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.

Mexican Food.jpg

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.

Fireworks.jpg

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!

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Beer of the Week #11 – Postmark Sevens IPA

When selecting a beer to feature for this week’s article, one option jumped straight to the top of the list, given I had a handful of them at the World Rugby Sevens Series at BC Place on Saturday. That honour (and my drinking dollar) went to Postmark Brewing.

The Sevens IPA was brewed specifically for the World Rugby Sevens Series coming to Vancouver in 2016. I really enjoyed the product, going so far as to walk an extra distance to purchase it and returning multiple times over this year’s day-long event.

Postmark Sevens IPA

The 6% ABV, 52 IBUs beverage was hoppy and dry with a tasty bouquet of tropical fruit flavour. Available in both canned form and bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores and other private retailers, you don’t have to be a rugby spectator to enjoy it.

Providing the rugby tournament with its feature beer had to have been a huge score for Postmark. I like their East Vancouver tasting room, but didn’t get to feature them much in last year’s BC Beer Baron project. Hopefully, I’m making amends now.

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

BC Beer Baron #17 – Postmark Falconer’s Flight IPA

On Friday night, some members of the Sip Alliance ended up at Romer’s Burger Bar where they have a really neat competition going on. The Craft Bowl sees each Romer’s location have two to three beers going against each other, with customers voting for their favourite in a blind taste test. The winners move on to the next round, leading to a final battle around Super Bowl weekend.

For only $6, you get a sample of each beer and once you choose your favourite, you receive a full serving of that. While I will later cover the two other beers I had to consider, my choice amongst the trio was Postmark Brewing’s Falconer’s Flight IPA.

Postmark IPA

The beer was a combo of fruit notes and hops flavour, which I thought was very refreshing. The other two options were both good, but this brew was first up in my lineup and I couldn’t shake how much I enjoyed it. I wonder if it had been somewhere else on my tasting board, if my decision would have been different. Regardless, I’m happy with the results.

Mrs. Sip and I have enjoyed past visits to Postmark’s facility in Railtown, which also houses Urban Winery. We had a good chat with their new manager in the summer and it inspired to grab and try some of the beers they had for purchase.

As for Romer’s, it had once been a preferred stop for Mrs. Sip and I, especially when they did their weekly trivia nights. This Craft Bowl competition has won me over again and we will try to get back for other rounds of the challenge.

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

Sip Trips #50: Amazing Advent (Part 5)

With this post, we’ve hit the half century mark for Sip Trips articles and what better way to celebrate than with another look at the craft beer advent calendar that Mrs. Sip has put together for yours truly:

Day 15: Longwood Super G Cream Ale

This ginseng-infused beer is another that departs from the Christmas and winter theming, but was picked up because of its intriguing flavor profile. The fall seasonal is heavy on ginger taste, but not in an offending way. Prior to receiving this beer, I was unfamiliar with the Nanaimo-based brewery, but upon closer inspection, I’d love to try their Winter’s Own Weizenbock, if I can get my hands on it before it disappears at season’s end.

longwood super g cream ale

Day 16: Postmark Winter Red

With all the dark winter beers on the market, it’s nice to see something come out in the red variety, which seems a little more festive than dark browns and blacks. I’ve had some of Postmark’s seasonal beers (Raspberry Lemon Zest Hefe, BISA – Belgian India Session Ale, and Saisonella) in the past and this one may have been the best of the bunch. It was a very refreshing beer with good flavour.

postmark winter red

Day 17: Bridge Sleigh Booster Imperial Red Ale

Sticking with red ales, comes the second entry from Bridge Brewing to make its way into the advent calendar. The beer is 9%, but I would have never guessed that while drinking it. The brew goes down super easy and I’d say I liked this better than The Grinch that came before it (and stole Christmas!). Cousin Sip recently grabbed a Groupon to visit Bridge and do a tasting, so I look forward to that in the near future.

Bridge Sleigh Booster

Day 18: Steel & Oak Beechwood Smoked Honey Dopplebock

Mrs. Sip and I are big fans of Steel & Oak and with how close it is to Mrs. Sip’s place of work, this has made it a convenient brewery to visit. I’ve enjoyed many of the brewery’s smoked efforts, including their Hefeweizen and Lager and while I liked the smoky finish to this beer, it also cemented the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of honey in brews, as it results in a flavour I’m not a huge fan of and generally makes the beverage sweeter.

steel and oak doppleblock

One of the things I’ve learned throughout this advent calendar experience is that many winter seasonals are quite the mouthful to talk about and take up some quality real estate in my posts. I suppose that doesn’t matter so much, as long as the brew is good. Here’s hoping the last week of the advent calendar brings more enjoyment!

Sip Trips #29: Camping Capers

There’s a lot to get to this week, so let’s get right to it. With Mrs. Sip’s return from Europe, she brought home a bottle of Pimms Strawberry with a hint of Mint and a bottle of Croatian wine. Friends of ours, living in London, also had mini bottles of schnapps (peach and pear) to send back with her.

For our camping trip to Golden Ears, some serious shopping had to be done, to stock up on beverages for the getaway. While I prefer drinking from bottles, it’s always good to have some canned beer on you when camping, as it fits better in coolers, is easier to conceal (if need be… I don’t tell people how to live their lives!), and provides near identical relief.

camping tent

I grabbed the Big Rock Swinger Pack to satisfy this requirement. The mixed set included their Grasshopper Wheat Ale, 7B California Common, Rhine Stone Cowboy Kolsch, and Cherry Farini Kristalweizen, which I was particularly curious about and was looking forward to try. I like Big Rock, but I find their Grasshopper to be very light on the wheat side. The Cherry Farini was a little heavier, though, and I liked the flavour, which wasn’t too overwhelming. As for the rest of the pack, they were solid brews and just right for the summer heat.

While you always worry about whether your packed enough booze, some of the bottles I picked up with the hopes of consuming while out in the forest, I never even got to. This included the Red Truck Campfire Kolsch (ironic due to the current province-wide campfire ban), Old Yale Moon Dance Mango Wheat, Hoyne Dark Matter, and Cannery Blackberry Porter.

Mrs. Sip and I did split the Mango Wheat after returning to civilization, and while good, it wasn’t chilled to the right level, having just made the journey home with us in a cooler that had lost much of its cool. That’s my fault for jumping the gun on the beer, but thirst needed to be quenched!

camping bar

For future camping, we learned to save our canned beers for trips to the beach or hiking, as they travel a little easier than bottles and seem to stay chilled longer. Tasting glasses also seemed to be a hit, especially with bigger bomber bottles that were better split and shared among friends.

Late last week, we managed to squeeze in a bike ride to Postmark Brewing, where we sat down to a tasting flight of their beers, including the Raspberry Lemon Zest Hefe (the brew that drew me into visiting the location), West Coast Pale Ale, IPA, and Dry Irish Stout.

While there, we also grabbed a couple of products from their store, including the Glassbender Farmhouse Ale and BISA, a Belgian ISA. It was interesting to note that the Farmhouse Ale was $4 cheaper in the store, compared to the adjacent restaurant. If you’re on the fence about whether to give the brew a shot, pick it up and take it home. Mrs. Sip and I both enjoyed it, pouring it into plastic wine glasses while camping, to emulate how the beverage was being served in the restaurant. The BISA, which combines tangerines and spice, is at the forefront of my Drinking ‘To Do’ List!

bears-on-camping

I also bought a bottle of Wiser’s Vanilla Spiced Whiskey recently, as I need to get caught up on all the recipes I wasn’t able to put together as first we had to vacate our apartment due to the flood all the way back at the start of May and then Mrs. Sip leaving for a month-long vacation in Europe, taking our camera with her.

The next week looks busy (when doesn’t it?) with a family barbecue, a trip to the drive-in theatre, a Vancouver Whitecaps game – where thankfully, the stadium has come to embrace the craft beer revolution! – and who knows what else wild stuff we’re likely to get up to!