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Friday, April 17, 2015

New Beer Friday, The Calm Before Edition (April 17)

Homebrew at the homebrew party
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

On the last Saturday in April a group of BJCP-certified judges, commercial brewers and industry professionals will gather at the Guest House in Grand Rapids to judge the 180 plus entries that were submitted in the 12th Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Competition. Each of those entries will be evaluated according to BJCP style guidelines, many of them will be awarded gold, silver or bronze medals, and the name of another Best of Show winner will be added to the Siciliano’s Cup.

The awards ceremony and the presentation of the Siciliano’s Cup will be the highlight of the 12th Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Party on Saturday, May 16th at Johnson Park. If you entered the competition but will not be attending the party you may pick up your score sheet (and medal) at Siciliano’s Market beginning on Sunday, May 17th. If you live outside of the Grand Rapids area and would like your score sheet and medal mailed to you, contact me at this address:

Tickets for the 12th Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Party are $40.00 and may be purchased in person at the store or with a credit card over the phone by calling 616-453-9674.

In other news, everything is set for the Third Annual Siciliano’s Big Brew on the Calder. On Saturday, May 2nd forty-nine teams of homebrewers will be brewing up batches of “Calder Red Ale” on the Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids from 9 am to 2 pm. The Big Brew event is free of charge and is open to the public.

Finally, we have a few hop rhizomes left from this year’s pre-order that we are selling on a first come first serve basis for $5.00 each. Call 616-453-9674 for the specific varieties.

New and Returning Beer

  • Founders Old Curmudgeon, $3.09/12oz - "This Old Ale conjures up thoughts of classic sea fairing ports, there local pubs and the weathered fisherman that frequent them. In traditional style Curmudgeon is brewed with an intense focus on the malt bill creating a very strong, rich, malty characteristic and a sweetness indicative of its cousin the barleywine. We are especially proud of the balance in this beer making it deceptively smooth and drinkable at 9.8% alcohol by volume" (source).
  • Anchor Saison Spring Ale, $1.79/12oz - "Saisons originated with the rustic farmhouse ales of Wallonia, a mostly French-speaking region of Belgium. Bière de saison was brewed during the saison froide (cold season) for consumption during the warmer months. Today saisons are made and enjoyed year-round. Anchor Saison Spring Ale (7.2% ABV) is a traditional Belgian-style saison with a California twist. The distinctiveness of roasted Belgian wheat malt is enhanced by the peppery, clove-like flavors of a locally cultured saison-style yeast. And, for this release, Anchor chose three California ingredients—lemongrass, lemon peel, and ginger—whose synergy adds a tangy crispness and herbal spiciness to this sharply refreshing, uniquely Californian saison" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Gateway IPA, $1.39/12oz - "Consider Norm's Gateway IPA into becoming a hop head. A session IPA that is a combination of full hop flavor and lower alcohol, giving it wonderful drinkability. Crisp, clean, fruity and refreshing" (source).
  • Victory Summer Love, $1.79/12oz - "The brew has a vibrant and refreshing pale color derived from its lean and refreshing malt body. And the initially floral aroma of hops segues into a well integrated, refreshing hop dryness of European heritage" (source).
  • Lagunitas Equinox, $4.79/22oz - "A creamy, pale oat ale hopped up with a huge charge of Equinox and Simcoe hops for a piney, eucalyptusy, cedary, sprucey, foresty blast" (source).
  • Oddside Grapefruit Wheat, $1.99/12oz - "A wheat beer brewed with grapefruit" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Harvest Idaho 7 Hop IPA, $5.59/24oz (1 per) - "On our never-ending quest for exciting hop flavors we stumbled upon a pioneering hop grower in western Idaho working with a handful of new and interesting varietals. One of these captivating hops, Idaho 7, headlines the first of five bottles in our 2015 edition of the Harvest series. Complex fruity aromas of orange and apricot mesh with hints of black tea-like character and a pleasant fresh herbal bouquet. This IPA kicks off our 2015 series exploring diverse hopping methods: single hop, fresh hop, wet hop and wild hop" (source).
  • Epic Elder Brett Batch #6, $12.09/22oz - "This year’s release pours a crystal clear straw color with hints of green in the highlights. The aroma suggests bright under-ripe fruit, nectarine pit and tangerine peel, with a well cellared, chardonnay complexity. The Brettanomyces funk that defines this beer is more restrained this season, blending smoothly with the white oak of the barrel. The finish is sour and crisp but still allows both the pilsner malt and oats to surface before a light astringent bitterness sets in. Elder Brett is best enjoyed in a snifter glass at a cool, not cold, temperature. Pair it with lighter but complex dishes such as white fish, hard cheeses, salads with bitter greens or fruit based deserts" (source).
  • Ommegang Joemmegang, $17.19/750ml - "The beer begins as a malty brown ale, comprised of Belgian aroma, caramel malts, and oats. A bit of lactose adds body and some sweetness, and a heaping helping of cocoa nibs in the whirlpool provides further richness, and a deep chocolaty aroma.  Hop aroma is nonexistent, and bitterness is there just to keep the sweetness in check" (source).
  • Weyerbacher Sunday Morning Stout, $4.29/12oz (2 per) - "Sunday Morning Stout, a barrel aged stout from brewmaster Chris Wilson and his team at Weyerbacher. Aptly named too, as SMS is a stout aged in bourbon barrels with coffee. The best part of waking up" (source).
  • Greenbush Sunspot, $1.99/12oz - "Hot. Drenched. Delightfully blinding. Right. We're not talking about that ball of fire in the sky, but our refreshing Hefewiezen. Skip the shade and down a glass or two and be cool." (source).

Picture of the Week | Ramps

Ramps aka wild leeks are up in Michgian, y'all.
Bring on the morels!


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