It’s been an eternity since I submitted anything to The Buzz and I’m sure some of you may be wondering whether I have fallen off the face of the earth.
Well in a way I have.
The last time I was down in good ol’ Beer City USA I got a little carried away, imbibed a little too much of the local breweries excellent beers and was late getting back to heaven for a rather important meeting with the Boss. And when I say the Boss, I mean the Big Boss. Tardiness is one of the Almighty’s pet peeves and He came down pretty hard on me. For the last four years or so I’ve been delegated to cleaning the golden commodes up here, my internet privileges were rescinded and I was forbidden to set a sandaled foot off of these hallowed grounds.
I’m quite sure this ungodly punishment would have continued but the Old Man got wind of a new product that He was keen to try and every last one of my compadres were off on other assignments. A few weeks ago He summoned me and quite literally told me to get my butt down to earth and pick Him up some Not Your Father’s Root Beer.
Now the Old Man isn’t opposed to taking a drink now and then but He's really not much of an imbiber. A little sacramental wine now and then and that's about it. Though He doesn't drink a ton of beer He does hold creative brewers in high esteem and He absolutely loves what is going on with the craft beer movement. (You know that little quip attributed to Ben Franklin that beer is proof that God loves humans? Spot on!) That said, he is quite fond of root beer and I wish you could have seen the beatific look on His face after He took a hefty swig of the stuff from His chalice.
Personally, I don’t get why so many folks are going gaga over this root-beerish malternative. The Old Man let me have a sip and let me tell you that was plenty enough for me. Too sweet in my opinion. Does it taste just like root beer? Sure. But when I want a beer, and that’s quite often, I want the real stuff.
But you know what? If Not Your Father’s Root Beer makes the Old Man happy and some Siciliano’s Market customers happy, well, that’s good enough for me.
Like J. C. is fond of saying, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”
Peace and love,
New and Returning Beer
- Bell's Oracle, $3.09/12oz (2 per) - "Our take on the West Coast-style Double India Pale Ale, The Oracle places hop intensity first & foremost, making only the slightest concession to malt & balance. The fireworks start with the aromatic punch of dry-hop sessions with hop varieties from the Pacific Northwest. Resinous, citrusy hop flavors mixed with aggressive bitterness from a massive kettle addition deliver on that aromatic promise" (source).
- Bell's Neptune, $2.09/12oz (2 per) - "With Neptune, our Planets Series comes to an end. Inspired by one of Larry Bell’s old homebrew recipes and the music of Gustav Holst, this complex, strong and spiced Imperial Stout offers prominent herbal notes along with flavors of chocolate, roasted malt, licorice/anise and pepper with a touch of heat. Reminiscent of a mystical creation brewed in days gone by, this beer is a good candidate for aging due to the robust characteristics of its ingredients" (source).
- Vivant Tropical Saison, $3.39/12oz (2 per) - "Waves lapping the shoreline. The smell of sunscreen and dune grass. A day with nothing to do. This saison transports us to our summertime happy place, no matter what office cubicle we're trapped in, no matter what the weather is outside the window. A slight spicy character, light effervescence, and the addition of real pineapple & mango juice lift us out of our everyday and plop us, feet in the sand, to our beach front reverie. Not cloying, but refreshing and complex, this beer is a true “salut” to summer" (source).
- Lakefront New Grist Ginger, $1.89/12oz - "We took our refreshing gluten-free beer, New Grist Pilsner, and brewed it with fresh ginger for a zesty, thirst-quenching flavor: introducing New Grist Ginger. This beer pours light gold with a rocky white head kicking out aromas of ginger and malted sorghum. The spicy-sweet ginger greets the palate first, before moving into the familiar flavor of New Grist: tangy green apple, light body, and crisp, refreshing finish. Overall, New Grist Ginger is a flavorful, easy-drinking, session beer with a snappy ginger punch. New Grist Ginger goes great with any variety of ginger-infused Asian dishes, like the sweeter broth of chicken Saigon pho, mild-to-spicy Thai gai pad king, or the spicy citrus notes of chana masala" (source).
- New Belgium Long Table, $1.69/12oz - "The longer the table, the more room for friends. This season, our new Long Table Farmhouse Ale is the best excuse to pull up a chair with your closest companions for a few rounds. An ode to the bucolic, table-friendly Belgian saison, we’ve added a delightfully new hoppy spin to the style, creating a sip that whisks a taste of the tropics into the Old World. Traditional grains of Munich, pale malt and rye lend a wash of toasty, spicy bread, while exotic Nelson Sauvin and citrusy Chinook hops buoy the juicy fruit flavors of our Belgian yeast. So gather around and get ready to hoist this spritz complex farmhouse ale amongst the company of friends" (source).
- Deschutes Stoic, $17.19/22oz - "A prized, potent, Belgian-style Quad of stirring depth and complexity. Four nuanced fermentations. Aged, sequestered, in select rye whiskey & wine casks. Ergo a stoically brewed quad, with the spellbinding complexity of its medieval ancestors" (source).
- Ommegang 2015 Belgium Independence, $9.29/750ml - "Our limited edition belgian-style tripel honors Belgian Independence Day - July 21, 1831. In a new world twist on old-world style, we've joined Ommegang innovation with Belgian tradition in celebration of the Belgian revolution and the American craft beer revolution. Dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria hops, this unique beer offers fruity aromatics, well-integrated honeyed malt character and a delightful overlay of tangerine and sweet citrus notes" (source).
- Short's Spruce Pils, $2.39/12oz - "Spruce Pilsner is an Imperial Pilsner, fermented with local, hand-picked blue spruce tips. The spruce presence, rooted in historical brewing practices, is enormous and gives the beer a refreshing gin quality. This beer is impressively light bodied, considering the immense spruce flavors and the prodigious additions of hops" (source).
- Big Sky Pygmy Owl Itty Bitty IPA, $1.69/12oz - "Pygmy Owl is an IPA with full fledged hop taste and aroma, yet is remarkably low in alcohol. In fact, it clocks in at only 4.2% ABV. An IPA with full flavor, but without the harsh bitterness. And the best part, you can have more than one without getting that drunkied up feeling" (source).
- B.O.M. Wild and Funky, $5.09/11.2oz - "The Wild & Funky is our response to the challenge to brew a new style of sour beer with mixed fermentation. Taste-wise, the beer fits perfectly within the Belgian tradition, but the brewing method is different than usual" (source).
Video of the Week | Harmony Hall
A first look at Harmony Hall on Bridge Street in Grand Rapids