BC Beer Baron #113 – Maple Meadows Honey Brown Ale

Since the Sip Advisor’s first visit to Maple Meadows Brewing, this is definitely the beer of theirs that I’ve drank the most, with a friend from the area occasionally filling up a growler with it for parties.

The Honey Brown Ale is 5.7% ABV of brewing goodness, with a touch of sweet to compliment rich malts. The brew is really solid and a good one to share with larger groups and varying tastes.

Maple Meadows Brewing

It seems the brewery likes to use this beer as the base for various experimental releases, such as a Smoked Chipotle and Vanilla Bean-infused version… if only I could fire up the ol’ WABAC Machine!

Maple Meadows just recently celebrated their first anniversary and I’ve always loved its origin story of ending up in Maple Ridge because other nearby cities were reluctant towards craft beer operations. That is simply their loss and a huge gain for Maple Ridge.

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BC Beer Baron #51 – Maple Meadows Vanilla Porter

On our recent Fraser Valley craft brewery crawl, we made sure to stop into Maple Meadows Brewing to sample their wares.

Among the tasters I tried, the Vanilla Porter was my favourite and would rank highly when compared to all 86 different beers I sampled over the Family Day long weekend. The porter was smooth and not too complex, letting the vanilla aroma and essence shine.

Maple Meadows Brewing

I’m finding that I really like the flavour of vanilla in my dark beers and thankfully, this is a common ingredient in stouts, porters and other varieties. I look forward to exploring this new passion in the future.

This was our second visit to Maple Meadows and the brewery has grown substantially since our last stop, back when the operation had only been open for a few weeks and was in its infancy stage. Maple Meadows is owned and operated by Carlo Baroccio, who originally comes from Mexico and decided to set up shop in Maple Ridge after other cities turned down his application to set up shop in their area.

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Sip Trips #13: And Many More

While Mrs. Sip and I have only been married for two and a half years, this week, we celebrated our 13th dating anniversary. Why bother celebrating a dating anniversary when you’re already married, you might be asking? Why not, is my reply! Life should be full of merriment, so why swap one occasion for another? I’ll get back to the anniversary events later, but let’s look at the weekend that was first.

Thursday night, following our Urban Rec sports, we visited Milltown Bar, which is great looking building in a beautiful location. The food and drink was pretty good and the service was wonderful. Mrs. Sip and I each enjoyed a Dark N’ Stormy cocktail, as I was really in the mood for some ginger beer.

anniversary-celebrate-gave-up

On Friday, we visited Backyard Winery, where Mrs. Sip is a member. Musician Andrew Christopher was doing a one-man show of various covers, which provided the perfect entertainment to enjoy some rose wine and bubbly and welcome the weekend.

Saturday saw us head to Maple Ridge for a friend’s housewarming party. As true Suburban Commando’s, we made the point of visiting Maple Meadows Brewing, one of the regions newest beer outlets. The place had just opened the weekend before and only had two beers on tap, but both (a Blonde Ale and Amber Ale) were good. Carlo, a former home-brewer who owns, operates, and is a general jack of all trades at the facility said that two more selections, an IPA and Honey Brown Ale, will be available this weekend.

Onto the main event of the week, our big lucky number 13 anniversary! We started the day with lunch at Big Ridge Brewing, where we enjoyed a flight of their beers. I liked each of the Red Ale, IPA, ESB, and Imperial IPA, but wasn’t thrilled with the Lager. Hey, four out of five ain’t bad.

Love-we haz it

From there, we were off to Castle Fun Park for some mini golf. Each game was incredibly close and we ended up playing each of the place’s three courses, thanks to both Mrs. Sip and me each winning a free game by sinking a hole-in-one on the final hole of the previous course. We’ve had a number of great moments and earlier dates together at Castle Fun Park, so it was nice to return and let our kid-side come out and play for a little bit.

In the evening, we finally checked out Blackbird Public House, which I’ve wanted to try for a little while now. Mrs. Sip ordered their Standing Stonefruit cocktail, while I asked for their And Everything Nice drink. The two of us ended up swapping libations and I loved the peaty aroma and taste coming from my beverage, provided by the Ardbeg 10-year-old Scotch in it.

We ended the evening in search of food and decided on Hidden Bar and Lounge at the Westin Grand Vancouver Hotel. Mrs. Sip ordered a glass of wine, while I grabbed a pint of beer and we gorged ourselves on their Breads and Dips appy, before dishes of Lobster Poutine and their Hidden Burger for me. Our server, Jude, was fantastic in helping us decide what to order and keeping us well-served throughout the meal. All in all, that makes for one hell of a dating anniversary!

anniversary card

In booze news, government liquor stores in B.C. have recently – as of April 1 – changed their pricing practices, where instead of listing the price of a product, including taxes, they are now listing the price before adding tax. Some private liquor stores have followed suit, as well. I suppose it doesn’t make a huge difference, but I liked knowing exactly what I’d be paying for something, before approaching the cash register. Getting the final total after the fact can be a shitty experience.

Aside from that little note, it’s been an awesome week of visiting new places and returning to old favourites; a wonderful mix of celebrating where we’ve come from and where we’re going. There’s no rest for the wicked, though, as Easter weekend sees us heading to Portland (the mecca of craft beer) for a series of boozy adventures!