Sip Trips #117: Support and Remembrance

The Remembrance Day long weekend started with a trip to the Delta Lion Pub in North Delta. For Sip Advisor trivia buffs out there, here’s a little nugget: This was the first bar the Sip Advisor ever enjoyed a drink in, visiting on my 19th birthday for a couple rounds of wobbly pops. It’s also where Mrs. Sip and I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day 2010, hours after viewing the apartment that would become our first home together.

Unfortunately, our reason for stopping here this time wasn’t as joyous, as we were attending a fundraiser for a friend who is battling cancer. Mrs. Sip and I both grew up in North Delta, so the night was spent catching up with old friends and acquaintances. It’s funny that it often takes events like this to get everyone together in one place. The fundraiser was your typical burger-and-beer affair, but I must say the burger was delicious and the homemade-style potato chips were spectacular. The great turnout forced us to move away from the crowded private room and to the bar area, where I enjoyed a pint of the Steamworks Salted Chocolate Porter, while listening to the live band.

Burger and Beer.jpg

If anyone out there is interested in giving to the family and learning their story, please visit their GoFundMe page.

On Saturday, we enjoyed dinner at The Keg with some Sip Syndicate members. As I’m still looking for a menu item to replace my beloved Prime Rib Burger, I decided to try the restaurant’s Prime Rib Sliders. Well, my little sippers, I may have finally found that replacement. I really enjoyed the flavours of the horseradish Dijon and red wine herb jus. Plus, you can never go wrong with a healthy dose of crispy onion straws. My only complaint is that the charge to add a side fries to my meal was $5. That seems a little high to me, especially given the side serving size, but what can you do. For my drink, I went with a Keg Size (double) Bourbon Blackberry Smash, which was very tasty, albeit a quick-to-finish and costly cocktail.

The next day, Mrs. Sip and I visited Dageraad Brewing in Burnaby, while out for a drive in the area. This was Baby Sip’s first ever trip to a craft brewery with many more to come. The tasting room staff was great, providing us with a coaster and stickers for her baby scrapbook. As for drinks, we decided to split a flight of beers, which included their Lekkers, Blonde IPA, Brune, and 8-Degrees offerings. On our way out, I purchased a bottle of their very limited edition Entropy No. 5 Gin Barrel-Aged Blonde IPA. The product was released over the weekend and I picked up one of the last remaining bottles of 19 cases. Look out for a review of this brew in the next Beer of the Week article.

Limited Edition.jpg

The rest of the long weekend was spent putting up Christmas decorations and enjoying some family time together and, of course, partaking in a few beverages. To compensate for the return to work, I picked up Central City’s newest holiday release, the Smores Stout. Available at BC Liquor Stores, as well as other private locations, I’m really looking forward to trying this intriguing beverage.

Another busy week is on the horizon for the Sip Advisor crew. As we speak, my liver is going through demanding preparation and training for the holiday season… this is what all the year’s work has been leading up to and the payoff is just around the bend!

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Sip Trips #114: All the Hits

Well, another busy week is in the books (I’m starting to sound like a broken record), with Mrs. Sip and I finding time to have as much fun as possible, while getting things as ready as possible for the arrival of our daughter, sometime in the next few weeks. Here’s what we got up to:

The week began with the Sip Alliance’s long-awaited return to Port Moody’s Brewer’s Row. Before arriving there, though, we had to first travel to Coquitlam’s Mariner Brewing, which had only opened days before and is the first of its kind in the city. With four beers on tap, I tried their Northeast IPA, which I found to be pretty tasty. The brewery promises much more to come in the future and their space and constellation theming are really good starts.

Brewery Water

Next up was Brewer’s Row, with stops at Yellow Dog, Twin Sails and Parkside breweries, where I had pints of their High Five Hazy IPA, Street Legal IPA and Motel Five-Hop Pale Ale, respectively. Sadly, we didn’t manage to get to Moody Ales before closing time, so we owe them a visit in the future. I love this area of four breweries packed within a five-minute walk of each other and the new Evergreen SkyTrain line makes heading out that way so much easier. We will be back again soon.

On Friday, we finally got around to hitting one of our favourite annual summer traditions: the Twilight Drive-In Theatre in Aldergrove. While no drinking was involved, it was a great start to the Labour Day long weekend, as the lineup included Cars 3, followed by Despicable Me 3. We only stayed for those first two movies, but in celebration of the drive-in’s 12th anniversary, they were playing four movies on both Friday and Saturday night. While we love our trips out there for movies outdoors and you can’t beat the price of $12.50 per person for the entire evening, this was the first line-up this summer that actually appealed to us. Perhaps bad movies in general are to blame.

The next day, we started with some relaxing pool time at Ma and Pa Sip’s place before returning to Vancouver to move some furniture. Following the move, we treated Ma and Pa Sip to dinner at The Parlour in Yaletown, which had come highly recommended to me. We were not disappointed, as the place has a good happy hour to go along with great service. Our pizzas (The Dirty and Roasted varieties) were very good and were enough for a group of four to be happily fed.

Fitness Whole Pizza

After dinner, Mrs. Sip and I attended the Rio Theatre for their presentation of Dysfunctional Disney Cabaret. The goal here, according to our host, was to completely f*ck up our childhood memories with Disney-themed burlesque acts. It was quite the entertaining show and I have to commend the Rio for having a jug of water available to patrons on this hot, hot day. One server even steered me away from buying bottled water, in favour of the cooler, which I did not know about.

Sunday began with another round of furniture buying and baby laundry loads, but the reward came with hitting Jimmy’s Taphouse for happy hour. This has always been one of my favourite happy hours in the city with a number of half priced menu items and cheap drink options. We enjoyed their poutine with chipotle drizzle and an order of hot wings, which really hit the spot. The spicy combo was washed down with the Phillips Solaris White Peach Ale and a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Why was I getting my shot game on? Because we had received complimentary ticket to the Lionel Richie-Mariah Carey All the Hits concert, as part of Mrs. Sip’s recent anniversary gift to me of Vancouver Canucks half-season tickets. This was the first time either of us had ever sat in the exclusive 500-level Club seats, which provided a bar and bathrooms to about 50 people. As for the show, Mariah Carey didn’t do Fantasy or Honey, which if I know them, must have been hits. That’s okay, though, as Lionel Richie was extremely entertaining. His Dancing on the Ceiling with all the lights and video effects was the highlight of the night.

Lionel Richie Hello

We wrapped the long weekend by celebrating Pa Sip’s birthday at The Keg. Sitting atop the restaurant’s rooftop patio was very relaxing and the service was top notch. I ordered their Keg Burger, which pales in comparison to their former Prime Rib Burger, which I mourn the loss of to this day. As for beverages, I imbibed with a Keg Size Watermelon Mojito and Keg Caesar, perfect accompaniments to my still decent entree. A slice of Billy Miner Pie to finish the meal was the perfect bow on an incredible weekend!

But the family celebrations weren’t done there. On Tuesday, after Pa Sip helped me move some more furniture, we had another dinner in his honour at the Old Spaghetti Factory in New West. I tried their Pot-Pourri Spaghetti with meat, mushroom and clam sauce options. Best of all, the meals come with bread, salad or soup and ice cream for dessert, so we left quite stuffed. My beverage of choice was the Cobblestone Lager, developed for the restaurant by Granville Island Brewing.

The coming week doesn’t have much on the schedule, so I may grasp the opportunity for some rest and relaxation. Following that, the Sip Advisor has a bachelor party, Vancouver Canucks pre-season opener, Sis-In-Law Sip’s birthday and much more on the docket… not to mention who knows when the baby will decide to arrive!

Sip Trips #105: Went By in a Blur

This past week was incredibly busy for Mrs. Sip and I. So busy, that my head is still spinning… and that’s not from all the booze consumed! Let’s get right down to it…

On Friday, we wrapped up work and immediately hit the road to Tacoma, Washington to watch comedian Christopher Titus perform at the Tacoma Comedy Club. We made it just in time for the 10:30pm show and beers were desperately needed for us weary travellers. Cousin Sip’s husband and I split a couple pitchers of Manny’s Pale Ale from Georgetown Brewing out of Seattle. The show was amazing, as expected. As we waited in line to meet Mr. Titus afterwards, the bar was selling pints of Budweiser for $2 and we figured, “Ah, why the hell not!”

I had also picked up a bomber of Alaskan Brewing Icy Bay IPA at a gas station en route to Tacoma, so that acted as my nightcap before grabbing a few hours of sleep and returning to Vancouver Saturday morning. I wish we didn’t have to rush the stay across the border, but with friends visiting from London, we had to be back for more fun.

morning sunglasses

After meeting up with our guests, the ladies went their way, while the gents searched for craft beer. Our first stop was at Central City’s Vancouver location. There, I paired some Chicken Strips and Fries with the brewery’s Super Stellar IPA, which made for a great combo. For dessert I ordered their Hefeweizen, bringing to mind thoughts of summer, as we wait patiently for the weather to cooperate.

Next up was a short walk to Devil’s Elbow Ale & Smoke House. Here, I was able to try the Britannia Brewing Sirens Chai Saison, which was available as a guest tap. Following that, I had the Howe Sound Jam Session Raspberry Cream Ale, another successful selection. Then, the night took a turn for the extreme with a round of tequila shots.

Feeling suitably buzzed, we rejoined the ladies for dinner at The Keg in Yaletown. Sitting on the restaurant’s rooftop patio, I enjoyed a pair of Caesar Diablo servings, made even better given their $5 daily special pricing.

Drinking Problem

On Monday, Ma Sip met me for lunch at Tap & Barrel in North Vancouver. Unfortunately, I was working, so was not able to imbibe as I usually would when visiting a T&B location. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed my PB&J Burger, which made for a nice substitute to my traditional meal of a PB&J Sandwich during the work week. The burger was messy, but totally worth the experience.

Tuesday, we finally had a meal at the Homer Street Cafe, which is located kitty-corner to my and Mrs. Sip’s humble abode. There to celebrate a friend’s birthday, I ordered their rotisserie quarter chicken meal, which was highlighted by their chicken jus for dipping. To wash it all down, I had a trio of brews, including the Howe Sound Summer Saison, Powell Street Old Jalopy Pale Ale and Storm Black Plague Stout. For a small beer menu, they sure packed some quality selections in.

It should be noted that this week’s wrap up doesn’t even include two games of baseball, Father’s Day celebrations, a trip to the theatre and another meal with our visitors from London. Busy times, for sure.

Sip Trips #75: Celebrations Abound

After a relatively quiet midweek for the Sip Advisor, the weekend picked up in pace, as it usually does. With a friend’s birthday on Saturday, we started at the Salt Tasting Room in Gastown, which has a neat concept in that you order three meats/cheeses and three condiments to create your own charcuterie plate. This platter can be paired with wines selected by the staff, if you choose, but a couple cocktails and beer from 33 Acres Brewing is also available. This was my first time ever entering the area’s infamous Blood Alley and I’d like to return for more exploration.

After conquering our SmartyPantz escape room, our evening wrapped up with a trip to the TAPshack in Coal Harbour. Coincidentally, Mrs. Sip and I passed this place the week before, while out for a walk and wanted to return to check it out. While there, we enjoyed a couple beers from their menu of 20 taps (one beer each from 20 different breweries), while I tried their Maui Wowie Hawaiian pizza and Mrs. Sip ordered a serving of their duck fat popcorn and avocado toast with poached egg for a main course.

hawaiian-pizza-funny

The next day was Cousin Sip’s 12-year wedding anniversary, which she was celebrating solo, as her husband is currently working out-of-town. Therefore, Mrs. Sip and I joined her for a dinner at The Keg in Yaletown, sitting on their rooftop patio and enjoying what’s left of gorgeous summer weather.

While we had a nice meal, it’s time for a little Sip Advisor rant: To this day, I’m still saddened by the restaurant’s decision to nix their prime rib burger from the menu, in favour of their current offering. The prime rib burger provided a near orgasmic experience, while this rendition is just a run-of-the-mill product. To boot, when I first starting ordering the prime rib burger, it could be had for about $12, which was an amazing deal. Even before it was phased out, the price had only risen to about $14. This new, lackluster burger sets you back $18. I’ve even talked to servers at the chain, who have recognized the new burger just doesn’t measure up to the old one. The prime rib burger is still sold in grocery stores, so why not bring it back to the restaurant!?

rant-logic-reason

Okay, rant over. This weekend, we will be enjoying a one-day cruise from Seattle to Vancouver to celebrate Sis-in-Law Sip’s birthday. So long as it ends better than our last overnight cruise, where members of the Sip Alliance had to be quarantined, I think it will be a good way to spend the occasion… but the tale may not reach the same heights of infamy!

BC Beer Baron #65 – Whistler Lost Lake IPA

I have enjoyed this Whistler Brewing beer since I first tried it at The Keg last summer. When I saw that it was include in the brewery’s Winter Party Pack, I had to have it, even carrying it home first from a BC Liquor Store and then from a friend’s place, on a 30-plus minute arduous expedition. The sacrifices we make, am I right!?

The Lost Lake IPA didn’t disappoint on my second serving of the beer. It is unique in that it is unfiltered or as Lost Lake folk like to say, “au natural”. With stats of 6.8% ABV and 75 IBUs, it’s a strong and hoppy beer, featuring flavours of grapefruit and passion fruit.

Whistler Lost Lake IPA

Suggested pairings for the IPA include barbecue lamb, bison burgers, and roasted red peppers. The beer is available in the aforementioned Winter Party Pack, as well as in 650ml bomber form.

Lost Lake is located in the resort community of Whistler and the brewery writes: “Like the waters of Lost Lake, our Unfiltered India Pale Ale is refreshing and with a real bite.” I suppose that can really only be quantified by anyone dumb enough to actually go for a dip in the frigid water. Maybe summer provides a different experience, though, as the lake’s beach was formally a hot spot for nude sunbathing!

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

Sip Trips #4 – Wild Weekend

As we continued the celebration of Mrs. Sip’s birthday, the weekend got off on the right note with a fantastic meal at The Keg in Yaletown. We got a table on their beautiful rooftop patio, which even in January is the place to be for a fun night out.

As per usual, I ordered the Prime Rib Burger, which is routinely one of the finest meals I’ve ever enjoyed. It will forever perplex me that it’s also one of the cheapest items (only $12) on the restaurant’s menu, but let’s keep that our little secret!

Well-Rounded Diet

With the meal, I enjoyed a Kentucky Buck cocktail (Keg-Sized, of course!), which combines bourbon, muddled strawberries, lemon juice and ginger beer, followed by a Manhattan, complete with three ounces of booze! Both drinks were very good and I’d recommend them to anyone, but particularly fans of bourbon.

The next night, we hit one of Vancouver’s newest craft breweries, Steel Toad. The facility is one of the nicest in town, with a top-notch staff of bartenders and servers. While I haven’t found a beer on their menu that blows my mind, they have a growing repertoire of solid choices. The beers I did try this time around, included the Saison Sauvignon, Double Hop Pale Ale, and Berliner Weisse.

While the beer is coming along, I can say without any doubt that they’ve got their food menu nailed down. I really enjoyed the Hawaiian pizza I ordered, while Mrs. Sip swears by the cauliflower beignet, complete with curry mayonnaise that I swiped for my pizza! The hot sauce chicken wings were also pretty good, with the burn subdued by shots of Jameson Irish Whiskey, shaken with ice. One member of the Sip Syndicate is a major proponent of drinking Jameson shots this way and I think he might be onto something.

Whiskey Doctor

Mrs. Sip was working hard last week to provide content for the Out and About articles. She picked up the Steel & Oak/Four Winds collaboration brew, which I’m really looking forward to trying and I’m surprised it has survived this long in our fridge. I’ll have more on the Gratzer, when we finally crack it open.

She also booked us on the Vancouver Brewery Tours Beer, Chocolate and Spirits Tour for Valentine’s Day. With stops at a few places we’ve been meaning to visit, such as Strange Fellowes Brewing, Odd Society Spirits, and Storm Brewing, this excursion will provide a wonderful way to spend the big day with the one I love… oh, and Mrs. Sip will be there too!

In pseudo-alcohol news, it was recently reported that a high speed rail line connecting Vancouver and Portland may be in the works, proposed by Cascadia High Speed Rail company. The train would connect the two cities in under two hours and would be a craft beer lovers dream. It would cost billions of dollars to construct and is many years away from ever being realized, but we can hope, right!

December 1 – Winter Mojito

Christmas Cheer

While most of the world is only capable of rocking around the Christmas tree for 12 days of holiday cheer, the Sip Advisor will be bringing you more than double that with 25 days of wonderful recipes. Today, we start things off with some facts about Christmas. I hope you’re all snuggly by a roaring fire!

Halloween By the Numbers

Drink #335: Winter Mojito

Winter Mojito Drink Recipe

  • Muddle Mint Leaves and Cranberries
  • 1.5 oz White Rum (I used Bacardi)
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with Drunken Cranberries

This is among my favourite times of the year and I’m giddy with all the drinks and fun that is sure to come in the lead up to Christmas Day!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I put together two different recipes for this cocktail. The one listed above and also a more basic mojito, with the simple addition of Cranberries floated on top for garnish. The version I went with for the article I feel is better because of its colour and that it’s truly a variant of the usual mojito concoction. It’s a wonderfully tasty drink and a great way to bring in the season!