Sip Trips #109: Marathon Man

This past week was extremely busy and that’s coming from someone who is booked up nearly every day to begin with. Let’s take a look at what the past seven days brought to the social calendar:

On Thursday, I decided to take my bike out for a ride of Vancouver’s sea wall, but only reached Sunset Beach when issues with my cycle made me have to abandon the ride. Just as I decided to turn around, a Kraken Rum rep approached and offered me a sample mini bottle of their Black Spice Rum. I believe this was a liquor karma reward, as had I not turned around there, the exchange would have never occurred.

Friday saw a more successful journey, as I joined a friend – on foot this time – in the Brewery Creek area of Vancouver, first stopping at Faculty Brewing. There, I had a 500ml serving of their IPA, before we ventured onwards. Looking to enjoy some drinks in the great outdoors, we stopped by R&B Brewing’s growler fill station, picking up a four-pack of Dude Chilling Pale Ale tall cans to be consumed in a nearby park. This was a nice, relaxing way to get the weekend started.

Dog Banned From Park.jpg

Following that, we were off to BierCraft Bistro on Cambie Street for dinner. I hadn’t been to the restaurant for a few years, so it was good to return. While waiting for our wives to show up, we delved into a couple pints of Dageraad De Witte. For my meal, I went with the French Onion Soup, being a big fan of the style and not always being able to find it when out. Our evening concluded with a show at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club. While the show was far from the best thing I’ve seen there, we still had a decent time, helped along by a bucket of Red Truck Golden Ale bottles.

We spent some time on Sunday at Metrotown Mall, finishing our baby registry, doing some clothes shopping and grabbing some groceries. Our time there started with hitting the food court, which is one of the best I’ve ever dined in. There are so many options to choose from and I settled on Chronic Tacos, which I have only seen before as restaurant locations. My Al Pastor Burrito (made with spicy adoba pork) was spectacular and greatly satisfied my huge appetite at the time.

Looking to have a date night together, Mrs. Sip and I had dinner at St. Augustine’s prior to a movie at the Rio Theatre on Monday. I love St. Augustine’s live tap menu, which lets you know which beers are available and how much of each is left, but it can also be a tease, as you learn which brews you narrowly missed out on. Thankfully, I was able to try Storm Brewing’s Chicken Wing IPA (only that crazy crew could dream up such a flavour), with only 3% remaining and the keg being tapped out by the time we left the restaurant. Also among my flight was the Steamworks Killer Cucumber Ale and a pair of Old Yale Brewing options: the Cardamom Mango Wheat and Double Double Amber Ale.

Dinner and a Movie

As for the movie portion of the evening, we watched The Little Hours, which was very funny and I’m surprised it hasn’t received more mainstream attention. The Rio Theatre is licensed for alcohol sales, which means you can get a Big Kid Combo consisting of small popcorn, candy and a draft beer for $9. Not a bad deal, at all.

Tuesday was supposed to be a relaxing night at home, but late in the day, a friend advised he had a block of free tickets to see Bob Dylan and His Band (that’s literally the band’s name) at Roger’s Arena. So, we ended up out again. While the music was good and I’ll be able to say I saw a legendary performer, Mr. Dylan shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a microphone anymore as nearly his entire set was unintelligible.

The week that was wrapped up with a trivia night at Darby’s Gastown. It was my first time at any of the Darby’s locations and I really enjoyed my meal of their Pulled Pork Sandwich with Cajun Chips and their expansive beer menu. Best of all, we came in second place after losing a tie-breaker to the winning team, which meant each member of our crew was comped a free BC beer. This removed both of my servings (the Luppolo Double IPA and Twin Sails Hot Take IPA) from the tab, thanks to using Mrs. Sip’s credit, as well.

Did I mention I also squeezed games of golf and baseball, a Game of Thrones viewing and family dinner into the week. No wonder I’m ready for a little break!

Sip Trips #80: Award Season

The BC Beer Awards took place last weekend and for the first time, Mrs. Sip and I were in attendance. In previous years, we’ve been out of town for the festivities, but this year, we were actually able to partake in the celebration of the BC craft beer industry.

Our evening started off well, as we partook in the free shuttle offered by tour company, Vine & Hops. That led us to a massive line-up to enter the hosting Croatian Cultural Centre. Although the line moved fairly well, there seemed to be some disorganization with ID and ticket checking.

For our first drink of the evening, Mrs. Sip and I stopped at the BC Ale Trail table, which had the neat gimmick of having folks spin a wheel and then get a sample from the region they landed on. Mrs. Sip hit Port Moody and got a product from Yellow Dog Brewing, while the Sip Advisor settled on the Sunshine Coast and received a Townsite Brewing taster.


Over the course of the event, Mrs. Sip and I sampled over 20 different beers and it seemed like we couldn’t select a bad beverage. My game plan for the awards was to concentrate on breweries I hadn’t yet experienced before. This included servings from Red Arrow, Twa Dogs, Andina, Luppolo, Lightheart, Gladstone, and White Sails breweries.

As for the awards, it was fun watching them get handed out and getting to cheer for beers or breweries you like. After a while, though, there was some award fatigue and I felt like I had already just heard the category being handed out, given how similar some of the classes are.

I was very impressed with the line-up of beers brought to the show by practically every company that attended. Some companies declined to be there, but almost every brewery in the province was represented at the event.


Early bird tickets to the celebration were $32, with additional tokens available at a cost of $1.25. Mrs. Sip commented that she would have paid $50 plus for the event to be all-inclusive and I whole-heartedly agree with her. On top of our four drink tickets with entry, we spent another $20 on additional tokens and that seemed to be the perfect amount of samples for us.

Following the awards, we had hoped to have dinner at the very popular St. Augustine’s Craft Brew House and Kitchen, but were told the wait would be “long”. Therefore, we continued to travel down Commercial Drive, winding up at Stateside Craft. I’ve wanted to visit this place for a while, given its mix of beer and skee ball. The restaurant actually had some BC beers on tap – mostly from East Van Brewing – to accentuate their south of the border lineup.

This weekend, we have plans to check out the Craft Beer Corn Maze in Abbotsford (weather permitting), so that should be interesting. As if I needed anymore help getting lost while drinking beer!

BC Beer Baron #267 – Cannery Drupaceous Apricot Wheat Ale

On our recent visit to St. Augustine’s, this beer from Cannery Brewing instantly jumped out at me from the restaurant’s extensive tap menu.

The Drupaceous Apricot Wheat Ale is brewed with Canadian wheat for a hazy appearance. Apricots are added after fermentation, giving the beer “an Okanagan twist”. This summer seasonal comes in at 5% ABV and 25 IBUs for a nicely-balanced experience.


For those unfamiliar (as was the Sip Advisor, despite my wordsmith reputation), ‘drupaceous’ refers to fruits that are comprised of an outer skin, a juicy middle layer, and a shell on the inside. These include peaches, cherries, plums and apricots, among others.

A recipe the brewery suggests using the beer – available in 650ml bomber bottles – in is Apricot Wheat Ale Glazed Chicken Wings. They also advise that the brew pairs well with Walnut Crusted Chicken Breast with Mango.

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BC Beer Baron #204 – Fernie Last Cast Summer IPA

Our recent jaunt to St. Augustine’s in East Vancouver provided a great opportunity to try a number of new releases to the BC craft beer scene, including this offering from Fernie Brewing.

The Last Cast Summer IPA is a good beer with nice flavours and a refreshing finish. Debuting in 2013, the IPA returned this June and comes with stats of 6.7% ABV and 70 IBUs. So, it’s hoppy, but lighter than some options in the IPA family.

Fernie Last Cast Summer IPA

Available in 650ml bomber bottles, the beer is a limited release, so track a serving down while you can. The beverage can even be located in Alberta and Manitoba, as well as throughout BC.

The brew is part of Fernie’s IPA Bucket List collection, which also includes their Rockpile Red IPA, Snowblind Belgian IPA, Quiet Rye’t Rye IPA, Eldorado Single Hop IPA, and Real Peel Grapefruit IPA (due out in August).

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BC Beer Baron #184 – Bad Tattoo True Love Kolsch

Just like yesterday, I have to apologize for neglecting a brewery for far too long, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer project. Thanks to a visit to St. Augustine’s in East Vancouver, I’m finally able to remedy that slight against Bad Tattoo Brewing.

The True Love Kolsch was very nice and may help in the Sip Advisor getting more into that style of beer. Not that I’ve even hated it, but I’ve preferred others. This 4.5% ABV, 25 IBUs brew is very new to the company’s lineup. I particularly enjoyed the flavour and carbonation of the drink, which made it quite refreshing on a hot summer day.

Bad Tattoo Brewing

I like the label art for this beer (available in bomber-sized bottles), which features a classic arrow-through-heart tattoo, with the names Lager and Pilsner crossed out… you know, just like a tattoo that needs to be edited when the love fades and another person takes the place of the original affection.

I have really enjoyed myself the two times Mrs. Sip and I have visited the Bad Tattoo tasting room in Penticton, BC. Our first stop was a late night trek for nightcap beverages, while a few months later, we popped in for some lunch and brews. Their rock oven pizzas are fantastic, particularly from the ‘Weird’ portion of the menu.

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BC Beer Baron #132 – Driftwood Entangled Hopfenweise

One of my taster selections on our recent trip to St. Augustine’s Craft Brew House and Kitchen was this beauty of a beer from Driftwood Brewing – a company which seems to move up my list of top breweries with each release I try.

I’ve seen the Entangled Hopfenweise described as a merging of hefeweizens and IPAs (my two favourite styles) and Belgian and Northwest brewing styles. That sounds about right to me and it works really well with this beer. The Hopfenweise comes in at 7% ABV and can be found in bomber-sized bottles. I couldn’t find any IBU info for the ale, so never you worry about that.

Driftwood Entangled Hopfenweise

Drinkers can expect a number of different fruit flavours, such as banana, guava, passionfruit and mango. Aside from the great taste, I think Driftwood has some of funkiest artwork for its labels and this product is no different. Packaging isn’t everything, but when you start strong and deliver in the end, the entire experience is that much better.

The beer is part of Driftwood’s Special Release lineup, which means the brew is on no set schedule, but could pop up at any time and should be taken advantage of before it disappears again. Might I suggest enjoying the beer while watching Tangled? Sorry, that was the Disney geek in me peeking out for a brief moment!

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BC Beer Baron #98 – Callister Axis & Allies Rye Pale Ale

On a recent trip to St. Augustine’s, one of Vancouver’s finest craft beer restaurants, the Sip Advisor ordered a paddle of tasters to sample. Among them, was this release from Callister Brewing.

The Axis & Allies Rye Pale Ale was decent. I’m finding the addition of rye to any brew to be quite enjoyable, as it adds an element of strength to the recipe. The beverage comes in at 5.5% ABV and features notes of citrus and spice (and everything nice!) for a well-balanced drink.

Callister Brewing

Somewhat unique to Callister is that they also makes sodas. Their current menu includes Ginger Mint, Blueberry Lemongrass and Traditional Tonic. These sound like fun options for all my fellow mixologists out there.

I’ve only been to Callister Brewing’s collaborative facility once before and really need to get back there. The space is shared between Callister, Real Cask, Machine Ales, and Brewery Creek, which means lots of available beers. With spring arriving and summer just around the bend, bike season has also come upon us and a Yeast Van brewery crawl is definitely on the horizon.

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