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Friday, February 5, 2016

New Beer Friday, Decisions Decisions Edition (Feb 5)

Tea at Siciliano's
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

I had just wheeled a carboy and four cases of wine bottles out to a customer’s car when a young man walking into the store held the door open for me. “Thanks,” I said pushing the two-wheeler past him. The young man followed me in and stopped in front the display of bulk teas. “Are you going to need some help?” I asked him.

“Possibly,” the young man said. “This is tea, right? My wife loves tea. I’m going to buy her some tea. But first I want to look at the ingredient kits.”

“Beer or wine?” I asked.

“Beer,” he said. “She bought me an equipment kit for Christmas.”

“The ingredient kits are over there,” I said motioning to the right. “I’m going to park this two-wheeler in back.” When I returned the young man was looking at the kits.

“I noticed that you sell good chocolate too. My wife loves chocolate. I put a couple of chocolate bars on the sales counter.”

“You’re a smart man,” I said. “Now, what kind of beer do you want to make?”

The young man took off his green and white stocking cap and ran his fingers through his hair. “Well, I like IPAs but my wife prefers darker beers. Stouts and porters. But I really, really want to make an IPA.” He put the stocking cap back on his head and stroked his chin. “What’s the darkest beer you have?”

“Probably this Imperial Stout,” I said. “But it’s a lot different than an IPA.”

“Oh, I know,” he said. “I guess I’ve got a decision to make.”

After offering the young man a few more suggestions, I was called away to help a customer with cigars then helped a lady choose some wine and another lady put together a mixed six pack of beer. After ringing up a few sales I looked out the window and saw the young man driving away.

“Who waited on the customer with the Spartans cap?” I asked the employees. “He just left.”

“I did,” Sarah said. “Why?”

“What did he buy?”

“Some tea, chocolate, a pound of French roast coffee, an ounce of pipe tobacco and an ingredient kit.” she asked again.

“What kit?” I asked.

“I didn’t notice. Why?”

“Just wondering if he made the right decision,” I said. I walked over to the ingredients kits and smiled after seeing that he did.

New and Returning Beer

  • Rockford Brewing Anniversary Ale, $16.99/750ml - "Brewed with Barley, Wheat, Rye, Oats and Michigan beet sugar! This Belgian specialty has a rich, malty body with layers of molasses, chocolate and dried fruit like raisin, plum and cherry! The Belgian yeast adds a hint of peppery clove to the overall complexity. Served in a snifter to assist with it’s wonderfully, complex nose" (source).
  • New Belguim La Folie, $15.99/22oz (1 per) - "La Folie, French for "the folly," is a beer steeped in New Belgium brewing tradition. This wood-aged, sour brown spends one to three years in big, oak barrels, known as foeders. And when the beer finally hits the glass, La Folie is sharp and sour, full of green apple, cherry, and plum-skin notes. Pouring a deep mahogany, the mouthfeel will get you puckering while the smooth finish will get you smiling. Not a beer for the timid, La Folie is a sour delight that will turn your tongue on its head. Find out why it's considered one of the best sour beers around" (source).
  • New Belguim Kriek, $15.99/22oz (1 per) - "In a never-ending quest to create new beers and defy category, New Belgium Brewing and Old Beersel of Belgium have partnered to create TRANSATLANTIQUE KRIEK, a spontaneously fermented lambic ale made with sour cherries. The 2016 edition of Transatlantique Kriek began life in the oaken vessels of Gert Christiaens’ Oud Beersel, a 130-year-old Belgian lambic brewery. After time spent aging in wood, Oud Beersel’s lambic was blended with tart cherries and shipped across the Atlantic to New Belgium. In concert with Oud Beersel’s cherry lambic, or kriek, we blended in a portion of our own sour Felix from our foeder forest, and created a golden brew to mix in, and round out, the engaging beer. The intense cherry nose leads to a pleasing tart, sweet flash across the palate. Crisp and effervescent, Transatlantique Kriek is a trip worth taking" (source).
  • Angry Orchard Old Fashioned Cider, $1.89/12oz - "The Old Fashioned is made with a blend of American apples and is aged on oak with dried tart cherries, California grown navel orange peel, and charred bourbon barrel staves, offering citrus and cherry aromas with a bright apple flavor and slight vanilla notes. It has lasting tannins and a full, round mouthfeel" (source).
  • Angry Orchard Knotty Pear, $1.89/12oz - "Knotty Pear’s main ingredient is juice from American apples, and also features pear juice, which adds a new dimension to the cider, creating a pleasantly dry flavor. Cardamom imparts a slight spicy flavor. With subtle notes of citrus and mint.  This cider and showcases fresh acidity, lasting tannin, and a pleasantly dry finish from oak aging" (source).
  • Saugatuck Maggie's Irish Ale, $1.89/12oz - "Often served on nitro, our Irish Ale is a smooth, easy drinking, Irish Red Ale. A beautiful mahogany color and well-rounded flavors of caramel and tea with subtle hints of malt characteristics and a dry finish" (source).
  • Arclight Hail to the Darkness, $14.39/22oz - "Elijah Craig Barrel Aged Imperial Porter" (source).
  • Arclight Fornication, $3.59/12oz - "Double IPA made with honey" (source).
  • Arclight Citracation, $3.59/12oz - "Double IPA brewed with Citra Hops" (source).
  • O'Hara's Leann Follain, $2.59/12oz - "True to it’s name, “Leann Folláin” being the Gaelic for “wholesome stout”, our full-bodied extra Irish stout is a fantastic example of how good stout can taste. Flavours of dark chocolate tones with a hint of vanilla combine with the mild mocha aroma. Opaque black in appearance with a tan head, this luxurious stout has a classic European hop bitterness giving a refreshing bite after the chocolate subsides" (source).
  • O'Hara's Irish Red, $2.69/12oz - "This Red stands out in this beer style category. The malt body is as impressive as a bock, albeit in a uniquely Irish way. With an incredibly smooth malt body complimented by caramel tones and perfectly balanced in bitterness, this Irish Red is much more complex than it’s mainstream rivals" (source).
  • O'Hara's Irish Stout, $2.69/12oz - "The flagship of the O’Hara’s brand, this uniquely Irish stout brings one back to how Irish stouts used to taste. First brewed in 1999, it has since been awarded prestigious honours for its quality and authenticity" (source).
  • Great Lakes Alberta Clipper, $3.29/12oz - "Bid farewell to winter’s cruel tyranny with the creamy, bittersweet dark chocolate flavors and fresh raspberry tartness of Alberta Clipper Porter. Named for the intense winter storms that sweep the Midwest and Great Lakes Regions, making us all a little tougher (and a lot colder), Alberta Clipper is the perfect treat to celebrate the return of milder weather and kiss those wintry winds goodbye… at least for a little while" (source).
  • Greenbush Dystopia, $3.49/12oz - "Don't be surround by sameness. Pull back from the droll daily grind with our Russian Imperial Stout that showcases just the right roasty, bitter qualities to help you escape whatever scene you're in" (source).
  • Atwater Cash for Gold, $1.89/12oz - No description available.
  • Oddside Fight Milk, $2.49/12oz - "Imperial Milk Stout. For bodyguards. By bodyguards" (source).
  • New Holland Dragon's Milk reserve Vanilla Chai, $4.29/12oz (4 per) - "New Holland Brewing Co. has taken its top-selling, year-round, bourbon barrel stout – Dragon’s Milk – and infused it with flavors of Vanilla Chai. The Michigan-based brewery is releasing its first 2016 “reserve” batch of Dragon’s Milk to markets around the country with Dragon’s Milk Reserve Vanilla Chai shipping from New Holland’s production facility by the end of January and hitting stores and local watering holes soon after. This reserve blend is aged in bourbon barrels for three months, with the nuanced flavor of Vanilla Chai for a portion of that time" (source).
  • New Holland Blue Sunday, $8.39/22oz (1 per) - "This unique anniversary libation, heritage-blended from our library of barrel-soured beers, exhibits deeply layered flavors of malt and oak, with a tart finish" (source).
  • Argus Cidery Fermentables Ciderkin, $2.39/335mL - "Based on nostalgic profiles of ciders everyone first experienced, Argus Ferementables Ciderkin delivers a straightforward apple palate, yet finishes dry and tannic.Traditional Ciderkin is made from reconstituted apple pomace that is pressed and fermented wild to produce a low ABV—dry cider style. Expounding on that tradition, we have employed a yeast blend that finishes dry, yet still preserves a prominent stone fruit nose and apple palate" (source).
  • Argus Cidery Fermentables Ginger Perry, $2.39/330mL - "Inspired by our affinity toward spicy ginger beers/ales, Ginger Perry is Argus’s first unpasteurized fermentation utilizing only the pear. Distinctly dry as characteristic of the Argus portfolio, development of this product placed the upmost importance on delivering a balance of ginger, stone fruit, and citrus flavors without palate fatigue after just one. Residual sugar is present, but don’t expect anything too sweet" (source).
  • Haandbryggeriet Haandbakk, $11.99/500mL - "This is a recreation of a Norwegian style naturally soured ale, aged in oak barrels for 18 months for the authentic sour flavour" (source).
  • Haandbryggeriet Dark Force Stout, $10.09/500mL - "From a country far, far away, comes the only imperial Wheat stout in the known universe. This Imperial really strikes back. Made with wheat malt and wheat yeast" (source).
  • Trois Dames Grande Dame Oud Bruin, $7.19/330mL - "A sour brown ale, brewed in the Flemish tradition, that rivals even the best Oud Bruins coming out of Belgium. Elegant and rustic, and full of complex flavors, berries, spice, and a hint of nuttiness, this is a great beer to share with friends on a special occasion" (source).
  • EKU 28, $2.89/330mL - "This world-famous beer has the character and richness to stand in for fine sherry or port. Just the right degree of sweetness - never cloying; wonderfully aromatic and warming. EKU 28 is the one whenever something good and strong is needed" (source).

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