Sip Trips #149: September Insanity

Well, my little sippers, it’s been too long since I was last able to provide an update on the Sip Advisor’s adventures, thanks in part to our big move from Vancouver to New West. I’ve finally got some time to put fingers to keys, so here’s what we’ve been up to over the month of September:

As we enjoyed the calm between two storms – moving out and moving in – Mrs. Sip and I met up with some baseball teammates at the Sapperton District Taphouse for their weekly Tuesday Trivia. Over the course of the night, Mrs. Sip and I enjoyed servings of Howe Sound You’re My Boy Blue Blueberry Wheat Ale (on special), Steel & Oak Rhubarbarum Rhubarb Pale Ale and a Dageraad selection that was described to us as a double dark wheat ale. To go with our beverages, I ordered the Whiskey Barrel Burger, while Mrs. Sip once again had the Slow & Low Sliders. Best of all, our team won the trivia and got tickets to a comedy show, a t-shirt and, most importantly, a pitcher of beer for our efforts.

The next day, friends from out of town were visiting, so we took them to the Britannia Brew Pub in Steveston. As we did on our first visit, Mrs. Sip and I shared their Chowder and Fish & Chips for food, which I paired with their seasonal Tropical ISA. The beer was just what I was looking for to pair with seafood.

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A few days later, we were back in the Richmond area, so decided to drop into Fuggles & Warlock Brewing. Although I’d had a sip of the beer at the Battle of the Brews event a couple weeks earlier, I wanted a full glass of the Gin & Lime Pilsner, which I enjoyed more in the larger serving. Mrs. Sip went with her usual The Last Strawberry Wit, which has always been a fantastic and flavourful drink.

Next up was our cruise from Vancouver to Los Angeles with Princess Cruises. As is our tradition, we brought aboard four bottles of wine, as well as mini bottles of rums, vodkas and schnapps, which kept us well-lubricated throughout the voyage. This was helped along by various drinks aboard the ship, highlighted by multiple servings of Mayan Mules (subbing in tequila for vodka); a super-sized Chocolate & Chili Margarita (enough for both Mrs. Sip and me); and attending the Maitre D’Hotel Wine Club, including six samples of wine from around the world.

When our cruise disembarked in Los Angeles, we journeyed to Anaheim for one day at Disneyland, Baby Sip’s introduction to the place where her parent’s met as fresh-faced teenagers and began their long relationship. We decided to attend the Mickey’s Halloween Party, giving us access to the park starting at 3pm and lasting until 11pm. Mrs. Sip realized if we went this route, we’d pay only slightly more than the price for a one-day, one-park ticket (which would see us booted out for the Halloween Party at 6pm), while gaining access to both parks, extended hours, and the perks that come with the Halloween ticket.

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Prior to heading to the Disneyland Resort, we went for lunch at the nearby Tony Roma’s location, drawn in by their happy hour commencing at 11am. Mrs. Sip and I each ordered a pint of Golden Road Get Up Offa That Brown, to go with our Chicken Tender Platter and Mrs. Sip’s cup of Baked Potato Soup. This is one of my favourite chicken strip platters of all-time, so it was very nice to have it again on this vacation.

Following lunch, we entered Disney’s California Adventure, home to (at this time) the only place among the parks where you can purchase alcohol. We went straight for the Karl Strauss Beer Truck, where we noted that brew prices have gone up since our last visit in December 2016. Despite the increase, I ordered their Aurora Hoppyalis, while Mrs. Sip went with the seasonal Oktoberfest.

After riding the revamped Incredicoaster, we rejoined our family near the Animation Building, stopping along the way to try a couple beverages only available during the Halloween season. Mrs. Sip had the Elsyian The Great Pumpkin Imperial Ale, while I selected the Stone Vengeful Spirit IPA. Both beers were very good, with the Elysian having the best pumpkin flavour I’ve experienced in a beer.

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Following taking Baby Sip on her very first Disneyland ride ever – The Little Mermaid – we made one more suds stop at the Sonoma Terrace beer and wine garden. I was happy to see the site now has beers on tap, instead of only bottles. With that in mind, I picked the Refuge Grapefruit IPA, but neglected to note which libation Mrs. Sip settled on.

Next, we were off to the Halloween Party, which was a lot of fun. It was neat to experience a park we’re so familiar with in a whole new way. The trick-or-treat stations handed out a variety of quality treats and the fireworks show was top notch. Our only complaint would be that one of the churros stands ran out of the pumpkin spice variety that we’d read about online, which seems like very poor planning to occur, not only during the Halloween season, but particularly during a special event such as Mickey’s Halloween Party.

Before flying back home to Vancouver, most of our group had lunch at the Golden Road Brewing tasting room within LAX Airport. This was a welcome surprise given how much we used to despise the airport and how we just had a beer from the company the day before at Tony Roma’s. I went with the Wolf Among Weeds IPA, paired with a Banh Mi Sandwich, while Mrs. Sip ordered the Mango Cart Wheat Ale to go with a Pub Pretzel.

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Back at home, we were running out of days to reach my goal of taking Baby Sip to 52 breweries in her first year of life, so made a trip to Vancouver for stops at R&B Brewing and Electric Bicycle Brewing. At R&B, we shared one of their spectacular pizzas, the Prosciutto & Arugula variety, along with pints of So Fresh and So Green, Green IPA for me and the Jam Session Raspberry Cream Ale for Mrs. Sip. At Electric Bicycle, we shared a flight, comprised of Kaedama Ramen Noodle Alt, Spatialized Pale Ale, Floridian Holiday Pink Peppercorn IPA, and Das Cocoloco Imperial Wit. It was a perfect way to achieve my and Baby Sip’s goal with some outstanding beers at both locations.

To celebrate my birthday the next day, we bought tickets to Trading Post Brewing’s Oktoberfest event, where they were joined by Field House Brewing and Steel & Oak Brewing. I tried beers from each vendor, including the Trading Post Hoppy Bock, Field House Festbier, Field House Dutch Pale Ale, and Steel & Oak Roselle Wheat Ale. We also ordered some of the fantastic food available, such as the Vienna Schnitzel, Laugenbrezel, and Parm Fries. The event was a lot of fun and to boot, we even got an opportunity to drink out of a boot!

As with any birthday for me, a number of liquor products were gifted my way, including bottles of Tanqueray Malacca Gin, Sons of Vancouver Chili Vodka, Fernie Ghostrider Pumpkin Brown Ale and Bad Tattoo Brewing’s Flash Pack case. Last, but not least, I also received a BC Liquor Store gift card, as well as cash, which will likely go towards boozy purchases.

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Finally, to wrap up what is often our second busiest month of the year – only topped by December and all its Christmas events – thanks to a myriad of family and friend birthdays, we celebrated Baby Sip turning one-year-old. For the occasion, I created three cocktails, featuring colourful liqueurs that went with our Dr. Seuss ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go!’ theme. The recipes included Rum–Blue Curacao–Pineapple Juice, Vodka–Banana Liqueur–Club Soda, and Gin–Violet Liqueur–Lemon-Lime Soda. The unique yet basic recipes were a hit with our guests and added a nice enhancement to the party.

October looks to be a little less insane, but the calendar is already filling up with Halloween parties and other commitments. Bring it on, October!

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Beer of the Week #33 – Fuggles & Warlock Agent Orange IPA

The Sip Advisor loves Mandarin oranges, buying them by the bag and box when they are in season around Christmas. Fuggles & Warlock Brewing have managed to harness that deliciousness for this new beer release.

The Agent Orange IPA looks like a invigorating glass of orange juice when served, full of bold flavours. As the brewery writes: “What happens when you combine a crisp, refreshing IPA with Mandarin oranges? Magic!”

Fuggles & Warlock Agent Orange IPA

From Fuggles & Warlock’s Experimental IPA Series, the 5.8% ABV, 60 IBUs beverage is available in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores. Other experimental releases have included a Rye IPA and Wet Hop IPA.

I am due for a return to the brewery’s tasting room in Richmond. There, over a flight of beers on their awesome patio, I could finally avenge my cribbage loss to Mrs. Sip from last year. To the victor go the spoils!

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Beer of the Week #23 – Britannia Sirens Chai Saison

With a friend and fellow beer lover visiting from London, a little tour of the BC craft scene was in order. One of our stops provided me with the chance to finally try something from newbie Britannia Brewing.

The Sirens Chai Saison was available as a guest tap and I really enjoyed my pint. The chai tea blend includes elements of rooibos, orange, star anise, clove and pepper. The beverage comes in at 5.7% ABV and 22 IBUs.

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The beer can be found in bomber-sized bottles, for those lured to the call. The Chai Saison is already gaining attention and accolades, taking home a Judge’s Choice Award for Best Saison from the 2017 Fest of Ale.

Opened in late 2016, the brewery strives “to brew with British tradition and west coast ingenuity using the best seasonal ingredients we can get.” Now I need to get to their tasting room to try their other wares.

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BC Beer Baron #361 – Fuggles & Warlock Hopper Texas Brown

On our recent inaugural journey to the Fuggles and Warlock Brewing tasting room in Richmond, the Sip Advisor was settling his tab when he spotted a bottle of this beer. Having never tried it and it not being available on tap, a swift addition was made to said bill.

The Hopper Texas Brown is a hybrid between an IPA and a brown ale. Using six different West Coast hop varieties, the 6.5% ABV, 65 IBUs beverage is robust with flavours of caramel, nuts and citrus. It is available in bomber-sized bottles at the brewery and private liquor stores.

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I just had to try a serving of this brew, given its unique blend of styles. Ironically, the term Texas Brown Ale comes from California, with companies from that state (such as Sip Advisor favourites Stone and Bear Republic) experimenting with the rare beer type.

I think the beer’s name is a play on the 1990s TV show ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’, starring the legendary Chuck Norris. Leave it to Fuggles & Warlock to come up with such a pop culture reference. I could be wrong, but that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!

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BC Beer Baron #331 – Fuggles & Warlock The Last Mango Wit

On a recent liquor store visit, this Fuggles & Warlock Brewing product caught my eye. When I realized it was the last bottle available (fitting, given the beer’s name), I quickly nabbed it like Gollum with the One Ring.

The Last Mango Wit is a tasty and refreshing drink, which uses the same base as the brewery’s The Last Strawberry Wit. I found the brew to be a little sweeter than its strawberry counterpart, but it also had some coriander spice to it, which cut the sweetness.

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The 4.9% ABV, 8 IBUs beverage is available in bomber-sized bottles for a limited time. Fuggles & Warlock called the release a one-off beer, but I hope its popularity sees the Mango Wit make a summer return for poolside and patio consumption.

Featuring a pixie on its label, the selection is well within the company’s motto of ‘Keeping Beer Weird’. Mrs. Sip and I need to stop by their Richmond tasting room again, as our last trip was fun, relaxing and delicious.

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BC Beer Baron #300 – Fuggles & Warlock Chrono Wet Hop IPA

We are amidst wet hop beer season and for some, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Fuggles & Warlock Brewing have taken advantage of the bounty, releasing this amazing drink, which I was able to partake in at the BC Beer Awards.

The Chrono Wet Hop IPA features freshly-picked Cascade and Centennial hops from BC Hop Co, which were added to this beer’s recipe within hours of being plucked. The 6.9% ABV, 66 IBUs brew is not for the faint-hearted, as citrus and bitterness will explode through your taste buds and take hold of your senses.

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The beverage is available in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores, as well as from the Fuggles & Warlock tasting room in Richmond, where it is also on tap. I really enjoyed this IPA, so I should make some time to get a growler fill.

I believe the beer’s theming comes from the popular role-playing video game Chrono Trigger, originally for the Super Nintendo. While I never played this game, not being much of an RPG fan, I do know it’s a childhood favourite for many around the world.

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BC Beer Baron #256 – Fuggles & Warlock Icarus Mosaic Saison

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. Saisons have quickly become a favourite style of the Sip Advisor. I’ve even gone so far as to call the summer of 2016 my ‘Summer of Saison’. Let’s see what BC has to offer.

When Mrs. Sip and I popped into St. Augustine’s in Vancouver earlier this summer, I was quick to take advantage of the restaurant’s massive tap list. One of my choices was this Fuggles and Warlock gem, which ended up being a highlight of the Sip Advisor’s ‘Summer of Saison’!

The Icarus Mosaic Saison was absolutely delicious and a perfect example of what a saison should be. The beer has stats of 7% ABV and 35 IBUs, which make for a good blend between flavour and strength. The brew won Best of Show at the 2015 Tri Cities Cask Festival Pro Am.

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When the beer was originally released at the Fuggles & Warlock tasting room, customers were limited to two bottles per person. The product then made its way to select liquor stores around the province, and could still be found by those with keen eyes.

Icarus, of course, is the Greek mythological character who flew too close to the sun, causing his wings of wax and feathers to melt. This resulted in Icarus falling into the sea. The area has been named after the legend, with the Icarian Sea and the nearby island of Icaria.

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