Sip Trips #87: Holiday Wrap

I’m not going to lie, my little sippers. The Sip Advisor is a little down in the dumps with the holiday season coming to a close. I know there are some amazing things on the horizon and these feelings will pass. Let’s take a look at how the Sip Alliance finished 2016.

repeat-last-years-mistakes

On Friday, Mrs. Sip and I visited Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar for a little date night and to celebrate the last working day of the year. When we had tried to eat there, following our trip to the Vancouver Christmas Market, they were hosting a private event, but we were given two drink coupons to entice us to return. While we split a meal of their Short Rib Beef Dip and Chicken Tenders, Mrs. Sip ordered the Elderflower Radler, while I enjoyed a pint of R&B Brewing’s Shake Yo Fruity Milkshake IPA (featured in the original Beer of the Week post). We also sampled the Central City Brewing Southern Cross Kiwi Sour, which I had heard was a very popular beer from the company’s Seasons Greetings advent calendar.

To ring in the New Year, the Sip Alliance made our way to Craft Beer Market for their Best of 2016 Brewmaster’s Dinner. The event featured a four-course meal with beer pairings, with the menu, as follows: Mushroom, Bacon and Bean Ragout with Delirium Tremens; Salmon Crudo with Steamworks & Craft Collaboration Kitchen Gose Mad; Braised Chuck Flat with Four Winds IPA; and Dark Chocolate Terrine with Phillips Longboat Chocolate Porter. The main course of braised chuck flat was delicious and paired nicely with the IPA, while the dessert and porter were also very good. I felt so-so about the two opening dishes, but the beers were both nice. As for pricing, early bird tickets were $65 and I thought the price was worth it… we certainly had a lot of fun throughout the evening.

new-years-eve-pro

Finally, last night, I got to enjoy one of my Christmas gifts, going to the Vancouver Canucks-Arizona Coyotes game with a friend who snagged me a ticket for a Secret Santa present. Prior to the contest, we met for drinks at the Devil’s Elbow Ale & Smoke House, which has a number of culinary items I wish to try in the coming months. On this visit, the Sip Advisor paired a couple pints of Howe Sound Brewing’s Father John Winter Ale with their Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich, which was incredibly good.

As for the game, the Canucks won 3-0, with one of those goals coming on a penalty shot, which was quite exciting. Drinking wise, craft beer is hard to come by at Rogers Arena. While the stadium has been required to have 10% of their beer sales be of the craft variety, they do have a contract with macro-brewer Molson and that’s why a majority of the products available fall under that banner. Oh well, like my beloved Canucks, you can’t win ‘em all!

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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!