Sip Trips #1 – Holiday Hops

We begin this new, exciting project at The Sip Advisor with a look at the holiday season. Let’s start with New Year’s Eve, where every year, people fret over their plans for the evening. Are they doing something epic enough? Who are they choosing to spend the big night with? Well, this year, the Sip Advisor and members of the Sip Syndicate took our partying to the Craft Beer Market for their Best of 2014 Brewmaster Dinner.

The event featured the best food and beer pairings from the restaurant’s Brewmaster Series of dinners, throughout 2014. This included Winter Onion Soup with Howe Sound Rail Nut Brown Ale; Korean Tacos with Hopworks Urban Brewery Organic IPA, Hop Glazed Pork Belly with Parallel 49 Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale; and Chocolate Liege Waffles with Red Racer Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Porter, for dessert.

Beer for Dinner

The meal was very good overall, with the only blemish being that the soup came out lukewarm. The great staff at Craft quickly remedied this with a round of Burt Reynolds shots. The Sip Advisor also ordered a couple side beers in the Stanley Park Ice Breaker Winter Ale and the Steamworks Black Angel IPA. By the time 2014 turned into 2015, we were all about as glazed as the pork belly!

Rewinding a little, Christmas was also kind to the Sip Advisor with new additions to the collection. Sis-in-Law Sip gifted yours truly with a bottle of the new Bailey’s Irish Crème Chocolate Cherry, while Mrs. Sip was the recipient of a bottle of Centenario Tequila. Also under the tree this year was a couple new bar tools, as well as a new apron that proudly exclaims that “Sip Happens!” After all, real men aren’t afraid to wear an apron!

Mrs. Sip sure knows how to shop for me, picking up some neat Bitters Flavours that will be great for future experiments. For her, I picked up a great set of three sparkling wines (200 ml bottles) from around the world, which even came with a $5 gift card to Legacy Liquor Store. There was also a large plastic candy cane, filled with Pinnacle Vodka mini bottles, including Peach, Salted Caramel, Whipped, and Cinnabon flavours.

Christmas Liquor

Mrs. Sip, myself, and Sis-in-Law Sip also took some time to set up our own German beer tasting, featuring Maisel’s Weisse, Ayinger Brau-Weisse, and Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier. It was a nice way to try some great brews from the land of beer and chocolate.

In some liquor news, I was recently made aware of a new Crown Royal release: Crown Royal Regal Apple Whiskey, which I can’t wait to add to my cabinet. It still amazes me when a Canadian product (and a proud one at that) enters my conscious thanks to an American store’s e-mail, rather than happily stumbling upon it at any local store. At least the Canadian product will be in stores across the country, unlike many Yukon Jack offerings, which I’ve only been able to locate across the border.

That wraps up this first edition of Out and About with the Sip Advisor. Time will only tell what next week holds in store!

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