Sip Trips #112: Summer Sizzle

For Mrs. Sip and I, I’ve coined the phrase: Weekend Warriors, Weekday Legends! Our insanely busy last week is a perfect example of our quest to live life to the fullest. Here’s a recap of all the action, which still has my head spinning:

The week that was started with the Sip Alliance attending Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in concert. Prior to the show, we met for dinner at The Kingston Taphouse, where Mrs. Sip and I shared their delicious Chicken Caesar Flatbread, followed by a slice of fantastic Oreo Cheesecake for dessert. Looking to build a buzz for the concert, I started with a serving of Original 16 Pale Ale and then doubled down with a Spiced Rum and Ginger Ale, which came with the lightest splash of the mixer.

Tom Petty.png

As for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (with special guest The Lumineers), the show was absolutely amazing. The band went through all their hits and had the place rocking from start to finish. Should they return to our beautiful city, I would certainly attend again. During the performance, I shelled out big bucks for a couple Stella Artois pilsners, which was simply the price of doing business.

On our way home afterwards, still feeling the adrenaline, we decided to go for a nightcap at The Loose Moose. There, I had a pair of Stanley Park Windstorm Pale Ales, while the bar filled the area with rock music, including my favourite Tom Petty track, Running Down a Dream.

On Saturday, Ma and Pa Sip hosted our Baby Shower Beer Garden. In the weeks leading up to the celebration, I lost sleep over my concerns that we’d run out of brews. The night before, I even made a run to get another two cases for additional coverage. In the end, we survived the night, thanks to mixed packs from Phillips, Whistler, Vancouver Island, Bowen Island, Central City and Big Rock breweries. We also had some ciders, coolers, wines, etc. to cover all the bases. Our guests really enjoyed the set-up and being able to try a variety of beverages. A huge thanks to both our sets of parents for their help with the party and to all those who attended and were so generous with gifts for our little one.

Biergarten.jpg

The next day, I was right back at it, meeting up with the guys at Colony on Main for a couple beers, prior to attending a Vancouver Canadians game. While at the stadium, I visited the amazing Craft Beer Corner on multiple occasions, grabbing servings of Big Rock Citradelic IPA, Whistler Grapefruit Ale, and Steamworks Summer Ale and Flagship IPA. While I’m still not the biggest baseball fan, there’s something so appealing about foot long hotdogs, a beautiful day and drinking at the ballpark.

Following the contest, which the Canadians won, we visited Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub for a wrap-up. There, I had a pair of their Gatekeeper Caesars (complete with chorizo stick and pickled spiced bean), which were on special. The drinks provided a perfect finish to the hectic, but oh so memorable weekend.

Did things get lighter with the work week arriving? Heck no! Remember, the Weekday Legends portion of our credo? On Tuesday, Cousin Sip and I attended Caskapalooza 2017 at Craft Beer Market. The event featured 36 casks, with all the industry’s big players on hand. Tickets were $25 each – with partial proceeds going towards the Dress for Success charity – and included 12 tokens. With Cousin Sip’s help, we tried more than two-thirds of the available beverages, with my favourites being Yellow Dog’s Mango High Five Hazy IPA and Granville Island’s Porter Con Chocolate Picante.

Beer Work

The week wrapped up with a return to Darby’s Gastown for their pub trivia night with Mrs. Sip’s work crew. Over pints of Fuggles & Warlock Agent Orange IPA and Steel & Oak Towers and Trains IPA, our team put up another valiant effort, but finished tied for fourth place. Still, this earned us a set of passes to one of the local Escape Room companies.

On tap for another busy week upcoming is our first Dinner en Blanc; our fifth wedding anniversary, celebrated by visiting the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) for the first time in 15 years; a baseball tournament, complete with beer garden; our one-day pre-natal course (we’ll find a way to make things fun); and a return to Port Moody’s Brewer’s Row!

Advertisements

BC Beer Baron #226 – Whistler Grapefruit Ale

While attending a recent Vancouver Canadians game at Nat Bailey Stadium, Mrs. Sip and I took advantage of the ballpark’s Craft Corner. There, we each picked up a serving of this Whistler Brewing beverage.

The Grapefruit Ale is light and refreshing, everything one would want in a beer enjoyed under the hot summer sun. The grapefruit comes across in the finish of the brew, giving drinkers a nice sweet and sour mix. The Sip Advisor even detected some caramel notes and a light spice.

Whistler Grapefruit Ale

I did think the 5% ABV, 14 IBUs beer was better at its peak of coldness and my enjoyment decreased when it grew warmer. This can be said of almost all drinks, though, with the only difference being how noticeable the gap was here.

Formerly known as the Paradise Valley Grapefruit Ale, this summer seasonal is available in six-packs at BC Liquor Stores. The BCL description suggests pairing the brew (which debuted in 2011) with pancakes or a light dessert.

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

BC Beer Baron #223 – Persephone Dry Stout

Meeting up with fellow CAMRA members at The Main on Main, prior to a night of Vancouver Canadians baseball, the Sip Advisor selected this beer from Persephone Brewing, for his pre-game beverage.

The Dry Stout features the flavours you would typically expect from the beer style, highlighted by notes of coffee and roasted malts. The 4.5% ABV, 30 IBUs brew is lightly carbonated, whereas the Sip Advisor prefers beers with more carbonation. That said, the drink was smooth and tasty, compensating for my desire for more bubbles.

Persephone Dry Stout

The brew has been quite successful for Persephone, pulling in back-to-back first place finishes at the 2013 and 2014 BC Beer Awards, in the Stout category. Rave reviews seem to also follow this product around, which makes it surprising that it’s only available on tap and not in bottles or cans.

Persephone, which is based on an 11-acre farm in Gibsons, is currently allowing prospective partners to invest in the enterprise. The minimum investment is $250 with a total of 12% equity in the brewery up for grabs.

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

BC Beer Baron #166 – Granville Island Nat Bailey Pale Ale

Available exclusively at White Spot restaurants (and enjoyed by the Sip Advisor over the weekend), this Granville Island Brewing release brings two British Columbia icons together, in the form of the eatery and the brewery.

The Nat Bailey Pale Ale is actually quite good for a “house beer”. The 5% ABV American Pale Ale pairs wonderfully with White Spot’s Legendary Burger, which has been an edible symbol of the province for decades. With strong flavour and refreshing taste, the brew will not disappoint.

Granville Island Nat Bailey Pale Ale

Granville Island has brewed two beers (the Pale Ale and Nat Bailey Lager) exclusively for White Spot for a number of years. Nat Bailey was the founder of White Spot restaurants all the way back in 1934. He is also credited with building Canada’s first drive-in restaurant in 1928 and creating the first car hop tray.

I’ve experienced many great moments at White Spot restaurants, from the birthdays of friends and post-wedding brunches to graduation celebrations and everything in between. Most notably, Mrs. Sip and I visited the restaurant as part of our very first date and we will forever have a soft spot in our hearts for the diner.

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

Sip Trips #32: Boats, Baseball, and Beer

Wow, this weekend was so insanely busy that I can only mention in passing that Mrs. Sip brought back from Las Vegas bottles of Viniq Ruby Liqueur and Bacardi Arctic Grape Rum (a future Flavour Revolution feature). Let’s get on to the meat and potatoes of this wrap up, which includes a voyage to Galiano Island for their Beer and Wine Festival and a Vancouver Canadians baseball game sandwiched by two Main Street bars!

We left for Galiano very early on Saturday, in order to make sure we made it to the festival on time, as the later ferry of the day didn’t jive with the event. For $45, we had all-inclusive access to about 15 breweries and wineries, while volunteers served finger foods to the attendees. Each guest also received a wine and beer glass with their entry.

finger food

The lineup of breweries and wineries attending were a nice mix of ones I have tried and enjoyed and others I was experiencing for the first time. I didn’t really do the wine stops, except for getting a tasting pour of the Mad Housewife Cabernet Sauvignon, in order to justify holding a wine glass most of the day. I hope in future years, that some more craft distilleries from around the province join in on the island fun.

My favourite beers of the festival were the Lighthouse Race Rocks Ale, Yukon Amber Ale, and Bomber Passionfruit Ale, of which I spent the last chunk of the event running around getting refills. Most companies brought just enough stock to last the duration of the festival and very few tents shutdown shop early.

One thing I noted, as a festival strategy, was that the wine booths had massive lineups, while the beer booths usually had none at all. What we found, was that people going for the wine would stay at the front, trying each of the companies offerings before moving on – and there could be a lot – while for beers, people would get a pour, walk away and enjoy, then return for the next option.

queue spelling

Upon returning to the mainland and not ready to let the party stop early, we hit the liquor store and picked up mixed cases of Lighthouse and Vancouver Island beers. Mrs. Sip also grabbed a bomber of Driftwood White Bark Wit, while I snagged the Russell Smokey the Beer.

The next day, we were back home, but only to head out again and meet some of our fellow CAMRA members at The Main on Main Street, prior to our Vancouver Canadians baseball game. There, I ordered pints of Hoyne Dark Matter and 33 Acres of Life, which were both very enjoyable, as we met new people.

While the Canadians lost the game, we scored a major win with the overall experience. The organization has made great strides to include craft beer in their stadium, even building a ‘Craft Corner,’ with five rotating taps, which we were conveniently seated near. Together, Mrs. Sip and I went through four of the five beers, which included Big Rock Citradelic IPA, Howe Sound You’re My Boy Blue Blueberry Wheat Ale, Bomber Passionfruit Ale, Steamworks Pilsner, and Whistler Grapefruit Ale (the only brew we neglected). These paired nicely with our ballpark snacks of popcorn and a foot-long hot dog. Apparently, aside from Whistler Brewery (a prime sponsor of the Canadians), the breweries serving draft changes regularly.

baseball thoughts

Following the game, we met up with a friend at Portland Craft, which I’ve wanted to visit for some time. Every once in a while, despite the abundance of options on the B.C. market, I thirst for something I can’t typically find, and this outlet, which largely features brews from the Portland region, was perfect for providing some new blood into my system.

I was hoping for a bit more variety from the bar (there weren’t many typical summer options available), but they did offer 16 beers on tap and others in bottle. I enjoyed two IPAs, the Alameda Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA and the Worthy IPA, both of which I would order again.

We also had events at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club and a birthday boat trip through Vancouver’s beautiful harbour on Accent Cruises, which I just can’t get into without making this article super long. The busy schedule doesn’t let up this weekend, as we’re off to Disneyland, where drinking has become a large part of the park routine!

Sip Trips #31: Bomber Blast

The Sip Advisor always aims to start the Sip Trips week with a bang and all I can say is mission accomplished for the past seven days!

Prior to meeting a larger group for dinner, I met a friend at PHAT Sports Bar in Yaletown, which serves up $3 sleeves and $5 pints all day, every day. While their selection is limited, as far as craft beer goes, there’s always something on the menu that is worth ordering. This time, it was the Whistler Grapefruit Ale.

Nearing the end of our beers, we found out we were supposed to meet our wives and the rest of the crew in the Olympic Village, not downtown, so we were on the road.

Taxi Dignity

Dinner was at The Flying Pig, which Mrs. Sip and I have been meaning to visit for some time and finally had the opportunity. To drink, I ordered the eatery’s Bacon Bourbon Caesar, which looked fantastic with lemon, lime, and celery garnishes, accompanying a bacon bit rim. The Caesar was a little different taste wise, thanks to the use of bourbon, over vodka, but the spices were pretty bang on, so the whole meal in a glass was enjoyable.

With the long weekend came two liquor store shopping trips and double the chances of finding the right beers for poolside sampling at Ma and Pa Sip’s abode. Here are the brews I picked up and how they rated on my crack ranking system:

Whistler Pineapple Express Wheat Ale – I’ve enjoyed a pineapple wheat/hef beer before, but couldn’t remember if it was the Whistler offering or not, so why not take another crack at it. This was a good one to have in the afternoon heat, as it was cloudy, refreshing and everything I want in a summer brew.

Pineapple Things

Hoyne Devil’s Dream IPA – Based off of my appreciation of Hoyne’s Dark Matter, I decided to give their IPA a shot and was rewarded with a tasty beer, with an even better name. Hoyne is quickly becoming a favourite brewer of mine and I hope that relationship only continues to prosper.

Old Yale Vanishing Monk Belgian Witbier – This was another fine choice for the great outdoors and much like the beer’s name, it vanished quickly!

Spinnakers You Otter Have Another Nut Brown Ale – In the evenings, I like moving to dark beers, which provide more of a dessert taste. These are the beers that are perfect to watch day turn into night with and relax in your favourite lounger, with You Otter Have Another really hitting the spot.

significant otters

Central City Detective Saison – I hope Central City makes more character-based beers (this is Detective Sarah Saison), such as Professor Peter Porter, Senator Samuel Stout, and others, leading to a Clue-style mystery game, where Mr. Nobody is murdered in the tasting room with the keg tap and players have to drink their way to the killer’s identity! If Central City wants to partner with me in this endeavour, I’d totally welcome it.

Lululemon Curiosity Lager – This Lululemon-Stanley Park Brewing collaboration has been met with much derision, but I figure you can’t rip something until you’ve tried it. I’m saving it for Mrs. Sip’s return from Las Vegas and will have a special Sip Trips post about my experience with the lager in the very near future. Hint: it will involve spandex and a yoga mat!

Spinnakers Hollie Wood Oyster Stout – Yet another brew that I haven’t tapped, hoping to share it with Mrs. Sip. There’s something about a beer that is advertised as having gone through “three additions of prime fresh oysters,” that makes me a little apprehensive. Then again, oysters are supposed to be an aphrodisiac, so maybe we can get our buzz on in more ways than one!

oysters shellfish

Granville Island Brass Knuckles American Brown Ale – Having enjoyed my Nut Brown Ale from the day before, I was looking for another nightcap-style beer and grabbed this GIB offering to fill that role. I didn’t get around to drinking it, however, but that just leaves me extra prepared for the next night of imbibing!

I also finally got to try the Dancing Pines Distillery Brulee liqueur, Ma and Pa Sip picked up in Colorado a couple months back. Good thing, too, as I got the last pour of the bottle. I expected more of a caramel taste, but the spirit was incredibly smooth and enjoyable.

This next week looks incredibly busy for the Sip Advisor, with a beer and wine fest on Galiano Island, a Vancouver Canadians baseball game with my fellow CAMRA members, a night out at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club, and a boat booze cruise, and that just covers the first half!