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Friday, June 5, 2015

New Beer Friday, A Bird in These Woods Edition (June 5)

Story by Steve Siciliano

Luther’s only streetlight had flickered on as Harry Winston was parking his pickup at the curb in front of Delaney’s Irish Tavern. While Harry sat on the tailgate and scraped the mud off the soles of his boots with a flat head screwdriver I pulled a heavy wool sweater over my red flannel shirt.

“Think we should lock the birds in the truck with the guns?” I asked Harry.

“They’ll be okay in the bed.”

“It’s getting cold.”

“A couple of scotches will warm you up.”

Inside the tavern two old men wearing bib overalls were sitting at a table drinking PBR’s out of long neck bottles and another old man wearing a red tie and a red sweater vest under a grey tweed jacket was sitting in a booth reading a book. He looked up from the book and swirled his brandy snifter when we walked past him.

The Scotch selection at Siciliano's Market
“What’ll it be fellas,” the bartender asked when we sat down at the worn wooden bar.

“We heard you have some nice single malts,” Harry said.

“You heard right,” the bartender said and stepped aside so we could see the row of bottles sitting on the top shelf of the back bar.

“Pretty impressive selection for a small town bar in northern Michigan,” I said.

“Mr. Delaney likes his scotch,” said the bartender.

“I’ll take a Dalmore 18,” Harry said after scanning the bottles for a few moments.

“Make mine the Old Pulteney,” I said.

“How do you want them?”

“Couple of ice cubes, water on the side,” I told the bartender.

“Same here,” said Harry.

“What you fellas been up to?” the bartender asked after setting the drinks on the bar.

“Bird hunting down by Kings Corners,” Harry said.

“Do any good?”

“Seven between us,” I said. “We would have limited out but we couldn’t find three more after we knocked them down.”

“You don’t hunt with dogs?”

“No dogs,” said Harry.

“Too much cover this time of year to be hunting without dogs.” The bartender looked over to the well-dressed man sitting at the booth. “Ain’t that right, professor?”

The man got up and walked the bar. “I’ll take another one, Hank. He’s right, boys. You shouldn’t be hunting birds this time of year without dogs.”

“We still did okay,” I said.

“Sir, you miss the point.” The man watched while the bartender poured him another glass of cognac. “Don’t be stingy with that, Hank.” He cupped his hands around the full glass and stared down into the amber liquid. “Maybe a poem will help.”

“Help what?” Harry asked.

“Help get the point across,” and while staring into the snifter of cognac he recited a poem:

There’s a bird in these woods,
It’s bones by now, to the
South of that stand of dead trees.
I shot it this fall when the ferns were still tall
And ‘fore the oaks began dropping their leaves.
My young brother was there,
You know him I’d guess, no
The older one’s Mark.
The fields were still light when it burst into flight
But these woods see a premature dark.
We never found it you know,
Though we saw where it fell,
And we looked all the way to that rill.
Oh, I know it’s just game but more than bones should remain
When a young boy is taught how to kill.

After the man was done reciting the poem he picked up his drink, walked back to the table and went back to reading his book. Harry looked at me, then he looked at the bartender and then he turned in the bar stool and looked at the man.

“Mister,” Harry said after a few moments, “I’d sure like to buy you that drink.”

New and Returning Beer

  • Magic Hat Electric Peel, $1.69/12oz - "An electric shock. A sweet scent in the air. A tantalizing tingle. Fresh directions are explored and big ideas are formed. Revealed is a creation peeled from formulas of hops and tang-touched fruit. Electric Peel arrives as a new way to IPA. Strip away the notions, find another motion and plug in to reveal the power of the peel" (source).
  • Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA, $1.79/12oz - "Deschutes is taking you into the next beer frontier. Brewed with wheat and pilsner malt; this IPA displays beautiful citrus aromas from Cascade and Centennial hops that meld with the esters of Belgian yeast. Think thirst quenching hopped-up wit beer with enough IBUs to warrant the IPA name" (source).
  • Arbor Brewing Euchre Pils, $1.89/12oz - "Euchre is a true Pilsner style beer – medium-light bodied and crisp yet bursting with noble hop flavor perfectly balanced by a pale malt base.  Authentic German-style pilsners are not bland or watery and ours pushes the category boundaries just a tad at 5.7% ABV and 47 IBUs" (source).
  • Founders Devil Dancer, $5.29/12oz - "Founders most complex, most innovative, most feared and yet most revered ale produced. Massive in complexity the huge malt character balances the insane amount of alpha’s used to create this monster. More IBU’s than any brewery has documented, more than you would believe and dry-hopped for twenty-six days straight with a combination of 10 hop varieties. Dangerously drinkable and deliciously evil. We dare you to dance with the Devil" (source).
  • New Holland Michigan Hatter, $1.79/12oz - "This beer celebrates community, collaboration & local agriculture. Cascade hops from the Leelanau Peninsula provide bright citrusy counterpoint to the delicious and earthy malt notes from Michigan barley. Thanks to our collaborators, Michigan Awesome" (source).
  • New Holland Tasmanian Hatter, $1.79/12oz - "Galaxy Hopped Hatter" (source).
  • New Holland Imperial Hatter, $2.59/12oz - "Assertive dry-hopping provides an aromatic telltale nose, indicative of the robust, bitter symphony to follow. Bold hop character with lively grapefruit and citrus notes" (source).
  • White Birch Berliner Weisse, $1.99/12oz - "Napoleon’s troops referred to Berliner Weisse as the “Champagne of the North” due to its lively and elegant character. Today this style is described by some as the most refreshing beer in the world. We feel our approach creates an authentic interpretation of a classic summer refresher. Enjoy when it’s warm or year round" (source).
  • Dogfish Head Festina Peche, $2.59/12oz - "In Festina Peche, since the natural peach sugars are eaten by the yeast, the fruit complexity is woven into both the aroma and the taste of the beer so there is no need to doctor it with woodruff or raspberry syrup. Just open and enjoy" (source).
  • Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout, $10.79/22oz (1 per) - "Aged for three months in Wild Turkey® Bourbon barrels, this luxurious stout has a deep ebony hue and a beautiful mahogany head. The woody, vanilla-like notes imparted by the barrels mingle with aromas of fresh baked bread, toffee, and espresso and envelop the rich chocolate and roasted barley flavors with a fine bourbon character." (source).
  • B Nektar There Will Be Blood Orange, $13.79/500ml $13.79 (1 per) - "Mead with blood orange, Thai basil & five-spice. Cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, ginger, star anise added" (source).

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