|Going for the gold|
Last Saturday when Barb and I were sitting on the porch at the Johnson Park pavilion watching the Homebrew Party winding down, Tim Goodyke walked up with a cigar stuck between his teeth, a 12-ounce bottle of homebrew in one hand, a Siciliano’s tasting glass in the other hand and a gold medal draped around his neck. “Looks like you’re empty,” he said eyeing our own glasses sitting on the concrete next to the wicker chairs. “Want to try my award-winning beer?”
Tim pulled up another wicker chair and we listened to Jimmie Stagger’s last set of the day while we sipped the excellent robust porter. Every so often departing partiers stopped by to thank my wife and I and to tell us how much they enjoyed the day.
Barb and I received a lot of appreciative kudos that day but compared to running the homebrew competition and organizing the Big Brew on the Calder, throwing these annual spring celebrations of the hobby of homebrewing is really easy. All we do is secure the venue, book the band and hire the caterers. The homebrewers do the bulk of the heavy lifting and they deserve the bulk of the credit. These parties wouldn’t have evolved into the mini beer festivals they are today if they weren’t so willing to share gallons of their homebrews with their fellow partygoers. It’s a great reflection of the camaraderie of the West Michigan home brewing community.
After the awards ceremony Randy Mosher mentioned that the party was one of the best homebrew events he’s been involved with and that’s high praise from the respected, personable and well-traveled author.
“I love these parties because I’ve made friends with a lot of people who I might never have the met,” Tim told me while he was sharing his homebrew with us on the porch. “They’re like family reunions now and they make me feel like I belong to a community.”
I can’t think of a better way of describing what these annual celebrations of a very rewarding hobby are all about.
New and Returning Beer
- Alaskan Amber, $1.69/12oz cans - "Our flagship beer is based on a turn-of-the-century recipe that quenched the thirst of miners during the Klondike Gold Rush. Smooth and richly malty, this altbier goes well with any meal" (source).
- Bell's Oberon 5-Liter Keg, $23.59 - "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).
- Carlsburg Pilsner, $1.79/16oz can - "Carlsberg er egentlig blevet en del af den danske kulturarv og den danske tørst. Du oplever en harmonisk balance mellem bitterhed og sødmefulde æbler, mens du nyder den lyse gyldne farve med det flotte skum og duften af fyrretræ, strå, hasselnød og skovsyre. Ja, det er næsten som en forårsdag i Danmark. Og sådan klæder Carlsberg også det danske køkken hele vejen rundt" (source).
- Crabbies Spiced Orange Ginger Beer, $2.59/12oz - "Spiced orange offers the same refreshing taste as the original but with a lighter ginger profile and a zesty orange flavor" (source).
- Lakefront Cherry Lager, $2.89/12oz - "Fact: Cherry Lager cannot be sipped without the drinker bearing a grin. Our spring seasonal pours a bright pink, lacy head on top of a brilliant red body as a lavish, fruit-forward aroma rises from the glass. The medium-light body is jam packed with bright Wisconsin Montmorency cherry tartness, followed by two-row pale malt and Mt. Hood hops. The initial burst of flavors wane, leaving a distinctive lager crispness and mild cherry tartness" (source).
- Mountain Town Sacred Gruit, $2.69/12oz - "What is gruit you might ask? Gruit is a blend of herbs that brewers added to their beer in the renaissance times if not before. Herbs are an essential ingredient in beer, both as a preservative and to counterbalance the bitterness and flavoring. Herbs were the only thing used prior to the extensive use of hops. Sacred Gruit ale is a pale ale brewed with primary combination of three mild to moderate herbs yarrow, sweet gale (myrtle) and marsh rosemary (wild rosemary)" (source).
- Stone Brewing Points Unknown IPA, $9.49/22oz - "It seemed no single beer could adequately convey the collective talents of Portland, Oregon brewing legend and Ecliptic Brewing founder John Harris; Luke and Walt Dickinson, the brewmaster duo behind North Carolina’s Wicked Weed Brewing; and Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele. So, this veritable triad of power opted to brew TWO beers. The first was a traditional Belgian-style tripel aged four months in oak barrels that originally housed red wine, then tequila. It was then blended at a one-fourth to three-fourths ratio with a freshly brewed West Coast double IPA to create this beer. A variety of diverse flavors coalesce into something more unique than any one beer our trio could have conceived" (source).
- Rodenbach Caractère Rouge, $25.09/750ml - "The brewer allow the beer to macerate with fresh cherries, raspberries and cranberries. After this maceration in oak, the beer re-ferments in the bottle. The result is RODENBACH Caractère Rouge, an exceptional RODENBACH with fruit maceration and a 7% alcohol volume. The brew is more than unique and extremely exclusive, as only 900 75-cl bottles were produced. Geunes serves this wilful beer as part of his other unique range of beer varieties in his restaurant, ’t Zilte, at the Antwerp MAS museum" (source).
- Right Brain Empire Spear Beer, $8.59/22oz - "Fire roasted asparagus and California lemon peel brewed for he Empire asparagus fest" (source).
- OddSide Ales Pineapple IPA, 2.29/12oz - "OddSide Ales Pineapple IPA" (source).
- Southern Tier Shocolat Oranj, $9.29/22oz - "A brand new Blackwater Series experience. Orange peels are added to our delicious dessert beer, bringing a new dimension to a favorite. Choklat is rated 100 on ratebeer.com, and has been on world’s best beer lists for years. Our Choklat Oranj is set to become another celebrated classic" (source).
- Shorts Space Rock, $1.69/12oz - "Space Rock is a light bodied American Pale Ale with prominent floral and orange peel-like hop aromas. Only the slightest grainy malt qualities are detectable, as assertive bitter flavors of citrus rind and dandelion leaf take hold. The finish lingers with a waning bitterness that’s not overly dry" (source).
Siciliano's Homebrew Party Recap
Please enjoy this slideshow from the 12th Annual Siciliano's Market Homebrew Party.