|Matt Ross, Preambler|
Steve and Barb are currently on vacation in Philadelphia, eating cheese steaks and enjoying one or two (or more) of the local brews. Steve offered me the opportunity to write the New Beer Friday preamble in his leave. It took me a while to come up with an idea but in the spirit of NBF I thought I would discuss why we should drink beer. This is a pretty easy question for most of us to answer. But besides the obvious answer of it tasting good and having certain desirable effects, I wanted to delve deeper into it.
The first point that deserves investigation is location. I love Grand Rapids. This city has turned into the Midwest beer Mecca. I talk to people every day that come in from all over the country to drink Michigan beer. If you live in or visit Grand Rapids, you should drink local beer because we have great beer to drink. Along with having quality breweries, there are also a lot them. The sheer variety is something to take into account too. Each brewery has their own portfolio of beers to call their own. If you tried going to all of them in a weekend it would make for a pretty rough Monday.
Keep in mind that I work at Siciliano’s Market. Drinking beer goes hand in hand with making beer. If you have not yet tried someone’s homebrew, you should. It is more than just an activity and I am blessed with having too much homebrew as opposed to the alternative. For me, drinking beer and making beer have transitioned into a lifestyle. For others, homebrewing is something that happens a couple times a year. Regardless, some of the best beers I have tried were from local homebrewers. Anyone who homebrews can confirm that it takes beer to make beer.
The last and largest reason why you should drink beer is because it pairs well with friends. There are few pleasures greater than sitting down with some of your people and sharing pints. In my experiences, the beer community is welcoming to people from all walks of life. There are some great breweries that only serve beer and provide places to sit. Besides their tasty beer, they fill up because people enjoy the company of their peers. You should drink beer because whether or not you arrive with old friends, you will likely leave with new ones.
|Good beer with better friends is what drinking beer is all about.|
New and Returning Beer
- New Belgium Shift, $1.59/12oz - "New Belgium employee-owners work in shifts to brew to life world-class beers. Those efforts are rewarded daily with a shared end-of-shift beer. We're passing that welcomed occasion onto beer drinkers in this Shift Pale Lager. Think American pale ale meets American lager. It's easy to drink, crisp and congratulatory. So, clock out and crack open a Nelson Sauvin-hopped Shift Pale Lager to reward your work. Or play. Or, if you're like us, combine the two and surround yourself with drinking buddies" (source).
- New Belgium Tart Lychee, $15.99/22oz - "According to Lauren, the imaginator of this pucker-pleasing ale, Lychee fruit is so insanely sweet and flavorful you almost can’t stand it alone. Sour to the rescue! Tart Lychee is brewed with exotic lychee fruit and cinnamon, and then blended with sour Felix from our wood cellar for a citrusy, tropical sip that attacks with an invigorating tart bite. Explore the tropics, but brace for the wild" (source).
- Cranker's Accuser, $15.99/22oz - A Belgian-style tripel.
- Short's Freedom of '78, $2.39/12oz - "Freedom of ’78 is a medium-bodied IPA brewed with guava. This IPA is bright and clear with a pleasing bronze hue. The beers aroma is a unique fusion of citrus fruit and subtle pine. The distinct characteristics of the guava nectar are impossible to miss with flavors of tangerine, nectarine, and even faint honey detectable. The finish is bitter and dry" (source).
- Abita Seersucker Pils, $1.69/12oz - "Abita Seersucker Summer Pils (June – September) is a traditional pilsner with a full bodied malt flavor, hop bitterness and a light golden color. It is made with pilsner and carapils malts, hopped with German Tradition and Spalt hops. This Pils pairs well with seasonal summer favorites like grilled chicken, salmon or garden salads. It also is a refreshing choice with spicier dishes, Mexican food and most Asian cuisines. Try it with a mild white Vermont cheddar, Havarti or Monterey Jack cheese" (source).
- Boulevard Saison Brett, $12.99/750ml - "Saison-Brett, based on our very popular Tank 7, is assertively dry hopped, then bottle conditioned with various yeasts, including Brettanomyces, a wild strain that imparts a distinctive earthy quality. Though this farmhouse ale was given three months of bottle age prior to release, further cellaring will continue to enhance the “Brett” character, if that's what you're after" (source).
- Boatyard Lake Effect DIPA, $3.39/16oz - "Welcome to the biggest IPA ever created by Boatyard Brewing. After tasting the great double IPA’s of Vermont, we decided to bring that Citra goodness to Michigan. We worked diligently for 4 months to create a recipe with pale ale and light caramel malts. We used torrified wheat and brown sugar to round out the malt flavors. We bittered with generous portions Magnum, Centennial and Cascade hops. The finish was made luscious with the addition of Warrior and Citra after chilling the wort. This IPA is sweet and full of citrus flavors" (source).
- Victory Cage Radler, $1.79/12oz - "Our spin on a German classic connects lemon freshness with crisp lager. E ffervescent notes of lemonade, lemon zest, and a hint of graininess" (source).
- Dogfish Head Festina Pêche, $2.59/12oz - See video below.
- Dogfish Head Biere de Provance, $2.99/12oz - "Inspired by the fields of Provence in southern France, Bière de Provence begins with 2-row wheat and rye malts, and Jarrylo hops. A bounty of herbs, including lavender, bay leaf, marjoram and chervil, gives it a floral and spicy nose. With a hazy golden appearance, Bière de Provence is fermented using a Belgian yeast strain lending to a sweet and malty flavor profile. This summer saison has a smooth finish with a flavor that’s just as complex as it is crisp and refreshing" (source).
- Epic Lil Rapsberry, $1.79/12oz - "Lil’ Brainless Raspberries is an easy drinking canned version of our big, bold 22 oz. bottle of Brainless Raspberries, crafted especially for those who seek bright, fresh, and real raspberry flavors in a convenient size. We brew exclusively with natural raspberry puree, which gives this beer its unique pink color as well as hints of raspberry bubble-gum, sweet fruit jam, and a pleasant dryness that makes this beer perfect for easy going affairs, indoors or out" (source).
- Epic Los Locos, $2.19/12oz - "Los Locos is a sessionable, refreshing lager with a hint of corn sweetness, a dash of sea salt and the perfect kick of natural lime juice. It not only pairs perfectly with spicy Mexican dishes but is a great accompaniment to all of your favorite summer activities" (source).
- Epic Tart and Juicy IPA, $2.29/12oz - "We've combined the clean, puckering tartness of kettle souring with an abundance of juicy, citrus-driven hops to create a beer that’s the best of both worlds - Tart n' Juicy Sour IPA" (source).
- Arbor Mackinac Island Fudge, $2.89/12oz - "A roasty, dry stout made with real fudge for a subtle chocolate-fudge character without being sweet or heavy" (source).
- New Holland Michigan Awesome 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 - "Tasmanian Hatter brings you flavors from the region of the Tasman Sea. Hops from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest combine to present bright, tropical flavors of mango and citrus, beautifully framed with biscuity malt character" (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).
- Paw Paw Vanilla Bean Porter, $1.99/12oz - "Porter brewed with real vanilla beans. In Memory of the best dog ever" (source).
- Paw Paw Citra Melon, $2.19/16oz - "Brewed with Citra & Hüll Melon hops" (source).
- Shipyard Seadog Sunfish, $1.99/12oz - "Beer with natural flavors added. Our unique light bodied wheat beer with a fragrant peach essence, and a clean refreshing grapefruit finish. A Sunfish pairs well with salads, pork, chicken, light fare, and fruit desserts like Peach Cobbler" (source).
- Stone Citrusy Wit, $1.99/12oz - "When it comes to our beers and the ingredients we use, we give a wit. So rather than spinning just the same fruit wheel of the classic orange peel, we punched up our wit with the dynamic duo of tangerine and kaffir lime leaf. The fruit-forward aromatics and flavors are perfectly balanced, so you don’t have to bother adding a slice (or leaf) to the rim of your glass. Even with this lack of unnecessary garnish, you won’t find an absence of intense fruit. In fact, each dryly refreshing, citrusy sip of this coriander-spiced, tangerine-infused, Mandarina Bavaria-hopped creation will satisfy even the most hardcore fan" (source).
- Stone Mocha IPA, $2.99/12oz - "Clearly, style lines have been crossed. Is it half-IPA, half-stout? Not quite. It’s definitely all IPA, but it’s also the best of both styles, making this love child of a beer simply just a beautiful, pleasure-seeking meld of imperial IPA and mocha indulgence. How did we come up with this inexplicably delicious creation? Well, that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that it exists and that it’s here for you now, thanks to our deliberate disregard for brewing norms. Some things are not meant to be known, just enjoyed...thoroughly" (source).
- Stone Enjoy By 7-4-16, $2.99/12oz, $8.99/22oz - "Our all-important, hop-driven quest to deliver the most devastatingly fresh IPA on the planet facilitated a paradigm shift in 2012 with the launch of Stone Enjoy By IPA. Not only did we brew this beer with more than 10 different hops, we brewed it specifically NOT to last. Acclaimed for its groundbreakingly short shelf life, this intense double IPA brought forth a whole new concept of what constitutes “fresh”—guaranteeing fans the ultimate level of hoppiness. The devastatingly independent batch you have in your hands is no different. It, like its predecessors before, is a celebration and declaration of the fresh beer." (source).
- Stone Arrogant Bastard Cans, $1.99/16oz - "This is an aggressive beer. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth" (source).
Dogfish Head | Festina Pêche
Now available at Siciliano's ($2.59/12oz)