken.

people tacos

Following dinner, our first stop along Brewers Row was Moody Ales, making good on our promise to hit the brewery first on our next visit, following two journeys where we neglected the place. Here, I ordered pints of their Daylight Savings White IPA and Who Turned Off The Lights Black IPA, both of which I liked. In a great marketing idea, the pair are sold together in four-pack tall can sets (two of each), for those looking to try the counter-balanced beers. Mrs. Sip drank the Rauchbock (a collaboration with Gibsons Tapworks), which had a nice smoke to it, as well as the Lusty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout.

Moving on, we next popped into Parkside Brewing where I sipped on their Motel Pale Ale, which is actually classified as an IPA. With Baby Sip getting tired and a bit of a trip ahead of us to get home, we packed things in after this stop and ventured back to New West.

We were back at it the next day, visiting the newly-opened Dark Manor Inn, touted as Vancouver’s haunted whiskey bar. The cocktail joint comes from the minds behind The Shameful Tiki Room, so there is a good pedigree behind the concept. Our group was sat at the master table and went through much of the cocktail menu during our stay. Among my selections were the Pills, Potions & Quack Nostrums (house malt whiskey blend, cinnamon, ginger, lime); Visions of Apparitions (house made whiskey cream and cola, cherry, dash of soda); and Don’t Go In The Attic (butter-washed cognac, calvados, sherry, lemon, spices). Mrs. Sip selected other beverages than me, so we got to sample a large portion of their cocktail list – or Libations and Palliatives, as they call them. We also each tried their Beef Pie and were impressed with the meal, especially given its $12 price tag.

can't sleep

With cocktails ranging from $11-$14, the night was not cheap, but the experience was worth the cost. The Dark Manor Inn is really done up well, with great theming, decorations, lighting effects and music. Reservations are a must and on busy nights, you may be restricted to a two-hour sitting. There’s not a ton of food on their menu, so picky eaters may want to dine prior to their session. We all agreed Vancouver needs more themed drinking locales. Best of luck to them as they get this new expedition off the ground and we will be back to try one of their bowls, which we unavailable on this occasion.

The following weekend, Mrs. Sip and I hosted a small gathering, where each guest was tasked with collecting beers to share, which were honoured with 2018 BC Beer Awards medals. We ended up amassing quite the collection and the night was filled with sampling as much as we could from the assortment. We even had a brew slipped in from the World Beer Awards and it was quite welcomed by the Sip Advisor.

Later that week, we dropped into the Sapperton District Taphouse for their weekly trivia. The theme was Netflix programming and I’m not ashamed to say our crew does a fair bit of binge watching, so once again, we finished in first place. Our reward was a pitcher of beer, which Mrs. Sip and I ended up drinking together, abandoned by our teammates. Our selection of the Vancouver Island Hermannator Ice Bock may not have been the best choice, given its strong 9.5% alcohol content and no one to help us with the serving. This was on top of my pint of Russell Angry Scotch Ale and Great Sapper sandwich, which was very good, but would have been better on a bun, instead of Texas toast.

Netflix

The most recent weekend began with Mrs. Sip and I visiting Storm Brewing, as we both took last Friday off from work. We were a little sad to see samples are no longer available by donation and now cost $7 for six tasters, but we understand the need to make money from the operation. We tried the brewery’s Vanilla Whiskey Stout, Gingerbread Ale, Jalapeno-Lime Pilsner, Mango Lassi Pilsner, Lavender Vanilla Ale, and Raspberry Orange Blossom Pilsner. Mrs. Sip also surprised me with the fact she signed us up for their 12 Fills of Christmas, where over the month of December, we will get 12 one-litre Boston fills of unique small-batch brews, not made available to the public. Should make for an interesting holiday season!

The weekend wrapped with a visit to Dead Frog Brewing in Langley. We just had to try their recently concocted Party Paddle, which provides at least two drinkers with a flight of 16 taster glasses, comprised of everything on tap at the brewery. Among my favourites were the Moscow Mule Lime Ginger White Ale, Blueberry Blast Kettle Sour, Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout and Winter Beeracle Winter Ale.

Another series of Sip Trips adventures are in the books and the Christmas push is just beginning. The next update will feature Christmas parties, a look at my first fills from Storm Brewing and likely a couple outings that weren’t even on our radar. Stay tuned!

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BC Beer Baron #178 – 33 Acres of Nirvana

In need of some drinks for a friend’s birthday celebration, the Sip Alliance popped out for a brief booze crawl around Vancouver. Our first stop was 33 Acres Brewing, where I filled a growler of this beauty.

The 33 Acres of Nirvana is an IPA which has become one of my favourite Vancouver beers, thanks to its mix of pine and citrus flavours that makeup the 7% ABV, 70 IBUs beverage. Along with your standard tasting room pours – glasses and growler fills – the Nirvana IPA is available in six-packs of bottles.

33 Acres of Nirvana

33 Acres beer descriptions are all neat, but this one will really get your mind thinking existentially: “Along the path to IPA immortality, a wise guide suggested forging a specially brewed trail. As is the pacific north-west tradition, nature’s whispers were honoured following the voice within. Iconically, this beer truly smells like dreamed spirits. One whiff, a taste, then a hearty smile begins any journey into 33 acres of Nirvana after-life.”

Mrs. Sip and I have become quite fond of 33 Acres in recent times, with her falling in love with their Belgian Tripel (33 Acres of Euphoria) and yours truly liking most anything they have on their menu. It has become a preferred stop when showing visiting friends around our great city!

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

BC Beer Baron #31 – Black Kettle IPA

The thing I like best about beer festivals is being introduced to breweries I haven’t yet had the chance to experience or in some cases, breweries I’m being reintroduced to. Such was the case at the recent Tapped Vancouver at the Yaletown Roundhouse, where the Sip Advisor was able to get reacquainted with Black Kettle Brewing, after last trying their wares at July’s Tip N’ Taste in Langley.

As myself, Cousin Sip, and her husband approached our first booth of the night at Tapped Vancouver, we each picked one of the company’s options. I went with the IPA and found it to be a great starting point to my evening. I later returned for their two other selections (the Pale Ale and Scottish Ale), which will be profiled here at later dates. Where was Mrs. Sip, you might be asking? Well, she was running late, as is typical for her and with beer available, we weren’t willing to wait.

Black Kettle IPA

The brew comes in at 6.4%, but is lighter than most IPAs, while still being joined by the hoppy taste we’ve all come to expect from this variety of beverage. As an IPA fan, I will look out for this product when buying beers and suggest it to friends who also like their brews to have a little more of an edge to them.

I named Black Kettle my choice for MVP of the Tapped Vancouver event (not that this was an actual competition there) and it has earned its way onto our list of must-visit breweries when the Sip Alliance finally gets their act together and tours North Vancouver’s burgeoning brewery region. This little exploration can’t happen soon enough!

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

Sip Trips #5 – Cask Comforts

No need for a lengthy lead up, let’s cut right to the chase. The big outing this week for the Sip Advisor was attending Yaletown Brewery’s Caskival 2015 event on Saturday. The event featured 13 cask IPAs, from 13 different craft breweries around the region.

For $25, each person received a punch card for the 13 casks and then it was time to travel around and get your IPA on! Beers were provided by Whistler BrewHouse, 33 Acres, Brassneck, Red Truck, Yellow Dog, Moody Ales, Bomber, Bridge, Deep Cove, Steel & Oak, Yaletown Brewery, Big Ridge, and Parallel 49.

IPAs

After about half our cards were punched out, we were in need of some eats, which we found at The Distillery, next door. With beers at a minimum of 5.5% and most in the 7% range (maxing out with the Parallel 49 Toques of Hazard 9.2% offering) we were all flying pretty high by the end of the event. Still, my punch card was fully used… a grand achievement!

I’ve really been getting into IPAs over the last year and many of these were very good. I found that I’m not really into dark IPAs, such as Bridge Brewing’s Black Rye IPA. If I had to choose a favourite among the bunch, it would have been Red Truck’s Citrus IPA, which blends lemon, lime, and orange juices together with your typical heavy hops.

That evening, I was part host to a birthday celebration for Mrs. Sip and I used my legendary skills to defend the title ‘King of Mojitos,’ which I bestowed upon myself many years ago. Raspberries, blackberries, limes, and mint were flying around everywhere. I think I even wound up with some fruit in my hair!

Mojito Dog

To celebrate the end of the work week, Mrs. Sip and I finally cracked open the Steel & Oak/Four Winds Gratzer collaboration I mentioned last week and the dark, smoked sour brew came exactly as advertised. It’s a lighter beer, at only 4%, but tastes really good and goes down easy. I wish we had more in the fridge!

In new product releases, I stumbled upon Schweppes Dark Ginger Ale the other day. While I didn’t pick it up, I’m very curious, given my affinity for ginger ale, as a cocktail mixer. And here I always thought ginger ale was already quite dark, especially compared to lemon-lime sodas. This may be a rare item to hit Canadian markets first.

The biggest liquor news of the week may have been Budweiser’s anti-craft beer ad, which aired during the Super Bowl. It broke the internet, as far as fans of micro-breweries are concerned and many of them immediately backlashed against the campaign. Jim Vorel of Paste Magazine, perfectly attacked the attack ad, most notably pointing out that Budweiser slammed a beer flavour that is made by a brewery they recently acquired. What a bunch of mooks!

July 21 – Michelada

Beer-telligence

Let’s kick off Beer Cocktail Week on the right note with some education on the… you know what? It’s the middle of summer and I’m trying to get my tan on, so I’m going to go the lazy route with this one (ha ha, very funny, “isn’t that what you always do, Sip man?”). Rather than delight you with facts and trivia I’m able to dig up from around the internet, I’m going to let someone else do my dirty work. So, here’s an infographic from WearYourBeer.com… enjoy!

24 Things You Didn't Know About Beer

Drink #202: Michelada

Michelada Drink Recipe

  • 1 Beer (I used Okanagan Springs 1516 Lager)
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Soy Sauce
  • Dash of Tabasco Sauce
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

Well, this cocktail is supposed to be perfect for a hangover… thankfully, I never get them. Gotta drink something though. Cheers!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This is a very interesting beer cocktail. Its ingredients are similar to what you’d throw into a Caesar or Bloody Mary, minus the Clamato or Tomato Juice. That said, I have heard of Michelada versions that include those juices or other alterations and I’d be curious to try some different varieties.