Sip Trips #182: 20/20 Vision

Wow, I haven’t written a Sip Trips in almost two months. And it’s not like we haven’t been busy, I guess it’s just been in different ways. So, let’s get right to it with the first Sip Trips of 2020:

Lately, I’ve tried a couple neat new beers at ABC Brewing, including the Wool Socks Winter Dubbel and Strawberry Milkshake IPA. When we popped in for a drink on New Year’s Eve, it was my first opportunity to be served by the brewery’s beer cocktail mixologist, who whipped up a delicious Dunder Biest Mode Sour for me and a mocktail for Mrs. Sip. Both were delicious and wonderfully-crafted.

A couple weeks back, a friend and I had dinner at Browns Social House in Downtown Vancouver, prior to a whiskey tasting event. My meal of their Szechuan Beef Noodle Bowl, accompanied by a trio of their Social Beers was a perfect set up for our later event. As for the whiskey tasting, we were able to try some high-end bottles, including Glenmorangie Signet, Balvenie Week of Peat, Laphroaig Lore, Stronachie 18, and MacCallan Triple Cask 15. The night was filled with many more brews, in between the whiskeys. Gotta cleanse the palate, am I right!?

tasting-throwing

Last week, a friend and I attended WWE Smackdown Live in Vancouver. Upon arriving at the arena, we grabbed a few beers, with my selection being a pair of Stanley Park 1897 Amber Ales. The show itself was entertaining, but given their was a 45-minute stretch with no in-ring action, instead filled by commercials, backstage segments and interviews, it solidifies my feelings that I’d rather be at a house show (non-televised with mostly inconsequential matches) than a TV taping (storyline developments, but WAY too many periods of inaction).

Following the wrestling, we stopped into Devil’s Elbow Ale and Smoke House for an extended nightcap. My beverages of choice were the Howe Sound Sky Pilot Pale Ale and Moon Under Water Creepy Uncle Dunkel. It was nice to pay a fairer rate for the beers, compared to what we were shelling out inside Rogers Arena across the street.

The next day, Mrs. Sip and I celebrated a belated Valentine’s Day. We started with a late lunch/early dinner at Glowbal. Our table ended up filled with happy hour appetizers, the feast comprised of their Trio of Sliders (complete with Cotton Candy for dessert), Fish Fritters, Calamari, Avocado Toast, Cheese Croquettes, and Caesar Salad. It was a scrumptious meal, which I paired with a pint of Parallel 49 Pale Ale.

valentines-day

The celebration continued with a performance of The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The show was very good and you just can’t top a venue like The Orpheum for concerts.

To wrap the Family Day long weekend, we travelled across the border for an outing. While in Bellingham, we enjoyed a meal at Twin Sisters Brewing (brewery number 81 for Toddler Sip). Another buffet of many items consisted of their happy hour burger and tacos, along with Chili Cheese Fries and Beer Pretzel Bites, which may have been the best pretzel bites I’ve ever had. For drinks, I went with their award-winning Strawberry Zwickelbier, while Mrs. Sip added a taster of Cranberry Wheat Ale.

Hopefully it’s less than two months before my next Sip Trips. With baby number two set to arrive in under a month, we could be on lockdown for a little while, but that doesn’t mean the fun stops!

Sip Trips #54: Dinner and a Show

As the post-holiday blues subside we get back to our regular routine, Mrs. Sip and I have made sure to continue having fun, out and about, in this beautiful city we call home. Here’s what we got up to over the last week:

With tickets to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s ‘As Heard on TV’ concert last Friday, Mrs. Sip and I needed a spot for a date night dinner beforehand. Dunn’s Famous BC is located right next to The Orpheum concert hall and is perfect for pre-concert food and drink. The restaurant recently went through a prolonged renovation, morphing into more of a deli type eatery, similar to its original location in Montreal, Quebec.

cat-has-a-symphony

We’ve enjoyed Dunn’s before, but haven’t visited since it reopened. While we had heard it was more of a takeout place now, that was incorrect and there was ample seating for guests who wanted to eat in. My concern was that alcoholic beverages could no longer be had, but that fear was quickly relieved by their advertisement of a bucket of beers deal on Fridays (among other offers, throughout the week).

Our drink order was a no-brainer. Their usual bucket of beer listing is $20 for four Steam Whistle bottles. On Fridays however, you can get five East Coast bottles of craft beer for the same price. Our bucket included three Unibroue selections (Blanche de Chambly, La Fin du Monde and Maudite) and two from Muskoka (Mad Tom IPA and Detour IPA). This all paired nicely with our order of Fried Chicken Poutine and a California Grilled Cheese, to share.

The next day, we made the long journey from Downtown Vancouver to Langley for Backyard Vineyards open house event. The gathering commemorated the winery’s release of their 2013 Syrah Reserve, which they were offering complimentary tastings of.

wine tasting randy marsh

Outside of enjoying the Syrah, Ma and Pa Sip ordered a couple bottles of Backyard’s Rose, which is a crisp, light and flavourful wine that goes down very easy… especially when you’re enjoying the music of Andrew Christopher and taking in the beautiful surroundings.

I almost hate saying this because the open houses are busy enough already, but the winery is great, the staff amazing and if at all possible, it should be experienced. Mrs. Sip has been a member of Backyard for a couple years now and we’ve managed to convert other family and even strangers to join the club.

The upcoming weeks are filling up quickly. This weekend, we’ll be at Big Rock Urban Brewery for the Winter Beer Hall (part of the annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival) and with Mrs. Sip’s birthday rapidly approaching, there will be much to discuss. Sip well, my friends!