Sip Trips #8 – Bachelor Business

Well friends, Mrs. Sip took off on me. It was a long time coming, to be honest. Oh, did that last line make you think she left me for good? No, she just went away for the night on a girl’s trip to Seattle. That did allow me a little bachelor time, but we’ll get to that in just a moment.

Prior to our Urban Rec sports night on Thursday, Mrs. Sip and I met at the Flying Beaver in Richmond, to enjoy a quick beer before playing bench ball. What’s bench ball, you ask? Well, it’s a pretty fun little activity, where you throw dodge balls to your teammates on benches on the other side of the court. Perhaps this will better explain the game. Anyhoo, we enjoyed a couple Kronenbourg Blanc pints before heading to the Olympic Oval. In the end, we lost, but it was all in good fun.

Drunk Sports

This is what you get when you have one too many Zima’s at the country club!

The next night, was the drinking highlight of the week. We attended the Science World After Dark event, which is run every two to three months and allows adults to return to their kid-like selves and play on the Science World displays without worrying about budging in front of little kids. All the while, you can purchase beer and wine, which for the Sip Advisor included the recently released Parallel 49 Jerkface 9000, which is a hoppy wheat beer, which basically combines my two favourite styles.

On Sunday, with Mrs. Sip still out of town, I attended the CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Vancouver Branch annual general meeting, to learn more about the association Mrs. Sip and I joined last summer. They had a few casks available to sample and I tried the Yellow Dog Raspberry Smoked Porter. Two out of three of those words really spoke to me: Raspberry and Smoked. The issue was that I’ve never been much of a Porter fan, but I have to say that this beer was pretty good. No wonder Yellow Dog picked up a number of the member-voted awards at the AGM.

In product updates, the Crown Royal Regal Apple Whiskey that I mentioned all the way back in Out and About #1, has finally made its way into our liquor cabinet. While I’ve been a little too busy this week to try any recipes involving the spirit, I think that this will be the start of a beautiful friendship, which will only accentuate my love for the Canadian classic that Crown Royal already is!

Whiskey Comfort Food

Also, I grabbed the recently mentioned Schweppes Dark Ginger Ale, when I found it on sale and quickly tried it in a couple simple recipes (ie. rum and ginger and whiskey and ginger). The ginger flavour is much more pronounced in this soda and I’m undecided if that’s a good thing or not. I will have to assemble a panel of fellow ginger mixer lovers (sounds like speed dating for redheads!) to decide and will report the results in a future Out and About article.

Lastly, after recently enjoying Shock Top’s Shockolate Wheat, I did a little research and found that the company’s Seasonal Taster Pack has some other interesting brews, most notably a Twisted Pretzel Wheat and a Honey Bourbon Cask Wheat. Now, all I need to do is track down the collection, before it disappears from store shelves. Of course, it can’t be found on Canadian liquor store shelves, so I’ll have to hope to locate it south of the border, perhaps during Easter weekend, in Portland. We’ll be there for the Spring Beer and Wine Fest and I absolutely can’t wait!

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!