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Friday, August 11, 2017

New Beer Friday, Paying Your Dues Edition (August 11)

The wooly bugger with another nice catch
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

It began raining again as soon as we turned off the two track onto Six Mile Road.

“Rotten day for fishing,” Harry said while rolling up his window.

“Oh, we’re definitely going to get wet,” I said while rolling up mine.

When we got to the bridge Harry pulled his old Jeep into the clearing at the public access and we looked at the river through the slapping of the windshield wipers.

“It’s high all right,” Harry said. “We better get out and take a look.”

We walked up to the asphalt and then onto the bridge and looked downstream at the rain swollen river.

“See anything?” Harry asked.

“Yeah, lots of muddy water.”

“I think I saw a rise on the right by that cluster of logs.”

“Wishful thinking,” I said. “I don’t think they’ll be rising today.”

“Then we’ll use nymphs.”

“It may be too muddy for nymphs.”

“Streamers then.”

“It may be too muddy for streamers.”

“Well,” Harry said. “What do you think we should do?”

“I think we should go to breakfast.”

While we were walking off the bridge a pickup pulled into the parking area and by the time we got back to the Jeep a young man had the tailgate open and was threading line through the eyes of a fly rod. “Morning fellas,” he said. “Going fishing?”

“Not today,” Harry said. “Say, that’s a nice looking rod. Split bamboo?”

“Sure is,” the young man said. “1954 Abercrombie and Fitch. It was my grandfather’s.”

“You actually going out?” I asked. “The water’s pretty muddy and it doesn’t look like this rain is going to end anytime soon.”

The young man sat on the tailgate and began pulling on his waders. “Sure am. I might not catch any fish but like my grandfather used to say, it’s a perfect day for paying your dues.”

Harry pulled his oilcloth hat further down over his eyes. “What did he mean by that?”

The young man put on his fishing vest and took a fly box out from one of the front pockets. “Think I’ll start with a Wooly Bugger,” he said to himself then smiled and looked up at Harry. “It would only take ten seconds for grandpa to tie an improved clinch knot and he could tie a surgeon’s knot in the dark. I never saw him put a fly in a tree and he was a master at reading the water. But he was totally convinced that the only reason he caught a lot of trout was that he wasn’t a fair weather fisherman. He called it being willing to pay his dues. I know for a fact that if he was still alive he would be wading in that river.”

It was still raining an hour later when Harry and I were at the Irons CafĂ©. “We’ll take the check,” I said when the waitress came up to the table with a pot of coffee. When we were back in the Jeep we lit our pipes and sat staring out the window.

“You thinking what I’m thinking?” Harry asked.

“Probably,” I said.

Harry started the engine and put the Jeep in gear. “Well, where do you think we should go?”

“How about Hopper Junction” I said. “I’ve got a new wooly bugger I’ve been wanting to try.”

New and Returning Beer

  • Arbor Second Sun, $11.99/500ml - "We have been a pioneer in the craft beer industry since opening our original Arbor Brewing Company Pub and Eatery in downtown Ann Arbor, MI in July of 1995. Our commitment to handcrafted beer, exceptional hospitality, local sourcing, community involvement, and environmental stewardship has been the foundation for our growth and success for nearly two decades" (source).
  • Keweenaw Borealis Broo, $1.69/12oz  - "A coffee infused Amber Ale" (source).
  • Keweenaw Hefe Royal, $1.69/12oz - "A classic German Hefeweizen" (source).
  • Keweenaw Level 92, $1.69/12oz - "A Black India Pale Ale" (source).
  • New Holland Ichabod, $1.79/12oz - "Ichabod combines malted barley and real pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg in a delicious and inviting brew. After dinner, try it with your favorite dessert" (source).
  • Stone Enjoy by 9/4, $2.99/12oz - "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. For this version of Stone Enjoy By IPA, we thought: “We don’t always have a filter, so why should our beer?” By skipping a step and letting this devastatingly fresh, golden-hued double IPA go unfiltered, the beer takes on a hazy appearance and its peach and tropical fruit hop aromas are intensified. So though it may sound like it, this missed step was no misstep" (source).
  • Uinta Punk'n, $1.59/12oz - "This sessionable pumpkin ale is brewed with real pumpkin and a spice medley of nutmeg, cinnamon, and all-spice" (source).
  • Uinta Fest Helles, $1.59/12oz - "Flavors of graham cracker an biscuit, with a hint of honey. Spicy hops balance it out. Highly drinkable lager with a semi-dry finish" (source).
  • Unibroue Lune de Miel, $2.99/12oz - "Honey, which completes the bottle refermentation process, is a perfect match for the hoppy bouquet with rich hints of spices, herbs and wildflowers" (source).
  • Rochester Mills Oktoberfest, $2.19/16oz - "A malty, German-style Lager with low to moderate hop bitterness featuring a medium body and brilliant orange-ish amber color. Due to its popularity, Oktoberfest is consistently Rochester Mills best-selling seasonal beer. Rich, yet easy drinking, and incredibly delicious. Order early to get this limited Seasonal Release made popular by the annual Fall Festival that originated in Munich, Germany and is celebrated world-wide, including popular local celebrations" (source).
  • Spaten Oktoberfest, $1.79/12oz - "The beer of Munich’s famous Oktoberfest: aromatic, savoury, gold-colored" (source).
  • Deschutes HopZeit, $1.79/12oz - "If you’re looking for a traditional Oktoberfest, head to Munich. This modern ale inspired by the time-honored flavors of a Märzenbier combines classic malts with the latest hop varietals from Germany to deliver an herbal and balanced Autumn IPA that’s as at home in your backyard as the biergarten. Celebrate the season by sharing with friends, and skip the lederhosen- your friends will thank you" (source).
  • Deschutes Black Butte XXIX, $17.19/22oz (1 per) - "Every year, we celebrate our anniversary with an imperial, barrel-aged version of our flagship Black Butte Porter. This year, to celebrate 29 years, of brewing, we’ve added Chocolate Malt, cocoa and cinnamon for another multi-layered flavor experience" (source).
  • Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, $3.29/12oz - "This 8.0% ABV pumpkin ale is the mother of all pumpkin ales. It is heartier, spicier and more “caramelly” and “pumpkiny” than its faint brethren! We have added lots of pumpkin along with cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of cardamom and clove, giving this beer a spicy, full-bodied flavor" (source).
  • Atwater Blueberry Cobbler, $2.99/12oz - "Blueberry Cobbler is deceptively complex outing that features bready malts the dryness of fermented blueberries, light vanilla and blueberry aromatics. Strong, yet the flavors play well together" (source).
  • Atwater Pumpkin Spice Latte, $2.19/12oz - "Pumpkin Spice Latte features a Munich Dark malt which lends a walnut-like presence, Honey malt which lends a light honey note and Melanoidin malt which lends a bright sweetness. Flaked Barley creates a full mouthfeel. Our Pumpkin Spice and Coffee Extracts are custom designed locally and provide a balanced representation of this seasonal fascination" (source).

Video of the Week | Michigan Terroir

There's no place like the Mitten State.


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