|A tour of the distillery with Joel.|
After my wife wrapped Christmas presents last Sunday (and I watched the Lions wrap up a road win over New Orleans), we decided to take the short drive to Comstock Park to check out Bier Distillery’s new digs on West River Drive.
Joel Bierling began producing spirits at Cellar Brewing Company in Sparta in 2013. When brewery owner Chuck Brown announced plans to move his operation to a new downtown location, Bierling began exploring his options. This past summer he purchased and renovated the 4,000 square foot building just down the road from Fifth Third Ballpark. Joel and his wife Sara opened the facility’s comfortable tasting room this past October.
Besides an impressive lineup of craft cocktails made with artisanal whiskey, rum, vodka, gin and liqueurs, the Bierlings offer a selection of wine and hand-crafted beer. Barb and I tried two of those beers, both pale ales and both excellent, and followed them up with a glass of a very nice 92-proof barrel-aged rye. A selection of snacks and small plates is also available. Made to order paninis are offered on Fridays and Saturdays.
Visit Bier Distillery’s website for hours and more information.
New and Returning Beer
- The Bruery 9 Ladies Dancing, $12.69/750ml - "Here’s a pick me up for the latest verse in our Twelve Days of Christmas series. Inspired by flavors and ingredients found in tiramisu, including ladyfingers, 9 Ladies Dancing mimics the Italian dessert by whipping together flavor combinations and layers of its own. This includes notes of vanilla, chocolate and coffee – clearly the leading ladies in this rich, dessert-like beer" (source).
- The Bruery Oude Tart, $20.79/750ml - "Oude Tart is a Flemish-Style Red Ale aged in red wine barrels. It’s pleasantly sour with hints of leather, dark fruit and toasty oak. While this is one of the more classic beer styles that we make, it’s not a style that you can find too often in the United States. Originating in style from the Flanders region of Belgium, near the French boarder, this dark, sour ale has roots deep in brewing history and predates most of the ales that have become popular in contemporary culture. We’re doing our best to keep the tradition alive by brewing and aging this beer here on the west coast" (source).
- Brewery Vivant Wizard Burial Ground, $6.09/16oz - "Barrel Aged Belgian Quad" (source).
- Dragonmead Castlebrite Apricot Wheat, 3.09/12oz (2 per) - "Castlebrite is the first fruit beer to come from Dragonmead. This Apricot Ale uses an apricot puree as well as Pale Wheat malt to bring about this wonderfully refreshing brew. This beer starts with a subtle sweetness and slight apricot flavor, and finishes with a palate-cleansing tartness that will leave you wanting more" (source).
- Dragonmead Jul Ø1, $3.09/12oz - "This spiced winter warmer makes for great sipping. Jul Ol is brewed in the tradition of a Norwegian dark ale. It is spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. This ale is only available in December and January" (source).
- Dragonmead Sin Eater, $3.09/12oz - "One of the most elusive of the Belgian styles. Dark, sweet and rich with notes of caramel, raisins and dark fruit. This style was consumed by Belgian monks to help them make it through the long cold winters. Not for the faint of heart since this brew goes beyond Final Absolution all the way to removing your sins" (source).
- Founders Azacca, $1.79/12oz - "Named after the Haitian God of agriculture, the Azacca hop has an intense tropical aroma with hints of citrus and mango. A touch of caramel malt gives a sweet backbone to support the righteous fruit character of this beer. Pouring a burnt orange color and registering at 7.0% ABV, your taste buds will worship this heavenly, hopped delight" (source).
- New Holland Black Tulip, $2.69/12oz - "Mysterious, alluring and seductive, yet tantalizingly elusive; these are the storied characteristics of the Black Tulip" (source).
- Unibrau À Tout Le Monde, $3.39/12oz - "À Tout Le Monde is a 4.5% abv dry-hopped Belgian-style saison that takes its name from a track on Megadeth’s 1994 album Youthanasia, and features the group’s mascot Vic Rattlehead on the label" (source).
- Boulevard Collaboration No. 6, $12.99/750ml - "Firestone Walker has a tradition of inviting local winemaking friends into their brewery each year to collaborate on a blending project that results in their anniversary ale. Pulling from several barrel-aged beers, they tinker with different blending percentages to create an incredibly complex, yet unique beer. In this spirit, we invited Matt Brynildson into our barrel-aging cave to taste beers with Boulevard Brewmaster Steven Pauwels. Armed with their palates, some graduated cylinders, nearly two dozen tulip glasses and a few bottles of Firestone Walker’s barrel-aged beers, they spent the afternoon tinkering with different blending percentages before finally deciding on just the right blend" (source).
- Short's Liberator, $2.39/12oz - "The Liberator was made as a 30th birthday gift to Joe Short. As a double IPA, this beast employs a sizable malt bill, but it is the crazy amount of hops added to the boil every 4 minutes, for 120 minutes, that really make this beer special. Fruity, floral, and piney hop flavors penetrate throughout the caramelized malt profile. The Liberator is a well-balanced, full bodied brew that has a bitter finish due to the post fermentation addition of lemon and orange zest" (source).
- Abita Sweet Orange Harvest, $1.69/12oz - "Louisiana sweet oranges have a rich flavor and zest that naturally complements the pilsner and wheat malts in this smooth brew. The oranges are added in the brewhouse to give the beer a sun-kissed citrus aroma and flavor. All our Harvest Series brews are made with the finest Louisiana-grown ingredients" (source).
- Greenbush Mr. Hyde, $2.19/12oz - "This beer's strong character leaves no mystery of its true identity, a Coffee Cream Stout brewed with locally roasted Infusco Coffee" (source).
- Dogfish Head Beer for Breakfast, $2.59/12oz - "A stout tricked out with all sorts of breakfast ingredients including Guatemalan Antigua cold press coffee, Maple syrup harvested from Western Massachusetts and for the quintessential Delaware breakfast touch - Rapa Scrapple and their secret blend of spices" (source).
- Ommegang Collaboration 2016, $3.29/12oz - "German style Doppelbock with Ommegang Belgian yeast" (source).
- Odd Side Hop Gobbler, $1.49/12oz - "The hop fairies have taken charge on this extra pale ale. A well balanced ale with loads of flavorful hops" (source).
- Arcadia Barrel Aged Shipwreck 2016, $8.59/12oz - "The Baltic-style porter has a robust malt character and a slight herbal hop bitterness. Aged for 12 months in 10-year-old Kentucky bourbon oak barrels, this alluring dark liquid features appealing undertones of vanilla, oak, cocoa and coffee. The aging occurs in abandoned mines in Michigan, at a constant temperature of 45F" (source).
- Elysian Bifrost, $1.99/12oz - "Pours golden with orange highlights. Smells alluringly sweet like caramel apples with a little spice and orange zest. Taste is bold and balanced with a good amount of citrus and earthy hop bitters to offset the malt character. Finishes dry with a bit of fruit" (source).
- Breckenridge Nitro Chocolate Orange Stout, $2.59/12oz - "Brewed with orange zest and locally sourced Cholaca, pure liquid cacao, and topped by the velvety texture of the nitrogen head, Nitro Chocolate Orange Stout is the perfect wintertime indulgence" (source).
Video of the Week | Beer for Breakfast
Dogfish Head Beer for Breakfast is now available at Siciliano's.