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Friday, August 30, 2013

New Beer Friday, End of Summer Edition (August 30)

The new Best Brown label
By Steve Siciliano

Astronomers and meteorologists might take exception, but I’m declaring this to be the last New Beer Friday of the summer. While fall doesn’t technically start in the northern hemisphere until the autumnal equinox (occurring this year on September 22nd at 4:44 PM EDT), most of us, craft beer merchants included, consider the Labor Day weekend to be the conclusion of summer and, it logically follows, the beginning of fall.

This time of the year is always bittersweet for me. A few days ago I cringed slightly upon spying a few red turning leaves on a wide spreading maple, but then I immediately found myself looking forward to the time when the all the leaves on all the trees will be ablaze with color. I’ll miss the warm evenings of sipping chilled white wine or a cold hefe while watching fireflies on the backyard deck, but I’m also eagerly anticipating drinking last year’s homemade reds or a thick porter while crushing and pressing the locally grown grapes of the upcoming harvest.

The truth is that this is a wonderful time of year in Michigan. As we stand with one foot planted firmly in the departing summer and the other in the approaching fall, there are plenty of warm days and cool nights ahead that will allow us to enjoy the fermented bounty of both seasons.

New and Returning Beer at Siciliano's

  • Bell's Best Brown, $1.69/12oz - "A smooth, toasty brown ale, Best Brown Ale is a mainstay in our fall & winter lineup. With hints of caramel and cocoa, the malt body has the depth to stand up to cool weather, but does not come across as heavy. This balancing act is aided by the generous use of American hops" (source).
  • Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale, $1.59/12oz - "A perennial favorite at our Brewery Halloween party, this reddish amber ale is perfect for fall. Real pumpkin adds a full body and sweetness, while deep roasted malts lend a toasty finish to this subtly spiced brew" (source).
  • Hacker-Pschorr Octoberfest, $1.69/12oz - "Bavarian barley slow roasted, caramelized to a rich, red amber color combined with the purest spring waters from the Alps, exclusive yeast and the finest Hallertau hops" (source).
  • Leinenkugel Uber-Oktoberfest, $2.99/12oz - "“O'zapft is!” It is tapped, indeed. Oktoberfest, arguably the greatest festival in the world and the beer that bears its name, was born from a Bavarian royal wedding celebration. We’re paying homage to that celebration with a bolder, toastier take on an Oktoberfestbier that can only be described as “Über.” With a tawny orange hue, toasted malts and spicy hops, our Big Eddy Über-Oktoberfest is then dry-hopped for added hop complexity" (source).
  • Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin, $10.19/22oz - "Smashed Pumpkin is a big-bodied beer with a light coppery orange color and pleasing aroma of pumpkin and nutmeg. The OG and final Alc./Vol. provide the structure and body. Pale Ale, Wheat and Light Munich Malts combine with the natural tannin in pumpkin and the delicate spiciness of Willamette and Hallertau Hops to balance the sweetness of the fruit. To fully enjoy all the flavors, this ale is best drunk at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Smashed Pumpkin pairs well with sharp cheeses, nuts, lamb, hearty stews and desserts like flan or pumpkin pie. Chefs find this an excellent beer to cook with in dishes such as braised short ribs" (source).
  • Saugatuk Big Swingin' Richard, $15.39/22oz - "Barley Wine aged in Oak Bourbon Barrels" (source).
  • Saugatuk Black Pearl Necklace, $15.39/22oz - "Black Pearl Necklace is smooth and creamy with a big flavor and heavy body. Brewed with new Black Pearl malt, dehusked to give the roasty characteristics, without the bitterness. To top of the barrel notes derived from barrel aging, Pacific Gem hops were used to add a unique blackberry flavor and aroma" (source).
  • B. Nektar Zombies Take Manhattan, $14.79/500ml (1 bottle limit) - "Imperial Zombie Killer. Apple honey wine with cherries added, aged in rye whiskey barrels" (source).
  • Shorts Noble Chaos, $1.69/12oz - "Our new fall seasonal which is a Northern Michigan version of a German style Marzen or Oktoberfest, done the Short’s Brew way. This beer is well balanced with Noble hop additions which provide a subtle bouquet and pleasant flavor which melds well with the malt profile consisting of 2 row, chocolate, special roast, caramel and Munich malts. It’s a brand new addition to the Short’s Brew family of beer" (source).
  • Abita Pecan Harvest Ale, $1.69/12oz - "It may sound nuts, but most ales with nutty flavors or aromas are made without any real nuts. Abita Pecan Harvest Ale is made with real Louisiana pecans. The natural oils from the nuts give the ale a light pecan finish and aroma. It’s wonderful paired up with both red meats and seafood - and no suprise it’s great with nuts too. Abita Pecan Harvest Ale, crack one open for yourself today" (source).

Picture of the Week

Freshly Harvested Cascade & Hallertau Hops

Photo courtesy of homebrewer Eric Traver



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