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Friday, December 30, 2011

New Beer Friday - December 30 Edition

By Chris Siciliano

In preparation for the new year, the staff at Siciliano's recently gathered to agree on a list of collective resolutions...okay, that never happened. But if it were to happen, doing even more to promote Michigan craft beer would be the paramount decree. It's always been a top objective anyway, and it's also fitting that all five beers on this week's NBF hail from the great beer state. What better way to ring in the new year than with a selection of the newest beer Michigan has to offer. Add a few friends and a little sparkling wine to the mix (see below for recommendations), and you'll have all the makings for a great start to 2012.

New (and Returning) Beer

  • Founders Double Trouble, $2.59/12oz - "An imperial IPA that was brewed to turn your world upside down. Hops will get you coming and going. Pungent aromatics up front pair with a malt-balanced backbone and a smooth, bitter finish" (source).
  • Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout, $1.99/12oz - "A full bodied stout made with all malted barley and blueberry. Flavors of chocolate, roast malt and light blueberry make up the palate with lots of fruity blueberry aroma" (source).
  • Arcadia Shipwreck Porter, $5.99/12oz - A baltic porter "aged in in 22 year-old Bourbon Barrels for almost two years" (source).
  • Detroit Beer Co. Sander's Chocolate Stout, $1.69/12oz - "The dark, satisfying aroma and flavor of a fine stout ale with the restrained richness and elegance of the hand selected cocoa used by Sanders Fine Chocolatiers in Detroit since 1875" (source).
  • Short's Pontius Pilsner, $1.49/12oz - "A true American style Pilsner where the malted barley, when blended with flaked maize (corn), produce a deliciously distinct flavor. It is light in body and color, with a surprisingly full flavor that gives way to crisp refreshment. Handfuls of hops provide pleasant aromatics and a wonderful dry finish" (source).
Sparkling Wine

It wouldn't be New Year's without obligatory sparkling wine recommendations. True to Siciliano's form, we give you several alternatives to traditional French champagne, from an inexpensive Argentinian bubbly to a completely alcohol-free sparkling grape juice (you know, for the kids, expectant mothers, and designated drivers).

  • Louis Barthelemy Amethyste Brut, $41.19/750ml - On the traditional side, "a brilliantly clear champagne with hints of gold. It is fresh yet rich on the palate while providing a fine and persistent mousse. The flavours are round with red fruit, a touch of brioche and finishing on a note of citrus peel" (source).
  • 2008 Reginato "CJR" Blanc de Blanc, 12.89/750ml - An inexpensive alternative to traditional champagne, this sparkling wine is "somewhat fruity in the mouth, with low apparent acidity in the flavor, yet a fairly long, fruity finish, ending with the acidity that was in there all along...a wine to drink with a meal" (source).
  • Shady Lane Brut 2003, $19.59/750ml - A local alternative to traditional champagne, this is a "classic blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay produced in the Methode and full bodied while retaining an elegantly clean crisp finish." (source).
  • Vander Mill Hard Cider, $11.49/750ml - An apple-based alternative to traditional champagne, this cider is "hand-crafted and balanced to create an aroma and flavor that brings out the natural qualities of Michigan fruit" (source).
  • Saison Dupont, $9.79/750ml - A malt-based alternative to traditional champagne, Saison Dupont is "coppery blond, with fine aromas and a strong bitterness to transform this beer into a thirst quencher with no equal" (source).
  • St. Julian Sparkling White Grape Juice, $4.19/750ml - An alcohol-free alternative to traditional champagne, this juice is "proudly produced in Paw Paw, Michigan" (a town so nice they named it twice).

Picture of the Week

Rows of muscadine at a vineyard in Vale, NC

Have a safe and happy New Year!

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