Beer of the Week #24 – CrossRoads Old Westie Amber Lager

As we recently passed through Prince George, BC, I searched for craft breweries we could visit. Thankfully, we stumbled upon CrossRoads Brewing, which offered some delicious food and beers for us weary travellers.

It’s not often a lager jumps out at me anymore, but the Old Westie Amber Lager was among the best of the bunch I sampled. And I tried each of the company’s nine beers that were available, so I had plenty of options to choose from.

CrossRoads Brewing

Brewed in the traditional Viennese style, this 5% ABV, 20 IBUs release is light with nice malt and hop flavours. All the group’s beers are only available straight from the source, with a four-pack of tall cans being developed for sale.

Anyone passing through the area should try to visit CrossRoads’ tasting room. The brewery was constructing an outdoor patio that would be amazing to sit on during the warmer months of the year.

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Sip Trips #106: Northern Exposure

This week was another busy one, with Mrs. Sip and I joining her family for a wedding in northern BC/Alberta. Along the way, we made sure to have some good food and beer. What else would you expect for your friendly neighbourhood booze pusher!

Leaving Thursday morning, we stopped for lunch in 100 Mile House at the Firehouse Diner. There, I enjoyed a Whistler Powder Mountain Lager with a Pickle Burger that was overflowing with deep fried pickle chips. The place had a number of other burgers and sandwiches that caught my eye, so I will keep it in mind for future passes through the city.

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Our first day of driving ended with us arriving in Quesnel, home to Barkerville Brewing. I have always enjoyed beers from the company, so a visit – brief as it was – was definitely in order. I downed a pint of their High Stakes Imperial IPA, while Sis-in-Law Sip had the White Gold Witbier. The tasting room was bustling with locals and we enjoyed the ambiance of the place, wishing we had more time to play one of their available games and try some of the other ales.

That evening, we walked to the town’s BC Liquor Store, where I discovered the Three Ranges Brewing Orientation Kit six-pack. The set features two each of their Up Swift Creek Pilsner, Tail Slap IPA and seasonal Snowdance Porter or Swamp Donkey Brown Ale, depending on time of year. I really like this new trend of 2×3 six-packs, also having come across similar products from Cannery Brewing and Bridge Brewing, while Steamworks Brewing offers a 2×4 tall can eight-pack. After all, variety is the spice of life.

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The next day, we were on the road again, stopping at CrossRoads Brewing in Prince George for lunch. We really liked their space, complete with great eats and drinks. Sis-in-Law Sip and I shared a couple flights, in order to try each of their beers. Among my favourites were Old Westie Amber Lager, English Summer Ale and Mother Heffer. On special was a BLT Pizza, which was fantastic and really hit the spot for me.

The weekend concluded with a post-wedding family barbecue, where the Sip In-Laws picked me up a bomber of Dead Frog Furious Friar Belgian IPA. The brew was perfect for sitting back outdoors in the shade, but unfortunately, Mrs. Sip and I couldn’t stay long and were off to the airport to fly back home.

This weekend, Canada celebrates its 150th birthday and there will certainly be hijinks to report on in the next edition of Sip Trips!

December 29 – Fireside Choco-Chat

Something to Talk About

I sometimes like to watch those year-in-review retrospectives you find on news and sports channels. It gives you a real picture of what happened the previous 365 days and an idea of what to expect when the calendar turns over. So, as we try to stay warm by the fire, here are the people and topics we most discussed in 2013:

Miley Cyrus

People have been shaking their groove things for many years, but it took a raunchy twerking performance by former child star Miley Cyrus at the MTV Music Video Awards to really help the pop singer burst on the scene. She followed that up with a string of other wild antics and her music video for Wrecking Ball, which features the artist (and all of her tan lines – you figure she would have got some colour before this production) swinging nude from the construction device and licking a filthy sledgehammer.


Prince George

Perhaps it’s the anti-parent in me or perhaps it’s the fact I couldn’t care less about celebrity offspring in general, but I don’t get the interest in the whole royal baby thing. Sadly, this kid is more famous that any of us will ever be and he still needs someone to wipe his own ass. I’d praise his genetic luck, but years of royal inbreeding have to catch up to reality eventually. At least he can claim things of Kate Middleton that most men would kill to also have rights to.

Concussion Awareness

This is the hottest topic in the sports world (even surpassing steroids) and it only seems to be getting more serious with each passing year. In 2013, the NFL reached a $765 million settlement with its former players for concussion treatment and earlier this month, news came out that a similar class action lawsuit was being filed against the NHL. While the players involved should be compensated, I feel we’re travelling down a slippery slope towards the elimination of contact sports entirely.

Rob Ford

The every-man mayor proved he was much more than your typical person and provided late night shows with copious amounts of material. Sure he continues to leave a black eye on the city of Toronto by refusing to step down and out of the public spotlight, but it’s no worse than their professional hockey team has been doing for years! Perhaps once he’s experienced close to 50 years of futility he’ll finally call it a day.

Kim Kardashian & Kanye West

Kim and Kanye, or Kim-ye as they have been unitedly known, are perhaps Hollywood’s hottest power couple right now. This is what you get when you combine the amazingly egotistical Kanye West (he is the voice of our generation, after all) and the talentless yet uber famous Kim Kardashian (sorry, what exactly has she done again?). Don’t forget about baby North West, who has the perfect name for a fragrance already lined up: North by North West!

Fifty Shades of Grey

The franchise should really be called Fifty Shades of Who Cares, although I know I’m waging a winless battle. I’m just so outnumbered by women in their middle ages who love their mommy porn. How powerful is this group, you ask? Well, they’ve already forced Charlie Hunnam to give up on his role as Christian Grey in the film just because many thought he didn’t fit the part and backlashed against the performer on social media. What’s next? Will they get me booted off my own site because I’m far too talented? They may have a case there!

Drink #363: Fireside Choco-Chat

Fireside Choco-Chat Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Marshmallow Vodka (I used Smirnoff Fluffed)
  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • Top with Hot Chocolate
  • Garnish with Whip Cream and a Chocolate Spoon

Before we retire for the evening, we should pay tribute to those who passed on in 2013. May there be drinks waiting for you all wherever you may be!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I went with Candy Cane Vodka instead of Peppermint Schnapps and that might have changed the taste. While I had looked forward to mixing Fluffed and Candy Cane Vodka with Hot Chocolate, I wasn’t overly impressed with the final product. Mrs. Sip liked it better than I did, however.