Sip Trips #170: Summer Drifting

Another couple of weeks are in the history books and we’ve been busy, busy, busy. Here’s what the Sip Family has been up to over that time:

Two weeks back, we attended the weekly Fridays on Front street party in New Westminster. Steel & Oak Brewing was on hand, pouring their Royal City Ale, which I had two servings of. Beer and wine tokens were only $5 each and there were a number of food trucks in attendance to satisfy people’s hunger. The area never got overly busy and we were able to find a nice spot to sit down with our beverages.

For dinner that evening, we walked up to the nearby Ludica Pizzeria, home to delicious pizzas and a massive collection of board and card games. Mrs. Sip and I shared their Pesto Chicken & Prosciutto Pizza, which has become a staple for us every time we eat there. I paired the meal with a Steel & Oak Red Pilsner, which complimented the pizza quite well. For our entertainment, we tried the game Blokus, which was easy to learn and fun to play.

sore loser

Over that weekend, I popped into a BC Liquor Stores location and was blown away by how many products I wanted – nay, needed – among their inventory. With a birthday upcoming, may I suggest gift cards to those who may want to get their favourite liquor slinger something. It was hard to only walk out with Cannery Brewing’s six-can Variety Pack, featuring two each of their Anarchist Amber Ale, Naramata Nut Brown Ale and Trellis IPA. This pack has long been a favourite of the Sip Advisor and was enjoyed once again.

Last week, we attended a Disney Trivia event at the Artful Dodger Pub in Langley. This trivia had a nice mix of easier and challenging questions, compared to other similar trivia nights we’ve been to on the subject. Our crew even won the third of three rounds (with a perfect score, might I add), winning a prize pack that included a can of Nude Vodka Cucumber-Mint Soda, which could be fun to experiment with. For dinner here, I ordered the Buttermilk Chicken Burger, which was good. We also split a pair of beer pitchers, the first being Red Truck Lager and the second being Okanagan Springs 1516 Pale Ale.

This past weekend, we twice ventured out to the Fraser Valley for the birthdays of my two nephews. On Saturday, we were in Mission, so popped into the Mission Springs Brewpub for lunch. My meal of Teriyaki Fries and a pint of the brewery’s Blueberry Wheat Ale were both fantastic. If the venue wasn’t so far from home, I would become a regular visitor to try more items from their menu.

bar food.jpg

The next day, we were in Abbotsford, so Field House Brewing was on the docket following mini-golf and games at Castle Fun Park. In their beautiful patio setting, I enjoyed a 24oz serving of Summer Haze Pale Ale. Had it not been at the end of a long day for Baby Sip (this was her 72nd brewery visited), I could have stayed for a while, enjoying the ambience and beverages of the place.

The last note for this week is a suggestion for those looking for reasonably priced beer to hit up Central City Brewing, who have their Across the Nation case available for $15 flat. That’s a smoking deal considering you get 12 beers brewed in collaboration with one brewery from each province and territory (minus Nunavut) across Canada. I’ll be picking up a couple more while I can!

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BC Beer Baron #205 – Mission Springs Cherry Bomb Pale Ale

The Sip Advisor’s game plan when I’m at a beer event is to first sample wares from breweries I either haven’t tried before or haven’t revisited for some time and then move on to unique or new beers a well-known company is offering. My tasting from Mission Springs Brewing sort of fell under both ideals of that strategy.

The Cherry Bomb Pale Ale was something I had never seen before with my limited experience with the brewery. Typically, you see fruits being mixed with wheat and dark beers (stout and porters), so it was different to get a fruit-infused pale ale. I felt the cherry flavour worked well here and wasn’t too dominating.

Mission Springs Cherry Bomb Pale Ale

This 5.5% ABV, 28 IBUs pale ale is of the Belgian style, meaning it’s of the traditional farmhouse variety, resembling a saison. A mix of dark and sour cherries are used during the fermentation of the brew, resulting in a balanced cherry taste.

The Cherry Bomb is available in 650ml bomber-sized bottles. The Sip Advisor dares you not to get The Runaways hit song of the same name stuck in your head as you drink the beer. Of note, and most recently, the song was included in the amazing soundtrack of The Guardians of the Galaxy.

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BC Beer Baron #112 – Mission Springs Lemon Ginger Radler

I’m not much of a fan of light beers, but I can still appreciate a good one, such as this release from Mission Springs Brewing.

The Lemon Ginger Radler comes in at a minute 3% ABV, but all the flavours are nice and complement each other. The recipe takes the brewery’s Trailblazer Pilsner and adds California lemons and ginger root infusion to the mix. This results in a refreshing, well-balanced beverage, featuring a ginger bite on the finish.

Mission Springs Lemon Ginger Radler

For those unfamiliar with the Radler style of brewing, it’s basically a beer-lemonade hybrid. Mission Springs suggests serving the drink over ice and as they say, what else should you do when “When Life gives you lemons…”

We stopped at the Mission Springs Brew Pub for some nourishment along our recent Fraser Valley brewery crawl. I thought the bar had a cozy feel to it and would love to return to try other items on their menu.

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BC Beer Baron #43 – Mission Springs Spirit Bear Spiced Chocolate Imperial Stout

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this month’s feature week will look at beers of a chocolate nature, perfect to celebrate the occasion.

On our recent beer travels around BC’s Lower Mainland for the Family Day long weekend, we stopped in at the Mission Springs Pub for a snack and to try some of their brews.

Over a platter of pulled pork nachos, we ordered a couple tasting flights. My favourite beverage among my samples was the Spirit Bear Spiced Chocolate Imperial Stout. The beer has a nice spice aroma and taste to go along with the always enjoyable chocolate flavour. At 8% ABV, the Spirit Bear is on the stronger side, as implied with its ‘Imperial Stout’ moniker.

SpiritBearStout_Sticker

Spirit Bears (also known as Kermode Bears, named after former Royal BC Museum director Francis Kermode) can be found in parts of BC and are even the official provincial mammal. The white or cream-coloured bears feature heavily in the stories of BC’s native population.

I liked the Mission Springs Pub and could see why it’s a popular local watering hole. Brewpubs are my favourite places to go for food and drink and when I venture out this way in the future, I’ll make sure to pop in for another round.

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Sip Trips #28: Tipsy Taste

This week’s main event was Tip N’ Taste in Langley, which has become one of my favourite events on the drinking calendar. Mrs. Sip and I first attended the beer bash in 2008 and have enjoyed watching it evolve over the years.

The event cost $30, but with that, you got five drink tickets (which you can usually stretch into more samples) and five food tickets. This is a far better deal than some events I’ve seen recently where you’d pay a similar fee and that only covered your entry. While I’m not the biggest fan of tokens/tickets and prefer an all-inclusive vibe, I have to hand it to the organizers of Tip N’ Taste for at least giving attendees fair value.

Drink Ticket

Prior to Friday, I had mapped out a bit of a game plan going into the festival, including breweries that had beers I wanted to try and breweries that were new to me. As you’ll see below, I did pretty well for myself over the course of a couple hours.

My first stop of the evening was Coal Harbour Brewing, which was featuring a few beers that looked neat. I tried their Woodland Witbier, followed by their Smoke and Mirrors Smoked Ale, which I was particularly fond of and went back for later, although by then they were out.

Next up was one of my favourite visits of the night, where I had a long chat with the guys from Big River Brewing, while sampling each of their four available beers: Acid Trip Sour Wheat, Sidewheeler Blonde Ale, Belgium, and Red Bretty IPA. The Acid Trip was my favourite of the bunch.

Acid Trips

Finally moving on, I enjoyed a pair of wheat beers, first from Black Kettle Brewing and followed by Howe Sound Brewing, which was serving up a Blueberry Wheat I had marked on my ‘To Do’ list from my initial walk around the convention floor.

At this point in the evening, it was time to switch things up and go to some darker brews, in order to fend off palate fatigue. I started with the Old Yale Sasquatch Stout and followed that with the Cannery Blackberry Porter (which had always caught my eye in liquor stores, but I had never picked up). I wrapped up my visit to this section of the room with the Mt. Begbie Nasty Habit IPA, which was another good pick.

Earlier in the night, I had made note of the only spirit table at Tip N’ Taste, which was serving up De La Tierre Maple Liqueur Tequila. It was a very interesting blend, which went down easier than most other tequilas and would probably make for some fun cocktails.

tequila night

Going back to beer, I snagged a sample of Mission Springs Chinook ISA and then went to visit my alma mater, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, which has recently launched a diploma program in Brewing and Brewery Operations. They were featuring a Golden Ale, one of the first releases to come from the new course.

I finished the evening with a couple quick hits, trying to get rid of my final drink tickets. I’ve enjoyed a few Russell Brewing products lately and made a stop by their table to try their Blood Alley Bitter, which I’d somehow never tried before, despite being a staple of their lineup. My last beverage was the Lighthouse Tasman Pale Ale, which was guzzled quickly as event organizers tried to clear the room of happy drinkers.

Happy Drunk Cat

As for food, there were some really good offerings at the event. Earl’s had a chicken taco, while Original Joe’s gave you a pair of pulled pork sliders, and Me N’ Ed’s came through with some delicious slices of pizza!

All in all, this was another successful Tip N’ Taste for the Sip Advisor. Next week, I’ll outline our weekend camping trip to Golden Ears Provincial Park, which is always preceded by a thorough liquor shopping trip!