Sip Trips #152: Scary Sipping

Mrs. Sip and I have been pretty busy lately, thus why I haven’t been able to document our adventures in recent weeks. Here’s what we’ve been up to since the last time I checked in:

A couple weeks back, we celebrated a friend’s birthday in the Port Moody Brewers Row area. We started with dinner at the nearby Taps and Tacos, where Mrs. Sip and I enjoyed their Smoked Rosemary Clover Club (black moon smoked rosemary gin, raspberry, lemon, egg white) and Chibolero (pisco, ancho reyes, lemon, blood orange, clingstone peach bitters, egg white) cocktails, respectively. Our meal was comprised of the restaurant’s Queso Fundido, along with a variety of tacos. I really enjoyed the Korean Pork variation, while Mrs. Sip’s favourite was the Moroccan Chicken.

people tacos

Following dinner, our first stop along Brewers Row was Moody Ales, making good on our promise to hit the brewery first on our next visit, following two journeys where we neglected the place. Here, I ordered pints of their Daylight Savings White IPA and Who Turned Off The Lights Black IPA, both of which I liked. In a great marketing idea, the pair are sold together in four-pack tall can sets (two of each), for those looking to try the counter-balanced beers. Mrs. Sip drank the Rauchbock (a collaboration with Gibsons Tapworks), which had a nice smoke to it, as well as the Lusty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout.

Moving on, we next popped into Parkside Brewing where I sipped on their Motel Pale Ale, which is actually classified as an IPA. With Baby Sip getting tired and a bit of a trip ahead of us to get home, we packed things in after this stop and ventured back to New West.

We were back at it the next day, visiting the newly-opened Dark Manor Inn, touted as Vancouver’s haunted whiskey bar. The cocktail joint comes from the minds behind The Shameful Tiki Room, so there is a good pedigree behind the concept. Our group was sat at the master table and went through much of the cocktail menu during our stay. Among my selections were the Pills, Potions & Quack Nostrums (house malt whiskey blend, cinnamon, ginger, lime); Visions of Apparitions (house made whiskey cream and cola, cherry, dash of soda); and Don’t Go In The Attic (butter-washed cognac, calvados, sherry, lemon, spices). Mrs. Sip selected other beverages than me, so we got to sample a large portion of their cocktail list – or Libations and Palliatives, as they call them. We also each tried their Beef Pie and were impressed with the meal, especially given its $12 price tag.

can't sleep

With cocktails ranging from $11-$14, the night was not cheap, but the experience was worth the cost. The Dark Manor Inn is really done up well, with great theming, decorations, lighting effects and music. Reservations are a must and on busy nights, you may be restricted to a two-hour sitting. There’s not a ton of food on their menu, so picky eaters may want to dine prior to their session. We all agreed Vancouver needs more themed drinking locales. Best of luck to them as they get this new expedition off the ground and we will be back to try one of their bowls, which we unavailable on this occasion.

The following weekend, Mrs. Sip and I hosted a small gathering, where each guest was tasked with collecting beers to share, which were honoured with 2018 BC Beer Awards medals. We ended up amassing quite the collection and the night was filled with sampling as much as we could from the assortment. We even had a brew slipped in from the World Beer Awards and it was quite welcomed by the Sip Advisor.

Later that week, we dropped into the Sapperton District Taphouse for their weekly trivia. The theme was Netflix programming and I’m not ashamed to say our crew does a fair bit of binge watching, so once again, we finished in first place. Our reward was a pitcher of beer, which Mrs. Sip and I ended up drinking together, abandoned by our teammates. Our selection of the Vancouver Island Hermannator Ice Bock may not have been the best choice, given its strong 9.5% alcohol content and no one to help us with the serving. This was on top of my pint of Russell Angry Scotch Ale and Great Sapper sandwich, which was very good, but would have been better on a bun, instead of Texas toast.

Netflix

The most recent weekend began with Mrs. Sip and I visiting Storm Brewing, as we both took last Friday off from work. We were a little sad to see samples are no longer available by donation and now cost $7 for six tasters, but we understand the need to make money from the operation. We tried the brewery’s Vanilla Whiskey Stout, Gingerbread Ale, Jalapeno-Lime Pilsner, Mango Lassi Pilsner, Lavender Vanilla Ale, and Raspberry Orange Blossom Pilsner. Mrs. Sip also surprised me with the fact she signed us up for their 12 Fills of Christmas, where over the month of December, we will get 12 one-litre Boston fills of unique small-batch brews, not made available to the public. Should make for an interesting holiday season!

The weekend wrapped with a visit to Dead Frog Brewing in Langley. We just had to try their recently concocted Party Paddle, which provides at least two drinkers with a flight of 16 taster glasses, comprised of everything on tap at the brewery. Among my favourites were the Moscow Mule Lime Ginger White Ale, Blueberry Blast Kettle Sour, Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout and Winter Beeracle Winter Ale.

Another series of Sip Trips adventures are in the books and the Christmas push is just beginning. The next update will feature Christmas parties, a look at my first fills from Storm Brewing and likely a couple outings that weren’t even on our radar. Stay tuned!

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Sip Trips #146: Wedding Season

Mrs. Sip and I (along with Baby Sip) made the most of the recent B.C. Day long weekend. In fact, today’s entire wrap-up occurred on only one day of it. The rest of our time lately has been spent preparing to move out of our Downtown Vancouver condo. We’re still making time to squeeze some fun into our lives, though, so here’s what we got up to:

On Sunday, we got together with visiting friends for brunch at Craft Beer Market. I had a delicious order of Chicken & Waffles, paired with the Electric Bicycle Dig Dug Beet Juice Ale. I have never had a beer of this type before and was impressed with how good it was. This was also my first experience with Electric Bicycle Brewing and it has increased my desire to visit their recently-opened tasting room. Mrs. Sip’s beer selection, Storm Watermelon Pilsner, was also a fantastic beverage.

beets-natures-candy

Next up, we visited Big Rock Urban Eatery, where I indulged in another new (at least to me) menu item. The Songbird Saisaweizen was an interesting blend of saison and hefeweizen that I found to be very refreshing in the summer heat. The flavours were also quite nice and if we had the time, I would have elected to order a jug of the suds, rather than just a pint.

We wrapped the day with a wedding at the gorgeous Hycroft Manor. This was our first Persian nuptials, so it was fun to learn about another culture’s traditions. What we also loved about this wedding was that it only included the ceremony and a cocktail and canape reception afterwards. Rather than lose an entire day to a wedding, we were able to celebrate the newlyweds and still had our entire evening open (although Mrs. Sip took that time to crash after a hellacious July). As for that cocktail reception, it was open bar and the Sip Advisor did what he does best, indulging in multiple servings of 33 Acres of Sunshine, Innis & Gunn Bourbon Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale and Whistler Rescue Session Ale (a nice touch given the bride and groom’s passion and support of animal rescue operations).

Tomorrow, Mrs. Sip and I leave for Halifax, Nova Scotia for another wedding this weekend. On the itinerary are a self-guided craft brewery excursion, a food tour and, of course, the wedding, which also features an open bar reception. Look out east coast, here we come!

Sip Trips #134: In the Name of Science

Another couple busy weeks are in the books, so let’s get right to the action. We began the latest Sip Trips cycle with a long walk to East Vancouver to use our Groupon for Andina Brewing. The deal entitled us to a tasting flight each, as well as a growler plus fill. The advertised growler (typically holding two litres of beer) ended up actually being a one-litre Boston round, but otherwise the Groupon was worth it. For our flights, we tried each of the brewery’s available varieties. We also ordered a round of their Platanitos (Plantain Chips).

Since we were already out that way, we decided to pop into Storm Brewing, one of our all-time favourite breweries. Storm does things differently than other breweries, offering patrons up to six samples of their eclectic menu, in exchange for a donation. On this instance, we tried a number of beers, including: Turkey Dinner IPA, Orange Creamsicle Ale, Garam Masala Ale, Spicy Mango Salsa Pilsner, Mint Julep Ale, Pineapple Paradise Pilsner, Vanilla Whiskey Stout, and Iced Mocha Stout. We were particularly impressed with the Garam Masala Ale, so bought a Boston round of the beverage.

Beer Trust

The next day, we went for another walk to the Olympic Village. While Mrs. Sip joined some friends for brunch, I explored Legacy Liquor Store, where I came across the newly released Brews Brothers Vol. 4 case from Parallel 49 Brewing, in partnership with 12 breweries from across the province. While I didn’t pick it up that day, as Baby Sip’s stroller didn’t have enough room, this pack will soon find itself nestled into our fridge. Not one to leave the booze haven empty-handed, I picked up a bomber of Stanley Park Cookies & Cream Dark Ale, which we look forward to pouring soon.

Later that week, we attended Science World After Dark, where the attraction is open to adults only and allows them to check out the exhibits with a beer or glass of wine ($6.50 each) in hand. This was our second time attending the event. Our night began with an IMAX film titled America’s Musical Journey, which documented a number of music styles that became popular in the US, thanks to artists such as Louis Armstrong and Elvis, while exploring locales including New York, New Orleans, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis and Miami.

We were particularly interested in visiting on this occasion, as the feature attraction currently running at Science World is Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Mrs. Sip and I spent more than an hour checking out nearly every piece of the exhibit and it was totally worth the price of admission.

Science Funny

This past weekend, we joined Ma and Pa Sip at Township 7 Winery’s members only event at Coast Appliances in Langley. The unique venue served up a very interesting event, highlighted by three stations where you could get a wine sample and appetizer pairing. You could also get a full servingglass of wine, choosing from four different varieties to cap your evening off with.

On Wednesday, we had tickets to see 2Cellos in concert. To prepare for the show, I enjoyed a couple drinks from my bottle of Wiser’s Spiced Whiskey, to go along with our takeout order of Uncle Fatih’s Pizza. As for the concert, these guys are amazing. Seriously, if you are unfamiliar with the duo, check their work out on YouTube and you’ll see some very talented Croatians doing things with cellos you never thought possible.

I wrapped up the week by joining Ma Sip at Steamworks Brew Pub for lunch. Here, I ordered a serving of their Purgatory Belgian IPA, to go with some Chicken Tenders and Fries. We sat on their outdoor patio, which provided a nice way to spend a spring/summer afternoon, now that the rain is gone and the sunny season seems to finally be here!

Beer of the Week #27 – Storm Chicken Wing IPA

Yes, you read that right… your eyes are not deceiving you. While dining at St. Augustine’s earlier this week, I was able to try this very odd beer, dreamt up by the crew at Storm Brewing, who may have the most fun in the industry.

I was lucky to get my hands on the Chicken Wing IPA. When we first arrived, according to the restaurant’s live beer menu, there was only 3% remaining in the keg and by the time our meal finished, it was gone. I was very happy to contribute to the keg being drained.

Storm Brewing Logo.png

The 7% ABV beverage is vegan-friendly (no chickens were harmed in the making of the ale, according to Storm) and is made using the company’s own hot sauce, sour ale and cayenne pepper. The brew has a spicy aftertaste, which dominates the overall flavour.

Other bizarre concoctions I’ve been able to enjoy from the brewery’s Brainstorms lineup, include a Margherita Pizza IPA, Vanilla Whiskey Stout, Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ale, and Mojito Pilsner. Don’t stop dreaming Storm!

For more Beer of the Week articles, please visit our main page…

BC Beer Baron #195 – Whistler Cheakamus Chai Maple 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. With so many brewery options out there, a game of one-upmanship sometimes occurs and from that, the world is treated to some very unique experimental releases.

Not content to let their classic lineup be all that is available to BC drinkers, Whistler Brewing continues to experiment with new releases, including this tasty treat.

The Cheakamus Chai Maple Ale is made by using real maple syrup during the mash process, before chai tea is added to the recipe during filtration. This results in a complex and spicy beverage. As the brewery puts it: “One taste, and a simple truth is clear: complexity can be a very beautiful thing.”

Whistler Cheakamus Chai Maple Ale

A spring seasonal to Whistler’s brewing arsenal, the 5% ABV beer is available in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores and other purveyors of fine liquor. The Chai Maple Ale gets its name from the nearby Cheakamus River.

Whistler is not alone on the BC brewing landscape in their playing around with chai. Storm Brewing have also released a Chocolate Chai Ale, which I’ve sampled and enjoyed.

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…

BC Beer Baron #192 – Storm Margherita Pizza IPA

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. With so many brewery options out there, a game of one-upmanship sometimes occurs and from that, the world is treated to some very unique experimental releases.

It would be criminal to have an entire week devoted to experimental beers and not give one of those feature slots to Storm Brewing. Whenever the Sip Alliance congregates at Storm’s East Vancouver location, we’re always in for treats our minds never imagined would be served to us in beer form.

The Margherita Pizza IPA is one of those brews that only Storm could envision and put together, combining most dudes dream meal – pizza and beer – all in one package. I have to say that the scents and flavours of oregano, tomato sauce and even cheese are evident in the brew and I actually enjoyed the experience. Apparently, I’m not alone, as most reviews on the Untappd beer app are positive.

Storm Brewing Board

The beer was made to help celebrate Vancouver’s Italian Day last month. I’ve joked with friends, who I forced to try the beverage, that it wouldn’t surprise me if the team at Storm simply tossed a couple pizzas in their brewing vats and let nature do the rest. Cousin Sip likened the 7% ABV IPA to a canister of pizza-flavoured Pringles.

Storm regularly cycles through their ‘Brainstorms’ and the board is kept updated at their website and also on their social media feeds. I am a steady follower of what they’re up to and often find myself salivating at something new to come into their tasting room.

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…

Sip Trips #66: Weekend Warriors

While I’ve often dubbed Mrs. Sip and myself ‘Weekend Warriors, Weekday Legends’, this past weekend was incredibly busy, even by our standards. Things all got started – as most weekends do – with the need to procure some alcohol. The Sip Alliance had a member’s birthday Saturday evening and so the hunt was on.

Our first stop was 33 Acres Brewing, a favourite Vancouver location of Mrs. Sip and mine. There, we filled a couple growlers, making sure to try some of the new items to hit their board, such as the 33 Acres of Egress Belgian Grisette, which Cousin Sip elected to purchase.

Beer Growler

Following that, we were off to Storm Brewing, in search of the many odd concoctions the company is highly-regarded for. We sampled much of their ‘Brainstorms’ lineup, including a Chocolate Lavender Stout, Grapefruit Radler IPA, Blueberry Lemonade Pilsner, Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ale, James’ Liver Tonic IPA, Bangers and Sour Mash Ale, Raspberry Pilsner, and… wait for it… Margherita Pizza IPA! Some of these just might make an appearance in a BC Beer Baron article.

Our birthday event that night evolved (as these things sometimes do) from a laid back house party to a relatively laid back bar visit, as we headed out to East Vancouver’s Brickhouse. While the pub’s surrounding area is a little sketchy, the venue itself was pretty cool, with couches you could chill on, while waiting your turn to play pool or darts. The place also has quite an impressive menu of craft beers, mostly from Washington and Oregon.

On Sunday, for Father’s Day, we gathered up the whole extended family and made our way over to Township 7 Winery in Langley for their annual Wine & Swine celebration. Tickets were $30 and included three wine and pork pairings, with live music from LB 4 LB (Pound 4 Pound). The event was a total hit with our crew and I love what Township 7 has done with their patio area, changing it from a grassy area that easily got muddy in the often inclement BC weather to a tiered and tabled setting.

always-been-my-favorite-fathers-day-card

As we were wrapping things up, some of the Township 7 staff suggested we check out the nearby Fraser Valley Cider Company. I’m not much of a fan of the stuff, but others in our group are, while some were curious to try. We split a few of their tasting flights, which included house, dry, honey and elderflower varieties. The setting was nice and the people were very friendly, so it was a great ending to the evening.

While the work week has offered a rare bit of rest, this weekend Mrs. Sip and I (along with Ma and Pa Sip) return to the Bellingham Tap Trail and time will only tell what shenanigans we get up to on this expedition!