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Friday, July 18, 2014

New Beer Friday, For the Birds Edition (July 18)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

A couple of years ago a winemaking customer gave Barb and I a small birdhouse made from used corks. While visually appealing and skillfully constructed, I thought it would be more useful as a yard decoration than an avian abode. I just couldn’t imagine a bird squeezing through that tiny oval entryway.

This past spring Barb retrieved the birdhouse from the basement and secured it to a pole in the middle of a stand of ornamental grass in our backyard. One evening while sipping wine on the deck, we were surprised and delighted to see that a small bird was using the little cork house as a home.

I don’t consider myself to be an ornithologist but I love watching birds. I love spying crows and hawks floating on updrafts in the evening sky. I’m delighted when I spot a brilliant red cardinal against the green leaves of the backyard maples or when I get the opportunity to observe darting hummingbirds searching for nectar in Barb’s flower garden. Each fall I enjoy watching the V-shaped squadrons of south winging geese.

Last week I had the good fortune of watching a bald eagle soaring in high sweeping circles above a northern Michigan lake. Every so often it would make a downward spiraling swoop towards the shore then shoot back above the trees. It leveled off at the end of one of its tight-banking, descending glides, skimmed the surface of the water, and plucked a fish from the lake.

“I know he’d be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly,” John Denver sang in Rocky Mountain High. While I was watching that eagle fishing for its supper I felt like the richest, and luckiest, man in the world.

New and Returning Beer

  • O'fallon Pumpkin Beer, $1.79/12oz - "Like pumpkin pie in a bottle...we add 136 pounds of real pumpkin to the three-barley mash and then season the finished beer with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves" (source).
  • Left Coast Una Mas, $1.99/12oz - "At left coast Brewing Co., we pride ourselves on our seasonal line up, with Una Mas amber being our one for the Spring. This dark copper lager (ale in Texas) is light in body and bursting with flavor. Styled after the popular amber lagers south of the border, Una Mas is the perfect Spring brew. Small amounts of dark roasted malts add a rich color without making it thick or chewy. Munich malt adds a rich toasty finish to the brew. Una mas will leave you wanting more" (source).
  • Left Coast Hop Juice Double IPA, $2.89/12oz - "At Left Coast Brewing Co. we pride ourselves on being one of the pioneers of Double IPA style craft beer. This hop monster uses Premium American 2– Row and a touch of light crystal malt to create a solid malt foundation. Five different Hop Varieties are used in the Hop Juice. It spends two weeks dry hopping in fermenter contributing to its great hop aroma. Starts out sweet and finishes with the crisp bitterness of a Double IPA. This drinkable blend will have you HOPPING till nights end" (source).
  • Left Coast Voodoo American Stout, $2.89/12oz - "At Left Coast Brewing Co. we pride ourselves on a unique batch of beer in the style of an American Stout. Voo Doo is a full bodied, dark brew that is rich and malty with plenty of roasted barley character. This hearty stout is layered with flavors of roasted barley, chocolate, and coffee coming from the highest quality imported malts. Its creamy long lasting head completes the brew, tempting your taste buds to be spellbound" (source).

Video of the Week | Barley Jean?

And to think, all we do with our empty bottles is set them by the sink.


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