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Friday, November 21, 2014

New Beer Friday, Too Early for Snow Edition (Nov 21)

Brady the Bulldog loving the snow.
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

“It’s way too early for this!”

I wish I had a bottle of Westvleteren 12 for each time I heard someone yelling, shrieking, screeching, bellowing, muttering and growling those words this week. Throw in a bottle of Kate the Great for every time a colorful expletive was included somewhere within those exasperated statements and I’ll be sipping on two of the world’s most sought after beers through next February.

It is, of course, way too early to be moving twelve-inch plus piles of lake effect snow off driveways, to be constantly scraping windshields, dealing with drifts, negotiating ice-covered roads and knocking thick columns of frozen water off eaves and gutters. Usually we here in the environs of Beer City USA are afforded the opportunity to gradually acclimate ourselves to the trials and tribulations of a West Michigan winter, but it appears that Mother Nature has decided to be unreasonably cruel this year.

We can take a little solace in the fact the forecast is calling for warmer temperatures and for the Big Lake snow-making machine to shut down over the weekend. But then of course there’s that slightly irritating prognostication about an attack of freezing rain. It’s a good thing that we have a nice lineup of new and returning beers this week to help soften the pummeling we’ve been taking from this way too early bout of nasty midwinter weather.

New and Returning Beer

  • New Belgium Frambozen, $1.89/12oz - "Frambozen begins with the aroma of fresh red raspberries, followed by the ripe seductiveness of a fruity brown ale with depth and delicate malt notes. It is deep ruby in color, with flavors just as rich. Every year, New Belgium sends a delegate to the Pacific Northwest to oversee the process of turning freshly picked berries into a pure juice to be added in fermentation. The coming of Thanksgiving at New Belgium is ushered in with the first sighting of our cellar operators scuttling about, covered head to tow in a festive crimson berry wash" (source).
  • North Peak Dubious, $1.79/12oz - "North Peak Dubious is a Dark Chocolate Stout that has the perfect combination of chocolate, roast and black malts resulting in a smooth rich beer. Judicious use of hops bring out a complex, yet subtle bittering finished off with a big Goldings nose. This swirl of aroma, flavor and body is underscored by the rich chocolate that is added at the end of the boil. This medium bodied beer is brewed in Traverse City, MI, on Old Mission Peninsula incorporating locally grown hops" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Tart Side Of The Moon, $4.39/16oz - "This dark ale is fermented with a blend of two rustic Belgian yeast strains which gives the beer an up front farmhouse tartness followed by hints of coffee, dark chocolate, and black cherries. We aged the beer for over three months to give the yeast time to work its magic and let the flavors meld together. Listen to that lunatic in your head, dust off that vinyl, pour the beer into a glass and sip your way into a happy, chilled out groove" (source).
  • Leinenkugel Big Eddy Cherry Doppelscwarz, $2.99/12oz - "Bittersweet chocolate and coffee-like malt character blends beautiful with the subtle tartness of Door County, Wisconsin cherries to create a decadent, yet amazingly balanced Big Eddy Cherry Doppelschwarz. The result is everything an Imperial Schwarzbier should be…with a cherry on top" (source).
  • Frankenmuth Old Detroit, $1.69/12oz - "A full-bodied, reddish brown ale with medium maltiness and low bitterness" (source).
  • Short's The Curl, $1.99/12oz - "The Curl was one of the first Imperial beers made at Short’s. This American Pilsner has an appealing clear, bright, and golden straw color. Faint esters of grain and aromas of fresh baked bread are prominent throughout the beer. The flavor results from the abundance of flake maize used in this recipe. There are also hefty doses of hops that create a pronounced dryness that seamlessly blends into a crisp, clean finish" (source).
  • Griffin Claw 3 Scrooges, $2.19/16oz - "Brewed with honey, orange peel and spices, this winter ale is perfect for the season" (source).
  • Arbor Fig Jam Quad, $2.89/12oz - "Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit quite like this FIGJAM QUADRUPLE with it’s warming alcohol, figgy undertones, dark dried fruit flavors of raison dates, hints of fresh baked bread, and a beautiful dry finish that leaves you wanting more" (source).

Picture of the Week | The Bandit Queen Ramen Bar

Click here for our own Doug Dorda's review of The Bandit Queen
a new Ramen restaurant in downtown GR.


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