Beer of the Week #15 – Steamworks Salted Chocolate Porter

Dessert in a bottle is how this Steamworks Brewing new product can best be described. A friend recently grabbed it for me, as a little gift for our recent Gender Reveal party and I got a chance to sit back and enjoy it this weekend.

The Salted Chocolate Porter uses hand-harvested Pacific Ocean Fleur de Sel from the Vancouver Island Salt Co. The 6% ABV, 25 IBUs beverage features flavours and aromas of chocolate and vanilla to complete its experience.

Steamworks Salted Chocolate Porter

This limited release is available in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores and private locations. It is the first to come from Steamworks new Illumination Series and I can’t wait to see what follows from the experimental line.

Of the series, Steamworks says the beers will be comprised of: “specialized ingredients, cutting-edge brewing techniques and the spirit of invention.” Next up, is the Umeboshi Sour, infused with Japanese plums.

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Mixer Mania #15 – Going Nutty

The Sip Advisor feels bad for folks with a peanut allergy. I don’t know how I’d cope with existence if I wasn’t able to enjoy the legume. Not to rub salt in the wound, but here are my favourite peanut-based products that they’re missing out on:

Peanut Butter

Of the crunchy variety, of course, this glorious spread is best enjoyed in making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I have also come to like using the substance on crackers, as well as mixing it with a handful of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Trail Mix

The Sip Advisor is a trail mix fiend, particularly of the variation that includes Smarties or some other chocolate treat to complete the experience of salty nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds) and raisins. That sweet touch is just right to balance the blend.

Trail Mix

Chocolate Bars

Among the peanut-packed confections I enjoy are Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Pay Day, Take 5, Snickers, Oh Henry!, Peanut M&Ms (as well as other chocolate-covered peanuts), and Butterfinger. Did you know, the Reese behind Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups was Harry Burnett “H.B.” Reese, who invented the treat in 1928. Amazingly, he did this while raising 16 children!

Peanuts

Although I adore potato chips, during times while I’ve tried laying off the snack, I have often relied on peanuts to get my salt fix. Whether that be through barbecue, honey roasted, or mesquite mustard-flavoured releases, it gets the job done.

Cookies

There are few things as satisfying than a fresh-out-of-the-oven peanut butter cookie. If you add chocolate chips to the cookie, you’re in heaven. I have never tried to add jam, however, so this may be a future experiment.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Alcohol

Whether it be a Peanut Butter Stout or Van Gogh PB&J Vodka, I welcome peanuts in liquid form. One of my most favourite cocktails of all time used a peanut liqueur and it was to die for. As for nut-based brews, I’m always in for a pint… or pitcher… or keg!

Asian Dishes

I’m totally into menu items that incorporate peanuts into it for a little crunch or flavour. This includes Japanese Gomaae (spinach salad with peanut sauce) and Chinese Kung Pao Chicken. Most recently, the Sip Advisor has greatly enjoyed the Hunan Kung Pao meal at Earl’s Restaurants.

Mixer Mania #15: Peanutty Buddy

Peanutty Buddy.JPG

  • Rim glass with Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • 1.5 oz Frangelico
  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda
  • Splash of Milk

In wrapping up, is there anything peanut-based that the Sip Advisor doesn’t like? Well, I’m not a fan of peanut brittle and I’d rather not have shelled peanuts because of the effort it takes just to get two little bits out, not to mention the resulting mess. That’s about it, I’d say.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I can’t believe how hard it is to find any cocktail recipes for the Lester’s Fixins Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda. I did find this concoction and altered it to suit my needs, removing the Lemon-Lime Soda and chunk of Peanut Butter in favour of the PB&J Soda, while also lowering the milk content. The drink wasn’t offensive in any way, but there just wasn’t much of a flavour profile at all.

Snack Time #14 – Hershey’s Cookie+ Bars

When Ma Sip first told me she had picked up these Hershey’s Chocolate new releases, I got a little excited. Unfortunately, while still pretty good, they didn’t live up to my hopeful expectations.

Part of this is because I’ve never been enthralled with Hershey’s chocolate. Also, I was hoping the bars would be more similar to the Cookies & line released by Mars Inc. when the Sip Advisor was a teenager.

Hershey's Cookie+ Bars.jpg

The bars come in Vanilla Crème and Caramel varieties. Each pouch contains seven snack-sized bars, which was a little disappointing given the price Ma Sip paid, but not surprising given the ways of the world.

For whatever reason, I can only find information on the company’s similar Cookie Layer Crunch Bars, which also offers a Mint-flavoured option. Not sure where the Cookie+ bars have been lost to?

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Sip Trips #97: Baby on Board

Well, the cat’s finally out of the bag (that is such a weird saying… I mean, who puts a cat in a bag anyway): Mrs. Sip is pregnant! That has meant some great changes at the Sip Advisor offices, which I will delve into in future articles. Today’s post is about how we recently celebrated our big news, with the Great Cocktail Reveal party!

After taking a couple months to let our friends and family in on the secret, we were ready to reveal the gender of our little one in grand fashion. There was only one fitting way the Sip Advisor should learn of this detail and that was through either a pink or blue cocktail being poured by Mrs. Sip, who learned of the sex a couple weeks earlier.

Gender Reveal T-Shirt

Along with the cocktail being prepared for me, we also put together two pink and two blue recipes for our guests and let them make their wager through their beverage of choice. Each serving was garnished with either a pink or blue tuft of cotton candy, completing the presentation. Here are the tasty, yet simple cocktails I created for the event:

Blue Bubbles

  • Vodka
  • Bubble Gum Soda
  • Club Soda

Brilliant Blue

  • Tequila
  • Berry Blue Blast Juice
  • Lemon-Lime Soda

Pretty in Pink

  • Vodka
  • Pink Grapefruit Juice
  • Club Soda

Pink Danger

  • Tequila
  • Watermelon Juice
  • Lemon-Lime Soda

So, now that I’ve got your attention, I bet you’re wondering what the results were. Well, come late September (due date is estimated to be September 27th), Mrs. Sip and I will be the proud parents of a baby girl! While I’m still adjusting to writing lines like that, we are ecstatic with this development in our lives and can’t wait to meet the new addition to our family!

Beer of the Week #14 – Townsite Shiny Penny Belgian IPA

As someone who likes my beers to be strong, when I came across this Townsite Brewing product on a recent liquor shopping trip, I had to have it. I’m glad I picked it up and understand why it was the last remaining on the shelf.

Thankfully, the Shiny Penny Belgian IPA doesn’t take like copper and is instead highlighted by flavours of robust hops, grapefruit and passion fruit. At 8.5% ABV and 80 IBUs, the beverage can be cellared for up to five years, according to the brewery.

Townsite Shiny Penny Belgian IPA

Shiny Penny is derived from the pub name that brewmaster Cédric Dauchot – along with his wife and brewery manager Chloe Smith – planned to open in Saskatoon. When those plans fell through, the couple moved to Powell River to lead Townsite’s efforts.

The seasonal release is available in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores. The price (double digits) may not be right for some, but the beer is totally worth it for those who don’t mind shelling out a little extra for a good drink.

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Mixer Mania #14 – Apple Jacks

There are so many idioms that involve apples. No other fruit is used so frequently to convey completely unrelated ideas

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

I’d imagine this phrase was invented by the apple farmer’s industry, looking to boost sales and profit off of people’s anxiety.

Comparing apples and oranges

Have you ever seen an orange apple? For that matter, have you ever seen an orange that is anything but orange (provided it hasn’t gone rotten or moldy)?

Apples to Oranges

The apple of my eye

This is certainly how Mrs. Sip views me, as someone she cherishes above everyone else. Wishful thinking, perhaps!?

The Big Apple

Of all folks, it was a sports writer who first gave New York the nickname the Big Apple, when referring to the horse racing scene and all the money available from it in the city.

Good and bad apples/Rotten apple

I’d like to think that I’m a good apple among many bad/rotten apples in this world, but maybe there’s a little bruising on the ol’ Sip Advisor, too.

How do you like them apples?

Did you know that this expression has an abbreviation (HDYLTA), which is pronounced ‘huduyuluta’? I wish I could say that I made that up for this article. Anyhoo, the rhetorical phrase may come from the British use of ‘Toffee Apple’ trench mortars in World War I.

How Do You Like Them Apples

The apple never falls far from the tree

While using fruit to compare fathers/sons or mothers/daughters seems apropos, when you pick up said apple and throw it far away from the tree, that’s when you get estranged fruit/family.

As American as apple pie

Not to offend any of my American readers, but I always thought of the US as a state fair deep-fried dessert kind of country. Us Canadians call dibs on the majestic donut, though.

It takes one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch/barrel/bushel

Regardless of how the song goes, it’s been scientifically proven that one bad apple does in fact spoil a whole group of the fruit.

Upset the apple cart

Just like this site has been attempting to do since its launch, we aim to disturb the status quo and change the cocktail world… for the better, of course.

Mixer Mania #14: Dirty Apple

Dirty Apple

  • 1.5 oz Kahlua
  • Top with Apple Juice
  • Splash of Milk
  • Garnish with an Apple Slice

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.25 Sips out of 5):
I made this cocktail even dirtier, going with my Chili Chocolate version of Kahlua for an added touch of spice. I also subbed in Apple Lime Juice, which has been a trusted mixer for the Sip Advisor for years. The drink turned out pretty well.

Snack Time #13 – Ruffles Mozzarella ‘N Marinara Chips

The Sip Advisor is a big fan of Ruffles Potato Chips. When a new release from the company comes along, you better believe I’ll be front and center, trying to get my grubby little paws on a bag of the snack food.

The Mozzarella ‘N Marinara Chips are an intriguing product. Looking to replicate a classic Mozzarella Stick, I think they get the job done, with flavours of cheese, tomato sauce, garlic and spices featured in the recipe.

Ruffles Mozzarella ‘N Marinara Chips.png

There was a time when the Sip Advisor refused to each cheese. That has changed, with mozzarella being one of my preferred options now. Given I’ll eat anything that’s deep fried, Mozzarella Sticks have gained my approval.

It’s hard for me to narrow down my favourite Ruffles flavour, but I’d probably give an edge to their Sour Cream ‘N Onion variety. Another contender is Sour Cream ‘N Bacon, which is funny given I don’t like sour cream.

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