Sip Trips #60: Tapped Out

It seemed the theme of the last week for the Sip Alliance was being told a beer we wanted was out. A sadder set of circumstances, I have not come across yet in this life!

Looking for a place to eat last Thursday before our Urban Rec sports and with a couple gift cards to shed, we ended up at The Shark Club in Richmond. Already not thrilled with the beers on tap, my first two orders – Granville Island Winter Ale and Red Truck Amber Ale – were both unavailable. This left me with only one remaining option, Driftwood Fat Tug IPA. I’m sure this will all resurface one day as a PTSD scenario… the time I almost had to settle for Budweiser!

Budweiser Sucks

I will say, that my chicken tenders and fries were very good and I think Mrs. Sip and the rest of our party enjoyed their nachos, but even with that order, they were asked to substitute their original choice of spicy ground beef with chicken. We were never really informed why, but with little options, they just rolled with it. While our server was very friendly and you can’t blame her for the beers being out, service was incredibly slow and the place seemed understaffed.

Our next outing was to EXP Restaurant + Bar in downtown Vancouver. Here, they did have both of the beers I wanted to order, which was quite refreshing. Deciding on what to eat was much more difficult, as the menu here has so many intriguing dishes, each themed around video games. Rather than try something new, I went with a favourite, the Classic Cheese Burger of Experience and was not left disappointed. Other items ordered at our table, included the Attack On Taco, Assassin’s Cheese Fries and Traditional Poutine, all of which looked and tasted great.

The following day, we decided to check out The Social Corner, which recently opened right across the street from my and Mrs. Sip’s building. I ordered their mushroom burger (which I was lucky to see a server bring out to another table, as it wasn’t even on their menu), while the ladies at our table shared a couple of the restaurant’s pizzas. The Stanley Park 1897 Amber Ale I paired with my meal really hit the spot and they must get that burger onto their menu.

Weekend Restaurant

Prior to Monday’s Vancouver Canucks game versus the Winnipeg Jets (which we had tickets to), we ended up at Central City’s Brew Pub, close to Rogers Arena. Here, we were continually denied the beer of our choice. I get it that kegs run out and need to be changed over, but when you have to choose another beer a half dozen times, it becomes a little tiring. The beers we did end up having were pretty good, highlighted for myself by Central City’s Scotch Ale, which I was pleasantly surprised had a smoky finish to it.

Speaking of the Canucks game, I was hoping for a better collection of craft beers at the stadium than we were able to locate. The adjacent BC Place (home of the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions and the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer) has worked hard to up their craft beer content and I figured – or at least hoped – Rogers Arena would do the same. Alas, it was not meant to be and the night was spent sipping on expensive Shocktop, while watching our beloved ‘Nucks put up a stinker.

Here’s hoping future Sip Trips aren’t as marred with unavailable menu items!

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Sip Trips #30: Beer, Balls, and Barbecue

While Mrs. Sip and I managed to find some rare quiet time Friday night (cracking into our ever-growing wine and beer collections), the weekend was quite busy with a number of events drawing our attention. Here’s how we fared during the mid-summer hustle and bustle!

On our way out to Ma and Pa Sip’s place in Delta on Saturday, we stopped by Four Winds Brewing, where they had just released another of their small batch beers, Pequeno Cabo (a brew aged in tequila barrels), which a friend had advised me of earlier in the week. When we got there, they had just run out of bottles (this is the thanks I get for letting Mrs. Sip sleep in!), but our server was very willing to help us track it down at one of the stores they distribute to. Since we were already there, we ordered glasses of their Wildflower Saison and Juxtapose Wild IPA. Both were very good, with the IPA being an offering that even Mrs. Sip was into, so we picked up a bottle for our family barbecue that afternoon.

tequila wake up

We then drove over to the One20 Public House’s liquor store, where lying in wait was the Pequeno Cabo. It was advertised as tasting reminiscent of a lime margarita and they weren’t joking. It was a sour-style brew that went down very easy. Would I buy it again? Perhaps not, but it was great to try while available.

As for the barbecue, it was a lot of fun, full of good food, good drinks, and good times. Although we came up short in our bid for bocce supremacy, Mrs. Sip and I performed quite well during the later evening’s beer pong and flippy cup shenanigans!

The next day, we had to head out earlier than usual, as we were meeting members of the Sip Syndicate for drinks, prior to the Vancouver Whitecaps Major League Soccer game, to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We assembled at Back Forty, where upon arriving behind schedule, two pitchers of Parallel 49 Gypsy Tears had already been ordered and needed to be dealt with, as the game’s start time was approaching. Always up to the task, Mrs. Sip and I downed a couple glasses each and we were off.

soccer-kiss

The Whitecaps play out of BC Place Stadium, which has made strides in recent years to bring some craft beer into the venue. I spotted Parallel 49, Steamworks, and Stanley Park on some taps and there were others among the concessions. I also picked up a couple cups of Shocktop during halftime to quench my thirst.

A true highlight to the week was our meal at Wildebeest, following the game. To begin, I ordered the Uppercut cocktail, which mixed, Calvados, Italian Vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur, Orange Bitters, and Peated Scotch, all served at room temperature. I liked the cocktail, but wonder if it would have been taken to a whole other level with the addition of some ice.

For food, our group decided to go for the option where you let them know how much each person in the party is willing to pay and they put together a menu for you. You can go between $40-$60, so we settled in the middle at $50 per head. We were then blown away to receive a seven-course shared meal, which included pork cutlets, beef carpaccio, poutine, bone marrow, an egg dish, strip loin steak, and halibut. It was a feast for the ages! Later in the meal, a round of Ardbeg Supervona Scotch was ordered and this was a truly decadent experience.

scotch in a can

Quite a bit of liquor news came out this week, most notably the announcement that establishments that manufacture alcoholic beverages (breweries, distilleries, wineries, etc.) around British Columbia will now be able to sell liquor products produced by other companies in their locations. This means that Ma Sip can now get a glass of wine, while accompanying myself and Mrs. Sip to some of our favourite breweries, much like she’s able to do when we travel in the U.S.

The August long weekend is upon us and despite Mrs. Sip taking off on me (again!) to Las Vegas with her girlfriends, the three days of rest will be full of poolside debauchery. Check back next week for a full recap!