Sip Trips #114: All the Hits

Well, another busy week is in the books (I’m starting to sound like a broken record), with Mrs. Sip and I finding time to have as much fun as possible, while getting things as ready as possible for the arrival of our daughter, sometime in the next few weeks. Here’s what we got up to:

The week began with the Sip Alliance’s long-awaited return to Port Moody’s Brewer’s Row. Before arriving there, though, we had to first travel to Coquitlam’s Mariner Brewing, which had only opened days before and is the first of its kind in the city. With four beers on tap, I tried their Northeast IPA, which I found to be pretty tasty. The brewery promises much more to come in the future and their space and constellation theming are really good starts.

Brewery Water

Next up was Brewer’s Row, with stops at Yellow Dog, Twin Sails and Parkside breweries, where I had pints of their High Five Hazy IPA, Street Legal IPA and Motel Five-Hop Pale Ale, respectively. Sadly, we didn’t manage to get to Moody Ales before closing time, so we owe them a visit in the future. I love this area of four breweries packed within a five-minute walk of each other and the new Evergreen SkyTrain line makes heading out that way so much easier. We will be back again soon.

On Friday, we finally got around to hitting one of our favourite annual summer traditions: the Twilight Drive-In Theatre in Aldergrove. While no drinking was involved, it was a great start to the Labour Day long weekend, as the lineup included Cars 3, followed by Despicable Me 3. We only stayed for those first two movies, but in celebration of the drive-in’s 12th anniversary, they were playing four movies on both Friday and Saturday night. While we love our trips out there for movies outdoors and you can’t beat the price of $12.50 per person for the entire evening, this was the first line-up this summer that actually appealed to us. Perhaps bad movies in general are to blame.

The next day, we started with some relaxing pool time at Ma and Pa Sip’s place before returning to Vancouver to move some furniture. Following the move, we treated Ma and Pa Sip to dinner at The Parlour in Yaletown, which had come highly recommended to me. We were not disappointed, as the place has a good happy hour to go along with great service. Our pizzas (The Dirty and Roasted varieties) were very good and were enough for a group of four to be happily fed.

Fitness Whole Pizza

After dinner, Mrs. Sip and I attended the Rio Theatre for their presentation of Dysfunctional Disney Cabaret. The goal here, according to our host, was to completely f*ck up our childhood memories with Disney-themed burlesque acts. It was quite the entertaining show and I have to commend the Rio for having a jug of water available to patrons on this hot, hot day. One server even steered me away from buying bottled water, in favour of the cooler, which I did not know about.

Sunday began with another round of furniture buying and baby laundry loads, but the reward came with hitting Jimmy’s Taphouse for happy hour. This has always been one of my favourite happy hours in the city with a number of half priced menu items and cheap drink options. We enjoyed their poutine with chipotle drizzle and an order of hot wings, which really hit the spot. The spicy combo was washed down with the Phillips Solaris White Peach Ale and a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Why was I getting my shot game on? Because we had received complimentary ticket to the Lionel Richie-Mariah Carey All the Hits concert, as part of Mrs. Sip’s recent anniversary gift to me of Vancouver Canucks half-season tickets. This was the first time either of us had ever sat in the exclusive 500-level Club seats, which provided a bar and bathrooms to about 50 people. As for the show, Mariah Carey didn’t do Fantasy or Honey, which if I know them, must have been hits. That’s okay, though, as Lionel Richie was extremely entertaining. His Dancing on the Ceiling with all the lights and video effects was the highlight of the night.

Lionel Richie Hello

We wrapped the long weekend by celebrating Pa Sip’s birthday at The Keg. Sitting atop the restaurant’s rooftop patio was very relaxing and the service was top notch. I ordered their Keg Burger, which pales in comparison to their former Prime Rib Burger, which I mourn the loss of to this day. As for beverages, I imbibed with a Keg Size Watermelon Mojito and Keg Caesar, perfect accompaniments to my still decent entree. A slice of Billy Miner Pie to finish the meal was the perfect bow on an incredible weekend!

But the family celebrations weren’t done there. On Tuesday, after Pa Sip helped me move some more furniture, we had another dinner in his honour at the Old Spaghetti Factory in New West. I tried their Pot-Pourri Spaghetti with meat, mushroom and clam sauce options. Best of all, the meals come with bread, salad or soup and ice cream for dessert, so we left quite stuffed. My beverage of choice was the Cobblestone Lager, developed for the restaurant by Granville Island Brewing.

The coming week doesn’t have much on the schedule, so I may grasp the opportunity for some rest and relaxation. Following that, the Sip Advisor has a bachelor party, Vancouver Canucks pre-season opener, Sis-In-Law Sip’s birthday and much more on the docket… not to mention who knows when the baby will decide to arrive!

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Sip Trips #12: Ales of March

You’d think that with St. Patrick’s Day in the rear-view mirror, the partying would come to a stop, or at least a gradual slowdown. Not so with the Sip Advisor! Last weekend was just as busy, if not more so than the one before and that’s not a bad thing… that’s a good thing!

The weekend got started off on the right note with friends coming over for some drinks and games. I picked up a pack of the St. Ambroise variety collection, as my contribution for guests. This set contained two each of the company’s IPA, Double IPA, Scotch Ale, Blonde Ale, and Oatmeal Stout. I’m still working my way through the case, but have enjoyed the offerings thus far. The Scottish Ale is particularly good and will knock your socks off with its bold flavour.

scottish_drinking_game

On the same shopping trip that I picked up the beer, I finally grabbed the UV Sriracha Vodka I’ve had my eyes on (to be featured in an upcoming Flavour Revolution post). I really like this spirit and have invented a great Cosmopolitan variation, using it and mixing with Cranberry-Lemonade juice. Based on Sriracha’s nickname of Cock Sauce – due to the rooster logo on the bottle, of course – I call my creation the Cock Buster! It was a hit with my guests/customers all weekend.

The booze highlight of the week was Yaletown Brewery’s Ales of March Caskival, which offered samples of 11 different beers for only $22. At the event were breweries from around B.C.’s Lower Mainland region, including Dead Frog, Strange Fellows, Red Truck, Big Ridge, Persephone, Powell Street, Moody Ales, Bridge, and, of course, Yaletown. This Caskival was far less populated than February’s IPA showcase, but that is not a complaint, as we were able to move much more freely and even snagged a table this time around. Mrs. Sip wonders if the Ciderwise event (featuring ciders and gluten-free beers) going on at the same time caused the split audience.

Not content to let Sunday be a day of rest, we went for a leisurely drive out to Port Moody, to visit Yellow Dog Brewing. The place was packed when we arrived, but we managed to get Mrs. Sip a seat at the front bar, while sharing a taster set that included their Play Dead IPA, Chase My Tail Pale Ale, Lightly Smoked Pilsner, Shake a Paw Smoked Porter, and Tripel Dog Dare Belgian Tripel. As you can see, Yellow Dog has some of the most creative brew names I’ve come across on the scene. We enjoyed each of the beers, with my personal favourite probably being the Pale Ale. That’s saying something because I usually don’t gravitate towards this type of suds.

beer afternoon

Our mid-week break (who am I kidding, we’re always having fun!) featured a stop at The Winking Judge Pub, where Mrs. Sip and I got to sample some of East Van Brewing’s beer options. I ordered their Wheel Bite IPA, which was a really good drink. Best of all, some proceeds from my purchase went to charity… now that’s the kind of philanthropy I can get down with!

Who knows what this coming weekend has in store, but it certainly has a lot to live up to. With a winery event, housewarming party, WWE WrestleMania, and my and Mrs. Sip’s 13th dating anniversary on the horizon, I can say with some certainty that there will be much to discuss!