BC Beer Baron #144 – Vancouver Island Sea Dog Amber Ale

As a last-minute addition/replacement to Mrs. Sip’s work outing to The Price is Right Live at the Abbotsford Centre, I spent an hour and a half in traffic, trying to make the show on time. My reward was a beer from the Vancouver Island Brewing booth at the arena.

How Vancouver Island became the beverage of choice all the way out in Abbotsford is a bit of a mystery, but I’m very glad that was the case. While my original choice was unfortunately already tapped out, that was for the best, as it provided an opportunity to order the Sea Dog Amber Ale. Mrs. Sip and I agreed that this was a great beer to enjoy as we watched classic games like Plinko, Cliffhanger, Any Number, and Punch-A-Bunch played out live.

Vancouver Island Sea Dog Amber Ale

Available in six-packs and some versions of Vancouver Island’s Pod Pack variety case, this 5.2% ABV brew is a tribute to Victoria’s naval heritage and the centennial anniversary of the Canadian Navy. The beer is a little sweet with light hops, making for a well-balanced drink.

While in line for the beers, it was funny to note that Abbotsford locals were a little taken aback by the $6.50 price for beers. Meanwhile, Mrs. Sip and I were thrilled with that price, being used to paying double that when at Vancouver entertainment venues. To each their own, I suppose!

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May 28 – Japanese Slipper

Land of the Rising Sun

Near the top of Mrs. Sip’s and my “Countries We’d Like to Visit” list is Japan. When we go, we’d like to be there for about a month, so we can really soak in all the country has to offer. As a result, this will be the first ever Sip Advisor two-part epic, as we examine all the touristy things we’d like to hit. Of course, if I cut out all the entries where I’m just trying to be funny, we could probably get it down to a one-part epic, but that would be blasphemous, so just bear with me. And away, we go!

Meet Godzilla

I’m sure he’d be cool with signing a few autographs for me and Mrs. Sip. I heard Godzilla and Mothra were currently touring together, hitting all the sci-fi conventions. Good for them and a lesson for the entire world to put aside their differences and unite in the name of making mad money!


Watch Wrestling

Of course, there’s the cultural sumo wrestling, which would be on the list, but I also grew up watching the odd bootlegged tape of Japanese professional wrestling (known as Puroresu) and so I would also need to attend one of these shows, as well. The fans are very different in Japan than in North America (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter). They are very respectful and often sit quietly in their seats until something important happens, causing them to let out a roar of cheers or disapproval before returning to their hushed state.

Eat Sushi

Vancouver (the city made famous by The Sip Advisor) has really good sushi, thanks to being located so close to the ocean. That said, you would have to try this phenomena in its native land. I’ve heard it recommended that you try one of the conveyor belt sushi restaurants, so I’m down with that. I’ve also been warned that Japanese sushi and other fish may contain toxins that tourists can’t handle. Sounds like a good challenge!

Train as a Ninja

I’m very good at sneaking around, but my martial arts skills could use some work. I think the fun part would be weapons training, where I’m sure I’d bash myself in the groin with nun chucks and kendo sticks, alike. Hopefully by the time we move onto katanas (swords) and shurikens (throwing stars), this is no longer a reoccurring issue.


Stay in a Love Hotel

While Mrs. Sip and I frequent hourly rate accommodations, this would be a new experience. She can take her usual catnap, while I can peruse the erotic TV programs, try on some kinky costumes and try to chat with all the employees who are supposed to remain out of sight and anonymous. This way, we’ll both be refreshed for the next stop on our whirlwind tour!

Lose Money Playing Pachinko

A game similar to the famous Price is Right contest, Plinko, Pachinko Parlours can be found all throughout Japan. The cool thing about gambling at this game is that you would have something physical – the little balls you try to get to drop in the right slots – to show your winnings, like how Vegas and other gambler’s havens used to actually reward players with coins, not credits.

Buy Something Crazy in a Vending Machine

Apparently these dudes and dudettes have everything from panties to hot dogs to umbrellas in their vending machines. Perhaps I’ll grab one of each!

Drink #148: Japanese Slipper

May 28 Japanese Slipper

  • 1 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Sour Watermelon

Tomorrow we continue with our tour of Japan. Join us as we offend nearly every citizen of Japanimation!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
In a perfect world, I would have been able to use Midori for this martini, but it is unfortunately not easily or economically available to me. Therefore, I resorted to my Melon Liqueur, which always comes through in clutch situations. I find that Lemon Juice can sometimes be too dominant in a recipe, but that doesn’t happen here. It works well with the Melon Liqueur and Cointreau and you taste different things with each sip, which is enjoyable.

April 15 – Whiskey Sick Day

Under the Weather

Recently, your faithful Sip Advisor contracted a flu which knocked me for a loop and caused me to miss my very first days of work due to illness. During my three-day sabbatical, I worked diligently to document my ordeal and I hope to share those notes with you, my little sippers, today. Don’t worry, all the gross stuff has been removed unless you find under-garnished hamburgers as disgusting as I do!

The first day I wasn’t feeling well I still dragged my butt to work and even played soccer, part of a rotating sports league I’m a member of. For some reason, I’ve always played well when ill. While this wasn’t the seven goals I sniped a few weeks back in ice hockey while playing with a cold, it was a half decent performance. Afterwards is when I really started feeling grungy, though.


The next morning I woke up and decided to pull the plug on my iron-man streak. I grabbed a spot in front of the TV and searched for some suitable entertainment… quickly learning that there’s not much out there.

When I myself was just a little sipper and was home from school sick, The Price is Right was a favourite viewing pleasure of mine. Bob Barker and his crusade to get your pets spayed and neutered was something all viewers could get behind… plus Plinko was pretty awesome!

The first thing I noticed when watching the show last week is that it now employs a male prize model. The strapping young man is hard not to notice among the horde of attractive women. I wonder if Bob Barker’s sexual harassment allegations would have been any different with less of Barker’s Beauties around. Rod Roddy, on the other hand, would have certainly found himself in hot water with all the males running about.


The funniest thing is seeing male contestants win a prize and go to hug all the ladies, only to double clutch when approaching the guy and go for the ol’ handshake-hug-reacharound.

My TV viewing pleasures didn’t stop there as I tuned into the Maury Show for some paternity results. Not the best idea to try and catch a nap while moms are screaming about babies having the same eyebrows as prospective daddies and these fine gents are denying they’re fathers with more passion than they’ve ever put into, well… anything!

One case in particular caught my attention as a guy, who was denying his daughter, kept bringing up that he had bought his girlfriend a $900 engagement ring. It was mentioned like 10 times, no exaggeration. Did he follow up the proposal by treating her a two-can-dine for $9.99 meal at Mickie D’s!?


Later on during my sickness, I had a massive craving for salt and grease. In my mind, I knew that a quick jaunt to McDonalds was the only way to appease these desires. Without Mrs. Sip around to take care of me and explain to me that McDonalds is not recovery food – she was off gallivanting around town, selling my secret recipes to unscrupulous barkeeps… or so my delirious mind told me – I had to venture out into the rain, umbrella-less and forage for food. While at the restaurant, and figuring I didn’t want to make the brief trip again, should the urge arise a second time, I ordered four hamburgers.

Sadly, I was only able to stomach one (and that was a challenge… damn, I hate it when Mrs. Sip is right!) before throwing the other three in the fridge for a later date with destiny. Those other meals were massive disappointments, with two of the three sandwiches only containing one pickle… and tiny slices at that. This has been a longstanding issue between myself and Ronald McDonalds’ peeps. I’ve complained before, something I’m rarely charged enough to do, but the results of my pleas have not been satisfactory.

Lastly, I largely stayed away from alcoholic bevvies during my recovery, save for my work on this site. However, I felt best – and this could be a disturbing sign – after I had a couple of drinks nearly a week after I was first sick. Alcohol: it cures what ails you!

Drink #105: Whiskey Sick Day

April 15

  • 0.75 oz Whiskey (I used Wiser’s Spiced)
  • 0.75 oz Bailey’s Irish Crème
  • Top with Hot Chocolate (I used Rolo Cocoa Powder)
  • Garnish with Whip Cream and Chocolate Sprinkles

My final observation of the week is that being sick absolutely sucks. You think it won’t be so bad being away from work and lazing around, but it’s horribly lonely, boring and tedious. At least I had sweet lady liquor and this little gem to keep me company!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
An impromptu drink to “celebrate” my recent illness, this was quite tasty, although totally messy… not that there’s anything wrong with that! The whip cream runneth over the glass, but it is forgiven because of how well it mixed with the hot chocolate based concoction on the inside of the glass. I never mind getting a little sticky for the sake of discovery!