Snack Time #8: Jelly Belly 10 Flavour Pack

After mentioning that I was craving jelly beans the other day, as a belated Valentine’s Day treat, Mrs. Sip picked up a box of the Jelly Belly 10 Flavour Pack for moi. The case was holiday-themed for the occasion, but also comes in a year-round format.

Flavours included blueberry, buttered popcorn, cinnamon, coconut, licorice, Sunkist tangerine mandarin, green apple, juicy pear, watermelon, and very cherry. That’s an impressively broad profile of tastes in one little pack.

jelly-belly-10-flavour-pack

The only one I didn’t like was the juicy pear, although I’ve never understood Jelly Belly always hyping their buttered popcorn bean. I would have rather seen strawberry or a lemon/lime flavour instead, among the company’s eclectic options.

I liked that the pack is spilt into 10 labeled pods as I always found assorted Jelly Belly packs frustrating with not knowing whether I was putting watermelon or jalapeño in my mouth. I think Jelly Belly sadistically thrives on that risk.

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Sip Trips #58: Chocolate for My Love

Over Valentine’s Day weekend, Mrs. Sip and I were able to attend two separate events in Langley, one pairing chocolate with wine and the other pairing chocolate with beer. Is there any better way to celebrate the holiday!?

Valentine's Day Romantic Gesture

First, on Saturday, we visited Township 7 Winery, where $15 got guests six generous samples of wine, four of which were paired with a chocolate treat from the White Rock Chocolate Company. Among the pairings were:

  • Sauvignon Blanc with Sea Salt & Lime Chocolate
  • Chardonnay with Brown Butter Caramel Chocolate
  • Merlot with choice of Cinnamon Chocolate or Chili Chocolate
  • NBO Blend with Black Cherry Silk Chocolate

The Sip Advisor’s favourite combo was the Merlot with the Chili Chocolate, as the spice of the chocolate was switched into overdrive with each sip of the wine. That said, the best chocolate overall was the Brown Butter Caramel Chocolate.

Next up, on Sunday, Mrs. Sip and I ventured out to Trading Post Brewing, which had just opened the day before to massive line-ups, as enthusiasts wanted to check out Langley’s first true craft brewery (Dead Frog Brewing is technically located in the neighbouring community of Aldergrove). Mrs. Sip and I had originally hoped to be one of the first guests of the new operation, but long waits and other commitments kiboshed that idea. Trading Post did offer a great incentive upon opening: the first 50 visitors to bring a bottle or can of macro-brewed beer, could exchange that for a free growler from the upstart brewery.

Valentine's Day Lent

The extra day’s wait was worth it, as we were able to partake in Trading Post’s Valentine’s Day chocolate and beer pairing. While we were able to sample each of the six beers available at launch (another two are in the works), each brew was paired with a chocolate from Abbotsford’s ChocolaTas. The pairings included:

  • 1827 Helles Lager with Grapefruit Ganache Chocolate
  • Derby Hop Session Lager with Pistachio Mousse Chocolate
  • Owyhee Tropical Wheat Ale with Green Curry and Ginger Chocolate
  • Capt. Coopers Cranberry Ale with Basil Tomato & Raspberry Chocolate
  • What Cheer Brett IPA with Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate
  • Three Bears Breakfast Stout with Dark Chocolate Ganache Chocolate

Our mutual favourite combo was probably the Brett IPA and Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate. As for beers, I also enjoyed the Derby Hop Session Lager and Tropical Wheat Ale, while I found myself really getting into the Green Curry and Ginger Chocolate. Some of the ChocolaTas creations are quite unique, but I can only imagine they taste as good as all of these selections did.

The entire weekend proved that you really can’t go wrong with chocolate!

BC Beer Baron #46 – Trading Post What Cheer Brett IPA

Trading Post Brewing is BC’s newest craft beer operation, having just opened on Saturday. While Mrs. Sip and I tried to visit then, the out-the-door line-up prevented that, but we returned the next day and were able to partake in the brewery’s beer and chocolate pairing for Valentine’s Day.

One of our mutual favourites, among the company’s six-beer opening line-up was the What Cheer Brett IPA. This style of beer combines two of the most popular brewing families: sours and IPAs. Even Mrs. Sip was a fan, despite not loving either variety. I have suspicions that the salted caramel chocolate (from ChocolaTas in Abbotsford) pairing may have helped in her newfound appreciation!

Trading Post Brewing

The Brett IPA has a 6.6% ABV, with 56 IBUs. The refreshing brew was made with flavours of mango, guava and orange, while incorporating four different styles of hops.

To say Trading Post had a very successful opening weekend would be a huge understatement. While we were there, the company’s brewmaster was taking the time to chat with visitors about his creations and he was thrilled with the response so far from the craft beer community. Great for them, not-so-great for Mrs. Sip and I, but we’re happy for the new addition to the network.

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BC Beer Baron #45 – Barkerville Promise to Sophia Valentine Ale

For Valentine’s Day, featuring a love-themed beer as part of this 366-day BC craft beer project seemed like the perfect idea. My research, however, proved that there weren’t too many obvious options to choose from. That was, until I stumbled across the press release for this Barkerville Brewing product.

This is the second year that Promise to Sophia has hit the market before Valentine’s Day. It is a strong (6.9% ABV) and dark milk stout, flavoured with vanilla and anise. As the brewery writes, “Smooth and slightly sweet, this winter warmer is sure to inspire everlasting devotion.”

Barkerville Promise to Sophia

Promise to Sophia is the only Valentine Ale the Sip Advisor knows about and it has a hell of a story behind it. During the Cariboo Gold Rush of the 1860’s, John and Sophia Cameron staked their claim to riches, but sadly Sophia didn’t survive their first brutal winter, succumbing to typhoid fever.

On her death bed, Sophia asked her husband to return her body to their native Ontario. Three caskets, four funerals, and two burials later, John lived up to that promise and got Sophia to her final resting place. Now that is true love and dedication!

Barkerville, BC was the epicenter of the Cariboo Gold Rush and most of the brewing company’s beers are named with this is mind. There’s the 18 Karat Ale, Paydirt Cascadian Dark Ale, and White Gold Witbier, for example. Even when you pop a Barkerville Brewing bottle cap, you will be greeted with a message stating: “No Gold – Keep Digging!”

Only available at select private liquor stores, this beer wasn’t easy to track down and I have to give a special thanks to the Brewery Creek Liquor Store for having it in stock. When I succeeded in my mission of finding the Valentine Ale yesterday morning, there was only two left in stock. That’s another story of true love that will one day be told to future generations!

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BC Beer Baron #44 – Phillip’s Longboat Chocolate 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. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this month’s feature week will look at beers of a chocolate nature, perfect to celebrate the occasion.

Phillips Brewing is popular amongst craft beer aficionados both on Vancouver Island and the mainland and they have another winner on their hands here.

The Longboat Chocolate Porter is smooth and flavourful. The beer hits you with chocolate first and then finishes with the traditional coffee aftertaste that porters are known for.

Phillips Longboat Chocolate Porter

The brewery believes (and the Sip Advisor agrees) that one of the world’s classic historical pairings is that of chocolate and beer. Phillips goes so far as to associate their beer with the duos of “Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, Super Dave Osborne and Mr. Fuji, cheddar cheese and pickles, Bob and Doug McKenzie, Mork and Mindy, [and] Bonnie and Clyde!”

The smallest size the Longboat comes in is as a bomber because “341 mL just isn’t enough!” Suggested pairings for the brew are with vanilla ice cream and chocolate. Phillips also provides a few recipes using the Longboat Chocolate Porter, which customers can try. These include, Funky Gingerbread Cakes and Hammer Brownies.

I’ve managed to get over to Phillips on a couple occasions for growler fills (in fact, the Sip Advisor’s first growler ever was from Phillips – a nice souvenir from a weekend jaunt to Victoria) and tastings. Sadly, our most recent visits to the island have been too short to fit in a stop, but we honour the brewery from home, when we can.

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BC Beer Baron #40 – Old Yale Sasquatch Stout

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. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this month’s feature week will look at beers of a chocolate nature, perfect to celebrate the occasion.

On a recent trip to the liquor store and with Chocolate Week fast approaching, the Sip Advisor grabbed a bomber of this Old Yale Brewing beer. I had previously sampled the brew at Tip N’ Taste last summer and was amped to do a full serving.

The Sasquatch Stout comes exactly as advertised: “Coffee, chocolate & mystery”. I’m not sure what the “mystery” ingredient might be, but I can verify that the beer is damn good!

Old Yale Sasquatch Stout

I’m not alone; however, in my appreciation of the brew, as it received a gold medal in the stout category, as well as being named ‘Beer of the Year’ (aka ‘Best Beer in Canada’) at the 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards.

Suggested food pairings include steak, smoked brisket, pulled pork sandwich, oysters, French onion soup, chocolate cake, and Tiramisu, all of which seem truly decadent. I particularly love to try the Sasquatch Stout with a pulled pork sandwich and a side cup of French onion soup.

For those unfamiliar with sasquatches (otherwise known as Bigfoot), they are mythological beasts that most have concluded don’t exist, while a small network of believers continue to search for the truth. The region near Old Yale Brewing is a hub for sasquatch sightings, thus the beer’s name and that wonderful description.

The Sip Advisor would love to make a trip out to Old Yale Brewing’s facilities in Chilliwack, B.C., but since they are without a tasting room and only have growler fills and bottle purchases available, I’m a little less inclined to make the long journey.

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BC Beer Baron #39 – Bomber Choqlette 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. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this month’s feature week will look at beers of a chocolate nature, perfect to celebrate the occasion.

Today’s selection comes from Bomber Brewing, which adds chocolate three separate times to the brewing of this recipe, resulting in the Choqlette Porter. As the brewery puts it, this beer is a perfect blend of “chaos and balance” and given its stats of 5.5% ABV and only 18 IBU, I can kind of see what they’re getting at. Bomber even goes so far as to say the beverage is “London and Paris at home in one drink.”

Bomber Choqlette Porter

I first had the Choqlette Porter at last year’s Toast to the Coast at the Vancouver Aquarium. I think I went back to their booth on four separate occasions for a refill. I guess you could conclude that I liked it! I had it again a couple weeks back during the Tapped Vancouver event at the Yaletown Roundhouse. It was just as I remembered it and this time I was able to share the experience and advocate for the beer with Mrs. Sip and other members of the Sip Alliance.

Bomber has a nice, intimate little home in ‘Yeast Van’, located across the street from Off the Rails Brewing and soon to be joined in the neighbourhood by Luppolo Brewing. It’s a fun place to visit, but unfortunately, the Choqlette Porter may have run its seasonal course and might not be seen again until the fall. If that’s the case, at least we have the memories!

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