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 #6 – Disney Drinking

Well, Mrs. Sip and I completed another successful trip to the Happiest Place on Earth this past week, taking advantage of B.C.’s Family Day holiday. In recent years, the park has become a completely different experience for us, thanks to California Adventure’s beer, wine, and spirit offerings. Here’s a wrap-up from our recent extra-long weekend:

Pier Beers

The first stop we usually hit after getting to the park is the Pacific Wharf, where Karl Strauss beer can be had. While the $8 price point isn’t ideal and lines can be pretty long, there are a variety of styles worth trying and Karl Strauss has become a favoured brewer for Mrs. Sip and me. On this visit, we enjoyed both the Fullsuit Belgian Brown Ale and the Tower 10 IPA.

Wine with a View

Then, we were off to the Alfresco Tasting Terrace, so Mrs. Sip, along with Ma and Pa Sip, could get their wine on. While my drinking partners enjoyed their vino, I grabbed the Brother Thelonius Abbey Ale, which came in at a whopping 9.4%. As you can imagine, we were all flying pretty high by the time we were lining up for attractions!

wine-tasting olympics

Downtown Dining

The next day finished with a meal at the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney. It was here that I finally got to try Shock Top’s Shockolate, which mixes chocolate and their traditional wheat beer. The blend was very nice and I enjoyed the mix of cocoa and hefeweizen colliding. I don’t think I’d drink a six pack in one shot, but a couple per drinking evening would make a good beer nightcap.

Also, while there, I had an absolutely epic Smokehouse Burger, complete with three-pepper bacon, tangy barbecue sauce, crispy onion straws, and I even broke my own rules, throwing some cheese on the massive sandwich!

Classy Cocktails

After a busy trip, we were all in need of a little downtime, while still getting to enjoy the sights and sounds of the park. In this case, there is no better stop than the Carthay Circle Lounge, home to spectacular hand-crafted cocktails and the finest beers and wines the resort has to offer. As for food, Mrs. Sip and I always order the Queso Fundido dish, which blends melted Monterey Jack cheese with Ranchero Sauce and tortilla chips for dipping. It is a perfect complement to the high-end alcohol options.

Sis-in-Law Sip decided to go off the board and order a tasting flight of tequilas, consisting of Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Don Julio Reposado Tequila, and Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia Extra Anejo Tequila (damn, that’s a mouthful!). Each was great for sipping and had such unique scents, that it made for an incredibly different experience. Despite all my boozing, I’ve never done spirit flights like that.

tequila escalation

Games and Goodies

We ended the vacation with a visit to Dave & Buster’s, a place that has quickly become a favourite for Mrs. Sip and me, giving us a chance to harness our inner-child, playing video games, while downing fun food and great drinks. My Strawberry-Watermelon Margarita, for example, came with strawberry-flavoured ice cubes, which were creative and delicious. After 10pm, the joint goes into happy hour, where deals on cocktails, beer, and other items can be had.

On this visit, we got into a good video trivia battle, playing multiple rounds with a couple locals. The Sip Advisor, whose greatest attribute is having a head full of useless information, won a bunch of these matches, earning oodles of prize tickets that will surely eventually be used on candy and stuffed toys!

Do you have any suggestions for our next jaunt down to Disneyland and the surrounding area?