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Thursday, May 16, 2013

New Beer Friday, Beer City USA Edition (May 17)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

As much as we here at Siciliano’s enjoyed the busyness of the past three weeks—the judging of our annual homebrew competition, our sponsorship of the Big Brew on the Calder, showing celebrated author Stan Hieronymus what a fantastic craft beer culture and a vibrant homebrewing community we have here in West Michigan and, finally, the homebrew seminars last Friday and the 10th Annual Homebrew Party on Saturday—I would be less than honest if I didn’t admit that this past Sunday the Siciliano’s team heaved a huge, collective sigh of relief.

Personally, I felt like a 50-pound bag of 2-row that had been run through our motorized malt mill. But when on Monday we heard that Grand Rapids was voted Beer City USA for another year, this time by a landslide, we all were immediately and magically reenergized—so reenergized, in fact, that we began discussing how we would make next year’s events even better.

Speaking of the annual homebrew competition, I would like to congratulate Michael Carr of the Cass River Homebrew Club for winning Best of Show with his American IPA. Michael plans on purchasing some shiny new Blichmann Engineering equipment with his $500.00 cash prize and will be brewing his winning recipe in the near future at Perrin Brewing.

I can think of no better way of celebrating the repeat honor of being recognized as the best craft beer city in America by toasting and re-toasting the title with one or more of the following new and/or returning beers at Siciliano’s.

New (and Returning) Beers at Siciliano's

  • New Belgium Rolle Bolle, $1.69/12oz - "Rolle Bolle is a wonderfully fun Belgian yard game and a delightfully easy summer ale. Brewed with monk fruit and soursop it stays true to the Belgian tradition of playing with beer and all that goes into it. Roll on" (source).
  • New Belgium Fat Tire, 1.59/12oz (can) - "Named in honor of our founder Jeff’s bike trip through Belgium, Fat Tire Amber Ale marks a turning point in the young electrical engineer’s home brewing. Belgian beers use a far broader palette of ingredients (fruits, spices, esoteric yeast strains) than German or English styles. Jeff found the Belgian approach freeing. Upon his return, Jeff created Fat Tire and Abbey Belgian Ale, (assuming Abbey would be his big gun). He and his wife, Kim traveled around sampling their homebrews to the public. Fat Tire’s appeal quickly became evident. People liked everything about it. Except the name. Fat Tire won fans is in its sense of balance: toasty, biscuit-like malt flavors coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness" (source).
  • Atwater Uber Ursa Imperial Pils, $2.89/12oz - "An interpretation of an original pilsener. Clean, strong, dry, and supper hoppy. In Germany this is called an Ur-Pils. Here in America, we call it an Imperial Pils. Brewed with two-row and Cara pils malts, with Magnum Tettnang and Herkules hops" (source).
  • Avery Karma Ale,  $1.99/12oz - "We believe in Karma. We suspect most of you do, too. It truly is a global concept. Very simply put, "you get what you give." Inspired by this principle and the wonderful farmhouse and pale ales of Belgium, we've created Karma Ale, a decidedly fruity and estery ale, intricate in body and nose, all driven by a unique Belgian yeast strain. Remember, good things DO happen to good people. Here's to being good!" (source).
  • Anderson Valley El Steinber, $2.69/16oz (can) - "Borders. We’ve crossed into uncharted territory with our newest release, El Steinber. In our somewhat unusual take on the style, we add Midnight Wheat malt to give this lager its dark brown color and roasted Indio-Hispano blue corn to lighten the body and create a unique, toasty flavor. German pilsner malt and Saaz hops round out this beer producing a crisp, clean finish and smooth drinkability that is perfect for any occasion" (source).
  • Brooklyn Summer Ale, 1.69/12oz - "Brooklyn Summer Ale is a modern rendition of the "Light Dinner Ales" brewed in England throughout the 1800's right up until the 1940's. They were also called "luncheon ales" or even "family ales", because they were refreshing and flavorful without being too heavy. We brew our Brooklyn Summer Ale from premium English barley malt, which gives this light-bodied golden beer a fresh bready flavor. German and American hops lend a light, crisp bitterness and a citrus/floral aroma resulting in a beer with a very sunny disposition. FOOD PAIRING Excellent with salads, seafood, quiches, and lightly spicy dishes. It's also great at a brunch. SPECS Style: English Style Light Dinner Ale Malts: Two Row British Malts Hops: German Perle and American Cascade, Fuggle, and Amarillo Alcohol: 4.5% by volume Original Gravity: 11 Plato" (source).
  • Abita Golden Ale, $1.69/12oz - "Abita Golden is a crisp, clean continental lager. Just four ingredients is all it takes: American malt, Mt. Hood hops, German lager yeast and pure Abita spring water. As the name applies, Abita Golden has a brilliant gold color" (source).

Vander Mill Cider | Now in 16oz Cans

  • Vander Mill Hard Apple Cider,  $2.99/16oz - "We use a unique blend of Michigan apples to balance acidity and fresh apple flavors. This is a very approachable cider that is lightly carbonated and should be served cold in a pint glass" (source).
  • Vander Mill Blue Gold, $2.99/16oz - "This semi-sweet cider has a very well balance of sweetness and acidity. We use our traditional cider as a base and blend in blueberries. This gives Blue Gold its deep and rich color. A very approachable cider for the novice, and refreshing for all" (source).
  • Vander Mill Totally Roasted Cider, $2.99/16oz - "This cider was specially made for a draft customer in Grand Rapids, MI.. We are using over 4 lbs. of homemade cinnamon roasted pecans in a 30 gallon batch of this limited edition cider to bring you Totally Roasted. You will notice that soaking pecans in cider brings a unique texture and taste to the drink. We use cinnamon and vanilla during the roasting process and follow that up by adding whole cut vanilla beans to the cider. These subtle tastes certainly make this a cider all it’s own" (source).


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