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Friday, January 18, 2019

New Beer Friday, The Beauty of Beards Edition (January 18)

With Steve out of town, we're taking the opportunity this week to repost one of our favorite Buzz pieces — an explanation from now-retired advice columnist (Hey Kevin) regarding the evolutionary reasons so many professional brewers wear beards. Enjoy!

Darwin's Beard
Q: Hey Kevin, Like many obsessed homebrewers, I aspire to become a professional brewer one day. Just one thing worries me: my beard sucks. It’s patchy at best and sorry in general. It seems like a lot of pro brewers wear beards. What are my chances of succeeding in the beer world if I can’t grow a sweet face-coat?

—Chuck in Bay City

A: It depends, Chuck. How are you at adapting? Conventional thinking has it that brewers grow beards in order to identify each other in large groups of people. Recently scientists have uncovered evidence suggesting something else is at work. Evolution.

Have you ever seen a bloodhound close up? If not, Google it. The distinctive wrinkly face and folds of skin have a very important job to do — they trap scent from the environment and direct it toward the bloodhound’s greatest tool. Its nose.

Though the professional brewer is tracking neither rabbits nor convicts on the run, his face full of whiskers functions in much the same way, trapping scent in the thousands of empty pockets created by the confluence of individual beard hairs. It’s these pockets wherein aromas and even flavors are stored for future reference.

When a brewer scratches his beard, it’s not because his face itches. It’s because he’s working on a new IPA recipe. Said scratching prompts the release of microscopic chemical compounds which are directed toward the brewer’s nostrils and up into his brain where they are combined to recreate, or rather pre-create the beer that will eventually find its way into your pint glass.

Research has shown that different flavor and aroma compounds are stored in different subsections of the beard. For example, notes of caramel sweetness are found in the left sideburn while the distinctive grapefruit quality of certain hops is common to the extreme right quadrant of the mustache. Interestingly, the entire “goatee zone” appears to be a scent-neutral locale, storing different compounds at different times, depending on the season. 

It’s important to note that there are successful brewers who do not have any facial hair at all, particularly women but also many men in the industry. Researchers believe (and I agree) that these brewers have necessarily experienced positive biological mutations elsewhere. Studies show, for instance, that members of the beardless population typically score better in the Barron-Shaw Taste-Memory test. Armed with the pronounced ability to remember taste, it would seem the beardless have little reason to store a database of flavor on or near their faces. 

So, the question is ultimately one for you, Chuck. If you can’t grow a beard, in what way can you evolve? 

Hope this helps. 


New and Returning Beer

  • Abita Mardi Gras, $1.89/12oz - "Mardi Gras Bock is the first of our seasonal brews. Abita Mardi Gras Bock is brewed with pale, pilsner and caramel malts and German Perle hops. Our bock is similar to German maibocks with its rich malt flavor and full body. A perfect choice during Carnival season in New Orleans. Gruyére, Emmental and Swiss are nice cheese choices with Bock. Great with roasted beef or pork. Try it with Mexican food, too" (source).
  • Atwater Voodoo Vator, $3.19/12oz - "VooDoo Vator Dopplebock tempers the sweetness of caramel malt with the crisp, more nutty flavor of Munich malt. Despite the depth of color, burnt flavors are not present. Traditional extended lagering makes the VooDoo Vator deceptively smooth though high in alcohol. Be warned" (source).
  • Bell's Flamingo Fruit Fight, $2.19/16oz - "The name “Larry’s Latest” is a nod to the spirit of innovation and experimentation that Larry started in 1985 and continues within the brewery to this day. Our latest Tart Fruit Ale is brewed with passionfruit and lime zest, resulting in a tart blend of tropical, citrus flavors and aromas" (source).
  • Bell's Hopslam Mini Keg, $37.99/5L - "Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell's Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire" (source).
  • Boulevard Bou Lou, $4.69/16oz - "Drawing inspiration from the ingredients and flavors that Tech melded in his original cocktail invention, Bou Lou starts with a wheat beer base that’s enhanced by additions of juicy pineapple and tropical coconut. At 5.5% ABV and bursting with fruit flavor, these 16oz cans are ready to be enjoyed at a show, a party, or wherever you need a refreshing beer that reps KC to the fullest" (source).
  • Boulevard Chocolate Ale, $4.69/12oz - "Smooth layers of dark chocolate intertwine with threads of caramel, vanilla, and nutty malt as the flavor warms and rounds to a bittersweet finish" (source).
  • Detroit Garage Project Test Drive PJDIPA, $4.49/16oz - "Pineapple Jalapeño DRIPA collaboration with Wolf Moon Mixers" (source).
  • Lagunitas Daytime, $1.89/12oz - "The beer in this can has achieved what we all hope for ourselves; to be made new again. There is freedom in burning down the house of expectations and it confers an undeniable lightness to being. We didn't invent these truths; they invented us" (source).
  • Revolution A Little Crazy, $2.09/12oz - "A Pilsner malt base provides a nice toasty flavor with hints of caramel and enough fermentable sugar to make this a rather substantial beer. The Belgian-Style Pale Ale is brewed with Magnum, Cascade and Citra hops in the brewhouse and then dryhopped with a blend of Citra and Cascade. This drives home the aromas of fresh citrus rind to make this a very drinkable and extremely aromatic beer" (source).
  • Roak Blow Your Face Out, $3.59/12oz - "A double IPA loaded with Mosaic and Chinook hops" (source).
  • Shorts Not Unofficial, $2.19/12oz - "Not Unofficial is a dry-hopped India Pale Ale brewed with mango and guava in collaboration with Lagunitas Brewing Company. Golden in color and slightly hazy, this beer has huge aromas of juicy tropical fruit. Medium bodied this beer leads with flavors of mango and guava before finishing with dank hoppiness" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, $2.49/12oz - "Bigfoot is a beast of a beer, brimming with bold flavors of bittersweet malt and heaps of aggressive whole-cone Pacific Northwest hops. First introduced in the winter of 1983, Bigfoot is a cult-classic beer brewed in the barleywine style, meaning a strong, robust, bruiser of a beer with the refined intensity of a wine. Bigfoot is prized by beer collectors for its supreme cellarability. Under the proper conditions, it can age like a fine wine, developing new flavors and character as it matures in the bottle. Each new release or “expedition” is vintage dated. Collect your own and see the flavors develop and progress" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Resilience, $1.79/12oz - "When the Camp Fire started in the hills above our Chico brewery on November 8, 2018, it soon became the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. The fire burned more than 153,000 acres, killed at least 85 people, and destroyed more than 13,000 homes. Many of our employees and community members were severely impacted by this tragic event. In the days following the fire, we announced plans to brew Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, a fundraiser beer for Camp Fire relief. We committed to brewing the beer and donating 100% of the sales to the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund, aimed at long-term community rebuilding support. And we asked every brewery in the country to do it with us. We sent out the “bat signal” calling our friends in the industry, asking our suppliers to donate ingredients, asking other breweries (our competitors) to donate their time and labor costs, and asking our wholesalers and retailers to carry the beer for free. It was a big ask, and we never could have anticipated the response. More than 1,400 breweries signed up to brew Resilience. Our suppliers donated ingredients to every brewery nationwide. Wholesalers and retailers agreed to carry the beer and donate every dollar they received. All of them agreed to do this for free to benefit people they had never met. In all, Resilience Butte County Proud IPA should hit the market in mid-late December more than 17,000 barrels—or 4.2 million pints—strong. Every dollar Sierra Nevada receives will go to those impacted by the Camp Fire. Thank you to the brewing community. Thank you to our suppliers. Thank you to our wholesalers and retailers. And thank you to every single customer who is helping us rebuild our Butte County community—one pint at a time" (source).
  • Ska Euphoria, $2.09/12oz - "This seasonal beer is brewed in the DIY spirit along with our friends from Venture Snowboards. We brew Euphoria with them, and they make a Euphoria snowboard with us. We call it a Ska/Venture venture. Both make winter better, and both are hand-crafted in the mighty San Juans" (source).
  • Ska Modus Hoperandi, $2.19/12oz - "Strong citrus aromas followed by pine rise from the glass. As it moves across your tongue... bitterness... following close behind is a melding of citrus and pine with light caramel sweetness" (source).
  • Ska Modus Mandarina, $2.19/12oz - "A unique twist on Modus Hoperandi, this citrus IPA is dry-hopped with a generous portion of Mandarina Bavaria hops and brewed with sweet orange peels" (source).
  • Ska Moral Panic, $2.19/12oz - "A wealth of Galaxy and Citra hops added post-boil give this Brut IPA low actual bitterness and big tropical flavor. Fruity and citrus notes abound in this smooth and refreshing, Champagne-like brew. Moral Panic Brut IPA is well carbonated and spritz; drinks easy and finished dry" (source).
  • Ska Pinstripe Red, $2.09/12oz - "The balance of this beer is what has made it our flagship. The hops simply meld with the caramel malts into a nice sessionable ale. This beer is brilliantly clear and is a beautiful copper penny color" (source).
  • Ska Rue B Soho, $2.09/12oz - "If where you want to go is beer heaven. At first, your nose is treated to the aroma of bright and crisp citrus. Then your tongue is tickled by the carbonation that delivers flavors of tart and light grapefruit juice. Lightly acidulated, Rue B. Soho is a refreshing lager brewed with Cascade hops and grapefruit" (source).
  • Ska Sour Apple Gose, $2.19/12oz - "Tastes like you’re sipping on a crisp apple juice with a bright tartness that’s refreshing, not drying" (source).

Video of the Week | A Rising Tide

Stories from the Michigan's Brewers Guild.


Friday, January 11, 2019

New Beer Friday, Michigan Beer Champion Edition (1/11)

Last night the Michigan Brewers Guild presented Steve Siciliano with The Michigan Beer Champion Award at the Guild’s annual winter conference in Kalamazoo. According to Scott Graham, the executive director of The Michigan Brewers Guild, this award is given to a person who continually strives to promote or protect the craft beer industry in Michigan. Steve was unable to attend the event so Siciliano’s general manager Sarah Derylo read his prepared remarks and accepted the award on his behalf.

Sarah accepts the Michigan Beer
Champion Award from Isaac Hartman
on behalf of Steve Siciliano
Remarks by Steve Siciliano

When Scott Graham notified me that I was to be honored with the Michigan Brewers Guild’s Michigan Beer Champion Award at this year’s Winter Conference, I immediately asked him if there were any other nominees.

Scott chuckled and assured me that there were.

Needless to say, I am humbled and extremely appreciative to be the second recipient of this award. At the same time, I am well aware that there are many other folks in the craft beer industry who are just as deserving of this high honor.

For those of you who are not familiar with the story of Siciliano’s, I’d like to share a brief history of the market. After a five-year stint as a 7-11 franchisee followed by eight years owning a small convenience store in the Creston Heights area of Grand Rapids, I was ready for a new challenge and in the early 90s began looking for a location where I would be able to focus on selling fine wine.

The party store that I bought on Lake Michigan Drive on the West Side of Grand Rapids seemed an ideal location, the only problem being the store was on the verge of going out of business. After remodeling and restocking I began waiting for what I expected to be hordes of customers.

Five years later I was still waiting.

Recognizing that I had to do something to bring people through the door, I made the decision to bring in some hand-crafted beer from a few relatively obscure local Michigan breweries. I distinctly remember the day that I received my first case of Bell’s Amber. After working out the retail I couldn’t imagine that anyone would pay such a high price for a six pack. I decided to price and sell the bottles as singles. It’s a practice that we continue to this day.

The response to craft beer was positive. It’s not an exaggeration to say that craft beer saved Siciliano’s.

There’re two other instances from those early days that I distinctly remember.

The first was when a customer suggested that I begin carrying brewing supplies. I took the suggestion and filled three feet of shelf space with products I knew nothing about. The rest, as they say, is history, and today Siciliano’s has about a thousand square feet of beer- and winemaking supplies.

That customer was Tom Buchanan and whenever I see Tom, he never fails to remind me about that day. I am proud of the fact that a number of professional brewers in this room purchased their first brewing supplies from our store. I’m also proud of the fact that Siciliano’s has become somewhat of a farm team for local breweries and that a number of our former employees work in the industry.

The other instance I would like to share involves the time a sales rep from a local macro beer distributor told me that craft beer was a passing fad and that I couldn’t do what I was trying to do on the West Side of Grand Rapids. I’m happy to say he was totally and emphatically mistaken on both counts.

Before closing I want to say a few words about the good woman who has been standing not behind, but rather shoulder to shoulder, with this very lucky man. Many of you have gotten to know my wife Barb over the years and know how hard she has worked behind the scenes. Barb has been with me every step of the way and she shares in this high honor.

Finally, I would like to recognize our current and past employees. Siciliano’s wouldn’t be the store it is today without their efforts. As some of you may know, for the past year or so I’ve been easing into semi-retirement and now Barb and I are relying on them even more.

In view of this, it is perhaps appropriate that one of those employees, our very capable General Manager Sarah Derylo, is accepting this award on my behalf.

New and Returning Beer

  • Arbor Brewing Faricy's Dry Stout, $2.19/12oz - "To create our World Beer Cup Bronze Medal winning Irish-Style Dry Stout, we blend black malts with roasted and flaked barley to give it a full body, notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate, and smooth dry finish" (source).
  • Arcadia Salted Caramel Morning Nightcap, $2.19/12oz - "Coffee Porter brewed with BIGGBY Coffee, now with the flavor of salted caramel" (source).
  • Bell's Hopslam, $3.19/12oz - "Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell's Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style" (source).
  • Decadent Winter Spice French Toast, $5.49/16oz - No commercial description.
  • Dogfish Head Raison D'extra, $10.69/12oz - "Our Raison D'Etre, with a little extra. This immodest brew, made with an obscene amount of malt, brown sugar and raisins, takes Belgian-style browns to new heights" (source).
  • Elk Brewing Hefe Bridges, $1.99/12oz - "Unfiltered Hefeweizen" (source).
  • Evil Twin Learn What is to be Taken Seriously, $5.49/16oz - "Erase & Rewind #28" (source).
  • Evil Twin/Prairie Bible Belt, $8.99/16oz - "Let’s face it – we love big, flavorful stouts. As luck would have it, our friend Jeppe at Evil Twin Brewing feels the same way. We decided to brew a beer together that took elements from our favorite stouts we each produce to come together as one beer. Bible Belt takes elements we love from Prairie Bomb! and combines them with Evil Twin Brewing’s world famous stout, Even More Jesus. The end result is a smoky, spicy stout that is sure to please the pallet" (source).
  • Fat Orange Cat Write Drunk Edit Sober, $5.69/16oz - "Citra, Mosaic and El Dorado hops" (source).
  • Founders Blushing Monk, $4.59/12oz - "When our love of fruit and our love of beer come together, Blushing Monk happens. Brewed with a ridiculous amount of raspberries for tart yet luscious raspberry-jam character and fermented with Belgian yeast for subtle fruit and spice esters. Think of Blushing Monk as Rubaeus’ older sibling – more intense, slightly larger and just a little bit more mature" (source).
  • Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale, $1.89/12oz - "A malty beer with a notable toasty flavor derived from lightly roasted malt. Slight fruit and hop accents add to the overall complexity" (source).
  • Hoof Hearted Thanks for Letting us Play, $5.99/16oz - American Pale Ale.
  • Lagunitas Monzango, $2.29/12oz - "The flesh is weak, but the spirit is willing. So, what's at the heart of it? Is it the patient and diligent servant or the committed messenger, through their many routes and vessels? The salient soldier, slinging suds on the front lines daily, or the very brewers themselves? The answer is... we can't tell you here. From seed to sprout to fruit, and back to seed, we're all tangled on the same vine. And while fruit is momentary, the roots hold on for another season. It's all just a matter of perspective" (source).
  • Odd Side Hop Milk, $2.79/12oz - "Milkshake IPA. India Pale Ale with lactose and vanilla added" (source).
  • Ommegamg Brut IPA, $3.79/12oz - "With Brut IPA, we’ve created a distinctively Ommegang expression of this hop-driven style, using high attenuation and bottle conditioning to achieve a bright, dry, champagne-like character" (source).
  • Omnipollo Fatamorgana, $4.99/16oz - "Drawing inspiration from the fidelity of a saison — rustic, alluringly cloudy and crisp — this imperial IPA was brewed using oats and wheat. Dry-hopped twice and completely untouched post fermentation to preserve aroma and flavor" (source).
  • Rochester Mills Milkshake IPA, $2.69/16oz - "A tropical smoothie hop sensation. This IPA combines the citrusy and tropical hop flavors of Citra & Mosaic hops with ripe mangos, subtly sweet lactose and a hint of vanilla" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Brut IPA, $1.79/12oz - "This is our Brut IPA, a new take on IPA brewed for a bone dry champagne-style finish. Late hop additions give the beer balanced bitterness and a bright pop of citrus flavor. It’s as intriguing as it is drinkable" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Sierraveza, $1.79/12oz - "pired by the classic cervezas served ice cold by the beach, we created our own take on those light and easy beers born south of the border. Sierraveza is golden and crisp, with a balanced malt flavor and a hit of floral hops that will have you calling out for another round" (source).
  • Victory Storm King, $2.79/12oz - "A thundering hop presence collides with massive espresso and dark chocolate flavors in our dense and full-bodied imperial" (source).

Video of the Week | Hopslam

Available now at Siciliano's Market.


Friday, January 4, 2019

New Beer Friday, Angling in Asheville Edition (January 4)

Steve with a nice 'bow.
This past November Steve and Barb took a road trip through Kentucky and North Carolina. Go here, here and here to read about the first three legs of their journey.

By Steve Siciliano

In the morning the high regard we had for our Asheville accommodations ratcheted up another notch when we went downstairs and saw the complimentary breakfast that was laid out in the dining area adjacent to the lobby. It was a smile-inducing sight in view of our disappointing meal the previous night. After mollifying our hunger with scrambled eggs, sausage links, fried potatoes and fresh fruit we were ready for a day of fly fishing on the Laurel River.

During the half hour drive to meet up with our guide I kept one nervous eye on the sky and the other on the temperature. My wife loves fly fishing for trout almost as much as I do but she’s a self-avowed fair-weather angler. That early morning sky was threatening and the temperature was hovering around freezing.

When we pulled into a supermarket parking lot in a small burg northwest of Asheville we immediately spotted a silver pickup with rod racks suspended above the bed and a tall young man leaning against the tailgate. “That’s gotta be Paul,” I said to Barb.

Barb with a nice brook trout.
Paul Kisielewski from Southern Appalachian Anglers (SAA) is an excellent guide. On the drive to the river he told us that he began fly fishing at the age of three, has a degree in business administration from Appalachian State and has been guiding on the area’s rivers since forming SAA in 2003. After tucking his pickup in a clearing on the side of a winding mountain road, Paul rigged up the rods while Barb and I put on layers of clothing and slipped into our waders. “My wife’s a bit anxious in the water,” I whispered to Paul while we were walking down to the river.

“No problem,” he whispered back. “I’ll stay with her.”

Sometimes I think Barb feigns nervousness about wading so she can have the undivided attention of the guide.

As usual Barb started off fast, netting and releasing a twelve-inch rainbow and two nice brookies before I even had a strike and, as usual, I began fretting about getting skunked. But by the time we sat down for lunch at a table Paul set up beside the river, I had netted four nice fish of my own. It ended up being a pretty good day both fish wise and weather wise. By mid-afternoon the sky had cleared and the temperature had reached the mid-fifties. Between us we had landed fourteen nice-sized trout.

That night we Ubered downtown and had an excellent meal at The Blackbird. When we returned to our motel we watched Animal Planet and sipped our nightly nightcaps. The next day we were going brewery hopping in Asheville.

Shore lunch.

New and Returning Beer

  • Alaskan Spruce IPA, $1.79/12oz - "This IPA is brewed with Sitka Spruce tips – a flavorful, Alaskan twist on the American IPA" (source).
  • Blackrocks BA Barbaric Yawp, $5.19/12oz - "A burly Scotch ale clocking in at 8.5% ABV and full of malty, smokey flavors. Pairs great with grilled meats and open flames" (source).
  • Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, $2.09/12oz - "IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE 2005 ST. PATRICK’S DAY MASSACRE and in commemoration of the 20-day suspension that followed, Lagunitas brewed this especially bitter ale. See, the ABC conducted an undercover investigation of our brewery, finding us guilty of operating a “Disorderly House.” We did the crime. We did the time. We got the bragging rights. Watch the full story below…" (source).
  • Southern Tier Samoa This, $4.09/12oz - "We’re well known for our affection for decadent, flavorful, dessert-like beers, which has put us on an endless quest to brew the ultimate indulgence. Our dessert beers are a fusion of flavors, making each of them a perfect pairing when one craves an exceptional stout full of personality. With booming notes of chocolate, caramel, and coconut, Samoa This is our interpretation of the famous seasonal treat. We went to great lengths carefully crafting each flavor, right down to the savory shortbread-like cookie base" (source).
  • Stone Tropic of Thunder, $2.19/12oz & $2.99/19.2oz - "Imagine you set sail for a three hour tour. Let’s say from the Port of Escondido (work with us here). The weather started getting rough. Your tiny ship (but not lunch, thankfully) was tossed. Long story short: You’re marooned on a remote island somewhere near the Tropic of Thunder. The good news is that the Capt. of the S.S. Stone and her brewing kit were among the small cast of colorful characters that survived the rough voyage with you. Mainstays Citra & Mosaic along with newcomer Cashmere hops are joined by their juicy tropical aromas of citrus, pineapple and coconut (try stringing all that together in a catchy tune). The rescue ship will find you all soon enough. For now, set aside the non-working cell phone and lack of social media (again, work with us here), kick back and revel in your moment of tropical island lagoon serenity" (source).

Video of the Week | Lagunitas

Available now at Siciliano's.


Friday, December 28, 2018

New Beer Friday, Happy New Year Edition (December 28)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Well I’m happy to report that this old, semi-retired merchant still has the stamina to put in a full day’s work. Because most of our part-time employees traveled to locations across the state to spend time with their families over the Christmas holiday, the GM (Sarah) asked me to pinch hit on a couple of days last weekend. It took a while to shake off the rust but after ringing up a few transactions, I found my groove and it felt like old times again.

I’ve always enjoyed working during the busy holiday season and despite being exhausted after those three eight-hour shifts, I think I enjoyed this year even more. It felt good to be helping folks with beer, wine, liquor, cigars, coffee, tea, brewing ingredients and winemaking supplies again.

Barb and I were pleased Sarah was able to honor everyone’s request for time off. We realize that the continued success of Siciliano’s Market is directly related to the efforts of our great staff and we believe in treating them the same way we would treat our own children. We’re just a mom-and-pop operation after all and we have always referred to our employees as our kids, an apt description considering how long some of them have been with us.

Of course, it goes without saying that Siciliano’s wouldn’t be the store it is today without our loyal customers and Barb and I are deeply grateful for your continued patronage. On behalf of the staff we would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year.

New and Returning Beer

Brewery Vivant Plein De Vie Sereis
  • Brewery Vivant Plein De Vie Escoffier, $12.99/500ml - "Auguste Escoffier is considered the master chef of the 20th century. His ideas and methods left an indellible imprint on the culinary world, and are still in use to this very day. We named our beer ’Escoffier’ to celebrate the relationship between great food and excellent beer, and how they elevate each other when enjoyed together" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Plein De Vie Strawberry Rhubarb, $10.89/500ml - "A Belgian-weiss beer soured in a melange of barrels and aged with Strawberries and Rhubarb" (source).
  • Brewery Viviant Plein De Vie Tower of Sour, $10.89/500ml - "The tower we refer to here is our 40-barrel French oak foeder. It’s a large wooden tank that holds beer, allowing it to ferment with the wild yeasts already present in the oak. This beer was first debuted at our Wood-Aged Beer Festival in September 2016. Aged for six months in oak, this malty-forward ale presents a subtle chocolate, coffee roastiness, but has taken on a distinctly sour character from the wild yeast" (source).
  • Central State Nice Pair of Slacks, $4.09/16oz - "This sharp looking beer is brewed to be as dry and hop-forward as possible. From the effervescent carbonation to the low residual sugar, this beer is designed to showcase the copious amounts of Hallertauer Blanc & Mosaic hops used to produce it" (source).
  • Central State Rose, $3.29/16oz - "To craft this light and refreshing pink drink we combine our Rustic Blonde Ale, Table, with a few hundred pounds of raspberries and referment them with our house yeast cultures" (source).
  • City Built Anabatic Flow, $4.39/16oz - "Hazy IPA. Pine Resin, Pineapple & Peach Flavor" (source).
  • New Belgium Brut, $1.79/12oz - "Bubbly, dry, crisp, and refreshing, Brut IPA is inspired by our favorite sparkling wines. With hints of tropical fruits and champagne, this effervescent brew is the perfect cheers to the New Year" (source).
  • New Belgium Liquid Paradise, $1.99/12oz - "Using Mosaic Incognito, Azacca and Cascade hops, Liquid Paradise boasts a mélange of tropical notes to create a delicately bitter and extremely aromatic IPA" (source).
  • Oskar Blues Barrel Aged Ten Fidy, $14.29/19.2oz (1 per) - "Aged through four seasons and from a blend of the top Bourbons around, this Ten Fidy has morphed into a monster of cranked up flavor. Espresso, burnt sugar, rich chocolate, caramel notes are now driving alongside the vanilla, oak, bourbon from the barrel and been smoothed out during maturation. Even at 12.9% (75 IBUs) it is cool and drinkable, letting each sip add more and more complexity" (source).
  • Tilquin Gueuze, $13.99/375ml - "The Gueuze Tilquin à l’ancienne (6.4% alc / vol) is a spontaneous fermentation beer obtained from the blending of 1, 2 and 3 years old lambics" (source).
  • Tilquin Pinot Noir Gueuzerie Pinot Noir Lambic, $35.69/750ml - "Oude Pinot Noir Tilquin à l'Ancienne is a blend of 1-, 2-, and 3-year old lambics with Pinot Noir grapes" (source).

Video of the Week | Plein De Vie Series

Limited selections from Vivant's Plain de Vie Series
are now available at Siciliano's.


Friday, December 21, 2018

New Beer Friday, Great Smoky Edition (December 21)

This past November Steve and Barb took a road trip down through Kentucky and North Carolina. Go here and here to read about the first two legs of their journey.

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

When Barb and I were planning our road trip we agreed that she would drive and I would be the navigator. It was an arrangement that we first used while vacationing in Italy five or so years ago. On that trip I started out in the driver's seat but because my poky driving infuriated some aggressive Italian drivers and because Barb kept erroneously yelling out that we had missed a turn we thought it would be prudent to flip flop our roles.

Actually I rather enjoy sitting in the navigator's seat because I'm better able to observe and enjoy the passing scenery — the old farmhouses, silos and barns, the small streams and wide rivers, the rocky outcrops, forested foothills and tall mountains.

I've always had an affinity for mountains. While were were on the stretch of I-40 that winds through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I imagined how that section of the Appalachians looked 480 million years ago. According to geologists, the Appalachians are some of the oldest mountains on earth and when first formed were as high as the Alps and Himalayas.

It was late afternoon and the sun had dipped behind the Smokies when we pulled into the Country Inn and Suites on the southern outskirts of Asheville. After our experience with that seedy motel in Frankfort, Kentucky, we were glad to see that there was a good number of vehicles in the parking lot. We were even happier when we walked into the lobby, happier still when the clerk told us there would be no problem getting Ubers and downright overjoyed when we walked into our nicely appointed room.

It was dark by the time we were unpacked so rather than taking an Uber downtown we decided to drive to a chain restaurant down the road for dinner. That was a mistake. My entree of spaghetti and meatballs was nasty and Barb's chicken dish was worse. “Is there something wrong with your meals?” the waitress asked after eying our plates.

“I guess we weren't very hungry,” I replied.

“Would you like boxes?”


As soon as we were outside we threw the to-go boxes in a trash receptacle.

After returning to our nice motel I mixed up a couple of nightcaps and turned on the TV.  While we lay in bed sipping our drinks and watching Animal Planet we were practically giddy about the fact that there were no partying sounds coming from the adjacent rooms. We wanted a good night's sleep because in the morning we were going fishing.

New and Returning Beer

  • Big Lake Brakewall, $2.99/16oz - "A juicy IPA made with loads of Citra, and Mosaic hops. Weighing in at 20 IBUs, and loaded with hops this one will crash the traditional IPA wave" (source).
  • Big Lake Snow Machine, $3.19/16oz - No commercial description.
  • Blackrock Starman, $2.19/12oz - "Simcoe, Citra, Amarillo, Columbus, Mosaic. Take an adventurous exploration on a classic style" (source).
  • Dogfish Head American Beauty, $2.79/12oz - "American Beauty, an Imperial Pale Ale inspired by the Grateful Dead, captures the spirits of the band's 30 years of touring and recording. Dogfish Head and the Dead both built their followings by connecting directly with beer lovers and music lovers, so we asked those loyal fans to help drive the recipe" (source).
  • Dogfish Head IPAs for the Holidays, $23.99/12pk - "'Tis the season for family, friends and IPAs! Why IPAs, you ask? Think of the citrusy and piney characteristics this style is known to bring to the table, and then think about those foods you'll be bringing to the table. IPAs have a tendency to pair with an assortment of holiday favorites - everything from shrimp cocktail to chicken wings, and a little ham in-between" (source).
  • Haymarket The Defender, $2.39/12oz - "
  • This big dark ale is brewed with copious amounts of roasted barley, chocolate malt and oats, then hopped and dry-hopped with loads of Chinook. Flavors and aromas of coffee and chocolate are complimented by citrus and pine. A truly complex and intense brew" (source).
  • Kuhnhenn DRIPA, $2.99/12oz - "Double Rice India Pale Ale. This gold colored West Coast style Double India Pale Ale has an intense hop nose, with aromas mainly of citrus. The high hop character dominates this IPA’s flavor pro-file. Made with American long grain rice, it is quite difficult to make but the rice con-tributes to this beer’s crisp aftertaste" (source).
  • Kuhnhenn White Devil, $2.99/12oz - "Our Imperial White Ale is a cloudy straw color, and has a zesty citrus nose and a medium sweet aroma. It is refreshingly crisp with a bit of a wheat flavor. With medium hop bitterness, this is a delight-ful brew for any season" (source).
  • New Holland Blue Sunday, $9.09/22oz - "This unique anniversary libation, heritage-blended from our library of barrel-soured beers, exhibits deeply layered flavors of malt and oak, with a tart finish" (source).
  • North Coast BBA Old Rapsutin XXI, $25.89/500ml - "Russian imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels, the depth, intensity and complexity of this beer makes it what it is" (source).
  • North Coast Rye Barrel Aged Rasputin, $25.89/500ml - "Stout Aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels" (source).
  • Odd Side Firefly, $2.89/12oz - "The blend of papaya and a small dose of habaneros provide an ideal mixture of spicy and sweet" (source).
  • Revolution Freedom of Press, $1.99/12oz - "Keep currant with the latest entry in our session sour series — sweet, earthy berry flavors from black currants to complement this 140-calorie, easy-drinking, lightly tart ale" (source).
  • Right Brain Mangalista Pig Porter, $18.69/22oz - "Porter Brewed with Real Pig Parts. Who would have thought that what started as an inside joke amongst the Right Brain brew team would evolve into out most acclaimed beer ever? Brewed with REAL Mangalitsa pig heads and bones, this rich and chocolaty porter is infused with a symphony of salty, smoky, and savory flavors. Some have hailed it as the ’quintessential bacon beer’ while others call it a true breakfast brew. Regardless of what you call it, this imaginative and complex beer has to be tried to be understood" (source).
  • Short's Uber Goober, $2.59/12oz - "Über Goober is an Oatmeal Stout brewed with peanuts. Pitch black in color with a mocha head, this beer has strong aromas of peanut butter, roast, chocolate, and oats. Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel, the well-balanced chocolate and peanut flavors meld together like a peanut butter cup with a smooth finish. One of the oldest stouts in the Short’s portfolio, when found on tap at the pub it can be blended with Soft Parade to create PB&J Stout" (source).
  • Tripelroot Tripel Stout, $17.19/22oz - "Imperial stout Coffee, chocolate, and vanilla" (source).

Video of the Week | American Beauty

Dogfish Head American Beauty is available now at Siciliano's Market.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

New Beer Friday, Bourbon Trail Edition (December 14)

Buffalo Trace
This past November Steve and Barb took a road trip down through Kentucky and North Carolina. The following is a narrative of their visits to Frankfort and four stops on the Bourbon Trail. Go here to read about the first leg of their journey.

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Apparently whatever was going on in that upstairs room in that seedy motel didn’t go on all night because we woke up rested and ready for our day of Bourbon tasting. After scoping out the pathetic complimentary breakfast — anemic looking bagels, white bread for toast and a selection of cold cereal — we hightailed it to the Big Boy down the road for some rib-sticking fare. After fueling up on eggs, sausage, bacon, toast and coffee we were ready to hit the road. Stop one on our itinerary was the Buffalo Trace distillery.

The first thing I noticed when we pulled into the visitors parking lot of the sprawling Buffalo Trace campus was the soot-black stains on the outside walls of the ancient brick rick houses. The stains are caused by Baudoinia compniacensis, a black fungus that has a taste for airborne alcohol. Baudoinia forms on virtually anything in the environs of a distillery and is nourished by the Angel’s Share, the worldwide term for the alcohol that evaporates from barrels during the maturation process.

Four Roses
In 2012 a group of Louisville property owners filed a class action suit against five area distilleries claiming that the fungus was hurting their property values. The suit was dismissed in 2017. While each of the tour guides at the four distilleries we visited talked briefly about the black stains, none of them mentioned the lawsuit. Bubba (his real name), the guide at Wild Turkey, acknowledged that the staining was an ongoing issue but tersely sloughed it off. “Distilleries were here before the property owners,” he growled.

Each of the tours provided similar information about the distilling process but they were also uniquely different. Buffalo Trace had the most impressive facility (those spotless ancient buildings), Four Roses the most rustic (cobwebs in the ceilings above the open wood fermenters), Woodford Reserve had the best sampling (Bourbon paired with chocolate) and Wild Turkey has a nice cash bar that mixed up some tasty cocktails. Each distillery has a gift shop that offers a selection of their respective wares. I picked up a bottle of Blanton’s at Buffalo Trace and now I wish I had picked up a couple more. Siciliano’s hasn’t been able to get it in months and it’s a damn fine bourbon.

Open fermentors at Woodford Reserve
After touring the Wild Turkey facility, our last stop of the day, Barb and I sat in the bar sipping very good Manhattans while we searched on our phones for a spot for dinner. Barb found a Mexican restaurant in downtown Frankfort that looked promising but after peering through the plate glass window we decided to keep walking and went back to Bourbon on Main. When we returned to our seedy motel I made a couple of nightcaps and we lay in bed watching Animal Planet while listening to the sounds of another party coming from that upstairs room.

“I hope that doesn’t go on all night,” Barb said, reprising her sentiments from the previous evening. We wanted a good night’s sleep because in the morning we were heading to Asheville.

New and Returning Beer

  • Blackrocks 51k Azaccanot, $2.19/12oz - "Experimental variation on 51K IPA. Dry hopped with Azacca and Ekuanot hops. Bright aromas of melon, guava, pine and more" (source).
  • Dogfish Head Siracusa, $4.59/12oz - "Combining a roasty Imperial Stout with a jammy Syrah wine, this beer is bold and complex. Notes of coffee, dark chocolate and anise from a blend of roasted malts meld with flavors of plums, cherries and stewed fruits from Syrah grape must in this jet black stout. Aged on American oak to add some light toasty vanilla to the mix" (source).
  • Evil Twin Bozo, $9.99/16oz - "This is a really strong beer and we wanted to put it in small bottles but the two bozos were so fat they couldn't fit on the label. Enjoy this rich, ridiculous and screwball-ish Imperial Stout with hints of: molasses, lactose, chocolate, almond, hazelnut, vanilla bean, cinnamon, oak spiral, chili, marshmallow, muscovado sugar, chestnut and coffee. Made for Bozos" (source).
  • Evil Twin Hot Toddy-ish, $5.49/16oz - "Blond Barleywine" (source).
  • Evil Twin Saigon Selfie Scooter, $3.79/16oz - "Vietnamese style coffee stout. Rich, thick mouthfeel gives way to lush sweetness with hints of coffee character followed by notes of cream, toffee, and vanilla" (source).
  • Evil Twin The Pure and Simple, $3.79/16oz - "Session IPA" (source).
  • Evil Twin This IPA is Kind of a Big Deal, $5.49/16oz - "Double dry hopped DIPA brewed with raw wildflower honey" (source).
  • Evil Twin Wet Dream, $2.99/16oz - "This is truly a beautiful brown ale boosted with a delightful aroma of citrus, spice and gourmet Keini, Kenya Beans from The Coffee Collective, Copenhagen - the result is amazing, lusty and incoherent – yes, it’s your wildest desires in a bottle. Close your eyes and let the drops do the talking. Enjoy y’all" (source).
  • Evil TwinBA Maple Even More Jusus, $24.99/22oz - "Imperial stout aged in bourbon-flavoured maple syrup barrels" (source).
  • Fat Orange Cat Bloody Orange Billy, $5.69/16oz - "The blend of Azacca and Mosaic hops bring out orange notes and coupled with blood orange puree creates a strong grapefruit flavor" (source).
  • Fat Orange Cat She Drives a Plymouth Satellite, $5.69/16oz - "Galaxy, Simcoe and Citra hops" (source).
  • Foundation Afterglow, $4.49/16oz - "Afterglow is an American IPA, rich in West Coast and South Pacific hop flavors and aroma. The juicy malt base enhances the notes of tangerine, pine, and berries from the hops. It finishes with a pleasingly dank and firm bitterness" (source).
  • Foundation Epiphany, $4.79/16oz - "Citrus, tropical fruit and pine blend to provide you with a sublimely juicy hop experience" (source).
  • New Holland Dragon's Milk Orange Chocolate, $4.89/12oz - "Roasty notes of Dragon’s Milk blended with the zestiness of real orange peel and the richness of cocoa" (source).
  • Odd Side Java Mint Chip, $2.39/12oz - "Craving ice cream? This stout will ease your taste buds. It the perfect marriage of mint-chocolate-chip-ice cream and roasted coffee" (source).
  • Perrin Kingdom of Tonga, $2.49/12oz - "The vanilla beans used in this beer come from... you guessed it: The Kingdom of Tonga. Tonga has over 170 islands and is located in the South Pacific. The taste profile is much different than our former Vanilla Porter. Those beans were sweeter; whereas the profile of these beans consists more of fig and raisin . Chocolate and coffee notes (with a subtle caramel touch) set this beer off while the vanilla beans lead into a delightfully dry finish" (source).
  • Pigeon Hill Cinna Gram on French Toast, $6.39/12oz (2 per) - "What happens when you throw Your Mom On French Toast in barrels from Journeyman Distillery and let them soak up the whisky goodness for several months? Your Grandma On French Toast. That’s What Happens" (source).
  • Pigeon Hill S'mores Beast, $4.89/12oz (4 per) - "Imperial Stout + Chocolate + Vanilla + Graham Cracker = S'More Goodness In Your Cup" (source).
  • Right Brain Looping Owl, $4.19/12oz - "Amber ale aged in whiskey barrels. Sophisticated. Surprising. Tasty. Our Looping Owl is a medium bodied Amber Ale, brewed with Maris Otter Malt and Northern Brewer & Golding Hops, then aged in Grand Traverse Distillery Whiskey Barrels. A masterfully balanced and satisfying flavor with a slight ’whiskey kick’ and surprising hint of Oak. The owl may be the wisest bird in the forest, but even he needs to kick back and take a break every once in a while" (source).
  • Rising Tide Back Cove Pilsner, $3.79/16oz - "Back Cove is a North German-style pilsner fermented with kellerbier yeast. Harmoniously balanced, with hints of orchard fruit, clean malt and earthy bitterness" (source).
  • Rising Tide Cutter, $3.99/16oz - "In a sea of IPAs, Cutter stands tall. This imperial IPA sails with citrus and tropical fruit aromas and a balanced hoppy finish. Big, bold, and beautiful" (source).
  • Rising Tide Zephyr, $3.99/16oz - "Refreshing like a westerly breeze, Zephyr is a pleasantly balanced IPA with waves of citrus. A modern classic" (source).
  • Short's Superfluid, $2.19/12oz - "Superfluid is an American Double India Pale Ale that explodes with a perfume of resiny hop aromas! A simple malt bill allows the hops to shine with flavors of coconut, pineapple, and tropical fruit. The perfect bitterness resonates across the palate, complementing the awesome hop intensity within" (source).

Video of the Week | Dragon's Milk

The Orange Chocolate version of Dragon's Milk is now available at Siciliano's.


Friday, December 7, 2018

New Beer Friday, Know Your Port Edition (December 7)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

I was intending to write about a recent trip to the Bourbon Trail for this week’s edition of New Beer Friday, but there must be a correlation between tooth pain and writer’s block because I’ve been dealing with both all week.

That upper molar had been bothering me for some time but because I’m a procrastinator and a bit of a wimp when it comes to having teeth ripped from their sockets, I delayed the extraction for as long as I could. As of yesterday I have one less tooth and a partial denture is on the horizon. Hopefully my creative juices will return by next week’s edition of NBF. In the meantime, please enjoy the following piece on port wine that we ran in The Buzz way back in December of 2011.

A bottle of Dow’s 1997 Vintage Port has been aging in our home wine cellar for about twelve years now. Every so often I’ll pick that bottle up and think about opening it but I always place it back on the rack. I know the wine is ready to drink now and if I was to succumb to temptation we would be entranced by its dark purple color, the aromas of licorice, chocolate and roasted coffee, and by flavors of maple syrup, blackberry and plum. But I also know that it has the potential to age gracefully for at least twelve more years and a wine like that is best enjoyed when marking a special occasion. Maybe I’ll open it when my son Chris and his fiancée Gena get married, or when Barb and I celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, or when the Lions win the Super Bowl.

While there are many fine port-style wines made throughout the world, the wines that can legally be called Porto are produced only in Portugal. The grapes are grown in the upper Duoro Valley in the north where the blazing hot summer temperatures allow them to attain high levels of sugar. Winemakers add neutral grape spirits at a certain point during the fermentation. This stops the yeast from working and results in a sweet, fortified wine. Which part of the Duoro the grapes are from and the quality of the harvest determine the style of port that’s produced — a ruby, an aged tawny, a late bottle vintage or, like that bottle aging in our cellar, a vintage porto. Vintage ports are wines of extraordinary depth and complexity that are produced only in exceptional years.

Ruby ports are the least complex and the least expensive. They are blends of young wines that are aged in oak for two to three years and are made from grapes that come from the less prestigious vineyards. While a good ruby port is a simple, straightforward wine that will not benefit from extended aging, it will entice you with it fresh berry aromas and nice red fruit flavors.

Aged tawny ports are blends of wine from several, non-vintage years that are aged in barrels until they develop nutty, brown sugar and vanilla flavors and a soft, silky texture. The extended barrel aging transforms the wine from bright ruby red to the light brown, tawny color from which it gets its name. An aged tawny will usually have a ten, twenty, thirty or forty year designation on the label. This does not necessarily mean that the wine has been barrel-aged for the specified time but rather is an indication of the target age profile. In other words a forty-year-old tawny tastes like it is made from wines that are forty years old.

Late bottle vintage ports (LBVs) are unblended wines from a single vintage that was a good but not great year. They are aged in oak barrels four to six years and then filtered and bottled. Thanks to the barrel-aging the wine matures more quickly, giving it to some extent the nuances of a vintage port. But LBVs lack the depth and complexity of vintage port and because they are filtered they will not benefit from extended aging in the bottle.

On average, about three times a decade the Duoro will experience perfect growing conditions resulting in young wines that are almost perfectly balanced. Samples of these wines are sent to the Port Wine Institute and, if approval is given, the year is declared a “Vintage.” Vintage ports are only made from grapes grown in the best vineyards. They are aged in oak barrels for two years and are then bottled unfiltered. As the wine matures the flavors and aromas become deeper, more refined and more complex.

Vintage ports are extraordinary wines that should be saved for those most special of occasions (providing you have the will power). It doesn’t look like the Lions will win the big one anytime soon, and since our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary is a still silver speck on the horizon, I guess the date Barb and I crack the '97 Dows depends on Chris and Gena.

Editor’s note: Chris and Gena are now happily married but that bottle of vintage port is still aging nicely in Steve and Barb’s wine cellar.

New and Returning Beer

  • Arvon Fort Gratiot, $9.99/22oz - "Arvon Brewing Co.’s Lighthouse Series of New England style IPAs are each distinctly hopped with a single varietal, displaying the unique character of the hops as a shining beacon. The explosive hop flavor and aroma of Falconer's Flight featured in Fort Gratiot is best experienced when this beer is enjoyed fresh – drink now" (source).
  • Arvon White Shoal, $9.99/22oz - "Arvon Brewing Co.’s Lighthouse Series of New England style IPAs are each distinctly hopped with a single varietal, displaying the unique character of the hops as a shining beacon. The explosive hop flavor and aroma of Mosaic featured in White Shoal is best experienced when this beer is enjoyed fresh – drink now" (source).
  • Barrel + Beam Queen City Brut, $8.99/375ml - No commercial description.
  • Big Lake Captians Porter, $3.19/16oz - "A traditional American Porter. Roasted malts blend with just enough noble hops to create an exquisite Porter" (source).
  • Brewdog Choco Libre, $3.19/12oz - "A Mil Máscaras of flavour. This Imperial stout will wrestle your taste buds to the canvas in a Tag Team of insane sensory assault. Coffee, chocolate and a little spice on the nose. Dark chocolate mixes with mocha, vanilla and spice, all layered over a smooth nitro-styling you never saw coming. This set-up finishes with a delicate habanero drop kick as the bell sounds" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Wizard Burial Ground, $7.19/16oz - "Brewed once a year, this special quadrupel is aged in freshly drained bourbon barrels and disappears into the shadows for a full year of cellaring. This year's brew becomes next year's release. We've been wood-aging beers and experimenting with wild fermentation since we opened in 2010. We encourage those in search of funky flavors to join us at our annual Wood-Aged Beer Festival each Autumn to find out more. *See can for year designation. This beer will age gracefully when cellared appropriately (50°F and below). Enjoy" (source).
  • Central State La Luzerne, $3.79/16oz - "When you find a kindred spirit in the industry, it’s easy to become fast friends - that was the case when we met the folks from Salud a few years ago. Since then they have become some of our best friends. Fresh lemons add brightness, rosemary adds a depth of flavor… and what’s more farmhouse than running your beer through alfalfa hay" (source).
  • Central State Nephilim, $5.99/16oz - "This giant of a stout is as dark as the night. Rich, smooth, and warming, perfect for aging or drinking fresh" (source).
  • Central State New Money, $3.99/16oz - "New Money vs. Old Money. A Rivalry that spans the ages. The Old guard holding onto tradition. The new kids trying to break down walls and redefine norms. This beer is firmly planted in the new. Brewed using the first batch of malted oats ever produced in Indiana and aggressively dry-hopped with Mosaic, Hull Melon, and Simcoe hops this beer ns anything but old school" (source).
  • Central State Raspberry, $3.99/16oz - "Dripping with fruit flavor, this sour ale finishes with a touch of smooth sweetness thanks to a dose of lactose sugar" (source).
  • Central State Sports Television, $3.99/16oz - "This beverage is a real barnburner – sure to fill up the whole stat sheet. It’s a lineup stacked with a Murderer’s Row of Citra & Simcoe hops in the kettle, with a Cascade, Citra, & Simcoe Cryo dry-hop batting cleanup. And we can’t forget about the hometown hero: the Indiana-malted barley, wheat, & oats brought their A-game today, folks. They have unbelievable chemistry! True professionals all the way, these grains always play the game the right way" (source).
  • Central State Swipe Right, $3.99/16oz - "Endlessly scrolling. Swipe. Swipe swipe. But wait… this beer looks pretty cute. It enjoys long walks on the beach, burritos, & loves dogs. Maybe it’s time to swipe right? Loaded up with Mosaic & Hallertau Blanc hops & dry-hopped twice, your taste buds are sure to match with this beer" (source).
  • Deschutes Abyss, $18.69/22oz - "A deep, dark Imperial Stout, The Abyss has almost immeasurable depth and complexity. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors make it something not just to quaff, but contemplate" (source).
  • Detroit Garage Project Methode Man, $4.49/16oz - "Brut IPA brewed with Hallertau Blanc and Nelson Sauvin hops, aged on Pinot Gris grape must" (source).
  • Ellison Big Black Stout, $3.89/16oz - "A chocolate imperial stout that pours like motor oil and tastes so decadent that you won't be able to stop drinking it. Chocolate up front with a balanced roast finish" (source).
  • Ellison Mosaic Evolution, $3.29/16oz - "Lighter in color, this beer will surprise you with a white wine character and have the fruit aromas and flavors of grapes, stone fruit and berries" (source).
  • Ellison Nelson Evolution, $3.89/16oz - "Lighter in color, this beer will surprise you with a white wine character and has the fruit aromas and flavors of grapes, stonefruit, and berries" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Erubescent, $3.59/16oz - "Imperial red ale. Brewed with 100% mosaic hops" (source).
  • Lagunitas Night Pils, $5.19/22oz - "There are two kinds. There is the DayTime kind, which is bright and welcoming, and then there is the NightTime kind, which should never be confused with the DayTime. NightTime is dark and deep and may take you to unexpected places, places that the DayTime can not. But then the NightTime is not suited for ordinary life and ordinary tasks, in fact NightTime may be the answer for that sort of thing, meaning that those sorts of things may never get done. Things take time in the NightTime, things slow down and you can pause (you have to, actually) and investigate carefully to find that level of objective detachment that is only possible under the spell of the NightTime. Seek the Day but fear not the Nighttime" (source).
  • Ludington Bay Tangelo Dream, $1.99/12oz - "A citrus twist on our American Pale Ale. Made with Pomelos are a fruit that produces flavors of tangerine and grapefruit" (source).
  • Motor City Brewing Notorious IPA, $4.49/16oz - No commercial description.
  • Odd Side Chocolade, $2.39/12oz - "Stout brewed with chocolate and coffee. A medium bodied, creamy, everyday stout with aromas of mocha espresso that are followed by earthy roasted malt and lingering flavors of coffee and chocolate" (source).
  • Odd Side Shamone, $2.39/12oz - "Kettle Sour NEIPA" (source).
  • Short's Liberator, $2.59/12oz - "The Liberator was made as a 30th birthday gift to Joe Short. As a double IPA, this beast employs a sizable malt bill, but it is the crazy amount of hops added to the boil every 4 minutes, for 120 minutes, that really make this beer special. Fruity, floral, and piney hop flavors penetrate throughout the caramelized malt profile. The Liberator is a well-balanced, full bodied brew that has a bitter finish due to the post fermentation addition of lemon and orange zest" (source).
  • White Flame Kooky Monster, $2.79/12oz - "Brown Ale made with Steenstras Windmill (cinnamon and ginger) cookies" (source).
  • White Flame Suck My Kiss, $2.99/12oz - "Sweet Hard Cider" (source).
  • White Flame Super G, $2.79/12oz - "Brewed to showcase the bitterness of the high alpha-acid hops. The bitterness is derived from the early hop additions while the citrusy aromas are attributed to the late hop additions during the boil process" (source).

Video of the Week | Open Port Like a Boss

Study this video, then come buy a bottle of Vintage Port at Siciliano's.