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Friday, March 9, 2012

New Beer Friday - March 9 Edition

Imperial Hatter & Ren
By Chris Siciliano

On Wednesday of this week Siciliano's officially began accepting entries for the yearly homebrew competition. This is always my favorite part of the process, when hopeful homebrewers drop off their beers with nervous excitement, triple-checking they filled out the forms correctly, praying they didn't do something dumb like grab by mistake that experimental gym-sock lager. Even the most established brewers are sometimes reluctant to part with their entries for fear the results won't go in their favor.

I don't care who you are, what your experience, or how thick your skin, anytime you send something you created out into the world to be judged (like a beer or, I imagine, a kid), you can't help but worry how people will receive it. It's worth it though for the chance at glory, and that's exactly what's at stake here. Well, glory and the right to call your beer Siciliano's Best, a thing no less impressive than winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the Nobel Prize for physics, or the Academy Award for best supporting actor in an animated film or Youtube video.

Good luck to all contestants!

New (and Returning) Beer

  • New Holland Imperial Hatter, $3.99/12oz - "A robust renovation of the India Pale Ale. Assertive dry-hoppying provides an aromatic telltale nose, indicative of the bitter symphony to follow. Bold hop character with lively grapefruit and citrus notes" (source).
  • Aventinus Eisbock, $5.09/300ml - "The aroma reminds of ripe plums with a hint of bitter almonds and marzipan displaying strong characteristics of banana and clove. It is full and warming on your palate. The ideal digestive after a great dish. Goes great with crepes suzette, profiteroles with a dark chocolate sauce, tiramisu and mature Parmesan" (source).
  • Aventinus Wheat Doppelbock, $5.09/12oz - "Dark-ruby colored wheat doppelbock with a creamy fine head. Strong notes of ripe bananas, raisins and plums meet liquorice and roasty aromes. Full-bodied and warming, with a well-balanced and smooth finish" (source).
  • Shipyard Export, $1.79/12oz - "The Shipyard Brewing Company's flagship beer, is a full bodied ale, with a hint of sweetness up front, a subtle and distinctive hope taste, and a very clean and traditional finish" (source).
  • Shipyard Olde Thumper, $1.79/12oz - "A non-tradition English bitter, brewed in the US solely by Shipyard. Hint of sweetness with fruit aromas, smooth texture, dry hoppy finish" (source).
  • Shipyard Fuggles IPA, $1.79/12oz - "This light copper single hop India Pale Ale is brewed only with the Fuggles hops. It has a smooth, dry, and crisp flavor with floral aroma and apple plum palate" (source).
  • Bell's Hell Hath No Fury..., $2.69/12oz - "Originally conceived along the lines of a Belgian Dubbel, Hell Hath No Fury... Ale morphed during development into something entirely different. Blending a pair of Belgian abbey-style yeasts into a recipe more akin to a roasty stout, Hell Hath No Fury... Ale offers up warm, roasted notes of coffee & dark chocolate together with the fruity & clove-like aromas" (source).
  • North Peak Furry Black IPA, $1.89/12oz - "The black IPA is a wonderful winter beer. Its hoppy character is sure to warm you up on a chilly Michigan winter night. Made with Chinook, Columbus and Cascade hops and Pilsner, C-40, Midnight Wheat and Carapils malts" (source).
  • Mt. Pleasant Sacred Gruit Ale, $1.79/12oz - "Pale ale brewed with yarrow, myrtle, and rosemary" (source).
  • Anderson Imperial IPA, $3.09/12oz - "This over-the-top brew is loaded with excessive amounts of malts to balance 20 separate additions of the finest Pacific Northwest hops to create what the late beer critic William Brand described as “The kind of beer that made California craft beer famous” (source).
  • Stone Old Guardian, $6.99/12oz - "We make small adjustments to the recipe every year, just a little it provides an opportunity to try some different hops or malts. For the 2012 release, we made a deliberate effort to move away from the English hop influence of the past few years, taking out the East Kent Golding hops, subbing in a blend of American Chinook, Calypso and Cascade. Yes, that's right, Cascade. This is the first use of Cascade in one of our beers, and we really enjoyed the hints of grapefruit and pine it contributed to the aroma and flavor. We also bumped up the Maris Otter crystal malt by a mere 0.5%, and it's amazing how much of a difference it made in the color and the upfront body. All in all, it's resulted in a well-rounded beer that is ready to drink now, or can be aged at cellar temperatures for many years" (source).
  • Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin', $1.99/12oz - "Way smooth and silky with a nice wheaty-esque-ish-ness. Just the little sumpin’ sumpin’ we all need to kick Summer into full swing! Ingredients: Hops, Malt, Hops, Hops, Yeast, Hops, Water, and Hops" (source).
  • Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale, $1.99/12oz - "This Special Ale is, in reality, a reconstructed exhumation of the very first ale that we ever brewed way, way back, in 1993. Brewed with a big head, a muscular malty thorax, a silky texture & all strung together with a hoppy sweet nerve sack... yum" (source).
  • Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot, $4.79/22oz - "A malty, robust, jobless recovery ale! We’re not quite in the red, or in the black... Does that mean we’re in the brown? A big ol’ Imperial Brown Ale to help you with your slipperly slide on into springtime. Rich, smooth, dangerous & chocolatey" (source).
  • Atwater VJ Black Imperial Stout, $2.69/12oz - The VJ stands for vanilla java, 11% ABV (source).
  • Short's ControversiALE, $1.99/12oz - "Loaded with hops like an IPA, yet drinks like a Pale Ale, we simply decided to call it a Strong Pale Ale. The fragrant, earthy citrus laced nose is instantly detectable. Large amounts of toasted grains and high alpha Simcoe hops form a perfect union that creates the cool sensation of toasted sourdough covered with zesty grapefruit hop marmalade" (source).
  • Original Sin Newton Pippin Cider, $8.09/750ml - "First harvested in 1740 in Queens, NY. Coveted by George Washington and Thomas Jeferson and planted in their personal estates. Benjamin Franklin had Newtown Pippins shipped to him in London in 1759. Credited with establishing the U.S. fruit export industry. Was popular for use in the making of hard cider" (source).
  • Original Sin Cherry Tree Cider, $8.09/750ml - "Our Cherry Tree cider combines the finest American heirloom apples, which were popular in the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries, with tart cherries. The finished product has the clean, rich flavor of fresh cherries with the depth and elegance that comes from using freshly pressed U.S. heirloom cider apples" (source).
Random Fact of the Week

"Standing anywhere in the state [of Michigan] a person is within
85 miles of one of the Great Lakes" (source).

Lake Michigan. It's closer than you think.


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