|2014 Best of Show winner,|
It was 38 degrees last Saturday morning when Barb and I arrived at Townsend Park to set up for the 11th Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Party, but there was a lot to do and no time to fret about the weather. After getting things ready inside the enclosed shelter we went outside and looked at the sky.
“Looks like rain,” Barb said.
“Hell,” I grumbled. “It looks like snow. Maybe some year we’ll have nice weather for one of these parties.”
As it turns out we wouldn’t have to wait long.
The cold, dreary, November-like weather that I fussed about, grumbled about and cursed gradually grew more May-like as the day progressed. By the time we were holding the afternoon awards ceremony for the 2014 homebrew competition the sky had cleared and jackets, sweaters and sweatshirts had been discarded.
After handing out medals and presenting the Siciliano’s Cup to Best of Show winner Elias TerHaar for his extra special bitter, Barb and I joined in the festivities. We sampled some excellent homebrews and enjoyed the good food prepared by Three Men and a Grill Catering. We agreed that Jimmie Stagger never sounded better.
Eventually I made my way over to where the Siciliano’s Cup was sitting on top of a multi-tap jockey box and where Elias was being congratulated by his fellow Brewers on the Lake (BOTL) club members.
“How does it feel to win Best of Show,” I asked him.
“Wonderful,” he said. “I still can’t believe it.”
Elias is the fourth member of BOTL to win the Cup.
Later I heard someone say that the Siciliano’s homebrew parties are the best local craft beer events of the year. I don’t know about that, but I do know that these annual spring gatherings have become a very special way for a very special community of craft beer lovers to celebrate a rewarding, enriching and very special hobby.
More photos from the event are posted in an album on our Facebook page. The list of new beers to arrive on the shelves at Siciliano's is posted below.
New and Returning Beer
- Lakefront Cherry Lager, $2.59/12oz - "An American style fruit beer made with Wisconsin’s Door County cooking cherries and lager yeast. The tartness of the cherry is balanced with the sweetness from the 2-row barley and the flavoring of Mt. Hood hops" (source).
- Thirsty Dog Rise of Mayan Dog, $2.89/12oz - "Celebrate the new rise of civilization with this bittersweet, big, bold, black beer filled with old world and traditional Mayan spices, including honey and cocoa nibs" (source).
- Thirsty Dog Bernese Barley Wine, $3.59/12oz - The beer that won last year's inaugural Bottle My Brew Ohio Homebrew Challenge. The beer, made by brothers Nick and Justin Herstich of Akron, is a dry-hopped American barley wine. It's 10.5 percent alcohol by volume" (source).
- North Peak Archangel, $2.19/12oz - "North Peak Archangel is an American Wheat Beer brewed with Michigan cherries. Subtly hopped with Perle and Vanguard hops, Archangel is refreshing, clean and crisp" (source).
- North Peak Wanderer, $1.99/12oz - "North Peak Wanderer is a Session IPA. This exciting new style is balanced with malt and hop characters and has a clean finish. The combination of full hop flavor and lower alcohol gives Wanderer a a wonderful drinkability! Wanderer has a light, clean and refreshing body, and is hopped with Perle, Willamette, Centennial and Citra hops that gives Wanderer a Citrus and Pine finish. Wanderer is rounded out with a generous amount of dry-hopping with Citra hops to fill the nose. It is brewed in Traverse City, MI, on Old Mission Peninsula incorporating locally grown hops" (source).
- Coronado Idiot IPA, $2.99/12oz - "Brewed with 8 different hops and dry hopped with whole cone Cascades. Its more powerful than our Islander IPA and even the most intelligent have become "idiot" after a few pints of this super hopped up beer" (source).
- Coronado Blue Ridge Coffee Stout, $5.19/22oz - "Just as the iconic Coronado Bay Bridge connects our island home to the mainland, this java-tinged dry stout, brewed using dark roasted coffee beans from a local San Diego artisanal roaster, provides a bridge uniting craft beer drinkers with CBC’s rich, flavorful SoCal brewing traditions" (source).
- Coronado Orange Avenue Wit, $1.89/12oz - "Our spiced California style Wit is both refreshing and complex. Brewed with wheat, coriander, California orange peel and local orange blossom honey. From the first sip to the last you’ll find subtle flavors of bread, spice, citrus and a thirst quenching orange honey finish" (source).
- Coronado Islander IPA, $2.09/12oz - "Named after Coronado Island, our original India Pale Ale is a liquid expression of hometown pride. Cascade, Chinook, and Columbus hops combine to provide an explosive burst of piney bitterness and lucioius notes of apricot, grapefruit, and mango that are sure to envoke imagery of swinging palms and sun-kissed shores" (source).
- Coronado Mermaids Red, $1.89/12oz - "A well-balanced, medium- to full-bodied beer, red in color and very flavorful" (source).
- Coronado Juratu, $8.19/22oz - "When naming this Baltic porter, a collaboration with Tampa’s famed Cigar City Brewing, we opted for Jurata as a nod to a mythological mermaid known to roam the depths of the Baltic Sea, just as energetic yeast used to brew this deep dark beer navigated our fermentation tanks. Dive in and enjoy Jurata’s true-to-style rich and complex flavors" (source).
- Lagunitas NightTime, $4.79/22oz (limit 1/person) - "There are two kinds. There is the DayTime kind, which is bright and welcoming and then there is the NightTime kind, which should never be confused with the DayTime. NightTime is dark and deep and may take you to unexpected places, places that the DayTime cannot. But then, the NightTime is not suited for ordinary life and ordinary tasks. In fact, NightTime may be the answer for that sort of thing, meaning that those sorts of things may never get done. Things take time in the NightTime, things slow down and you can puase (you have to, actually) and investigate carefully to find that level of objective detachment that is only possible under the spell of the NightTime. Seek the Day, but fear not the Night" (source).
- OddSide Ales Lucid Dreams, $4.49/12oz (limit 2/person) - "A Belgian Dubble aged in red wine barrels" (source).
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Heading to the U.P. for summer vacation? Check out ABC 10 UP's Thirsty Thursday series,
which turns the spotlight on breweries north of the Mackinac Bridge.