Sip Trips #115: New Beginnings

(This article was meant to be posted on September 22, but things became a little hectic for Mrs. Sip and I… read to the end of this post to learn why!)

Well, after a relatively quiet weekend prior, the busy came back with a vengeance last week and into the most recent break from work. Here’s the latest Sip Advisor activity, for your viewing pleasure:

Last Tuesday, we attended the Gentlemen Hecklers show at the Rio Theatre. Prior to the guys’ skewering of the 1996 classic Anaconda, we ended up at the Storm Crow Tavern for a bite to eat. The place is a nerd haven, with round the clock sci-fi and fantasy shows on their TV screens, a mammoth collection of board and card games to play, and one of the most creative menus I have ever come across. You can order a number of items, including burgers and shots, based on rolling the 20-sided dice that role playing fans will be familiar with. As for our meal, we split a round of Teenage Mutant Deep Fried Pickles, with my main being their Klingon Chicken Strips of Prey (with fries), paired with a pint of Red Truck Brew of Cthulhu Lager. We will definitely be back soon. As for our show, it was very funny, and a great reminder of just how bad of a movie Anaconda was. I think I mean bad in a good way, though, as it’s the perfect film to be lampooned by the trio of comedians.

20-Sided Dice.jpg

The rest of the week was used to rest and relax, as the weekend featured a close friend’s stag and what was sure to be a wild day out. We began with paintball at Panther Paintball in Langley. I’m not the biggest paintball fan, but this outdoor location was fun and provided a good starting activity for our group. The poor bachelor had to run through a gauntlet of his friends firing shots at him, but took it like a champion. Hopefully his wounds heal quickly.

Next up was a Vancouver Whitecaps game, where we would be enjoying the luxury of a stadium suite. This was not cheap and when food and drink orders were accounted for the bill was quite high. Our order included the equivalent of a case of beer, bottles of Crown Royal Whiskey and Smirnoff Vodka, trays of chicken wings, dry ribs and hotdogs, potato chips and popcorn, and even a plate of veggies. While the alcohol was all consumed, we handed out what remaining food there was to some needy street folk, doing our civic duty.

Following the game, we journeyed to the Irish Heather for more boozing. I started with their Black and Tan beer cocktail, which combined Guinness and Russell Brewing’s Peaks and Valleys Extra Pale Ale. I also enjoyed a pint of Russell Punch Bowl IPA and joined some of the guys for a round of Japanese whiskey, which was smooth and delicious.

Whiskey Age

The next day, we were off to watch the Vancouver Canucks vs. Vegas Golden Knights in preseason action. I’ve followed the new Vegas franchise since its inception and upon learning their first ever contest would be against my Vancouver Canucks, I knew I had to be at the game. Mrs. Sip translated this desire into getting me and her half-season tickets… I like her thinking. As for the game, the Canucks got torched pretty bad 9-4.

On Tuesday, we attended a free screening of the second season premiere of Kim’s Convenience at the Vogue Theatre. For those unfamiliar with the show, it is centered on a Korean family who own and operate a convenience store in Toronto. The show is hilarious and the event included appearances from the main cast members, as well as airing the first two episodes of season two. The price was certainly right.

This past weekend was to be another busy one, as we had plans to celebrate the Sip Advisor’s 34th birthday in style. On the docket were trips to the VIP Theatre, a Caskival at Yaletown Brewing, another Vancouver Whitecaps game with the guys, and family dinners at EXP and White Spot. Fate intervened however, when Mrs. Sip went into labour on my birthday (September 22) with our daughter, Leela Audrey Giselle Wilson arriving early the next morning! We are thrilled she is finally here and both baby and mom and doing very well!

Advertisements

Sip Trips #30: Beer, Balls, and Barbecue

While Mrs. Sip and I managed to find some rare quiet time Friday night (cracking into our ever-growing wine and beer collections), the weekend was quite busy with a number of events drawing our attention. Here’s how we fared during the mid-summer hustle and bustle!

On our way out to Ma and Pa Sip’s place in Delta on Saturday, we stopped by Four Winds Brewing, where they had just released another of their small batch beers, Pequeno Cabo (a brew aged in tequila barrels), which a friend had advised me of earlier in the week. When we got there, they had just run out of bottles (this is the thanks I get for letting Mrs. Sip sleep in!), but our server was very willing to help us track it down at one of the stores they distribute to. Since we were already there, we ordered glasses of their Wildflower Saison and Juxtapose Wild IPA. Both were very good, with the IPA being an offering that even Mrs. Sip was into, so we picked up a bottle for our family barbecue that afternoon.

tequila wake up

We then drove over to the One20 Public House’s liquor store, where lying in wait was the Pequeno Cabo. It was advertised as tasting reminiscent of a lime margarita and they weren’t joking. It was a sour-style brew that went down very easy. Would I buy it again? Perhaps not, but it was great to try while available.

As for the barbecue, it was a lot of fun, full of good food, good drinks, and good times. Although we came up short in our bid for bocce supremacy, Mrs. Sip and I performed quite well during the later evening’s beer pong and flippy cup shenanigans!

The next day, we had to head out earlier than usual, as we were meeting members of the Sip Syndicate for drinks, prior to the Vancouver Whitecaps Major League Soccer game, to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We assembled at Back Forty, where upon arriving behind schedule, two pitchers of Parallel 49 Gypsy Tears had already been ordered and needed to be dealt with, as the game’s start time was approaching. Always up to the task, Mrs. Sip and I downed a couple glasses each and we were off.

soccer-kiss

The Whitecaps play out of BC Place Stadium, which has made strides in recent years to bring some craft beer into the venue. I spotted Parallel 49, Steamworks, and Stanley Park on some taps and there were others among the concessions. I also picked up a couple cups of Shocktop during halftime to quench my thirst.

A true highlight to the week was our meal at Wildebeest, following the game. To begin, I ordered the Uppercut cocktail, which mixed, Calvados, Italian Vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur, Orange Bitters, and Peated Scotch, all served at room temperature. I liked the cocktail, but wonder if it would have been taken to a whole other level with the addition of some ice.

For food, our group decided to go for the option where you let them know how much each person in the party is willing to pay and they put together a menu for you. You can go between $40-$60, so we settled in the middle at $50 per head. We were then blown away to receive a seven-course shared meal, which included pork cutlets, beef carpaccio, poutine, bone marrow, an egg dish, strip loin steak, and halibut. It was a feast for the ages! Later in the meal, a round of Ardbeg Supervona Scotch was ordered and this was a truly decadent experience.

scotch in a can

Quite a bit of liquor news came out this week, most notably the announcement that establishments that manufacture alcoholic beverages (breweries, distilleries, wineries, etc.) around British Columbia will now be able to sell liquor products produced by other companies in their locations. This means that Ma Sip can now get a glass of wine, while accompanying myself and Mrs. Sip to some of our favourite breweries, much like she’s able to do when we travel in the U.S.

The August long weekend is upon us and despite Mrs. Sip taking off on me (again!) to Las Vegas with her girlfriends, the three days of rest will be full of poolside debauchery. Check back next week for a full recap!

Sip Trips #29: Camping Capers

There’s a lot to get to this week, so let’s get right to it. With Mrs. Sip’s return from Europe, she brought home a bottle of Pimms Strawberry with a hint of Mint and a bottle of Croatian wine. Friends of ours, living in London, also had mini bottles of schnapps (peach and pear) to send back with her.

For our camping trip to Golden Ears, some serious shopping had to be done, to stock up on beverages for the getaway. While I prefer drinking from bottles, it’s always good to have some canned beer on you when camping, as it fits better in coolers, is easier to conceal (if need be… I don’t tell people how to live their lives!), and provides near identical relief.

camping tent

I grabbed the Big Rock Swinger Pack to satisfy this requirement. The mixed set included their Grasshopper Wheat Ale, 7B California Common, Rhine Stone Cowboy Kolsch, and Cherry Farini Kristalweizen, which I was particularly curious about and was looking forward to try. I like Big Rock, but I find their Grasshopper to be very light on the wheat side. The Cherry Farini was a little heavier, though, and I liked the flavour, which wasn’t too overwhelming. As for the rest of the pack, they were solid brews and just right for the summer heat.

While you always worry about whether your packed enough booze, some of the bottles I picked up with the hopes of consuming while out in the forest, I never even got to. This included the Red Truck Campfire Kolsch (ironic due to the current province-wide campfire ban), Old Yale Moon Dance Mango Wheat, Hoyne Dark Matter, and Cannery Blackberry Porter.

Mrs. Sip and I did split the Mango Wheat after returning to civilization, and while good, it wasn’t chilled to the right level, having just made the journey home with us in a cooler that had lost much of its cool. That’s my fault for jumping the gun on the beer, but thirst needed to be quenched!

camping bar

For future camping, we learned to save our canned beers for trips to the beach or hiking, as they travel a little easier than bottles and seem to stay chilled longer. Tasting glasses also seemed to be a hit, especially with bigger bomber bottles that were better split and shared among friends.

Late last week, we managed to squeeze in a bike ride to Postmark Brewing, where we sat down to a tasting flight of their beers, including the Raspberry Lemon Zest Hefe (the brew that drew me into visiting the location), West Coast Pale Ale, IPA, and Dry Irish Stout.

While there, we also grabbed a couple of products from their store, including the Glassbender Farmhouse Ale and BISA, a Belgian ISA. It was interesting to note that the Farmhouse Ale was $4 cheaper in the store, compared to the adjacent restaurant. If you’re on the fence about whether to give the brew a shot, pick it up and take it home. Mrs. Sip and I both enjoyed it, pouring it into plastic wine glasses while camping, to emulate how the beverage was being served in the restaurant. The BISA, which combines tangerines and spice, is at the forefront of my Drinking ‘To Do’ List!

bears-on-camping

I also bought a bottle of Wiser’s Vanilla Spiced Whiskey recently, as I need to get caught up on all the recipes I wasn’t able to put together as first we had to vacate our apartment due to the flood all the way back at the start of May and then Mrs. Sip leaving for a month-long vacation in Europe, taking our camera with her.

The next week looks busy (when doesn’t it?) with a family barbecue, a trip to the drive-in theatre, a Vancouver Whitecaps game – where thankfully, the stadium has come to embrace the craft beer revolution! – and who knows what else wild stuff we’re likely to get up to!