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Friday, January 15, 2016

New Beer Friday, Mark Your Calendars Edition (Jan 15)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Each year, during the first few weeks of January, the Siciliano’s staff takes advantage of the relative calm after the holiday storm to restock depleted shelves and get some New Year’s projects completed around the store. While the employees have been busy reorganizing, reconfiguring, cleaning and reloading, my wife Barb and I have been doing some preliminary planning on our annual trifecta of homebrew events.

The following is a list of this year’s pertinent dates. Stay tuned to The Buzz for further information and periodic updates.

    • Siciliano’s Thirteenth Annual Homebrew Competition – Entries will be accepted from Monday, March 21, through Sunday, April 10th, or until 200 entries are submitted. Judging will be held on Saturday, April 23, at the Guest House on Stocking Avenue. 
    • The Fourth Annual Siciliano’s Big Brew at the Calder – Saturday, May 7, at the Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids. 
    • The Thirteenth Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Party – Saturday, May 21, at Johnson Park on Butterworth. 
I’m also pleased and excited to report that our friends at Coldbreak Brewing are organizing a Home Brew League in which Siciliano’s will be participating. More information on the HBL will be published in The Buzz as it becomes available.

New and Returning Beer

  • Arcadia Hop Rocket, $3.29/12oz - "This Imperial IPA has an assertive aroma of sticky, resinous Summit hops. A complex flavor profile includes notes of grapefruit, lemon peel, and spruce. Though the flavor focus is on hops, a trio of malts provides a balance to the beer, creating a delicious level of palatability. Hints of caramel, toffee, and freshly-baked biscuits are also apparent in the flavor profile" (source).
  • Deschutes Red Chair, $1.79/12oz - "The citrus punch of a big IPA, minus the one-dimensional hop sledgehammer. Seven select European and domestic malts round out the edges for a complex, copper-colored brew. Like its namesake ski lift, it’s an insider’s ride to fresh thrills" (source).
  • Deschutes Pinedrops IPA, $1.99/12oz - "This West Coast IPA is like that sweet little Nordic trail off the main trail of Meissner - it takes the high road. Using Pilsner base malt, it is light on malt but not hops. With a hop bill consisting of Amarillo, Centennial, Northern Brewer, and experimental hop X, we packed in the pine along with the citrus notes we love" (source).
  • Right Brain Dead Kettle, $6.49/22oz - "A classic American Style IPA dominated by citrus aroma and flavor. It has strong grapefruit notes and a sharp finish" (source).
  • Perrin Lil Griz, $2.99/12oz - "Deliberately blazing our own trail, we brewed this barrel aged brown ale believing there is room for a new craft beer category: “Sessionable Bourbon Barrel Aged Beers”. Weighing in at 6.8% ABV ( Alc. 6.8% by Vol. ), the rich chocolate notes & creaminess of the flaked oats easily justify this beer bringing home a FoBAB medal this year. We hope you enjoy the ‘Lil Griz" (source).
  • Alaskan Heritage Coffee Brown Ale, $7.59/22oz - "Our latest Rough Draft Limited is a collaboration with Heritage Coffee -- a delicious beer we call Alaskan Heritage Coffee Brown Ale" (source).
  • Arbor Eucher 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).
  • Arbor Phat Abbot Tripel, $2.89/12oz - "This traditional Belgian-style triple is strong, fruity, and slightly sour. It starts with a big malt presence, followed up by a pronounced candy sugar sweetness, and balanced with a spicy hop finish. A must-try" (source).
  • Bell's Smitten Golden Rye Ale, $1.79/12oz - "Eccentric CafĂ©. The combination of sharp citrus & resinous flavors from the hops with the earthy, rustic overtones of the rye malt contribution yield an interesting take on the American Pale Ale" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Ski Patrol, $3.39/16oz (4 per) - "Belgian Inspired Wit. Whether you’re stuck on the chairlift waiting to get to the top of a black diamond , or you’re soaking in the hot tub after a long day of destroying some moguls, it’s Ski Patrol Wit to the rescue! This crushable slopes-inspired beer compliments our Michigan winters with a hazy golden pour and a warming spice on the nose. Pack your longjohns and swimwuit. Ski weekend is upon us. Cans are light and easy to pack so you can take them wherever the trail takes you" (source).
  • Coronado Stingray Point IPA, $2.19/12oz -  - "Named after a San Diego bayside point, sweet honey malt followed by a hoppy citrus bitterness" (source).
  • Green Flash Handshake IPA, $8.89/22oz (1 per) - "Hand Shake IPA is a commemorative collaboration beer brewed to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Green Flash and Alpine Brewing Company union. Brewmasters Pat and Shawn Mcilhenney and Chuck Silva combined peers to create an IPA worth of sharing with good friends. Simcoe, Mosaic, Citra, and El Dorado hops create a fresh, orange, peppery flavor with an earthy bitter finish. So delicious, let’s toast to a beautiful friendship" (source).
  • Green Flash Treasure Chest, $7.89/22oz - "Say Aloha to Treasure Chest 2015, an exotic pink IPA brewed with grapefruit, prickly pear juice and hibiscus flowers. Erupting with fruit-forward complexity, 100% Mosaic hops present aromas of heady citrus and refined stone fruit. The pleasantly bitter flavors of the hops are enhanced by the addition of fresh grapefruit juice. Offering balance to offset the bold citrus notes, prickly pear juice imparts a peppery-sweet kick in the finish. Tropical Hibiscus flowers give this beer a naturally pink hue, a nod to the official color of the Treasure Chest mission" (source).
  • Green Flash Oculus Sauvage, $19.69/750ml (1 per) - "Our Belgian-style Trippel and American Imperial IPA hybrid ale is inoculated with Brettanomyces to create Oculus Sauvage. Highly nuanced, the resinous hops characteristics are refined by barrel-drawn notes of vanilla and French oak tannins. Wild yeast imparts a barnyard funk with hints of apple orchard that linger in the finish" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Tropical IPA, $1.69/12oz - "fruit, including notes of mango, papaya and bitter orange, for a tropical take on the IPA" (source).
  • Atwater Corktown RIPA, $1.79/12oz - "Rye IPA" (source).
  • Weyerbacher Riserva, $20.09/750ml (1 per) - "Over a year in the making, this American Wild Ale is fermented with Brettanomyces yeast and aged with red-raspberry puree in Oak barrels for over 1 year, then bottle conditioned in champagne bottles" (source).
  • Weyerbacher Insanity, $4.29/12oz (1 per) - "Insanity, first released November 2004, is Weyerbacher's latest creation in the world of cutting edge beers. Insanity is made by aging our perfectly balanced Blithering Idiot Barleywine in oak bourbon casks. This incredible combination creates a melange of flavors such as malt, dates, oak, vanilla, and bourbon just to name a few" (source).
  • Short's Swirl Stout, $2.39/12oz - "Swirl Stout is a Milk Stout brewed with cacao nibs, vanilla, and milk sugar.  The aromas are bold and sharp, reminiscent of a decadent chocolate liqueur or Kahlua.  A satisfying blend of sweet creaminess and dark chocolate create the perfect balance. Roasted bitter flavors are noticeable, but it’s a lingering sweetness that ultimately dries the palate" (source).
  • Short's Ale La Reverend, $1.99/12oz - "Ale La Reverend is a distinctively dry and light bodied India Pale Ale with an appealing golden hue. It has a thirst-quenching crispness and is laden with citrus and spruce hop aromas. Semi-sweet malt provides a backdrop for mild earthy flavors and slight grassy notes. Double dry-hop additions allows for a lower alcohol level while still providing the entire hop effect expected of a classic IPA" (source).
  • Short's Juicy Tree, $2.39/12oz - "Juicy Tree is an experimental India Pale Ale made with blue spruce tips, juniper berries, and cranberries. Big aromatics of piney evergreen and sweet berries tingle the senses. After some slightly tart and tangy flavors up front, a harmonious balance between pleasant fruit sweetness and bitter pine is reached. A sizable malt bill, ample hop additions, and the floral qualities of American Ale yeast, all contribute to symmetry of this beer" (source).
  • Epic Big Bad Baptist, $12.09/22oz - "It’s Big, it’s Bad, Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, with Coffee and Cocoa Nibs" (source).
  • Southern Tier Backburner, $4.19/12oz - "Long ago, British farmhouse brewers made special ales using the first runnings of the mash. These beers, now called barley wine, are brewed in the tradition of days past. At Southern Tier this long awaited brew is placed on the back burner until the start of the new year. Back Burner Barley Wine is a celebration of things to come and things remembered. It’s conceived in three small batches, using voluminous amounts of barley and hops. The process starts early in the morning and ends late into the night. We hope this rare brew reignites your spirit for another trip around the sun" (source).
  • Ballast Point Peppermint Victory at Sea, $8.99/22oz - "Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with vanilla and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate" (source).
  • W.G. Brewing Ginger Beer, $2.19/12oz - "Alcoholic ginger beer" (source).
  • W.G. Brewing Root Beer, $2.19/12oz - "Alcoholic root beer" (source).

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