Sip Trips #135: Fine Foods

Sometimes it amazes me when I put together these weekly wrap-ups just how much we do in a seven-day span. This past week was no different as you will see below:

The week began with me joining Pa Sip at Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl & Grill at the impressive Tsawwassen Mills Mall. This unique eatery offers great food and bowling with an underwater theme. To eat, I enjoyed a delicious Shrimp Po’Boy, highlighted by a spicy aioli and of course, the breaded shrimp. I look forward to taking Baby Sip back here in the future for a game of ten-pin.

Bowling Ideal

With friends coming over for dinner on Saturday, I picked up Stanley Park Brewing’s Summer Mix Pack. New to the lineup this year are the Trail Hopper IPA and Salted Watermelon Sour. Both are pretty good and I’ve always enjoyed Stanley Park’s mixed cases because of their 2×6 format, rather than the typical 4×3.

On Sunday, Mrs. Sip and I visited 33 Acres Brewing for a beverage. While she had her all-time fave Euphoria Belgian Tripel, I had the new-to-me Genesis B6 Northwest Hazy IPA. Their “quarry” tasting room was packed as usual, so we didn’t stay long, but I’m consistently impressed by the quality of the brewery’s beers, so we’ll keep returning, regardless of seat availability.

On Monday, a friend joined me downtown for some day drinking. What else are two guys to do, when one is briefly out of work and the other is on parental leave! Our first stop was Cactus Club Cafe for lunch. I combined Rob’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich with a Perfect Storm to drink. Once again the sauce really made my meal, as the sandwich employs a sambal mayo, which works well with the spicy panko-crusted chicken. My drink was also quite good, since Dark N’ Stormy’s are one of my favourite cocktails.

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Next up was Yaletown Brewery for happy hour. Here, we were able to indulge in a few $5 beers, with my choice being the Edinburgh IPA. Since we arrived before the after work rush, we were able to get a nice spot to sit on a couple couches, which allowed Baby Sip to roam around a little. After all, this was brewery number 30 for the tyke.

The week finished with a trip across the border with Ma Sip. While figuring out what we wanted to do for lunch, Boundary Bay Brewing entered the conversation and so we were off to their bistro. We split their fantastic Reuben Sandwich (with Tim’s Potato Chips on the side), while I washed the entrée back with a pint of Safety Break ISA. ISA’s have rocketed up my list of favourite beers of late, because I can enjoy the taste of an IPA at a slightly lower alcohol content, which definitely comes in handy when I’m driving.

This coming week features another full schedule. We’re also gearing up for Baby Sip’s first expedition to Europe (London, France, Portugal, Belgium), which is coming up fast at just over a week away!

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Beer of the Week #8 – Stanley Park Foghorn India Brown Ale

In need of a case of beer for my hosting duties as part of a surprise birthday gathering for Mrs. Sip, I returned to an old favourite. Picking up Stanley Park Brewing’s Lord Stanley’s Pick (Winter Edition) case allowed me another opportunity to enjoy this product.

The Foghorn India Brown Ale was a hit with my guests who tried it, thanks to its roasted nuts and toasted malts. The somewhat rare IBA beverage comes with stats of 6% ABV and 50 IBUs and the beer has a great colour profile that is perfect for the fall/winter season.

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Suggested food pairings include turkey dinner with all the fixings, including gravy, sweet potatoes, pecan pie, or Camembert cheese. As is always the case with Stanley Park beers, the name is incorporated into the logo, with a drift of fog encompassing the famous lion.

I’m really looking forward to the brewery’s prospective restaurant and tasting room to be located in the former Fish House Restaurant in Stanley Park. Plans include producing “park inspired beer that is innovative and unique to the park location only”.

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BC Beer Baron #336 – Stanley Park WinterGlow Mandarin IPA

The Sip Advisor was recently on the hunt for this new Stanley Park Brewing release and quickly captured my prey. Being an ardent fan of Mandarin oranges (Pa Sip used to always tuck one into our Christmas stockings), I couldn’t wait to taste them in liquid form.

The WinterGlow Mandarin IPA is a very good beer, with flavours of orange mixed in with west coast hops (Amarillo, Citra, and Centennial). The seasonal beverage comes in with stats of 6.4% ABV and 55 IBUs and is a perfect way to kick off the month of December. The drink even glows a vibrant orange colour.

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As I shared the beer with Cousin Sip, she noticed the Stanley Park logos change depending on the product. For example, the iconic lion that welcomes visitors to Stanley Park and adorns the brewery’s labels is palming an orange for this brew.

The IPA can be found at BC Liquor Stores in bottled six-packs, as well as in the company’s Lord Stanley’s Picks: Winter Edition mixed case. It is joined by fellow newcomer Foghorn India Brown Ale and year-round favourites Windstorm Pale Ale, 1897 Amber Ale, and Noble Pilsner.

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BC Beer Baron #306 – Stanley Park Smoked Baltic Porter

Right in time for the coming season, Stanley Park Brewing has brought out a winter warmer that may be hard to track down. After sampling it at the recent BC Beer Awards, I hope it’s eventually released en masse.

The Smoked Baltic Porter pays tribute to brewing traditions of the past. It features flavours of roasted and caramelized malts with its smoke content being reminiscent of bacon. The 7.8% ABV, 28 IBUs drink is potent, while also soothing.

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A special release cask, you unfortunately won’t see this beer on store shelves (at least for the time being). You may luck out however and get to experience the brew on tap at various locations around the province.

The term ‘Baltic Porter’ refers to a brewing style that originated in regions such as Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, among others. It’s kind of a hybrid between British Porters and Russian Imperial Stouts… dark and boozy!

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BC Beer Baron #222 – Stanley Park Curiosity Lager

Full disclosure: The Sip Advisor purchased a can of this Stanley Park Brewing/lululemon athletica collaboration beer last summer and there it sat in my fridge “cellaring” for the past 12 months. My intention was to do a photoshoot with myself in ridiculous yoga poses, while sipping the beverage. That never materialized and I finally cracked the can open just the other day.

I have to say, although the Curiosity Lager was, oh let’s say aged, it still tasted pretty good. Granted, it’s your typical lager and there’s not a whole lot going on, but I enjoyed the experience. The 4.6 ABV, 18 IBUs beer is light and easy drinking with a refreshing finish.

Stanley Park Curiosity Lager

The limited edition release (only brewed once) came in 500ml tall cans and was created to be the beverage of choice for lululemon’s SeaWheeze Half Marathon after party. Suggested food pairings for the lager included barbecue meats, rich seafood dishes, and spicy Vietnamese or Thai meals.

I remember when the beer first debuted, there was a lot of negativity that came along with it. Many questioned why lululemon would bother getting involved in the craft brew game. The companies also received some flak for the label design, which included a cartoon totem pole that some thought was insensitive.

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BC Beer Baron #175 – Stanley Park SunSetter Summer Ale

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. Fruit beers may have some traditionalists up in arms, but if they only them a chance, they would see how good the beverages can be. In putting together this feature week, I tried to incorporate as many different fruits as possible, so let’s see what BC has to offer in this realm.

Mrs. Sip and I recently attended a talk and tasting opportunity, titled: From Barley to Beer, with Kwantlen Polytechnic University Brewing Program instructor Alek Egi. At that event, the Sip Advisor was able to reacquaint himself with an old friend from Stanley Park Brewing.

The SunSetter Summer Ale is an unfiltered wheat beer, which features a nice peach flavour that is not overwhelming. This results in a refreshing beverage that as the name should suggest, is ideal during the summer months. The seasonal release carries stats of 4.8% ABV and 16 IBUs and is available in a number of ways, including Stanley Park’s Summer Edition mixed 12-pack.

Stanley Park SunSetter Summer Ale

I first enjoyed this beer while on vacation last year in Penticton, BC. It was suggested to me by Cousin Sip, who’s a big fan of the product, picking up cases whenever she finds the summer seasonal during the long and lonely winter. Suggested pairings include Caprese salad, steamed clams and grilled pork tenderloin. The SunSetter won a gold medal at the 2015 World Beer Championships in the Flavored Wheat Beer category.

While chatting with the Stanley Park representative, we learned that plans are coming together for the brewery to finally open a tasting room. It was also revealed that Stanley Park will be releasing an India Brown Ale in the fall, which has my interest piqued, as I don’t believe I’ve ever tried that style of suds before.

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BC Beer Baron #82 – Stanley Park 1897 Amber

As my beer tastes have grown, I often find myself looking too hard for unique products and it’s invigorating to occasionally get back to the basics. That’s exactly what this Stanley Park Brewing release offered, as we visited The Social Corner for the first time.

The 1897 Amber is a very nice beer. Light, clean and refreshing, this is the type of beer that all drinkers can enjoy and won’t throw anybody out of whack, complaining about hop or alcohol content.

Stanley Park 1897 Amber

The name of this brew is a nod to the founding of the original Stanley Park Brewery by Belgian brewmaster Frank Foubert, all the way back in (you guessed it) 1897. The 1897 Amber was the original release of the reincarnated Stanley Park Brewing, in 2009.

Suggested food pairings include grilled or herb-rubbed meats of the savoury variety, shellfish and spicy dishes. I had the beer with a mushroom burger and fries and really enjoyed the combo.

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