Sip Trips #140: Getting Our Groove Back

Back from our European travels, we got back into the swing of things at home the last couple weeks, trying new restaurants and products, while also attending the odd event. Here’s what we’ve been up to lately:

I kicked things off by signing up for Legacy Liquor Store’s free Negroni Week event. In half hour sessions, visitors received a sample of the Negroni cocktail (Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth), as well as a personally etched cocktail glass from Campari. The drink serving was only about a sip’s worth, but it was neat to get the etched glass and it was all at no charge, so can’t really complain. Before leaving the store, I grabbed a bomber of Tin Whistle Obsession Hibiscus Saison, which I’m looking forward to drinking when the weather takes a turn for the better.

Negroni Decisions

The next day, Mrs. Sip and I enjoyed lunch at the Sapperton District Taphouse, after hearing about the tavern from a baseball teammate. Here, I had a tasty order of Chicken Strips and Fries, pairing it with a sleeve of Parkside Graffiti IPA, which was on special. Mrs. Sip ordered their Slow & Low Sliders, which were also good. Looking at the restaurant’s events calendar, they are featuring a number of tap takeovers and trivia nights over the summer, so Mrs. Sip and I will likely return soon.

Later that day, Ma and Pa Sip returned from their month-long road trip of the southwest United States, bringing back two crowlers (growler-sized cans, for those unfamiliar with the term) from Boneyard Brewing in Bend, Oregon. Boneyard is one of my favourite breweries in the world, so I was very happy to receive their Notorious (80 IBUs, 11.5% ABV) and 7-Day WKND (70 IBUs, 7% ABV) IPAs. I’ve only been able to drink the latter of those two, thus far, and it was spectacular.

Before returning home from a couple days at Ma and Pa Sip’s place, we also popped into Central City Brewing to pick up their 2018 Across the Nation Mixed Pack. I really enjoyed the 2017 edition – released to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and featuring a beer brewed in collaboration with a brewery from each of the country’s provinces and territories (minus Nunavit) – and can’t wait to work my way through this year’s case. The set is highlighted by such intriguing beers as a Cherry Milkshake IPA, Cranberry Belgian IPA and Salted Caramel Lager. I do note that this year’s collection is in canned form, rather than bottles.

Salted Caramel.jpg

We wrapped up the week by celebrating Mother-in-Law Sip’s birthday at Craft Beer Market, where folks celebrating their birthday get their age as a percentage off their bill. I began the meal with a serving of Andina Jalea Guava Saison, which I enjoyed, despite being my backup choice. I had wanted to order the Parallel 49 Alakazam Szechuan Peppercorn Saison, but although it was advertised on their online menu, it wasn’t on the hardcopy version, as the restaurant had already moved to their next rotating taps. For dinner, I had the Crispy Chicken Sandwich with a glass of Powell Street Lazy D’Haze IPA. Both were fantastic, as was Ma Sip’s Brewmaster’s Chicken Sandwich, which I was given the leftovers of.

This upcoming week is highlighted by my very first Father’s Day, which should be fun. We also have a couple more events on the horizon, so things are starting to heat up at the Sip Advisor headquarters!

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Beer of the Week #36 – Tin Whistle Summertime Coconut Hopfenweisse

When I first learned about this beer from Tin Whistle Brewing, I knew I’d have to get my grubby mitts on it eventually. A recent trip to Legacy Liquor Store helped me cross the drink off my always growing to do list.

The Summertime Coconut Hopfenweisse was a good beer, refreshing and wheaty, but very light on the coconut flavour. The 5.5% ABV, 20 IBUs is described as having a “subtle hint of coconut on the finish,” so I guess it comes as advertised.

Tin Whistle Brewing

Available in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores, this limited release may be hard to find, now that summer has come and gone. Some craft beer-focused restaurants and bars may also have it on tap, but it could be elusive to unearth.

I still have to visit Tin Whistle’s facility on my next trip to Penticton. I’ve always enjoyed their presence at the Penticton Farmer’s Market, allowing me to have a drink and stock up on supplies for my stay in the city.

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

BC Beer Baron #305 – Tin Whistle Black Widow English Dark Ale

Spider decorations are synonymous with Halloween, so why not partake in this Tin Whistle Brewing product on what’s supposed to be the scariest day of the year?

The Black Widow English Dark Ale is light, but flavourful, featuring tastes of roasted malts and a hint of chocolate. The 5% ABV beverage has a very low hop content, making it pretty accessible for all types of drinkers.

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The beer was formerly known as a Mild Ale, but I prefer the English Dark Ale designation better. It can be found in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores and other private locations around the province.

Mrs. Sip is deathly afraid of spiders, which has given the Sip Advisor ample opportunity to be her hero, stomping on and disposing of the eight-legged terrors. I simply hate walking into their sticky webs.

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BC Beer Baron #271 – Tin Whistle Stag Apple Scotch Ale

While the government-operated BC Liquor Stores are a great resource for craft beer drinkers across the province, private retailers often carry a wider product base and have become a reliable source for the Sip Advisor. That was the case recently, with my discovery of this Tin Whistle Brewing release.

The Stag Apple Scotch Ale is a great beer, with flavours of apple and cinnamon spice joining the caramel notes one would expect from a Scotch Ale. I’ve become a huge fan of Scotch Ales over the course of this BC Beer Baron project and this 8% ABV beverage was a strong addition to my checklist.

tin-whistle-stag-apple-scotch-ale

First released in 2013, the brew is available in bomber-sized bottles. The beer took home the top prize at the 2014 BC Beer Awards in the UK Ales category, as well as a bronze medal at the 2013 Canadian Brewing Awards in the Scotch Ale class.

I really wish Tin Whistle would launch its own website. While somewhat active on social media, such as Twitter, I feel its criminal in this day in age to be operating a company and not be established online. Beer this good deserves more of a presence.

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BC Beer Baron #240 – Tin Whistle Scorpion Double IPA

Looking for beers to cleanse the palate during a wine weekend in Kelowna last month, I eagerly grabbed this Tin Whistle Brewing product. Although it survived the trip and came home with me, it wasn’t long before its luck ran out.

The Scorpion Double IPA is packed with citrus flavour thanks to its high dosage of hops. At 8% ABV and 85 IBUs, the beer is sure to sting drinkers and that’s just the way the Sip Advisor likes ‘em.

Tin Whistle Scorpion Double IPA

The Imperial IPA is available in bomber-sized bottles from various liquor stores. The brewery seems to have a thing for naming their beers after deadly creatures, also having the Rattlesnake ESB, Black Widow Mild Ale and Killer Bee Porter, among their arsenal.

I first had this beer a couple years back at the Penticton Farmer’s Market, where Tin Whistle routinely sets up shop. I still have yet to visit their brewery, which will have to wait for a future expedition.

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BC Beer Baron #137 – Tin Whistle Killer Bee Porter

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. I used to be hesitant about drinking porters, believing them to mostly be coffee-based in the flavour department. Once I realized that was only half true, a whole new world was opened to me and that’s a world I want to share with others.

With Porter Week in full swing, we take a look at this delicious entry from Tin Whistle Brewing.

Made with Keremeos caramelized honey, the Killer Bee Porter is one of a kind on the BC market. With tastes of chocolate, honey and spice, the beer is beautiful in its complexity. Don’t let the menacing looking bee on the bottle scare you off… this brew has to be experienced.

Tin Whistle Killer Bee Porter

BC Liquor Stores have this product listed as a dark honey ale, rather than a porter, but the bottle says otherwise. To be fair, Tin Whistle has also described the beer as a dark honey ale in some promotional material.

Tin Whistle also has a Chocolate Cherry Porter that is quite good. The company runs a smaller operation and doesn’t even have its own website – a social media crime in today’s world. That said, a highlight from our last couple visits to the Okanagan wine region, has been checking out the Penticton Farmer’s Market, where each time I’ve been able to sample Tin Whistle beers, as well as pick up a couple bombers for later. It sure helps in breaking up all the wine tasting over the stay!

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

Sip Trips #18: Gluttony Games

Bacchanalia traditionally refers to a Roman festival celebrating the god of the grape harvest, Bacchus (also known as Dionysus). Today, the term is usually applied to “drunken revelry”… and that’s my favourite style of reveling!  Each year, countless wineries get together at the Penticton Lakeside Resort for an event of epic proportions and this year, Mrs. Sip and I were in attendance. Let’s see how things shook out for us in the Okanagan region!

Bacchus

Following our trek to Penticton, we settled in with a meal at the resort’s Hooded Merganser restaurant. While the ladies enjoyed cocktails, followed by wine, I got to try the Stanley Park seasonal beer, SunSetter (summer wheat ale), which was so good, I ordered a second.

After dinner, we were off to Bad Tattoo Brewing for a beer flight nightcap. The five selections we were offered were each good and I particularly liked their Los Muertos Cerveza Negra (which you don’t see too often around these parts) and their Full Sleeve Strong Stout (which I grabbed a bomber of for the road). They also do something neat with their Berliner Weise, where they combine it with a squirt of a flavoured syrup of your choice, including green apple, peach, and raspberry. We, of course, tried all three!

The next morning, we hit the town’s farmer’s market, which shuts down a number of streets to allow for stalls selling fruits, vegetables, crafts, plants, and most importantly, beer and wine. We grabbed a few bottles of vino as we perused the bazaar and also stopped at the Tin Whistle Brewing tent for a tasting. Here, I bought bottles of their Scorpion Double IPA, Peach Cream Ale, and Chocolate Cherry Porter, before we were off in search of wineries.

farmer's market

Our afternoon included stops for tasting at Misconduct, Pentage, and Perseus Wineries, where the beautiful landscapes were matched by the delicious red, white, and rose wines we were getting to enjoy. The collection of bottles kept growing, but that’s just a sign that you’re having a great time!

The main event of the weekend was of course Bacchanalia 2015, which featured countless wineries, surrounding a feast of nibblies. I have to admit that by this point, I was suffering from some wine palette fatigue and a lot of stuff I was sampling was starting to taste the same. The food at the event was good, but I also seemed to tire of eating and noticed that many items would quickly run out while others were hard to find, sometimes located at one of the serving areas, but not all. A constant loop of the food tables sometimes unearthed hidden gems like sausage rolls and meatballs.

Following Bacchanalia, most of our group was still up for hitting The Barking Parrot Bar in our hotel, to wrap up the evening. Here, I enjoyed the Naramata Nut Brown beer, by Cannery Brewing, which was a welcome change from wine and a very fine beverage.

Scotch Nightcap

On Sunday, we packed up and hit the road, making a pit stop at 8th Generation Winery, where Mrs. Sip became a member. She, along with other members of the Sip Family, are big fans of their wines and bubblies, so why not get shipped a few cases each year for glorious consumption.

Out last stop before making the long journey home was to the BC Wine Studio, where Cousin Sip had secured us a personal invite at the farmer’s market the day before. Here, we were treated to an intimate experience of tasting new wines fresh from the barrel, learning about their production process, and even getting to provide notes on grape mixes and products that have yet to hit the market.

The end result of the weekend was 15 bottles of wine, four bombers of beer, and a host of new experiences and memories. All was well with the world, until we arrived home and found our condo had suffered a sink flood while we were away. This has put the Sip Advisor a little out of commission, as my booze collection had to be packed up temporarily. We will forge forward, though and do our best to bring you the best liquor coverage possible.