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Friday, June 3, 2016

New Beer Friday, Nine Mile Bridge Edition (June 3)

Actually the Big Sable River,
but you get the idea.
A longtime Siciliano's customer steps in with this week's NBF preamble, giving Steve a well-deserved break from his weekly blogging duties.

By Harry Winston

Last week I was going through a bookcase in my cabin up north when I came across a Moleskine notebook that I had rescued about thirty years ago from the Little Manistee River. It’s mostly filled with barely legible notes but on a few pages there are some neatly printed poems that were written, I have always assumed, by the same person who tossed the notebook into the river one late summer evening off Nine Mile Bridge.

I was fishing in the sharp bend just upriver from the bridge when I heard a motorcycle stop down the road and a few minutes later noticed a young man leaning over the concrete railing. I had just caught and released a good sized rainbow and was sitting near the river bank on a half-submerged log behind the low hanging branches of a pine tree smoking my pipe. I watched him balance an object on the railing then he lit a cigarette and stared down at the river.

I watched him while he smoked. Every so often he would pick up what turned out to be the notebook, flip through the pages, and then place it back on the railing. When he was finished smoking he crushed the cigarette against the concrete and deposited the butt in the pocket of his flannel shirt. He picked up the notebook, put it back down, picked it up again, hesitated, and then flipped it into the river. He watched it for a few moments before walking away.

I was about to start fishing again when I saw the half submerged notebook rushing by in the current. I reached over and scooped it up with my net and looked through it briefly before putting it in the creel of my fishing vest. A few minutes later the motorcycle sped north across the bridge. That night I read the poems while drinking a few bourbons in the Elk Tavern and for the next five years or so I kept the notebook in my glovebox but never saw the young man again.

I’ve occasionally wondered about him over the years — whether he was married, if he had children, what he did for a living. I wondered whether he kept on writing poetry and, the biggest wonder of all, what made him throw the notebook into the river. And I have always wondered what I should do with the poems and whether or not I should share them. After finding and reading them again this past week, I finally decided that I should. Here’s the first one.
Meditation on a Morning Moon 
This morning the moon shining bright
Through barren branches removing
Night time shadows from your sleeping face
Made me think of how you’re drifting into orbit,
(Becoming as distant as the moon), your
Light reflecting now through cold space I’m
Holding you only by the gravity of memories.
Sometimes the moon seems so close you can touch it.
I reached out this morning and brushed a hand
Against its softness, then looked on helpless,
As it faded into the day.
Editor's Note: Want to see your writing featured on New Beer Friday? Send it to for consideration. We encourage writing about food, beer, wine, spirits, the Great Lakes, family, friends, good times or anything else that makes you happy.

New and Returning Beer

  • Alpine Mandarin Nectar, $7.89/22oz - "Fresh organic orange zest and cracked coriander complement the orange blossom honey used in this ale. Like a mountain breeze through the citrus trees" (source).
  • Brooklyn Defender, $1.79/12oz - "The Defender is constantly vigilant, standing guard over all those who dare to create, to dream, and to drink great beer. This bright, juicy, West Coast-style IPA takes on a reddish twist from a dash of roasted malt. Bold, fruity hop bitterness and an intensely resinous nose lead the way into a dry finish that blazes the trail for your next sip" (source).
  • Brooklyn American Ale, $1.49/12oz - "Here in New York City, things are complicated, fast and loud. So sometimes we want a nice beer that's simply tasty and refreshing. Brooklyn American Ale is easygoing, versatile, and dependable. It's a beer you and your friends can hang out with, no matter where you're from. Try it alongside pizza, burgers, spicy foods, sharp cheese, or just another bottle of American Ale" (source).
  • Brooklyn Summer, $1.49/12oz - "Summer in Brooklyn is all about following your impulses, winging it from beaches and barbecues to stoops and rooftops. Brooklyn Summer Ale is a refreshing, flavorful pale ale made to accompany you on all your warm weather adventures. 100% British 2-row barley brings its famed bready flavors, capped off with German and American hops to provide a snappy, clean bitterness and a bright, floral aroma. It's a sunny pale ale, Brooklyn style" (source).
  • Green Flash Styrian Golding Single Hop, $2.19/12oz - "This Single Hopped Pale Ale is built on an English malt base of Golden Promise, 2-Row malted barley, and Caramalt to allow the hop qualities to shine through. The zesty bitter orange peel qualities of Styrian Golding hops are balanced by the English malt base, offering a slightly spicy, assertive, herbal, and dry finish" (source).
  • Griffin Claw The Old Wood Shed, $9.49/22oz (1 per) - "Cherrywood Smoked Porter" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Bonnie's Raggedy Ass Imperial IPA, $10.19/22oz (1 per) - "Our 2010 World Beer Cup Silver award winner. Brewed and dry-hopped with American hops, Centennial, Columbus, Cascades and Bravo" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Flying Buffalo Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, $21.39/22oz (1 per) - "Beginning its life in charred oak barrels in the fall of each year and remaining there until the first Michigan snow, our imperial stout is then moved to a special cellar which we call 'The Bourbon Bunker'. The barrels, under strict supervision of our brew master Dan Rogers, are stored at temperatures ranging from a dry winter 40 degrees to moist and humid 65 degrees. This painstaking process is unique to Griffin Claw Brewing Company and can be duplicated nowhere else in the world. Bottled at the peak of barrel-aged perfection, and only released in limited supply" (label).
  • Griffin Claw Flying Buffalo Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee Imperial Stout, $21.39/22oz (1 per) - "Aged 9 months in bourbon barrels, this unbelievable beer is a perfect harmony of flavors that will wake up your pallete, just like coffee is supposed to do. Our bourbon-barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout is combined with fair trade whole coffee beans to impart a perfectly balanced flavor that takes over 9 months to blend before it's ready" (label).
  • New Holland Lost Dune, $1.79/12oz - "A refreshing and aromatic summer ale. Tropical notes of Mosaic hops and bright citrus of coriander complement the rounding smoothness of blueberries from Michigan’s dune-laden west coast" (source).
  • Petoskey Cranium Crush Waffle Cone Raspberry Cream Ale, $2.39/16oz - "This unique ale has actual waffle cones added into the mash. Very slight hints of this ingredient can be picked up in the finished beer. More prevalent are the fruit notes from the addition of fresh raspberries added during fermentation. the low IBU makes this an easy drinking ale" (source).
  • Southern Tier 2xTangier, $1.99/12oz - " A Double India Pale Ale with spicy citrus aromas and stone fruit flavors. These flavors, with the addition of lightly roasted malts and brilliant hop bitterness, make 2XTangier a beverage as refreshing as it is exotic. 2XTangier is brewed as a stronger, bolder ale than its older brother, Tangier. It shares the same synergy between tangerine peel and spicy, citrusy, Mosaic hops" (source).
  • Southern Tier Salted Caramel, $9.29/22oz - "We brewed Salted Caramel to pay tribute to one of our favorite sweets. In the same vein as salted caramel chocolates and truffles, our Salted Caramel stout is the perfect balance of sweet decadence and savory salt. Perfect alone, or enjoyed as a float" (source).

Brewery Vivant | Plein de Vie

This week's featured video comes from Brewery Vivant.
Plein de Vie Series, coming soon to Siciliano's!


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