|Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree|
By Chris Siciliano
What could we say about tomorrow's Michigan Winter Beer Festival that isn't already articulated beautifully in the video below? Nothing, actually. So we'll cut short the regular NBF preamble and say only this: those of you attending the festival, be careful, have a great time, taste well and taste often. Those of you without tickets, Siciliano's is fully stocked with delicious Michigan beer—what's to stop you from throwing your own winter festival at home?
New (and Returning) Beer
- Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree, $3.89/12oz - "We actually took the Crooked Tree recipe and doubled all of the ingredients except the water, just the way a DOUBLE should be made. Big hops balanced with tons of malt give this beer a huge body. Although this beer is as cool as "The Fonz" when first purchased, it gets really mellow and smooth with some age. After a year or two stored in a cool dark place you'll notice the heavy caramel and malt flavors are trying to sneak past the hops" (source). Limit 4 bottles/person.
- Dark Horse Plead the 5th Imperial Stout, $2.99/12oz - "It's big and full bodied with lots of roasted malts and balanced with heavy hops to put this imperial in a league of its own" (source). Limit 2 bottles/person.
- Brau Brothers Cherry Bean Coffee Stout, $2.19/12oz - "An eclectic ingredient list features a variety of fermentables. Roasted barley, with coffee and chocolate malt is showcased. However, a sizeable amount of wheat helps with body and head retention. Dark candi sugar, confected at the brewery, is employed late in the boil to build complexity and is reminiscent of dark chocolate and ripe plum. Finally, multiple roasts of Cherry Bean’s organic, fair trade coffee are added to the ale. Partially during the brewing process, in an effort to claim nuance and character only achieved with the heat of the brewing process, and partially towards the end of fermentation, to capture aromatics as well as classic coffee flavor without extensive bitterness" (source).
- Chameleon Brewing Company, Wisconsin - This brewery "was started by Randy Sprecher, founder of Sprecher Brewery. Crafted to please and tease a wide variety of palates, Chameleon beers are light in body, yet full of complex flavors and aromas." All descriptions from their website.
- Hop on Top Aroma Hop Ale, $1.79/12oz - An "aromatic non-bitter brew featuring a complex bouquet of dried flowers and hops. Light-bodied and refreshing, Hop on Top has a toasty pale malt finish."
- Witty White Wheat, $1.79/12oz - "Grains of wheat and barley + hops + drops of wit + a black pepperish spice…ah, Grains of Paradise + notes of orange and coriander + carbonation to bring out the aromatics; ( - % Belgian yeast culture = slight haze)…Mouthfeel = medium body …Eureka! Witty, a light and refreshing wit beer with engaging complexity."
- Fire Light, $1.79/12oz - "Great for sitting by a campfire, in front of a fireplace, or just relaxing, this easy drinking beer has been lightly kissed by flames for a golden color, and a toasty light malt finish. Fire Light – expertly crafted for drinkability and enjoyment."
- Ryediculous, $1.79/12oz - "This IPA/Rye hybrid begins with a citrusy, earthy, slightly spicy hop nose. Soon the playfully assertive Cascade and Chinook hops flex their bittering muscles for balance and a clean finish to this medium-bodied ale."
- Short's Aorta Double Red Ale, $1.99/12oz - "Aorta Ale is a double red ale that suggests an intensity of flavor simply by its brilliant deep red appearance. Subtle aromas of candy, brown sugar, and toasted malt are released to the nose as if from the depths of this full-bodied beast. Raisins, figs, and burnt caramel are among some of the sweeter flavors up front, but they give way to a roasted, cocoa like bitterness that becomes magnified by high alpha hops. In contrast to the initial sweetness, it’s a heightened bitterness that dominates the finish" (source).
- Sam Adams Whitewater IPA, $1.59/12oz - "We love hops at Samuel Adams, and while we enjoy traditional IPAs, we thought we might spice things up a little bit, literally, by combining the intense hop character of an IPA with the crisp spicy wheat character of a Belgian-style white ale. The resulting fusion-style brew is Samuel Adams Whitewater IPA" (source).
- Anchor Brekles Brown, $1.99/12oz - "Inspired by the all-malt brown ales in Anchor’s brewing archives, Brekle’s™ Brown has a coppery brown color and unusual depth of flavor with hints of citrus which makes for richness and complexity without heaviness. The classic, all-malt, single-hop brown ale" (source).
- North Coast Old Stock Ale 2012, $3.50/12oz (new vintage) - "Like a fine wine, North Coast’s Old Stock Ale is intended to be laid down. With an original gravity of over 1100 and a generous hopping rate, Old Stock Ale is well-designed to round-out and mellow with age. North Coast Brewing Co. Old Stock Ale is a vintage dated ale. We produce a small quantity each year and it remains available from release date until our stock is depleted" (source).