By Chris Siciliano
It's been a slow week news-wise here at Siciliano's Market. So we're taking this opportunity to repost one of our favorite Buzz pieces, or part of it at least—an explanation from our now-retired advice columnist (Hey Kevin) regarding the evolutionary reasons so many professional brewers wear beards.
Q: Hey Kevin, Like many obsessed homebrewers, I aspire to become a professional brewer one day. Just one thing worries me: my beard sucks. It’s patchy at best and sorry in general. It seems like a lot of pro brewers wear beards. What are my chances of succeeding in the beer world if I can’t grow a sweet face-coat?
—Chuck in Bay City
A: It depends, Chuck. How are you at adapting? Conventional thinking has it that brewers grow beards in order to identify each other in large groups of people. Recently scientists have uncovered evidence suggesting something else is at work: evolution.
Have you ever seen a bloodhound close up? If not, Google it. The distinctive wrinkly face and folds of skin have a very important job to do—they trap scent from the environment and direct it toward the bloodhound’s greatest tool, its nose.
Though the professional brewer is tracking neither rabbits nor escaped convicts, his face full of whiskers functions in much the same way, trapping scent in the thousands of empty pockets created by the confluence of individual beard hairs. It’s these pockets wherein aromas and even flavors are stored for future reference.
When a brewer scratches his beard, it’s not because his face itches; it’s because he’s working on a new IPA recipe. Said scratching prompts the release of microscopic chemical compounds which are directed toward the brewer’s nostrils, then up into his brain where they are combined to recreate (or rather pre-create) the beer that will eventually find its way into your pint glass.
Follow this link to finish reading Hey Kevin's beer/brewer explanation. Otherwise, please enjoy the newest beers to arrive at Siciliano's.
New (and Returning) Beers at Siciliano's
- Two Beers Forester Double IPA, $6.69/22oz - "You asked for it, so we brewed it! We took our flagship Evo IPA, increased the malt bill, and added even more of the best Yakima Valley Simcoe, Amarillo, Citra, and Columbus hops to give this double IPA a piney, citrus aroma" (source).
- Two Beers Heart of Darkness CDA, $6.69/22oz - "Whether it’s hiking a moonlit trail or sleeping under the stars, our senses are heightened in the dark. We notice the little things and discover the word anew. This complex Cascadian Dark Ale is our tribute to those moonlit experiences. This hoppy yet smooth ale is an adventure all its own" (source).
- Two Beers Trailhead ISA, $1.79/12oz - "A Northwest India-style Session Ale (ISA) aggressively dry‐hopped with Columbus and Cascade hops and brewed with light crystal and honey malts. A hoppy crisp beer perfect for the sunny days of summer" (source).
- Two Beers IPA, $1.79/12oz - "Evo. IPA is a dry‐hopped, deep copper colored IPA brewed with Yakima Valley Simcoe, Amarillo, and Centenniel Hops, then aggressively dry‐hopped with Simcoe and Columbus. The floral and citrus aroma compliments the crisp malt body" (source).
- Two Beers Immersion, $1.79/12oz - "A Northwest Amber Ale brewed with Washington grown Chinook and Cascade Hops. Bright ruby in color with caramel, spice, and citrus overtones" (source).
- Short's Nicie Spicie, $1.99/12oz - "Northern Michigan spiced wheat ale. A 50% mixture of premium two-row malted barley and malted white wheat makes golden wheat ale balanced with Ahtanum and Cascade hop varieties. This ale is spiced with fresh grated lemon and orange rind, coriander, and black peppercorns. It’s truly a fermented wonder of the Short’s Brew formula family" (source).
- Abita Lemon Wheat, $1.69/12oz - "Lemon Wheat (May-September) is a crisp, refreshing beer made with lemon peel for a fresh citrus taste and aroma. This unfiltered brew has a hazy, golden color and is made with lager and wheat malts, Centennial hops and Biere de Garde yeast. This brew is an excellent choice with many dishes. It pairs wonderfully with salads if the dressing is not too sweet. Great with shrimp, lobster or any fish, even the most delicate" (source).
- Frankenmuth Twisted Helles, $1.69/12oz - "Helles is a German-style beer. German beers are very specific in that the only ingredients are water, grains, hops, yeasts. That’s it — you don’t do anything else. The reason we call it “twisted” is because we took the German recipe and twisted it. We added something that German brewers would not do. We added the citrus of orange and lemon peel six minutes before the end of the boil. It imparts a citrus overtone; you get in the aroma and on the way backend. It’s just a refreshing summer lager" (source).
- Old Dominion Brewing Double D, $2.49/12oz - "This is a full-bodied American style double IPA brewed with five styles of malts and four different hops. This deep copper colored ale will be served unfiltered to maximize flavor and also dry hopped during the secondary fermentation to ensure a gracious hop aroma. Cheers from us to you and may you enjoy it with friends" (source).
- Old Dominion Brewing Morning Glory Espresso Stout, $2.49/12oz - "Loose lips sink ships, and coquettish glory will never tell. A midnight stout brewed with coffee beans, Morning Glory wakes up at 9% ALC. By Vol., with the aroma of espresso" (source).
- Old Dominion Brewing Lager, $2.49/12oz - "Dominion Lager is brewed using four types of malted barley: Two-Row Pale Brewer’s malt, Munich, Carapils, and Caramel. The bittering hops are Perle and Hallertau from the Yakima Valley in Washington State. The aromatic hops are domestic Tettnang, German Hallertau Hersbrucker, and Czech Saaz. This combination of malt and hops, along with a classic lager yeast from Germany, and the long, low-temperature lagering process results in a mild, smooth, flavorful, complex beer that is a delight to drink" (source).
- Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Chocolate Peanut Butter & Banana Ale, $14.39/22oz - "A Collision of Crazies Rogue Ales has again collided with Voodoo Doughnut to create Chocolate, Banana & Peanut Butter Ale! This unique artisan creation contains a baker’s dozen ingredients including chocolate, banana and peanut butter to match Voodoo’s "Memphis Mafia" doughnut- a nod to Elvis’ entourage" (source).
- Southern Tier Imperial Compass, $7.79/22oz - "Sparkling Ale with rose hips" (source).
Thirsty Dog Barrel-Aged Siberian Night & Wulver | Beers of the Week
- Thirsty Dog Wulver, $6.89/12oz - Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy aged for 11 months in Kentucky Bourbon barrels" (source).
- Thirsty Dog Barrel Aged Siberian Night, $6.89/12oz - "Creamy and full-bodied, with a complex character from generous amounts of roasted, toasted, and caramel malts. For those who demand flavor, this is the perfect libation. Bronze Medal winner 2003 GABF, Gold Medal winner 2005 GABF" (source).