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Friday, December 9, 2011

New Beer Friday - December 9 Edition

Attention Michigan craft beer enthusiasts! Tickets for the 2012 Michigan Winter Beer Festival are now on sale and moving quickly. Siciliano's started with 100 tickets Tuesday night; as of Friday morning we have less than 30 left. Each ticket is $40 and grants admission to a veritable wonderland of beer and roasted turkey legs. Here's our take on last year's Winter Beer Fest, video included.

In other news, congratulations are in order for three area raw cider producers. Sietsema Orchards in Ada recently took top honors at this year's statewide raw cider contest. Second place went to three-time winner Jim Hill of Hill Brothers Orchards, and newly anointed Master Cider Maker Jim Engelsma of Engelsma Cider Mill in Walker completed the Kent County trifecta by coming in a solid third. Nice work, you guys. Thanks for validating our theory that West Michigan produces the best raw (and, therefore, the best hard) cider in the region.

And finally, have you seen this Wisconsin nonsense? Who do they think they are anyway?

New (and Returning) Beer

  • Sam Adams Inifinium, $19.99/750ml - Sam Adams worked "for two years with the world’s oldest brewery, Germany’s Weihenstephan, to create this unique new beer style. A groundbreaking brew, made with only the four traditional ingredients: malted barley, hops, water and yeast, Infinium™ is a crisp champagne-like beer with fine bubbles and a fruity, spicy aroma. The crisp clean malt character and delicate fruit notes in this beer are complemented by a slight citrus flavor from dry hopping with Bavarian Noble hops. Bottle conditioning adds another layer of complexity and light spice notes" (source).
  • Short's & Friends Cornholio, $2.29/12oz - Short's, Three Floyds, and Dogfish Head collaborated on this beer, which is "made with MI horehound (kinda like an minty rootbeery herb), Indiana red popcorn, and Delaware & Cape May Beach Plums" (source). One bottle limit.
  • Short's Captain Fantasy, $2.29/12oz - "Brewed in collaboration with Half Acre, this ale was constructed using a Saison yeast and pears, then twisted with Sorachi Ace hops from Japan" (source). One bottle limit.
  • Short's Liberator, $1.99/12oz - "A double IPA, this beast employs a sizable malt bill, but it’s the ridiculous amounts of hops added to the boil every 4 minutes, for 120 minutes, that showcases this beer. A fruity, floral, piney intensity of hops penetrates through the caramelized malt profile. This well balanced, full bodied brew finishes bitter with a punch of fresh citrus from the addition of lemon and orange zest post fermentation" (source).
  • Breckenridge Christmas Ale, $1.79/12oz - "At over 7% alcohol, with a sturdy texture and rich flavors of caramel and chocolate, our holiday seasonal is the fermented equivalent of a good fire" (source).
  • Heavy Seas Winter Storm, $1.89/12oz - "Our winter ale brewed with copious helpings of English malts and both U.S. and English hops making it a ruddy hued Imperial ESB in style. Full malty flavors dancing with powerful hop aromas and a lingering yet firm hop bitterness. Pairs well with very sharp cheddar, stews, and grilled ribs" (source).
  • Fuller's Vintage Ale 2010, $10.09/16.9oz - "This year’s offering is hopped with fine Fuggles and Goldings as bittering hops with Goldings used for late copper hop addition. Fuller’s 2010 Vintage Ale will have an initial fruit aroma with notes of pear and orange giving through to floral notes, followed by a clean, full, almost liquored initial palate. The finish is dark orange and satisfying" (source).
  • Brewery Ommegang Gift Set, $26.89 - Three bottles of Ommegang beer & one signature Ommegang glass. Beer selection includes:
    • Gnomegang 750ml - "A strong Belgian Golden Ale using Chouffe yeast in the primary fermentation and Ommegang yeast in the secondary" (source).
    • Three Philosophers 750ml - A "powerful marriage of cherries, roasted malts, and dark chocolate" (source).
    • Hennepin Farmhouse Saison 750ml - "Bright and lively in your mouth with a warming mix of spicy gingersnap and citrusy hops" (source).
  • Oliver Winery Beanblossom Hard Cider, $4.99/500ml - Four varieties available: Original, Peach, Strawberry, and Raspberry. "Oliver Winery started in the 1960s as a hobby in the basement of Indiana University law professor William Oliver. His enthusiasm for making wine [and also hard cider, apparently] led him to establish a vineyard northwest of Bloomington. Soon the flourishing vines produced grapes far in excess of his needs as a hobby winemaker, and he began plans to open a commercial winery" (source).
  • Norrebro Skargaards Porter, $12.59/18.3oz - "The beer is top fermented and honey is added before fermentation, the result being a smooth and creamy black porter with gentle chocolate, coffee and nut aromas. The taste is dry, light and elegant with liquorice and dried fruit being the primary flavours. Bitterness is slight and liquorice will linger on the palate" (source).
  • Norrebro North Bridge Extreme Imperial IPA, $15.89/18.3oz - "Inspired by the triple IPAs of California, it is brewed with British malts, adjusted with several other malts for color, and spiced with an extreme amounts of hops. A dark golden, extremely bitter ale with a prominent hop aroma. Northbridge Extreme should be enjoyed as the final beer of the evening – your taste buds can’t be used after drinking this ale!" (source). 
  • Haand Dark Force Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout, $10.49/16.9oz - "Dark Force is creamy and velvety, but the addition of plenty of malted wheat gives this stout a crispness and drinkability that belies its considerable alcoholic strength. Be forewarned: this Imperial really strikes back" (source). 
  • Christoffel Double Dark Bok, $7.69/11.2oz - "A dark brown lager with a reddish hue, named the best Bok in Holland. A delicate balance between sweet & bitter, with a firm finish" (source).
  • Mikkeller Monk's Brew Dark Ale, $15.49/750ml - "A dark Belgian ale with a dominant yeast character and deliciously malty body. Well-balanced and distinguished, the beer's characteristic high alcohol content never takes over, and the beer is amazingly smooth and drinkable" (source).
  • Mikkeller Jackie Brown, $15.49/750ml - "This beautiful brown beer’s characteristically roasted malt taste nearly ends like chocolate on the tongue" (source).
  • Mikkeller Czech-style Pils, $6.39/12oz - “The Czech Pilsner is a classic ‘Czech-style’ Pilsner of 4.8% alc. vol. It differs from the more commercial Czech Pilsner by being unfiltered and unpasteurized and heavily dry-hopped with Saaz” (source).
Picture of the Week

First significant snowfall
Millenium Park, Grand Rapids


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