|Happy Birthday, Barb!|
Beads of nervous sweat began forming on the back of my neck after I stalled the rental car for a third time at a busy intersection in the Italian city of Chiusi. I tried to tune out the cacophony of blowing horns and looked back down at the schematic on the shift knob. “What the hell is going on here,” I muttered.
It would have been nice if the young man in the rental car office hadn’t been so eager to take his two hour lunch break and had given us a primer on shifting the Ford Mondeo’s manual transmission. I doubt that many Americans know that with some European built cars you have to lift a collar on the shift lever to put the car in reverse. It was that lack of knowledge that had led to the confusion with the gears. The fact that I had successfully put the car in first while pulling out of the parking lot a few minutes earlier was nothing but dumb luck.
I have to thank my wife for figuring out the shift lever. If not for her quick thinking I’m quite sure that I would have been dragged out of the car and beaten mercilessly by a mob of irate Italians.
I have Barb to thank for a lot of things, particularly with a lot of things concerning Siciliano's Market. She pretty much works behind the scenes but our annual events such as the homebrew party and the Big Brew at the Calder most certainly wouldn’t be as successful if not for her efforts. What better time to publicly express my appreciation for everything she does for Siciliano’s than on her birthday. Happy thirty-ninth, Barb!
New and Returning Beers
- Ommegang Game of Thrones: Take the Black Stout, $9.29/750ml - "Inspired by the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch, Take the Black Stout was made to be deep, dark and complex like those who have sworn the oath to defend Westeros against threats from the north. The label depicts the Weirwood tree where Jon Snow recited the oath before joining the Night’s Watch" (source).
- Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean, $6.99/22oz - "In 2006, almost exactly 10 years after we first released Stone Smoked Porter, Stone Small Batch Brewer Laura Ulrich had a brilliant idea: What if she added whole Madagascar vanilla beans to a small batch of the finished beer? And voilá, Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean was born! It was an instant hit, as the resulting flavor combinations - rich vanilla melding with the malty, chocolatey, coffee-like characteristics of the beer-were practically made for each other. Originally available only as an occasional growler fill or on tap all-too-briefly at special events or in our restaurant, this exquisite creation was released in a single bottle run for the first time in 2012, much to the delight of its many fans... who instantly began clamoring for more. Your voices have been heard" (source).
- Goose Island Sixth Day, $1.59/12oz - "Every year to celebrate the holiday season, we brew up our Sixth Day, and with each year we change the recipe slightly so that you have something special to look forward to" (source).
- Dogfish Head Piercing Pils, $2.59/12oz - "A Czech-Style Pilsner brewed with pear juice, pear tea and Saaz hops" (source).
- Tommyknocker Butt Head Bock, $1.69/12oz - "This award winning doppelbock (8.2% alcohol by volume) lager is brewed with a generous supply of Munich, carapils, caramel and chocolate malts and is fermented with Bavarian lager yeast. The resulting caramel sweetness and rich mouthfeel are complimented by the mild bittering of German Hallertau hops. 1997 Great American Beer Festival Silver Medal Winner" (source).
- Founders Harvest Ale, $2.59/12oz - "This liquid dream pours a hazy golden orange straw color with a large puffy white two-finger head. First sip of this beer rewards with a super juicy hop presence bursting with fresh orange and lemon citrus then continues to introduce toasted malt undertones" (source).
- Founders Sweet Repute, $17.79/22oz - "It’s not always a good thing when your reputation precedes you. But the complexity of this powerful wheat wine will give it a Sweet Repute no matter where, when or how your paths meet. Our brewing team painstakingly choreographed each layer of this beer’s characteristics, starting with a healthy wheat and roasted malt base and adding clean, fragrant hops. It’s one-hundred percent barrel aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels and bourbon barrels over the course of sixteen months, then blended using carefully calculated ratios for the ultimate final product. The resulting 12.6% ABV liquid pours a bright warm russet with a stubborn ivory head and an intoxicatingly sweet nutty aroma. Take your time allowing the layers of flavors to unfold…Because it’ll only get better" (source).
- Harpoon Winter Warmer, $1.49/12oz - "Harpoon Winter Warmer is a full-bodied rich ale that uses a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg to achieve its spirited flavor. Perfect for the holidays! Ingredients: Water, Malted Barley, Hops, Yeast, Flavoring (cinnamon and nutmeg)" (source).
- Fort Collins Double Chocolate Stout, $3.49/12oz - "The most decadent creation ever to be crafted in FCB’s brewhouse. Deep roasty flavors, rich chocolate nose, coffee undertones and impeccable balance are the result of imperializing an already flawless brew" (source).
- Fort Collins Big Shot, $2.39/12oz - "A big Hazelnut Brown Ale with a warm, nutty, toffee-like flavor. A wonderful winter warmer to enjoy with friends during the holiday seasons. A wildly big strong ale we call the Big Shot" (source).
- Abita Grapefruit Harvest IPA, $1.69/12oz - "Abita Grapefruit Harvest I.P.A. is a brilliant golden brew with a subtle zest of grapefruit flavor and aroma that enhances the strong hop character. The bright, snappy brew is made with real Louisiana Ruby-Red grapefruit, pale, pilsner, wheat and caramel malts and cascade hops" (source).
- Southern Tier Compass, $5.59/22oz (Deep Discount!) - "We rely on age-old tools in the brewery despite being surrounded by high technology. As a sort of compass, we use the six pointed brewer’s star to help navigate uncharted brews. The cardinal points of water, malt, grain, yeast, hops and a brewer make the baseline. From there anything goes. Sometimes the journey is as important as the destination. You’ll notice a slight bitterness in Compass derived from our use of rose hips accentuated by high effervescence. Drink it cold from a fluted or tulip glass. And by all means, avoid sea serpents" (source).
Video of the Week
Hopefully we'll see product from this brewery on the West Side soon!