Sip Trips #148: The Next Chapter

As Mrs. Sip and I wrap up our moving out from Downtown Vancouver, things have been insane around the Sip Advisor Headquarters, and that’s probably putting it lightly. Still, we managed to squeeze some fun into the chaos, especially with the celebration of our sixth wedding anniversary. Here’s what we got up to in our last couple weeks living in Vancouver:

For the second year in a row, we attended Caskapalooza at Craft Beer Market and it was a very, very good event. Like last year, tickets were $25 (plus taxes and fees) and included 12 tokens. Between myself, Mrs. Sip and Cousin Sip, we tried nearly every beer of the 36 available. My favourites included a Smoked Apiary Dunkelweizen from Foamers’ Folly, Mariner’s Cuban Night Sky, and a Ginger-Cinnamon Rye Amber Ale from Trading Post. There were so many good and unique beers here that we are definitely planning on attending the 2019 Caskapalooza. The only minor tweak I’d like to see, if possible, is for the Caskport document, which allows drinkers to jot down what each brewery is offering, to already be filled out. This would a) advise folks of what is available and b) eliminate people stopping at the front of a lineup to write in the available information.

Keg Safety First

Following the event, we stuck around for a drink and some food. Mrs. Sip and I split the delicious BBQ Beer Can Chicken Sliders, while my beverage was the Electric Bicycle Frosty Mugs Brown Ale. This was the second time I’ve been able to try a brew from Electric Bicycle and both have been unique and quite tasty. I have to try to visit their tasting room soon.

Last Friday, Mrs. Sip and I hosted a moving out party of sorts, where our goal was to finish and get rid of all our mostly consumed liquor bottles. We ended up with about 25 bottles that had minimal liquid left and throughout the night, we all did our best to put those bottles out of their misery. I had a great time playing bartender and coming up with unique, but simple cocktails for the crowd to enjoy. Over our last week in the place, I managed to finish each and every bottle we were hoping to go through. Mission accomplished!

To celebrate our previously mentioned sixth wedding anniversary, we attended the Battle of the Brews competition in Surrey. The event started a little rough for us because as we arrived at our Skytrain station, I spotted the beer tents and it dawned on me that this was an outdoor event, on the one day in recent memory it rained. Things quickly turned around; however, as the organizers had planned for such a scenario and had ponchos ready for any guest that wanted one. The Battle offered a great selection of beers from a number of breweries, as well as awesome food from Brown’s Social House, Cactus Club, Dublin Crossing, Milestones, and many more. My favourite beer was Parkside’s Human’s – An IPA for the People, while my top food choice was Cactus Club’s Mini Crispy Chicken Sandwich. With all that going on, I thought the $50 we paid per ticket was very much worth it. My only complaint here was they need more on-site bathrooms, as five porta-potties is not enough when hundreds of people are drinking all afternoon. At least the long lines could be avoided if you learned about the washrooms in the adjacent Surrey City Hall.

Porta-Potties.jpg

We wrapped up our Vancouver life with one final meal on the rooftop patio at The Keg’s Yaletown location. I order the Prime Rib Sliders at their $13 happy hour price (with side of fries) along with a Keg Caesar, also on special. Our group also split a bottle of Danzante Pinot Grigio and to top off the meal, we were given a slice of Billy Miner Pie for dessert, on the house because we were celebrating our anniversary.

I will certainly miss living in Vancouver, as my years running this site have documented all the great experiences we’ve been able to partake in. That said, we’re on to another exciting chapter in our lives and only time will tell what that has in store for us!

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Sip Trips #133: Beer and Pizza

Another busy week is in the books. It all started on the weekend, as the Sip Family explored Brewer’s Row in Port Moody, stopping at three out of the four breweries located along Murray Street. We began our travels at Yellow Dog Brewing, where I ordered a pint of their Sit and Stay India Session Belgian Ale. The beer was good, albeit light at 4% ABV. Yellow Dog was down to a handful of options, from their usual bevvy of varieties, as they were between production cycles at the time. I went with the Sit and Stay because it was the only brew I hadn’t previously tried.

Next up, was Twin Sails Brewing, which was hosting an event to mark the release of their new collaboration beer, brewed in partnership by all four of the Brewer’s Row occupants. Proceeds from the occasion went to Good Night Out Vancouver, which educates nightlife staff and patrons about “how to recognize, interrupt and prevent sexual harassment and assault on nights out.” Mrs. Sip and I split a flight of beers, highlighted by the Good Night Out Collab and also including the Back to Basics Lager, Dat Juice Pale Ale and On Three Triple IPA. It was nice to see Twin Sails’ new patio, completed in November, which I look forward to enjoying a drink on this summer.

Beer Snob.jpg

Our final stop was Parkside Brewing. Here, I enjoyed a pint of their Simcoe SMASH IPA, which we started drinking on their patio, before rain returned and forced us inside. We also grabbed a Pork Gringa Taco from the Tacofina food truck that had taken up residence outside the brewery. The taco was very good and I’d like to try some of their other menu items in the future.

For my second straight trip to Brewer’s Row, I missed out on visiting Moody Ales. I must apologize to the brewery, as once again we simply ran out of time. When we return, I vow to start our crawl there and make amends for our past neglect.

The weekend also featured a dinner with friends, where I was able to try both the Postmark Belgian Red and Steel & Oak Pembroke Belgian-Style Table Beer. Both were quite tasty and much thanks goes to our host for sharing his wares with me.

Dinner Party Mistake.jpg

The week wrapped up with dinner at Pizzeria Ludica in New West, famous for their blend of pizza and board games. We have previously been to their Vancouver location and were invited to join friends at the restaurant’s new site. Mrs. Sip and I split the Pesto Chicken & Prosciutto pizza, which is absolutely delicious. I particularly like the addition of the underrated sun-dried tomatoes, which complete the meal. To drink, I picked the Phillips Scarfface Orange Cranberry Wit.

The next week features many more adventures, highlighted by attending Science World After Dark and a visit to Andina Brewing to redeem the Groupon Mrs. Sip picked up for me at Christmas. Rest? Ha, who needs it!

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!

BC Beer Baron #216 – Parkside Dusk Pale Ale

On our recent foray through Port Moody’s Brewers Row, Cousin Sip and I really enjoyed our stop at the area’s newest addition: Parkside Brewing.

There, I tried a flight of their wares, with my favourite being the Dusk Pale Ale. This beer has stats of 5.3% ABV and 30 IBUs, which is about as balanced as you can get. The American-style Pale Ale is designed to embrace hop flavours rather than bitterness.

Parkside Dusk Pale Ale

The Dusk Pale Ale is the counterbalance to the brewery’s Dawn Pilsner, which was unfortunately tapped out when we visited. The pale ale is available in 355ml cans and is described as a relaxed, west coast beverage.

For those also wanting to explore the Brewers Row, Parkside even has a monthly calendar, letting customers know when food trucks will be at their location.

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

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!