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Friday, March 27, 2015

New Beer Friday, Meet Smiling Matt Edition (March 27)

Meet Smiling Matt
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

It’s often said that location is critical to the success of a retail store but in my opinion nothing is more important than a staff of good employees. Back when I owned a 7-Eleven on Plainfield Avenue and then the little convenience store in Creston Heights—the first Siciliano’s Market—the hiring process was relatively easy. I conducted interviews, checked references and then hired the person I deemed to be the most honest, friendly and dependable. Being able to explain the difference between a lime and cherry Slurpee and being passionate about light American lagers weren’t prerequisites for employment.

Hiring staff members for the current incarnation of Siciliano’s Market is a little more complicated. I still first look for people who are honest and dependable but the specialized nature of Siciliano’s necessitates that the folks I hire are passionate about the products we sell as the store. It's a plus if they are homebrewers or winemakers; if they’re not they must be willing to learn.

I’m usually methodical when looking for new employees but every so often folks with just the right credentials come along and I pretty much hire them on the spot. Such was the case with our newest Siciliano’s staff member Matt Ross.

I know Matt is passionate about the products we carry because he’s spent a fair amount of time in the store over the past few years. He’s also an experienced homebrewer, and I know he has good communication skills because I’ve seen him in action—last winter he teamed up Siciliano’s staffer Ed Long to conduct a series of homebrewing classes at the Kent District Library. And last, but certainly not least, he’s such a personable young man that we have already tagged him with the nickname Smiling Matt.

I’m very pleased that Matt has joined the elite Siciliano’s sales team. I think our customers will agree that we found another good one.

Reminder(s) of the Week

The window for entering the 12th Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Contest is now open. Rules and entry information can be found on the competition website.

We are returning to the popular Johnson Park on Saturday, May 16 for the 12th Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Party. Tickets are $40.00 per person and are now on sale. Space is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance. Please note that party attendees will again be receiving T-shirts this year and we will be asking for sizes at the time you purchase your ticket. If you are purchasing tickets for a spouse, friend, family member or significant other, you will need to know the correct size. Please don’t guess.

New and Returning Beer

  • Bell's Oberon, $1.79/12oz, $1.99/16oz - "Bell’s Oberon is a wheat ale fermented with Bell’s signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouthfeel, making it a classic summer beer" (source).
  • New Holland Black Tulip, $2.59/12oz - "Mysterious, alluring and seductive, yet tantalizingly elusive; these are the storied characteristics of the Black Tulip" (source).
  • Delirium Red, $6.19/11.2oz - "Colour and sight: Deep dark red colour, with a light pink, compact and lacing head. Scent: Soft fruity aroma, with hints of almond and mildly sour cherries. Flavour: Sweet and fruity, with a nice balance between sweet and sour. An excellent dessert beer" (source).
  • Volkan Black Wheat, $3.69/12oz - "We condition the water for the beer with our proprietary Santorini basalt "Lava rock filter" and then blend the beer with flavourful ingredients of exotic hops, fragrant Santorini honey and Citrus Medica-a rare fruit brought to Greece from Persia by the army of Alexander the Great. For each 1€ of profit, Volkan will help reduce the Greek National debt by 50 eurocent" (source).
  • Lakefront Big Easy, $1.69/12oz - "This big bodied, blonde, doppelbock is brewed in celebration of that festival of all festivals, Mardi Gras. Generous amounts of malts are added to this beer to give it a sweet taste" (source).
  • Hofbrau Maibock, $2.09/12oz - "By tradition, the first barrel of Maibock is tapped in the Hofbräuhaus in the last week of April, in time for the merry month of May. The success story of Munich’s oldest bock beer goes back as far as 1614. With its powerfully aromatic flavour and its alcoholic content of some 7.2% volume, Hofbräu Maibock marks one of the high points in the beer-lover’s calendar" (source).
  • Left Hand Great Juju, $9.99/22oz - "Once beguiled by the master, this amber will take you to places where Good Juju can’t follow and you may just find yourself wanting to linger. A pungent ginger beer with a spicy aroma and noticeable ginger heat. The spicy heat is balanced out by a slight candied ginger sweetness with light caramel notes. Yes, it contains alcohol" (source).
  • Shorts Superfluid, $2.39/12oz - "Superfluid is an American Double IPA with a large, but basic malt bill that explodes with resiny hop aromas! The hop flavors are the focus of this beer due to the lack of sweet specialty grains. Tasty qualities of citrus fruit and berries explode on the palate. Superfluid’s perfect bitterness resonates across the palate, complementing the awesome hop intensity" (source).
  • Oddside Lolly Catcher Hefeweizen, $1.99/12oz - "A carefully crafted, comforting concoction of creamy cohesiveness" (source).
  • Stone Enjoy By 4.20.15, $2.99/12oz, $8.99/22oz (1 per) - "You have in your hands a devastatingly fresh double IPA. Freshness is a key component of many beers – especially big, hoppy IPAs – but we've taken it further, a lot further, with this one. We brewed this IPA specifically NOT to last. We've gone to extensive lengths to ensure you get your hands on this beer within an extraordinarily short window, and we've sent a very clear message in the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right NOW to enjoy this IPA" (source).
  • Stone Russian Imperial Stout, $8.99/22oz (1 per) - "Stone Imperial Russian Stout is so thick, rich and, well, sinful, you might worry that you'll be doomed to the fiery pits just for thinking about a sip. Rest assured, however, that even though this seemingly pernicious brew is indeed as black as sin, we guarantee that no actual sin was committed in making'll have to add that on your own. This massive and intensely aromatic beer abounds with notes of chocolate, coffee, black currants, anise and roastiness, and its heavy palate is nothing to be trifled with" (source).
  • Stone Chai Spiced Russian Imperial, $8.99/22oz (1 per) - "Inspired by the savory flavors and aromas of chai tea, a blend of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger, black pepper and black tea was blended with batches of Stone Imperial Russian Stout, post-fermentation. The aroma primarily showcases the spice and tea qualities, followed by mild clove and roasted barley characters. 2015 Stone CHAI-SPICED Imperial Russian Stout carries rich cinnamon, ginger and cardamom characteristics, followed by flavors of sweet tea as well as coffee from the base beer. As it warms, cocoa and coffee notes will balance out the piquant tea-and-spice medley" (source).

Video of the Week | Tripelroot Stout Madness

Visit the Tripelroot website for more information.


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