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Friday, August 23, 2013

New Beer Friday, Visit the Ridge Edition (August 23)

Pressing the issue
By Chris Siciliano

Here's a recommendation for the next time you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands: Head out to the rich agricultural region located to the west and north of Grand Rapids. The numerous fruit and farm stands in the area (otherwise known as "The Ridge") are well worth the trip this time of year, especially for the home wine, beer, and/or cider maker, who can no doubt find creative ways to take advantage of the late summer bounty.

Given the Ridge's proximity to Grand Rapids' developing culture of fermented arts, and also for the confluence of certain physical features that make it "one of the prime fruit growing regions in the world" (source), it would not surprise us if in coming years hard cider mills began popping up like mushrooms along the Ridge. In fact, it's appears it might already be happening, much to our delight.

Matt Delong from Ridge Cider Company contacted us recently about selling fresh raw cider in our parking lot this fall. With regard to raw cider, details are coming. In the meantime, learn more about Ridge Cider Co. by reading their description below. Then, after checking out this week's list of new beers at Siciliano's, be sure to have a look at the Video of the Week, titled "A Piece of the Ridge." It comes courtesy of Ridge Cider Co.'s Facebook page.

Ridge Cider Company is in the process of becoming a craft cider producer in West Michigan. In addition to the soon-to-be craft cider and apple wine products we also like to share our fresh pressed, unpasteurized, no preservative apple cider for the cider lovers, homebrewers, & fall festivities we all enjoy.
Our apples come from "The Ridge" area near Conklin, MI. To a historic apple cider mill to be pressed. The apples are pressed in an original 50-ton apple press within the mill, driven by a 17-ft water wheel. Experience a piece of history when you drink Ridge cider.
We select the finest mixture of apples, generally 50% sweet 35% sharp 15% tart, depending of the varieties being used. Great for hard cider and apple wine. The varieties we use vary depending on the time of the season as the different breed of apples are harvested at different times. However all of our apples are among the youngest and healthiest trees in "The Ridge" area ensuring flavorful apples for our cider.
With almost 1000 acres of apple trees we have virtually every variety preferred from the consumer's perspective. We are especially pressing to sell in bulk with the homebrewer in mind.
Remember, more details about Ridge bulk cider are on their way, just like you to Siciliano's after reading this week's list of new beers.

New and Returning Beers

  • Harpoon Octoberfest, $1.49/12oz - "Several malts, including Munich and chocolate, deliver the malty character. The delicate hop aroma is not overpowering and the Willamette hops provide a gentle bitterness which balance well with the residual sweetness" (source).
  • Crown Valley Imperial Pumpkin Smash, $2.39/12oz - "Our imperial pumpkin stout is deliciously roasted with dark chocolate and toffee notes with a hint of smoke and a little spice from the hops that give it a pine note. The pumpkin adds body and character for a great beer" (source).
  • Dogfish Head Chicory Stout (Vintage 2012), $1.69/12oz (Special Price!) - "Chicory Stout is a rich, dark beer made with a touch of roasted chicory, organic Mexican coffee, St. John's Wort, and licorice root. It is brewed with roast barley, crystal malt and oats and hopped just right with Glacier hops. We use fair trade Organic Mexican Coatepec beans roasted to our specifications by Notting Hill Coffee Roastery in Lewes, DE" (source).
  • New Holland Ichabod, $1.79/12oz - "Ichabod combines malted barley and real pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg in a delicious and inviting brew. A rewarding complement to many dishes, Ichabod pairs well with autumnal foods such as poultry and root vegetables. After dinner, try it with your favorite dessert" (source).
  • Fort Collins 1900 Amber Lager, $2.09/12oz - "1900 is a nod to the very things that got us where we are today- crisp, clean microbrews all from the belly of a little brewery tucked away in the outskirts of Old Town. The result is a superbly refreshing, bright and delicately balanced amber lager (source).
  • Big Sky Heavy Horse Scotch Ale, $1.69/12oz - "A full bodied, full flavored ale. Deep garnet red with a dense, creamy head of tan. Heavy Horse is fermented at a lower temperature and the brewing water is softened to be closer to that found in Scotland. Malts: Pale, Crystal Chocolate, Roast. Hops: Hallertau Tradition, East Kent Goldings" (source).

Ridge Cider Co. | Video of the Week


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