Sip Trips #174: Island Exploring

While the last couple of weeks have been quieter, coinciding with the end of summer, the Sip Family has still kept up a fairly busy schedule of events and activities. Here’s what we’ve been up to, of late:

Following the Labour Day long weekend, Mrs. Sip and I both took an extra day off work to take Baby Sip to the Vancouver Aquarium. While in that neck of the woods, we visited the new Stanley Park Brewing Restaurant & Brewpub. They have set up quite a facility there and we wish our visit wasn’t so brief. I ordered a pint of the Grapefruit & Juniper Red ISA, which was already on tap, despite being on their “Up Next” menu. I’m so glad it was because it paired quite well with the Pretzel Mrs. Sip asked for, accompanied by a very tasty mustard sauce. I’d say the only drawback is that a trip to Stanley Park takes us quite a bit out of the way nowadays, so popping into the brewpub will likely be a rare treat.

mustard

Later that week, to celebrate Pa Sip’s birthday, we had dinner at the Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant in White Rock. While splitting a platter of delicious Fish & Chips, I enjoyed a pint of Steamworks Lager. In my opinion, you just can’t have fish and chips without a frosty beverage and although the restaurant only had this one craft option, I’m thankful they at least had that.

This past weekend, we travelled to Victoria to visit family. While on the island, I was able to hit a couple of the many craft breweries our capital city has to offer. We began our limited crawl at Phillips Brewing, which has expanded greatly since my last visit a handful of years ago. I went with a flight of beers, selecting their Fresa Fresca Strawberry Cream Wit, The Ramanga Blood Orange Witbier, Au Currant Black Currant Wheat Ale, and Death Metal Norwegian Black IPA. I also picked up a bomber of Villager Hazy Kolsch, the official beer of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, for the road.

Up next was Vancouver Island Brewing, where I put together another flight, consisting of their Twisted Stalk Blackberry Helles, Magic Hour Grapefruit Gose, Faller Northwest Pale Ale and Just Desserts Porter. If it wasn’t so expensive to take a vehicle round trip via BC Ferries, we would probably be able to explore Victoria even more. There are many locations over there that I’d love to stop at in the future.

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We wrapped our most recent adventures by trying Burger Heaven in New West. The burgers here don’t come cheap, with the basic option starting at $15 and fancier items closer to $20 or more, but they are very good quality. I went with the Teriyaki, Mozzarella, Bacon & Mushroom Burger and it was fantastic. Our meal ended on a bit of a sour note, though, as we were charged for extra drinks we didn’t order and it wasn’t realized until after we paid. We were refunded for the drinks, but our tip was based on an incorrectly inflated charge. Not to mention, while this could have been an accident, you’re always left wondering whether the server was hoping it wouldn’t be noticed.

Coming up for the Sip Advisor is the September birthday blitz, which sees myself, Baby Sip, Sis-in-Law Sip and a couple friends all celebrate another year on this earth within a week of each other. Should make for quite a bit of fun!

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Sip Trips #111: Long Weekend Lounging

While the August long weekend was busy, there was actually far more time for rest and relaxation than I had originally anticipated. Still, it wasn’t all laid back and lazy:

On Friday, Mrs. Sip and I enjoyed a bit of a date night at local favourite Patron Tacos & Cantina. Straying slightly from our usual order, we split their Queso Fundido and Chicken Quesadilla dishes, while Mrs. Sip satisfied her craving for Horchata and I downed a pint of their Patron Lager. The meal was very filling, so we even took home some leftover with us.

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The next evening, the Sip Syndicate gathered at The Yale Saloon for dinner. Here, I paired a Granville Island Pale Ale with their BBQ Sample Plate (split with a friend), which included a serving of brisket with jalpeno cornbread, coleslaw, baked beans and potato salad. My only complaint from visiting the Yale Saloon last year remains the same, as it would be great to see more local craft beer added to the menu. At least a Granville Island selection is now available.

Following the meal, we made our way to Sunset Beach for the Celebration of Light fireworks. First, a quick liquor store stop was necessary, where we grabbed a pair of Postmark West Coast Pale Ale tall can four-packs to consume while watching the show in the sky. I was hesitant about attending the long weekend Saturday show (we typically see the lone Wednesday presentation for lighter crowds), but things weren’t anywhere near as bad as I feared. Best of all, the Team Canada contingent put on a fantastic show.

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On Sunday, Mrs. Sip and I decided to get some of the shopping out of the way for our Baby Shower Beer Garden. I’ve been stressing over having a good mix and the right amount of brews for the event, so it was relieving to make a few decisions. Wanting to have a fair variety, we grabbed mixed packs from Big Rock, Central City, Bowen Island, and Vancouver Island breweries. We also picked up some traditional options in Blue Moon, Budweiser, Canadian and Strongbow Cider, to cover all our bases. Also while out, I nabbed the Phillips Hop Box for myself, along with an extra-tall can of Longwood’s Berried Alive Raspberry Ale.

Sadly, the long weekend couldn’t last forever, but that didn’t mean the fun halted. With the work week back in full swing, we took time out to attend the brand new IQ2000 trivia night hosted at the Central City Brew Pub on Wednesdays. Our team put on a pretty good performance, finishing third and earning a pass for six people to enjoy a tour and tasting at the brewery’s impressive Surrey location. As for food and drink, I was saddened to learn that my Crispy Crunch Burger is no longer on the menu. I settled for their Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich, which was also good. My beverage selections included the Mystery Tap (the cheapest brew on the menu for adventurous drinks), which turned out to be Central City’s Lemon Groove Golden Ale, followed by their White Ale. We’ll be back in a couple weeks to take home top prize!

Beer of the Week #17 – Phillips Dazed & Co-Brewed East Coast IPA

Mrs. Sip and I recently met members of the Sip Syndicate at Tap & Barrel in Vancouver’s Olympic Village. There, we enjoyed a couple drinks, with this Phillips Brewing menu item popping off the page for the Sip Advisor.

The Phillips Dazed & Co-Brewed East Coast IPA was really good with tropical notes and a sweeter profile. The 6.2% ABV beverage had me reconsidering my steadfast support of West Coast IPAs. I think there’s plenty of room for all styles under my umbrella.

Phillips Dazed & Co-Brewed East Coast IPA

The Co-Brewed portion of this beer’s name refers to Tap & Barrel’s involvement with the collaboration. Launched in March, this is the first of five beers that will be released at the restaurant’s locations to commemorate their fifth anniversary.

I hope Phillips plans on having this beer on hand when they do their Movies Under the Maltworks on May 27. After all, they will be featuring Dazed & Confused as their first film of the 2017 viewing season.

For more Beer of the Week articles, please visit our main page…

BC Beer Baron #356 – Phillips Anxiety Ale

The Sip Advisor loves it when brewery’s come up with libations specific to a certain season or holiday. Phillips Brewing is probably one of the more consistent breweries in capitalizing on themed beer releases and such is the case with this product.

The Anxiety Ale is of the Belgian Quad variety, so you know it’ll be boozy (8% ABV), which certainly helps with all the “challenges” that Christmas brings us. The beverage is light on hops, which should make it more accessible to the general drinking audience.

phillips-anxiety-ale-2016

Featuring the classic character of Uncle Lewis, from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on its label, this beer is meant to “deliver some sweet relief from seasonal pressures”. Last year, the brew featured the iconic Cousin Eddie as part of its artwork.

The beer is available in bomber-sized bottles. Also offered by the brewery for the winter season is the Scarfface Orange Cranberry Wit (in tall cans for 2016-17), which is intended to provide a “welcome break from the heavy winter ales”.

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BC Beer Baron #317 – Phillips Raspberry Wheat

While shopping for brews for my annual beer pong tournament, I went conservative by searching for a good variety case. Mrs. Sip on the other hand, not one to play by anyone’s rules, grabbed a few bombers, including this Phillips Brewing selection.

One of the brewery’s original products, upon launching in 2001, was the Raspberry Wheat. In honour of those tough early days, as the company struggled to survive, the Raspberry Wheat returns annually to quench summer thirst. It is available in bomber-sized bottles from various liquor stores.

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With a logo featuring a box of freshly-picked raspberries, it’s no wonder that the raspberry content in this beer is high. The 5% ABV beverage benefits from raspberry puree being added at the end of the fermentation process, so as not to dominate the brew’s profile.

Phillips is not adverse to creating fruit-based beers, as evidenced by their long list of releases, including the Pucker Plucker Sour Cherry Ale, Solaris White Peach Ale, and Scarfface Orange Cran Wit, among others. As for raspberries, they have also offered the Thorny Horn Sour Raspberry Brown Ale.

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BC Beer Baron #286 – Phillips Toothless Pumpkin Sour Ale

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. The season of pumpkin-spiced everything is upon us… and things are no different in the craft beer world. Let’s see what BC has to offer for fans of the flavour.

This fall, the folks at Phillips Brewing have unleashed onto the craft beer world, not one, not two, but three different pumpkin releases. Picking one to review wasn’t easy, but this variation seemed to be the most unique.

The Toothless Pumpkin Sour Ale features an interesting blend of pumpkin and spices and a tart finish. At only 4.7% ABV, the beer is light on everything, including malts, hops, and colour. The Sip Advisor isn’t a big sour beer guy, but this was fun to sample.

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Along with the Sour Ale, Phillips also has the Crooked Tooth Pumpkin Ale and Crookeder Tooth Barrel-Aged Pumpkin Ale products available for the season. Each beer can be found in bomber-sized bottles at various vendors, throughout the province.

Not content to just have three brews perfect for Halloween drinking, the brewery has also produced the Green Reaper Fresh Hop IPA. As is the norm, label designs for each piece of merchandise is top notch and eye-catching.

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BC Beer Baron #261 – Phillips Atomic Buffalo Smokey Red Saison

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. Saisons have quickly become a favourite style of the Sip Advisor. I’ve even gone so far as to call the summer of 2016 my ‘Summer of Saison’. Let’s see what BC has to offer.

The second I saw this beer from Phillips Brewing, sitting all by its lonesome in a fridge at a private liquor store, I knew I had to bring it home. Good thing I did, as it was the last of its kind, orphaned and separated from all its brothers and sisters. Doesn’t that melt your heart?

The Atomic Buffalo Smokey Red Saison combines many of the ideals the Sip Advisor looks for in a beer. First, it’s smoky and I love my hickory-flavoured brews. Second, this comes in just as I wrap up my ‘Summer of Saisons’ and feature the style. I love how Phillips calls the brew a “complex mutant ale that infuses a herd of flavours into a unique stampede worthy beer.”

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At 6.2% ABV, it is of the strong beer variety, another element the Sip Advisor is more than happy to welcome. The brew’s light hops content allows for all of its varying tastes to flourish, finished of course by that deliciously subtle smoke.

The Atomic Buffalo was only made available in craft beer-focused private liquor stores, for a limited time only. The beverage comes in bomber-sized bottles, if you can track one down. If not, perhaps next year will provide another opportunity.

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