|Is that a real bear?!|
I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the northern Michigan woods over the years and I’ve seen my fair share of terrestrial, aquatic and avian wildlife. Besides the ubiquitous white tail deer and turkeys, I’ve come across fox, beavers, pileated woodpeckers, great blue herons, muskrats, coyotes and porcupines. During walks in the woods I’ve kicked up countless woodcocks and partridges and an occasional ring necked pheasant. There’s a family of loons on the lake where my wife and I have a cottage, I’ve been fortunate enough to have witnessed a bald eagle circling down and plucking a fish out of the water and I have gazed up at plenty of high circling hawks. But I have still yet to see a black bear in the wild.
I have talked to quite a few folks who have. A few years ago my mother and sister saw two — one loping across M-37 by Wolf Lake and the other in the Manistee National Forest rumbling down the side of Freesoil Road. Our northern neighbors on Big Bass Lake have told us about bears attacking their bird feeders and last weekend after night fishing on the Pere Marquette, our guide told my son Chris and I to keep an eye out for bears before leaving to retrieve the boat trailer. He informed us that a few weeks ago a good-sized bear was there rifling through a trash container.
It was while we were on our way to that fishing excursion that I thought I had seen my first wild bear. “Holy shit, Chris,” I exclaimed when I spied it in the woods just off a rutted two track. “There’s a god damn bear!” Chris stopped his Jeep and then looked at me and smiled. “It’s stuffed, Pop,” he said calmly. “Somebody put it there.” Turns out he had seen and had been startled by that life-sized and very realistic taxidermied beast earlier that day.
I’m not sure why someone placed that stuffed bear in the woods. I assume it was done as a practical joke and as practical jokes go I have to admit it’s a fairly good one. If I had happened to come across that stuffed bruin while walking, however, I’m quite sure I would have found it far less amusing.
New and Returning Beer
- Green Flash Jibe, $2.09/12oz - "Prepare to Jibe! With the wind at our back, we are changing direction. Guided by San Diego’s endless summer breeze, we navigate into new hop territory with Jibe Session IPA. Well-balanced, floral, citrus and vibrant hop character defines our idea of what a perfect session ale should be. At 4% ABV, this session is so good, we are trimming our sails and riding the wind" (source).
- Green Flash Sea to Sea Pils, $2.09/12oz - "Our San Diego roots are landing in Virginia Beach! Bringing you freshness from East to West, Sea to Sea is an unfiltered Zwickel lager layered with German Pilsner malts, Hallertau Mittelfreüh and Czech Saaz hops, 2-row barley, and traditional Pilsner yeast. This sessionable brew has a light body with subtle sweet malt and fruity hop flavors, notable lager yeast, and a crisp, clean finish" (source).
- Leelanau Illuminati, $13.79/375ml - "Stout aged in bourbon barrels with naturally occurring wild yeasts, open fermented & bottle conditioned" (source).
- Leelanau Petoskey Pale, $10.19/375ml - "Petoskey Pale is a liquid ode to our great state, an attempt to represent the unique character of Michigan in a bottle of living beer. This quintessentially Michigan beer is named after the state stone. Petoskey stones are actually fossilized coral freed by glacial activity, and can be found in sand dunes and beaches at the top of lower Michigan, near the town of the same name. Both are named after the community started by Ottawa Indian Chief Ignatius Petosega, so our name is a nod to the native culture we so respect. We even put a number of petoskey stones around the large wooden cask during aging, more to impart the soul of the land than an actual flavor. This drink is so steeped in history and complex in flavor that we think of it as a style all to it’s own – one we call Michigan Grand Cru Pale Ale" (source).
- Leelanau Whaleback White, $10.19/375ml - "For a beer in a style that was almost extinct, this one has a whole lot of life. Wit (or white) beers were a popular style in Belgium for five hundred years, and even a century ago there were many artisan producers; but in the post-war years the last of the traditional white beers ceased production. Now, decades after the style’s resurrection, a handcrafted ale replete with the complexities and liveliness that endeared generations of beer aficionados is available again" (source).
- New Holland Dragon's Milk Reserve Raspberry Lemon, $4.29/12oz - "Michigan raspberries bring depth to Dragon’s Milk, framing its chocolate tones and contrasting its dark, roast character. Lemon zest excites and brightens the fruit flavor" (source).
- New Holland Incorrigible Reserve, $6.19/22oz - "Michigan blueberries & blackberries fuel a second flavorful fermentation of this beer after its residence of several months in our House of Funk sour cellar" (source).
- Blackrocks Honey Lav, $1.79/12oz - "This is our summer seasonal beer. An American Wheat brewed with Michigan honey and full lavender flowers. A Fresh and flavorful ale with a great balance between the floral lavender and sweet honey. Available May-August" (source).
- Stone Enjoy by 7-31 Tangerine, $2.99/12oz - "After brewing this intense double IPA with more than 10 different hops and consistently delivering it faster than any bottled IPA on the planet, we decided to do something different with this Stone Enjoy By IPA—we took it to another level, again. Puréed tangerines were added to the batch to create a devastatingly fresh IPA with a tang of tangerine. The flavors yielded by this addition to the recipe meld beautifully with the bitterness of the hops" (source).
- Lake Brothers Lager, $1.59/12oz - "Our traditional lager is brewed with only four all-American ingredients: hops (cluster and liberty), Midwestern malted barley, yeast and Great Lakes water. Amber in color, this beer pours brilliantly clear with a rich malt aroma, subtle hop character and a pleasant finish. Balanced and flavorful yet still easy drinking, this is honest beer, brewed traditionally with only the finest ingredients" (source).
- Short's Strawberry Shorts Cake, $2.39/12oz - "Strawberry Short’s Cake is a Golden Ale brewed with the addition of strawberries and milk sugar. The flavors of shortcake and fresh strawberries transform this beer into rose-colored party nectar that is pleasingly sweet with hints of cream. Biscuit flavors and aromas arise from the use of large amounts of Victory malt" (source).
- Odd Side Nectar of the Brewer, $2.29/12oz - "Apricot wheat" (source).
- Epic Sour Peaches, $13.79/375ml (1 per) - "The intense and complex sour character of this beer is developed in oak Foeders containing select cultures of Lactobacillus, Pidiococcus and wild yeast. The process is slow and delicate, regularly taking a year or more. Once our brewers have decided it’s ready, we blend the soured beer into hand-selected oak barrels with fresh peach puree, where it undergoes additional sour fermentation and aging" (source).
- Weyerbacher Double Simcoe, $3.39/12oz - "Double Simcoe is our incredible reward for Hopheads seeking the intense hop flavor in a Double IPA, without the harshness. It is brewed utilizing only the Simcoe hop variety. This hybrid hop, developed and trademarked by Select Botanicals Group, LLC in the year 2000, was created for its high alpha acid content, maximum aromatic oils and low cohumulone (harshness) levels so that brewers can really put a lot of ‘em in a beer and not create an overly harsh taste" (source).
- Weyerbacher Anniversary, $4.29/12oz - "We’re celebrating 20 years! Our 20th Anniversary is an 11% ABV Belgian Dark Ale. This brew is malty with notes of caramel, raisins and berries, as well as subtle hints of coriander and star anise" (source).
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