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!

Advertisements

BC Beer Baron #260 – Yellow Dog Stick Toss Saison

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. Saisons have quickly become a favourite style of the Sip Advisor. I’ve even gone so far as to call the summer of 2016 my ‘Summer of Saison’. Let’s see what BC has to offer.

At the end of our recent Port Moody Brewers Row tour, Cousin Sip filled a growler of this Yellow Dog Brewing release, having enjoyed it so much. This was lucky for the Sip Advisor, who was provided another opportunity to savour the beer again a few days later.

The Stick Toss Saison is flavourful and refreshing, with pleasant notes of fruit and spice. The 5.2% ABV, 25 IBUs drink is made for summer drinking and really shines on those hottest and most humid days.

yellow-dog-brewing

The Stick Toss is a staple of the brewery’s lineup, so much so that they often experiment with it as a base. They have produced Apricot, Orange Peel and Cranberry adaptations of the beer, taking an established beverage to a whole ‘nutha level!

Yellow Dog also has the Go Fetch Hoppy Saison, Super Secret Sour Saison and Bootweather Brett Saison, as part of their collection. The company is very open to experimenting, so who knows what they will dream up next.

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

BC Beer Baron #215 – Yellow Dog Pineapple Brett IPA

Recently, Cousin Sip and I toured Port Moody’s Brewers Row. While we enjoyed each stop along the condensed route, our relaxing beverages at Yellow Dog Brewing, may have been the highlight of the day out, sans spouses.

In fact, I enjoyed my serving of their Pineapple Brett IPA so much, that we returned to the brewery before leaving the area, to fill a couple growlers of the drink. Of course, pineapple is a prominent flavour here, but I enjoyed it, even though I prefer the fruit on pizza.

Yellow Dog Brewing

I assume the base of this 7% ABV brew is Yellow Dog’s Play Dead IPA, but I could be wrong. The beer is available at some of the Lower Mainland’s finest beer establishments, such as Darby’s Public House in Kitsilano and Alibi Room in Vancouver’s Gastown district.

This was my second trip to Yellow Dog’s tasting room, but our previous venture was during the winter and on a rainy day. Therefore, I had no clue that the brewery had a gorgeous seating area at the back of their facility, complete with picnic tables for beer enjoyment. I can’t wait to bring Mrs. Sip along next time.

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

Sip Trips #70: Brewers Row

With Mrs. Sip away in Las Vegas, the Sip Advisor did not shy away from play and had a very busy weekend that went by way too quickly.

On Saturday, members of the Sip Syndicate attended the annual Deighton Cup at Hastings Racecourse. This is the city’s swankiest event of the year, with folks decked out in their finest threads, hats, fastenators and other duds.

Horse Racing

The day of races started off with a wonderful lunch, where options included a Smoked Bo Ssam Beef Brisket Sandwich or Korean BBQ Shrimp on Grits. I went with the beef brisket sandwich and absolutely loved it.

After a few good drinks and some betting wins and near misses, all seemed well, but the end of the event took a bit of a scary twist. On the home stretch of the final race, the horse I bet on crashed to the ground, injuring its jockey. I haven’t been able to find any info on the jockey, so I can only assume their injuries weren’t too severe. No news, might be good news, in this instance.

Early bird tickets to the Deighton Cup were $65, plus fees. I think the price was worth it just for the spectacle of the event, but a couple weeks prior to the big day, a Social Shopper deal came out that would have been nice to take advantage of. It offered the lunch, two drinks and gifts totalling $25, all for the same price of early bird tickets. It’s hard not to jump on tickets when they first come out, but you always have to worry about these great coupon deals becoming available later.

Early Bird Grumpy Cat

Following the races, we went for dinner at the Big Rock Urban Eatery. This was my second time visiting the restaurant in recent weeks and I have been impressed with their expanded food menu, compared to when the place originally opened. I tried their BRUeben sandwich, complete with scrumptious skinny fries and also shared some chipotle-buffalo wings with the group.

On Sunday, Cousin Sip and I travelled to Port Moody to experience their ‘Brewers Row’. The Row consists of Twin Sails Brewing, Yellow Dog Brewing, Parkside Brewing and Moody Ales, all within a five-minute walk. While I will leave beverage reviews to the BC Beer Baron project, here are some general impressions I had from our day out:

Twin Sails: Offering up Germanic brews (Kolsch, Gose, etc.), this is where Cousin Sip and I started our day. I liked their open garage door setting, with plenty of seats.

Yellow Dog: Here, we sat in the brewery’s backyard patio area, which had an abundance of picnic tables, amongst a serene shady setting (at least until a couple trains roared through).

Early Intoxication

Parkside: The newest addition to the Row also had wine and cider available to customers, as well as two guest taps, to supplement their own lineup. The brewery’s beer flights come on little benches, which are incredibly cute.

Moody Ales: Cousin Sip grabbed some delicious spring rolls from the food truck located outside the brewery, while I sampled a few beers, including a cask serving and a guest tap.

The Row, as a whole, appeared to be very family and child friendly (including pets), with a kid’s birthday going on at one location, while a baby shower was setting up at another. The beer at each establishment was very good and it’s hard for me to pick a favourite stop from the day. One thing is for sure, though: we will be back!

BC Beer Baron #136 – Yellow Dog Shake a Paw Smoked 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.

There was a time when the Sip Advisor loathed porters. Luckily, I came to my senses and this Yellow Dog Brewing release was one of the brews that got me there.

I love my smoke-flavoured beers and the Shake a Paw Smoked Porter is high on that list. To bring out the most smokiness possible, the beer should be drank at a warmer temperature. If you – like the Sip Advisor – prefer your beers cold, you may have to wait a little for maximum flavour.

Yellow Dog Shake a Paw Smoked Porter

Originally, Shake a Paw was to be a limited release, but after winning the Best of Show award at the 2014 BC Beer Awards, it became a flagship beer for the company. I love Yellow Dog’s beer names, all of which have to do with puppy behaviour. There’s the Chase My Tail Pale Ale, Play Dead IPA, Stick Toss Saison, and Take a Walk Wit, among others.

Mrs. Sip and I were able to visit Yellow Dog’s Port Moody location once before and have been meaning to return. The place is one of the most dog friendly operations I’ve ever witnessed and I guess that naturally comes with the name.

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

Sip Trips #11: Luck of the Irish

The greatest drinking holiday of the year has come and gone and you know the Sip Advisor celebrated in style! We started the weekend off by attending an early St. Patrick’s Day party at the Jericho Garrison. Both Monster Energy Drink and Red Truck Beer were at the event, along with live music and other entertainment. It didn’t take long for the beer pong to get started up and the Sip Advisor made his usual strong contributions to his teams.

Beer Pong Grandma

On Sunday, with a touch of bad weather hitting the ‘Wet Coast,’ we decided to make a jaunt across the border to Bellingham, Washington, for a little shopping and a visit to the Boundary Bay Brewery. Mrs. Sip and I shared a sampler of their beers, which included six varieties to try. Our consensus favourite among the collection was the Oatmeal Stout, further expanding my burgeoning love for darker beers. It also comes in at a whopping 9.6%, so you’ll feel it soon enough!

It was also at Boundary Bay Brewery that the Sip Advisor finally joined the Instagram world. Feel free to follow me and my adventures in boozing… so long as I can find a wireless signal to get attached to. No data plan for this guy, I’m a free internet man!

Tuesday, of course, was St. Patrick’s Day… a national holiday for some and what should be for others, such as the Sip Advisor! The occasion brings up a lot of the same questions you hear around New Year’s Eve: Who will you celebrate with? More importantly, where will you take your partying ways? We decided, in that case, to repeat our New Year’s Eve plans, by celebrating at Craft Beer Market.

St. Patrick's Day Next

Decked out in our best emerald ensembles – or for some of us, the only green clothing option we have hidden away – we did what the Irish do best and drank our faces off! Mrs. Sip tried the just tapped Stanley Park Brewery Irish Stout Cask, while we also ordered one rack of Craft’s Around the World Sampler, which featured a grouping of wheat beers, followed by the Local Sampler, comprised of stouts and porters.

The sampler menus don’t always hit home for me, but these two sets looked good, with the Around the World containing four of six beers that I’ve tried before and are among my favourites, while the Local had some dark beer options that go perfectly with St. Patrick’s Day. Us guys topped the evening off with a shot of chilled Jameson Irish Whiskey, which was the perfect nightcap!

The fun didn’t stop with St. Patrick’s Day ending, as Mrs. Sip and her ladies met at their usual Joey’s Restaurant stop prior to a theatre evening and somehow, the Sip Advisor got invited along for a drink and a snack. Joey’s has the best skinny fries this side of McDonald’s and a bunch of their other eats are pretty good. Their happy hour specials are a highlight, although we’ve found that the deals vary depending on which location you’re at.

Drinking Time Sun

In liquor news, a lot of hullabaloo was made recently about how much water craft breweries are using. This is an absolutely ridiculous attack on the industry. Does Starbucks get any guff for how much H2O they’re pilfering for their disgusting beverages? And what about macro breweries which, by the nature of their name, have to be using more water than smaller operations?

As Ma Sip pointed out, the craft breweries are responsible for creating a ton of new jobs (from brewery staff, to servers at their tasting rooms) and you also have to consider Mrs. Sip’s arguments about increased tourism and all the benefits that can have on an area. Just look at how well Portland is doing, as well as other communities that are growing the industry.

Lastly, there’s one local product the Sip Advisor was made aware of this week: a collaboration brew between Persephone Brewing and Yellow Dog Beer. This Lightly Smoked Pilsner has me salivating for a taste and I’ll have to be vigilant in tracking it down!