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Friday, February 28, 2014

New Beer Friday, Think Spring Edition (Feb 28)

Spring on the Musketawa Trail
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Because I’m in serious need of a psychological boost I’ve decided not to wait until the 20th of March this year for the arrival of spring. In past years I’ve always been content to wait stoically for the vernal equinox and spring’s astronomical beginning. But not this year. Not after this horrendous winter.

This year I’ve decided that I’m going with the meteorological beginning of spring which in the northern hemisphere always occurs on the first day of March. Of course I’m fully aware that the weather prognosticators are saying that for the next two weeks there will be temperatures in the teens and almost daily doses of snow showers in West Michigan. That’s certainly not a forecast that tells me it’s time to stow away my winter boots, my heavy winter coat and my wool-lined Stormy Kromer. But isn’t it almost always the case here in Michigan that springtime in March is really nothing more than an uplifting state of mind rather than an actual physical reality? This year I’m choosing to embrace that springtime state of mind just a tad bit earlier.

And so in spite of the fact that we’re in the grip of another polar vortex, tomorrow I’m celebrating the first day of spring. I’m going to drink a farmhouse ale, maybe Ommegang Glimmerglass (see below), and rejoice in the fact that from a meteorological perspective anyway this interminable winter finally is over. If you are in serious need of a psychological boost, why don’t you crack open one of your favorite springtime brews and join me?

New and Returning Beers

  • Ommegang Glimmerglass, $2.89/12oz - "Glimmerglass - The name given to our lake by James Fenimore Cooper - is a beautiful body. Nested between gentle mountains, it reflects any object held up to it, just as it reflects our joy at the arrival of each spring. To help celebrate, pour new spring saison offers a perfect balance of maltiness and hops, with a touch of yeasty fruitiness and a whiff of pepper" (source).
  • VanderMill Puff the Magic Cyser, $14.39/22oz - "Cider fermented in Michigan wildflower honey and aged in New Holland Brewing Company Dragon’s Milk Barrels" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Tripel, $4.29/16oz - "A classic golden ale with esters of banana and bubble gum. This beer pours with a creamy head and ends with a sweetness of light Belgian candi sugars. Our brewmaster aged this ale for an extended period to round out the flavors. A great traditional Belgian brew" (source).
  • Dark Horse Plead the 5th, $3.29/12oz (limit two 4-packs/person) - "It's big and full bodied with lots of roasted malts and balanced with heavy hops to put this imperial in a league of its own" (source).
  • Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree, $4.49/12oz - "Have you read the description for the regular Crooked Tree yet? Well this beer is almost the same just double. We actually took the Crooked Tree recipe and doubled all of the ingredients except the water, just the way a DOUBLE should be made. Big hops balanced with tons of malt give this beer a huge body. Although this beer is as cool as "the Fonz" when first purchased, it gets really mellow and smooth with some age. After a year or two stored in a cool dark place you'll notice the heavy caramel and malt flavors are trying to sneak past the hops, they’re just not fast enough" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Normas Raggedy Ass IPA, $2.19/16oz - "Golden in color this pale ale features true English hop character, flavor and bitterness. Medium bodied with a slight malt character that compliments the fruity esters and intense hop aroma" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Grand Trunk, $2.19/16oz - "This classic beer style is brewed with Noble hops, Saaz and Sladeck, from the Czech Republic. Fermented with a classic lager yeast strain for a clean crisp taste. Big spicy hop aroma. Silver award winner at the World Beer Cup" (source).
  • Stone Old Guardian, $6.99/22oz - "When our illustrious brewing team spiked a few barrels of the Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine with our Belgian yeast strain last year, we absolutely loved it. So much, in fact, that we knew we needed an excuse to make more. So, in our unending quest to constantly challenge the status quo (even our own), we came up with Odd Beers for Odd Years, a program to release odd beers – e.g. Stone Old Guardian BELGO Barley Wine – in odd years (2011, 2013, 2015…). It was met with a bit of resistance (to say the least) since we weren’t originally offering the traditional Old Guardian alongside it, but we’ve mended our ways and decided to make both. You’re welcome" (source).
  • Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Raspberry Pretzel Chocolate - The beer pretty much describes itself.
  • Boulder Shake Chocolate Porter, $1.89/12oz - "Our twist on the traditional american porter, Shake chocolate porter is black in color with rich, dark chocolate aromatics and flavors and subtle coffee-like notes. This unique brew blends five different grains, including Chocolate Wheat, that along with cacao nibs create a devilishly delicious chocolate finish with a velvety mouth feel" (source). 

Picture(s) of the Week

Meet Robin Iknayan, winner of our first-ever rare beer raffle.
Someone (the Boss' son Dominic) is very proud of his purple wolf shirt.
It was a big hit at the Winter Beer Fest last Saturday.

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