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Friday, March 14, 2014

New Beer Friday, Key West Serendipity Edition (March 14)

Nice shirt!
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

About a week or so ago Barb and I were in Mallory Square watching the nightly entertainment put on by the street performers and Mother Nature.

If you’ve ever been to Key West you know what I’m talking about.

We listened to an old, bearded banjo player and laughed while his BVD-clad golden retriever snatched bills out of people’s hands and deposited them into a bucket at his master’s feet. We watched a young man wiggle out of chains then extract himself from a straight jacket. We oohed and aahed in chorus with other tourists while a man juggled knives, hatchets and lit torches while riding a six foot unicycle. After watching the red sun sink beneath the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico we joined in the mass applause then joined in the mass exit away from the waterfront.

You can’t amble twenty yards in Old Town Key West without passing a bar and we ambled past quite a few before deciding to stop for a beer at the Island Dogs Tavern. Why we chose to go in that particular watering hole on that particular night was pure serendipity.

If you’ve ever been to Key West you know that you’re liable to see some pretty strange things—Spiderman riding a bicycle with two huge green parrots on the handlebars, a pirate on stilts parading up and down Duval, an old woman walking a pair of leashed roosters. But I never expected to randomly walk into a Key West bar one night and hear my name called out by a man wearing a Siciliano’s T-shirt.

New and Returning Beer at Siciliano's

  • Shorts Uncle Steve's Irish Stout, $1.69/12oz - "A true text book Irish Stout. Amazingly light bodied full of rich creamy flavor. Incredibly smooth and easy to drink, an instant Short’s favorite" (source).
  • Arbor Michael Faricy's Irish Stout, $1.79/12oz - "Our award-winning Irish Stout, fashioned after Guinness on tap in Ireland, is light and dry with a dense, creamy head. Ours is accented by a noticeable roasted coffee flavor, and a touch of bittersweet chocolate" (source).
  • Stone Go To IPA, $2.09/12oz - "Since Day One, we’ve been abundantly forthright and fully transparent about our lust for hops. It’s led us to craft many an IPA, most of them imperial—some intense for their time and all timeless in their intensity. For Stone Go To IPA, we are embracing our hop obsession in a new way, funneling an abundance of lupulin-borne bitterness into a "session" IPA delivering all the fruity, piney character of a much bigger IPA. To accomplish this, we employed "hop bursting," a new technique wherein an irrational amount of hops is added during the final phase of the brewing process to coax out extreme flavors and aromas while also imparting a burst of desirably pleasant bitterness. The result is an Alpha-acid-rich beer that fans can enjoy more of without missing out on the assertive hop character you, like us, crave. So, sit back and go two with your new everyday go-to IPA and bask along with us in the glory of the almighty hop" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Plow Horse, $4.39/16oz - "Deep black in color with flavors of chocolate, molasses, stone fruits, and a slight roastiness. Hops are basically non-existent as the malt dominates throughout. Subtle sweetness knocks this one out of the park" (source).
  • Epic Elder Brett, $12.09/22oz - "Epic Brewing Company’s latest barrel-aged beer brings something new—wild yeast. This brew is a collaboration ale with Crooked Stave Artisan Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado. Chad Yakobson, Brewmaster/Owner of Crooked Stave, is well known for his skill and knowledge in the brewing of sour and Brettanomyces driven beers.  The beer was brewed at Epic by the two brewers. Kevin Crompton, Epic’s Brewmaster, and Chad spent several weeks working on the recipe and selecting the proper Brett strains and barrels for the beer to morph from a golden Saison into a Saison-Brett Golden Ale" (source).
  • Evil Twin Imperial Doughnut Break, $20.69/22oz - "Brewed for Brewvival 2013 and later bottles. Imperial Biscotti Break dry-doughnuted" (source).
  • Evil Twin Freudian Slip, $5.49/12oz - "Did you also at some point in your life get seduced by promising words like ‘probably (not) the best in the world’, ‘it (doesn’t really) work every time’ etc. This American Barley Wine says it how it is. It’s intense, attention seekingly hoppy and definitely your kind of beer. A beer with a big ego, drive and a huge thirst for recognition" (source).
  • Crispin Blackberry Pear, $2.09/12oz - "Naturally fermented using 100% pear juice, not from pear juice concentrate,or flavored hard apple cider. Filtered cold for extra purity and infused with natural blackberry juice. With no added colorants, sugar, sorbate or benzoate preservatives. No added malt, spirit, grape or apple alcohols. Naturally elegant, refreshingly adult with an authentic blackberry dark-fruit taste and a sweet-sharp fresh tang. Mouthwatering juicy complexity. Luscious pear-berry bouquet" (source).
  • Crispin Pacific Pear, $2.09/12oz - "Naturally elegant and refreshingly adult with a sparkling clean natural pear finish, and a subtle woody complexity, completed by an intense fresh pear bouquet" (source).
  • Smith and Forge Hard Cider, $1.89/16oz - "Built from apples, built to refresh" (source).

News of the Week | Flat Lander's Barstillery

Congrats to Siciliano's family-friend Gregg Palazzollo and his partners:
This weekend marks the grand opening of Flat Lander's,
a first-of-its-kind "barstillery" on Michigan Avenue in Grand Rapids.
Learn more here:


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