|Sandwich board outside Vivant|
A special congrats to Jason Spaulding and crew over at Grand Rapids' own Brewery Vivant—the Cherry Street brew-slingers became this week the first and only LEED-certified microbrewery in the country. Nice work you guys; your commitment to sustainability and the environment means that drinking beer is now a moral obligation for all of us. Seriously. We don't know how to thank you.
Lest Michigan's other "beer people" feel left out, we're including in today's New Beer Friday a pretty kick-ass 20-minute documentary from burgeoning filmmaker Alan Torres. Alan's award-winning film, called (you guessed it) Beer People, is "an in-depth look at the people behind Michigan craft beer, the culture surrounding it, and why Michigan brews the best beer in the world" (source). Hey Alan, if you do a sequel, be sure to stop by Siciliano's.
New (and Returning) Beer
- Epic Brewing, Salt Lake City, Utah - "In 2008, Utah law changed allowing co-founders David Cole and Peter Erickson to pursue their longtime dream of opening a strong-beer microbrewery like those they frequented in the Golden State.Together, they have teamed with brewmaster Kevin Crompton, formerly from Bohemian Brewery. Crompton has been brewing for more than thirteen years and brewed for three Utah breweries and another in Hawaii" (source). All beer descriptions are from their website.
- Sour Apple Saison, $7.69/22oz - "Sweet, yet dry and tart, apples spiced with coriander, grains of paradise, anise, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger. There is no wrong way to enjoy this Saison Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale!"
- Brainless Belgian-style Golden Ale, $6.69/22oz - "Brainless Belgian-Style Golden Ale is has a rich and complex malt flavor balanced with a little bit of spicy noble hops and strong influences of fermentation esters from the Belgian yeast used. Various Belgian like Rock Candies, hops and grains are employed to express variations within the style."
- Brainless on Cherries, $12.09/22oz - "We took our double gold medal winning Brainless Belgian, added cherry puree and aged it in French Chardonnay casks for a secondary fermentation in the barrels. Pours a beautiful deep ruby color with a medium white head. A nice nose of sweet cherries, Belgian malts, and barrel aging."
- Brainless on Peaches, $12.09/22oz - "We took our double gold medal winning Brainless Belgian, added organic peach puree and aged it in French Chardonnay casks form Sawtooth Winery. Drink from a Pinot glass, serve on the warm side of cold, it develops nicely as it warms displaying more fruit and wine."
- Galloway Porter, $4.29/22oz - "A dark, full-bodied and drinkable beer, Galloway Porter highlights rich roasted chocolate and coffee-like malt flavors and aromas. It has a very mild hop addition so that the chocolate malt flavor can shine through, 5.4% alcohol by volume."
- Imperial IPA, $8.59/22oz - "This beer is the epitome of Epic’s IPAs. This hard hitting brew manages to pack a punch while still providing that fantastically complex IPA flavor. Slightly floral aromas hit the nose while resinous flavors dominate the body, finishing with the ideal palate cleansing bitterness."
- Imperial Red Ale, $6.69/22oz - "A boldly flavored double red ale. Combining caramel malt for sweetness mixed with nice alcohol and plenty of dry and late kettle hop aromas from three killer America strains create a beer that is tough to compare."
- Smoked & Oaked, $12.09/22oz - "Smoked cherry wood malt brings a smoky sweetness to the caramel malts and a bit of peat flavor with a Belgian-style yeast. The entire batch aging in the whiskey barrels nicely dries out the perceived sweetness of the caramel malt leaving an almost scotch like taste."
- Spiral Jetty IPA, $4.29/22oz - "Spiral Jetty India Pale Ale is the launching point in our series of hoppy IPA brews. Spiral Jetty IPA has an aggressive hop profile (five different hops used here with two in the dry hop) presenting citrus, floral, resinous or pine aromas and flavors typical of American hops and a nice pleasant, cleansing bitterness on the finish. The dominance of the hops helps to balance the complex malt flavors and the higher alcohol content. Spiral Jetty is our strongest Classic Series ale at 6.6% alcohol by volume, but certainly not our strongest beer."
- Hopulent IPA, $6.69/22oz - "Hopulent IPA is a big beer with lots of complex malt flavor and excessive hops. This beer will have changes to the grain bill and seasonal hop changes. The character of Hopulent IPA is over the top, too much of everything—a real HOP HEADS DELIGHT! Release one weighed in well over 9% ABV with almost 10 pounds of dry hops in the 10-barrel tank."
- Capt'n Crompton's Pale Ale, $4.29/22oz - "Made with classic Pacific Northwest Cascade, Centennial, Mt. Hood in the boil and dry hopped with more Cascade hops. Cascade aroma dominates the nose, so be sure to sniff it like a wine snob. Plenty of ultra premium Maris Otter malt and three specialty malts give the beer a nice smooth sailing biscuit like aroma and body, some sweetness, well balanced against 5.8% alcohol by volume."
- Short's Raisin Apollo, $2.19/12oz - "Enticing hop aromas of pine and freshly cut grass boldly emit from this marmalade colored brew. Subtle sweet flavors are accentuated and complimented by the raisins, leading into a hoppy mandarin orange citrus blast. The finish is dominated by high alpha hops, so the mouth dries slightly and bitterness begins to resonate profoundly. 9% ABV" (source).
- Newcastle Founder's Ale, $1.69/12oz - "A pale ale with a dry hoppy flavor and aromas. Sweet rather than bitter, with a clean short finish" (source).
- Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom Cream Ale, $1.59/12oz - "Cream Ale brewed with honey and orange peel, with orange flower extract added" (source).
Cheetah's Wine Pick of the Week
- Costa Di Bussia 2009 Barbera D'Alba, $12.79/750ml - According to the label, this wine is "rich in color and body, smooth in scent and flavor, somewhat tannic, this is often the longest-lived Barbera. It goes well with roasted and grilled meats and game." According to Cheetah, "It's goooooood."