Sip Trips #109: Marathon Man

This past week was extremely busy and that’s coming from someone who is booked up nearly every day to begin with. Let’s take a look at what the past seven days brought to the social calendar:

On Thursday, I decided to take my bike out for a ride of Vancouver’s sea wall, but only reached Sunset Beach when issues with my cycle made me have to abandon the ride. Just as I decided to turn around, a Kraken Rum rep approached and offered me a sample mini bottle of their Black Spice Rum. I believe this was a liquor karma reward, as had I not turned around there, the exchange would have never occurred.

Friday saw a more successful journey, as I joined a friend – on foot this time – in the Brewery Creek area of Vancouver, first stopping at Faculty Brewing. There, I had a 500ml serving of their IPA, before we ventured onwards. Looking to enjoy some drinks in the great outdoors, we stopped by R&B Brewing’s growler fill station, picking up a four-pack of Dude Chilling Pale Ale tall cans to be consumed in a nearby park. This was a nice, relaxing way to get the weekend started.

Dog Banned From Park.jpg

Following that, we were off to BierCraft Bistro on Cambie Street for dinner. I hadn’t been to the restaurant for a few years, so it was good to return. While waiting for our wives to show up, we delved into a couple pints of Dageraad De Witte. For my meal, I went with the French Onion Soup, being a big fan of the style and not always being able to find it when out. Our evening concluded with a show at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club. While the show was far from the best thing I’ve seen there, we still had a decent time, helped along by a bucket of Red Truck Golden Ale bottles.

We spent some time on Sunday at Metrotown Mall, finishing our baby registry, doing some clothes shopping and grabbing some groceries. Our time there started with hitting the food court, which is one of the best I’ve ever dined in. There are so many options to choose from and I settled on Chronic Tacos, which I have only seen before as restaurant locations. My Al Pastor Burrito (made with spicy adoba pork) was spectacular and greatly satisfied my huge appetite at the time.

Looking to have a date night together, Mrs. Sip and I had dinner at St. Augustine’s prior to a movie at the Rio Theatre on Monday. I love St. Augustine’s live tap menu, which lets you know which beers are available and how much of each is left, but it can also be a tease, as you learn which brews you narrowly missed out on. Thankfully, I was able to try Storm Brewing’s Chicken Wing IPA (only that crazy crew could dream up such a flavour), with only 3% remaining and the keg being tapped out by the time we left the restaurant. Also among my flight was the Steamworks Killer Cucumber Ale and a pair of Old Yale Brewing options: the Cardamom Mango Wheat and Double Double Amber Ale.

Dinner and a Movie

As for the movie portion of the evening, we watched The Little Hours, which was very funny and I’m surprised it hasn’t received more mainstream attention. The Rio Theatre is licensed for alcohol sales, which means you can get a Big Kid Combo consisting of small popcorn, candy and a draft beer for $9. Not a bad deal, at all.

Tuesday was supposed to be a relaxing night at home, but late in the day, a friend advised he had a block of free tickets to see Bob Dylan and His Band (that’s literally the band’s name) at Roger’s Arena. So, we ended up out again. While the music was good and I’ll be able to say I saw a legendary performer, Mr. Dylan shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a microphone anymore as nearly his entire set was unintelligible.

The week that was wrapped up with a trivia night at Darby’s Gastown. It was my first time at any of the Darby’s locations and I really enjoyed my meal of their Pulled Pork Sandwich with Cajun Chips and their expansive beer menu. Best of all, we came in second place after losing a tie-breaker to the winning team, which meant each member of our crew was comped a free BC beer. This removed both of my servings (the Luppolo Double IPA and Twin Sails Hot Take IPA) from the tab, thanks to using Mrs. Sip’s credit, as well.

Did I mention I also squeezed games of golf and baseball, a Game of Thrones viewing and family dinner into the week. No wonder I’m ready for a little break!

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Sip Trips #48: Amazing Advent (Part 3)

This month has been rolling along and I think my craft beer advent calendar has played a substantial role in that. Each morning, I look forward to revealing that day’s brew and popping it into the fridge to be enjoyed that evening. On that subject, let’s look at what the rest of this week brought me:

Day 7: R&B Auld Nick Winter Ale

This beer packs one hell of a punch and the brewer’s at R&B are proud of that, tweeting back to me on Twitter: “It’s one of our faves for just that reason.” To be honest, I like it too, although each sip brings a slap to the face that will have beer amateurs backing away from the brew. The R&B crew are also quick to note that this is not your typical winter ale, lacking the spices one would normally experience. The logo is great with Saint Nick himself pouring beer for an eclectic group of tavern visitors.

R&B Auld Nick

Day 8: 4 Mile English Strong Ale

This is another beer that I had the luxury of trying at the Hopscotch Festival Grand Tasting Hall and it was one of my favourite samples from that day. The brew comes exactly as advertised: It is a strong style ale, but it is incredibly smooth. The website description for the beers flavours is very entertaining: “There’s a bit of a wrestling match going on to see who’s nuttier, but they decide on a harmonious truce, and call for an alliance of flavours where no one is the conqueror and everybody wins.”

4 Mile English Strong Ale

Day 9: Steamworks Blitzen

After a couple more dark seasonal beers, it was nice to venture into other territory again. Despite being on the market for a few years, I’ve never tried the Blitzen Belgian Tripel until now. I did enjoy it and it did not taste like a 9% brew. The bottle features lines from classic Christmas songs, geared towards the brewery, like “Let it steam, let it steam, let it steam!” If this beer doesn’t interest you (although it should), new to the Steamworks arsenal of brews this year is the intriguing Winter White Stout.

Steamworks Blitzen

Day 10: Powell Street Dunkelweizen

I have become a fan of dunkelweizens this winter season as it puts a spin on my favourite type of beers – wheats and weizens – and darkens them up for the holidays. That does beg the question why many winter beers are dark, when we’re trying our best to lighten everything up and avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder? Anyway, with flavours of chocolate, clove, and banana, this brew has me thinking of traditional German Christmases and celebrating the holiday in July.

Powell Street Dunkelweizen

I can’t thank Mrs. Sip enough for putting this together for me. If you’d like to look back at the rest of the advent calendar beers, so far, you can find those articles here: Amazing Advent (Part 1) and Amazing Advent (Part 2).