On the next three Saturdays (starting tomorrow), we will be offering the free on-site use our fruit crushers and basket presses in the parking lot behind the store. It’s generally been a good fruit growing season here in West Michigan so in addition to home winemakers, I expect to see a number of cidermakers showing up with bushels of apples.
I admire the enthusiasm of these ultimate do-it-yourselfers because using our equipment to extract juice from apples is not easy. The fruit must be first sliced and diced with the manual crusher and this most definitely is a two person job. While one person holds the crusher steady the other cranks the handle and it isn’t long before the one doing the cranking is sweating. Depending on how many apples you have and how many breaks you take, the crushing could take a few hours.
After the apples are crushed they need to be pressed, and unless you’re using commercial equipment, apples are rather reluctant to give up their juice. And then there are the bees. They generally leave you alone because they’re after the sweet juice not you, but if you have the slightest tinge of apiphobia it is disconcerting to have them constantly buzzing around in your space.
It’s a good thing that there are a number of commercial apple mills in West Michigan who are willing to sell their juice to those of us home cidermakers who would rather have someone else do all the hard and tedious work.
This year Klein Cider Mill will be selling fresh squeezed juice in our back parking lot on Saturday, October 11, and Saturday, October 26, between the hours of 10 am and 1 pm. The price for Klein’s award-winning cider will be $3.50 per gallon and you must supply your own containers.
For a directory of apple orchards and cider mills in West Michigan check out this link.
New and Returning Beer
- Shorts Wowee Zowee, $1.99/12oz - "Wowee Zowee is a refreshing golden ale infused with fresh mint and mango. An abundance of green mint and fruity aromas pour off of this light bodied ale, opening up the senses with a tingling cool freshness. The first taste offers a minty blast up front, followed by some pleasant, fruity, mango sweetness. The enjoyable balance of both flavors turns slightly tart and bitter as it resonates, but with ample carbonation, the overall finish is crisp and clean" (source).
- Founders Breakfast Stout, $2.69/12oz - "The coffee lover’s consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and Sumatra and Kona coffee, this stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever" (source).
- North Peak Hooligan, $1.99/12oz - "With North Peak’s Hooligan Hoppy Pumpkin Ale you will never have to choose between your favorite pumpkin beer and IPA again. Hooligan is brewed with real pumpkin and fresh spices to give you all the spicy pumpkin goodness you could ask for. And did we mention the hops? Hooligan is brimming with hops! It is brewed in Traverse City, MI, on Old Mission Peninsula incorporating locally grown hops" (source).
- Dark Horse Scotty karate, $2.09/12oz - "For those of you who don’t know who 'Scotty Karate' is… He is a local one man band who plays an amazing slurry of honky tonk influenced, punk country songs. His voice is amazing as well as his high energy shows. (Check him out @www.scottykaratetime.com) So, we decided to make a beer and name it in his honor. This beer is a big, full bodied Scottish ale. It is 9.75% alc. but it is very smooth and balanced. " (source).
- Goose Island Rambler IPA, $1.59/12oz - "A bold ale with a mix of herbal, woody, and citrus aromas from Mt. Hood and Amarillo hops" (source).
- Goose Island The Muddy, $3.19/12oz - "Brewed with molasses, brewer’s licorice, and Belgian dark rock candi sugar, The Muddy is an imperial stout with amplified sweetness for a taste as distinctive as the Chicago blues that inspired its creation" (source).
- Bells Third Coast Old Ale, $2.79/12oz - "Third Coast Old Ale focuses on malt, offering notes of burnt caramel & other earthy malt flavors. Designed with vintage aging in mind, the malt aspect is matched to a heavy complement of hops. Sharply bitter at first, this will fold into the malt character over time and balance out the maltiness" (source).
- Anderson Valley Highway 128, $1.99/12oz - "The refreshing tartness in this divine, bright golden-colored ale gives way to earthy undertones and hints of citrus followed by a slight sea salt-like dryness and tangy, effervescent finish" (source).
Video of the Week | Brewery Vivant, WABF