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Friday, September 26, 2014

New Beer Friday, Walter Mitty Edition (Sept 25)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

I guess I have a touch of Walter Mitty in me because I often have fantasies about being something a bit more exciting than a fine wine and craft beer merchant. I’ve daydreamed about being a suave CIA spy operating in some steamy third world country, an expatriated writer living in Paris, a hard drinking Key West charter boat captain trying to forget his shady past and a world weary bar owner in Tangier who constantly gets enlisted to help mysterious and beautiful women get out of jams.

Besides those completely improbable imaginative soarings, I’ve also daydreamed about being a pipe smoking, tweed wearing college professor who orates brilliantly on the prose of Hemingway and Faulkner to classrooms full of adoring students. And so when I was asked to teach a series of Wine Making 101 classes in the Kent District Library system this fall, my dreams of being an erudite, somewhat eccentric pedagogue resurfaced and I enthusiastically agreed. So far I’ve taught five of these classes at five different KDL braches and have two more to go.

I must confess that I’m surprised by how many folks are still using libraries. I used them a lot too before Al Gore invented the internet. The fact that all the branches have been packed with patrons when I was there is an indication that the folks at KDL are doing what it takes to keep libraries relevant and are using our tax dollars wisely.

I’d like to thank those fine folks for giving me the opportunity to fulfill, albeit on a very small stage, one of my Walter Mittyesque fantasies.

Now if only the director of the CIA would give me a call.

* * *

Heath MacDonald, the owner of Morgan Vineyards in Coopersville, Michigan, has informed me that he has a good amount of DeChaunac and Frontenac grapes available for purchase at forty cents a pound.

Winemakers may pick these grapes on Saturday, September 27th and Sunday, September 28th between the hours of 9am and 3pm. Please note that you are required to pick the grapes yourself and you must supply your own containers.

Contact Heath at 616-638-9353 for more information.

New and Returning Beer

  • Shorts White Falcon, $1.99/12oz - "White Falcon is a Belgian White Ale hopped assertively like an American India Pale Ale. Its pale yellow color is lightened further by an appropriate haze from the use of malted white wheat. An intense, fruit-filled nose comprised of notable hop aromas, distinctive yeast esters, and pronounced lemon and orange zest is prominent. Flavors of soft grain and earthy hops mingle with an overall fruitiness, amplified by coriander and other lively spice qualities. An agreeable bitterness heightens in the finish before turning unmistakably dry" (source).
  • Shorts Bonafide Legit, $1.69/12oz - "A light bodied American Pale Ale brewed entirely with Northern Michigan grown Summit hops.  An excellent sharp aroma of strong floral and fruity characteristics stings the senses with hop laced anticipation. A sticky hop filled mouthful of damp earthy pine with notable herbal accents coats the entire mouth, followed by a big resiny bitterness that lingers well into the finish, drying the palate and resonating boldly" (source).
  • Rochester Mills Oktoberfest Celebration Lager, $2.19/16oz - "A malty, German-style lager with low to moderate hop bitterness, featuring a medium body and brilliant amber color" (source).
  • Paw Paw Coconut Porter, $1.79/12oz - "Full bodied, smooth & creamy. Hand toasted coconut gives it that Almond Joy satisfaction" (source).
  • Thirsty Dog Bernese Barley Wine Ale, $3.59/12oz - "Like Mr. Buck, the Bernese Mountain Dog on the label, this is a BIG beer. A complex, dry-hopped, and unfiltered barley wine ale that will only get better with age. The malt aroma, possible only in a barley wine ale, together with deep malty flavors melds perfectly with the hops for a truly unforgettable experience" (source).
  • New Holland Carhart Woodsman, $1.59/12oz - "Celebrates craftsmanship and hard work. Locally-grown Cascade hops bring a brightness to this barrel-aged American pale ale. Malt sweetness and toasted oak combine for a smooth, refreshing finish" (source).
  • Grizzly Peak Humongous, $3.39/12oz - "Just the way Paul Bunyan likes it: a huge-bodied beer with big flavor that's as smooth as his axe blade. Humongous follows its traditional imperial red-roots with multiple hop additions, adding complexity and layers of bursting hop flavors. Columbus, Citra, Michigan grown Cascade, and Michigan grown Chinook hops impart 69.9 IBUs that give Humongous balance and poise. A deep amber color, this 9.6% ABV brew could even knock Babe the Blue Ox on his butt with its smooth hoppy goodness" (source).
  • Founders Dark Penance, $3.09/12oz - "A heavy malt foundation includes Crystal malt for sweetness and just enough Midnight Wheat malt to push the color to black. The bitterness is huge, but balanced by malt sweetness and alcohol burn. The hop flavors and aromas range from citrus to floral to pine thanks to a delicious blend of hand-selected Chinook and Centennial hops" (source).
  • De Cam Oude Lambik, $45.09/750ml - "Aged in vats of more than 100 years old, De Cam's Oude Lambiek is a blend of unpasteurized 3 year old lambics specially selected by brewer/blender Karel Goddeau for their character and roundness. Still without a head, OUDE LAMBIEK should be chilled and enjoyed like a fine white wine but prized for the wondrful, rare, spontaneously fermented Belgian Ale that it is" (From the label).
  • Vanberg et Famille Lambikx Oak & Chestnut Barrel Aged, $30.09/750ml - "The first Kriek Lambic in our LAMBICKX line! This stunning ruby-colored lambic has a wonderful aroma of almonds, macaroon and cherry stones. It is dry, with an elegant fruit palate. Lightly sparkling to still" (source).
  • Vanberg et Famille Lambikx French Oak, $25.09/750ml - "The beer you hold in your hand reflects the specific conditions present when it was brewed and during its years of aging in cask. Those conditions cannot be replicated and this beer can never be made again. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience and is now all yours. Enjoy it!" (source).

Photo of the Week | Apple Crushing

Remember folks! Our fruit crushers and basket presses
are free to use for the next two Saturdays.


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