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!

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Sip Trips #5 – Cask Comforts

No need for a lengthy lead up, let’s cut right to the chase. The big outing this week for the Sip Advisor was attending Yaletown Brewery’s Caskival 2015 event on Saturday. The event featured 13 cask IPAs, from 13 different craft breweries around the region.

For $25, each person received a punch card for the 13 casks and then it was time to travel around and get your IPA on! Beers were provided by Whistler BrewHouse, 33 Acres, Brassneck, Red Truck, Yellow Dog, Moody Ales, Bomber, Bridge, Deep Cove, Steel & Oak, Yaletown Brewery, Big Ridge, and Parallel 49.

IPAs

After about half our cards were punched out, we were in need of some eats, which we found at The Distillery, next door. With beers at a minimum of 5.5% and most in the 7% range (maxing out with the Parallel 49 Toques of Hazard 9.2% offering) we were all flying pretty high by the end of the event. Still, my punch card was fully used… a grand achievement!

I’ve really been getting into IPAs over the last year and many of these were very good. I found that I’m not really into dark IPAs, such as Bridge Brewing’s Black Rye IPA. If I had to choose a favourite among the bunch, it would have been Red Truck’s Citrus IPA, which blends lemon, lime, and orange juices together with your typical heavy hops.

That evening, I was part host to a birthday celebration for Mrs. Sip and I used my legendary skills to defend the title ‘King of Mojitos,’ which I bestowed upon myself many years ago. Raspberries, blackberries, limes, and mint were flying around everywhere. I think I even wound up with some fruit in my hair!

Mojito Dog

To celebrate the end of the work week, Mrs. Sip and I finally cracked open the Steel & Oak/Four Winds Gratzer collaboration I mentioned last week and the dark, smoked sour brew came exactly as advertised. It’s a lighter beer, at only 4%, but tastes really good and goes down easy. I wish we had more in the fridge!

In new product releases, I stumbled upon Schweppes Dark Ginger Ale the other day. While I didn’t pick it up, I’m very curious, given my affinity for ginger ale, as a cocktail mixer. And here I always thought ginger ale was already quite dark, especially compared to lemon-lime sodas. This may be a rare item to hit Canadian markets first.

The biggest liquor news of the week may have been Budweiser’s anti-craft beer ad, which aired during the Super Bowl. It broke the internet, as far as fans of micro-breweries are concerned and many of them immediately backlashed against the campaign. Jim Vorel of Paste Magazine, perfectly attacked the attack ad, most notably pointing out that Budweiser slammed a beer flavour that is made by a brewery they recently acquired. What a bunch of mooks!