Barb and I would like to thank the two hundred plus homebrewers who hauled the tools of their hobby down to the Calder Plaza last Saturday to take part in the 3rd Annual Siciliano’s Big Brew on the Calder. A great deal of time and effort goes into organizing a Big Brew on this very public stage but these annual events would be impossible pull off without the enthusiastic support of West Michigan’s passionate homebrewing community.
We would also like to express our thanks to the folks at Coldbreak Brewing for running the wort chilling station again this year, to Rod Lawrence (pictured) for his invaluable technical assistance and to all the volunteers who pitched in to make the 2015 edition of the Big Brew on the Calder another huge success.
Special thanks to city commissioner Rosalynn Bliss for once again leading the simultaneous, countrywide toast to the enriching hobby of homebrewing.
New and Returning Beer
- Alaskan Summer Kolsch, $1.69/12oz - "Just when you’ve had enough of winter, we release Alaskan Summer Ale in March. This traditional Kölsch beer is a great way to celebrate warmer weather and more daylight. Its crisp, clean flavor is the perfect complement for crab, halibut, salads and longer days" (source).
- Green Flash Silva Stout, $18.89/750ml - "Silva Stout took a lot of patience. We aged our Double Stout in oak bourbon barrels for seventeen months. Flavors are very complex. It starts off with dark chocolate truffles rolled in cocoa powder. Next is the vanilla and wood notes, with rich cherry-like fruitiness. After racking and filtering the ale, we blended in just the right amount of freshly brewed Double Stout to provide the perfect balance of bourbon barrel aging and freshness" (source).
- New Holland Mad Hatter New Recipe, $1.79/12oz - "Changes to Mad Hatter include the addition of Michigan-grown Cascade hops and Citra hops to the signature Centennial hop profile and an adjusted grain bill that increases the alcohol by volume (ABV) to approximately 7%. A freshly engineered hop gun and assertive dry hopping create bold and bright aromatics. Mad Hatter fans will spot the fresh Mad Hatter, as it also includes a creative update to its’ packaging with a new label and six pack" (source).
- New Holland Incorrigible, $4.79/22oz - "Incorrigible celebrates the beauty of mischief. Wild yeasts and bacteria run free in our sour-aging cellar, the House of Funk, creating vibrant sour and acidic character in this delicate, yet complex wheat beer. The refreshingly tart session beer will tease your palate with a subtle, layered nuance" (source).
- Hanssens Raspberry Lambic, $16.69/500ml - "Ale fermented with raspberries and matured in oak barrels" (source).
- Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout, $5.79/11.2oz - "Caramel, roasted, black and chocolate malts provide an explosion of coffee like flavors. The strong espresso character comes from the addition of espresso beans to the boil. Notes of vanilla, dark fruit , cocao and chocolate. The very unusual character of Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout stems from the fact that Kiuchi Brewery is using the recipe of a Russian Imperial Stout as base. Pitch black color, big brown head. Aromas of chocolate, roasted bitterness, black currants, dark fruits" (source).
- Petrus Aged Pale, $4.29/11.2oz - "Aged? Many beers have a long maturation, but this one has only 24-36 months in oak barrels. Pale? This beer has an old gold to bronze color, rather than the burgundy more common in the breweries of West Flanders. This is the ‘mother beer,’ used in various quantities to blend with the other Petrus beers, and to give them their unique and very distinctive taste. This mother beer is rather sour with a bite like the best Brut Champagnes. A connoisseur’s delight! The only one of its kind on the U.S. market" (source).
- 1809 Berliner Weisse, $6.79/16.9oz - "Created by Dr. Fritz Briem of Doemens Institute, brewed by Weihenstephan & Doemens (ed: Weihenstephan denies this), “1809” is a very traditional interpretation of the “Berliner Style” Weisse with an intense blend of lactic tartness and complex fruitiness. It is bottle-conditioned, unfiltered and unpasteurized. "1809" will age beautifully in a dark and cool location. Its complex fruitiness and tartness will most likely develop in quite astonishing ways. “1809” is fermented in traditional open fermenters and horizontal lager tanks. The applied mashing regime is a single step decoction mash with 50 % wheat malt.The total amount of hops is added to the mash so that isomerisation takes place in the decocotion part of the mash. The wort is not boiled but only heated up to boiling temperature and then transferred to the open fermenters and pitched with yeast and lactic acid bacteria (isolated from malt) at 64°F" (source).
- Weyerbacher Wit, $2.29/12oz - "Wit is a crisp and hazy Belgian-Style Wit. Wit is Weyerbacher’s thirst-quenching spring and early summer ale. The nose has a light spiciness from the coriander, orange peel, grains of paradise, and star anise. The palate reveals a mild, refreshing and effervescent wheat beer that finishes with just a hint of tartness" (source).
- Victory Helles Lager, $1.79/12oz - "There was a time when all beer tasted this good. Back when immigrant Brewmasters turned fresh malts and hops into liquid gold. Before big business lessened our precious beer with corn and rice. Having trained in Germany, we thirst for better beer. So, we brew better beer like this crisp, golden, helles-style lager" (source).
- O'Fallon Strawberry Best, $2.09/12oz - "Try our new refreshingly light and crisp Strawberry Best! We start with an American Wheat style recipe that’s a perfect compliment for fruit. We add real strawberry puree to the secondary fermentation, which gives the beer a naturally subtle strawberry flavor and aroma with a slight tartness. Light in color and soft in bitterness this beer is designed specifically to be enjoyed during the hot summer months" (source).
- Greenbush Star Chicken Shotgun, $1.99/12oz - "It's a 6.8% IPA with five different hops and a solid 73 IBUs" (source).
- Abita Bourbon Street Baltic Porter, $9.29/22oz (1 per) - "This Baltic Porter is brewed with pale, caramel and roasted malts. It is fermented at cooler temperatures to accentuate the malt flavors, which gives the beer its dark color and smooth, sweet roasted flavor. After fermentation the beer is cold aged for months before bourbon barrel aging begins" (source).
Video of the Week | Farmhaus Cider
Handcrafted on a fifth generation family farm in the Mitten State, Farmhaus blends local ingredients and great times to create a cider you'll love.