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Friday, April 20, 2018

New Beer Friday, Key West Part II Edition (April 20)

Local iguana expert
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

The first thing you notice when you step onto the tarmac at Key West International Airport is a big red-lettered sign above the entrance to the terminal welcoming you to the Conch Republic. Within minutes of landing my wife Barb and I were climbing into a taxi. “The La Concha Hotel,” I said to the driver.

The La Concha is located on upper Duval Street about six blocks away from Sloppy Joe’s bar, arguably the epicenter of Key West’s alcohol-fueled craziness. The La Concha opened in 1926 as one of the area’s first luxury hotels and Harry Truman, Al Capone, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams were some of its notable guests.

“It’s supposed to be haunted,” Barb told me shortly after she booked our reservation.

“That’s cool,” I said. “I wouldn’t mind running into a ghost.”

“One of them supposedly hangs out in the elevators.”

“Well, we’ll have to keep our eyes open,” I replied.

While my wife was taking care of the checking in paperwork I looked around and visualized a hulking Hemingway bellied up with a Papa Doble at the lobby bar. We walked to the elevators and as soon as the doors opened Barb leaned forward and took a quick peek inside. “No ghosts,” she proclaimed, sounding a tad disappointed. I smiled and imagined how my wife would react if she ever did see a ghost.

If you like hanging out in saloons, Key West is your kind of town. If you’re walking down Duval or around Key West Bight or the vicinity of Mallory Square you can’t go twenty yards without coming across a watering hole. Barb and I avoid the overtly touristy ones. Sloppy Joe’s is perpetually packed but it’s not our type of joint. It touts itself as Hemingway’s favorite bar but in reality the famous rum-loving writer never tossed back a drink there. The original Sloppy Joe’s where he did drink his daily double Daiquiris was about a block away on Greene Street. The owner moved the bar to its present Duval location in 1938 when the landlord raised the rent. Papa was long gone by then, having moved his writing and drinking ninety miles south to Cuba.

On the other hand Captain Tony’s Saloon, the bar that’s housed in Sloppy Joe’s original location, is our type of joint. It’s a bit touristy but it’s also very much a dive. It’s dark, gritty and smoky (smoking is still allowed in bars in Key West) and is never overrun with tourists even when the cruise ships are in port. I have regularly observed folks take a few hesitant steps inside and then quickly turning and skedaddling. If they overcome their fears and do come in and order a drink you can see the disgust build on their sunburned faces. When they get back home they probably post a scathing review on the internet.

Some of our other favorite haunts are the Bull and Whistle (a good place to sit with your feet propped up on the low window sill and people watch), The Schooner Warf (good raw oysters and steamed shrimp) and, of course, the Green Parrot.

The Green Parrot attracts both tourists and locals but the tourists for the most part are older folks (fifty plus) who are on extended stays in Key West. On one afternoon we got into a pleasant conversation with a couple from Baltimore who told us about a good Beatles cover band that would be playing in the bar the following night. We returned for the show and sat with the very nice couple again. On another night we watched yet another band and sat with some male retirees who were riding Sea-doos the entire length of the Intracoastal Waterway. Not exactly my idea of a good time but hey, to each his own.

There’s a nice cigar lounge about a block from the La Costa where Barb and I spent an hour or so every day for a respite from the heat and the crowds. The fellow who runs the place lost an eye and wears a cartoonish patch (an oversized, bulging caricature of a red-veined eyeball) over his empty socket. After chatting with him for a while I asked how he lost the orb.

“She told me to stay put and I got up,” he laconically replied.

On another day an old salt who could have come straight out of central casting gabbed on for a half hour about how iguanas might eventually inherit the earth.

“The females lay twenty eggs three times a year,” he informed us. “If they ever mutate watch your asses. It’s going to be just like Jurassic Park.”

I’m thinking that the Conch Republic is about the only place you would hear crazy talk like that.

New and Returning Beer

  • Against The Grain 35K, $3.89/16oz - "Not your typical “Jelly of the Month Club” beer. Dark roasted malt and bittersweet cocoa and coffee flavor and aroma burst from this pitch black milk stout. The full body and sweetness are derived from the addition of lactose (aka milk sugar) which is not fermentable by beer yeast. A healthy dose of Nugget and Crystal hops provides a counterpoint to this ale’s rich and complex maltiness" (source).
  • Arbor Pollination Sensation, $2.19/12oz - "Brewed with fresh lavender flowers and wildflower honey, this light bodied ale is fresh and floral with a hint of sugary sweetness to round it out. Pollination is the perfect way to welcome spring" (source).
  • Atwater Street Artist, $3.59/16oz - "A delight for those who are crazy about hops. This Citra IPA is higher on the ABV and sips with a lemon zest" (source).
  • Ballast Point Aloha Sculpin, $2.39/12oz - "With Aloha Sculpin, we used Brux Trois yeast to turn our award-winning IPA into a tropical oasis, with bright and refreshing notes of mango, pineapple, and guava. This yeast also adds a slight haze to the beer, creating a smooth mouthfeel to round out its juicy character. Simply put, this is paradise in the palm of your hands" (source).
  • Dark Horse Sapient, $2.09/12oz - "We brew this trippel with a Trappist yeast strain to hold true to the traditional style. The flavors are incredibly complex with notes of mild fruit that finish with just a bit of clove. Although this beer has a slightly higher ABV, you will find it finishes very smooth and dry on the palette. This makes for a perfect summer sipper" (source).
  • Dark Horse Smells Like A Safety Meeting, $2.19/12oz - "S.L.A.S.M. is our most Aromatic IPA. This India Pale Ale is very reminiscent of the hop’s cousin in the Mulberry family. Lots of hop aroma with just the right amount of bitterness as we like to keep balance around here. Between the secret blend of the most DANK hops we can get our hands on and a "more than healthy" dose of double dry hopping, this beer can be announced to the nose from across the room that someone is definitely having a Safety Meeting" (source).
  • Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze, $15.59/375ml - "A true Geuze - a blend of 1, 2, and 3 year-old lambic, unfiltered and unpasteurized, and aged in the bottle for at least a year after blending. Refermentation in the bottle gives this Geuze its famous champagne-like spritziness. The lambic that goes into it is brewed only with 60% barley malt, 40% unmalted wheat, aged hops, and water, spontaneously fermented by wild yeasts, and matured in oak casks" (source).
  • Drie Fonteinen Oude Kriek, $16.29/ 375ml - "Oude Kriek 3 Fonteinen is produced by ripening of cherries (both the flesh and the seeds) in young Lambic. This process takes between 6 to 8 months. After bottling the beer matures for at least 4 months in a warm room where the spontaneous fermentation in the bottle is done. The head of Oude Kriek is very sensitive to the concentration of the cherry seeds containing oil and may differ from one year to the other" (source).
  • Drie Fonteinen Oude Kriekenlambiek, $17.39/375ml - "3 Fonteinen (Oude) Kriekenlambik is the result of macerating hand-picked whole sour cherries on young lambic for at least four months, in a proportion of one kilogram of fruit per litre of lambic (and possibly blended with some more young lambic). Fruit intensity ranges from minimum 35% to 50%. Aside some selected bars (e.g. 20th Anniversary of Akkurat in Stockholm, Sweden), this sour cherry lambic is available at given times in the lambik-O-droom" (source).
  • Forbidden Fruit Apple, $2.69/12oz - "Captures the true essence of fresh Michigan apples and cherries! Delicious Montemorency cherries leap from the glass, followed by hints of almond on the palate" (source).
  • Forbidden Fruit Cherry, $2.69/12oz - "Hard Cider w/ Michigan Apples and Cherries" (source).
  • Golden Road Mango Cart, $2.09/12oz - "A light, refreshing Wheat Ale with lots of fresh mango and a pleasant, slightly tart finish" (source).
  • Great Lakes Chillwave, $3.49/12oz - "Inspired by the North Coast’s dedicated (and sometimes chilly) surf community, our Double IPA will melt the ice in your beard and never lose its balance" (source).
  • Grimm Vacay, $12.99/22oz - "Hoppy, hazy, and assertively tart. Vacay finds us in our classic dry hopped sour mode — possibly our favorite kind of beer to brew and drink. We decided to take a vacation from the American hop varietals we use frequently, and instead assemble a blend of exciting, fruit-forward neo-German and New Zealand flavors including Huell Melon, Hallertau Blanc, and Southern Cross. Notes of lemongrass, apricot, mandarin, orange flower, black peppercorn. A juicy, puckering refresher with lightly toasted white oak in the background. This beer has never been boiled" (source).
  • New Holland Dragon Milk Reserve Chocolate Cherry, $4.89/12oz - "Chocolate is a flavor that is already present in Dragon’s Milk when it comes out of the barrel, but we’re able to play that up and really bring out the wonderful chocolate smoothness. Obviously, that just couples extremely well with the cherry flavor" (source).
  • Ommegang Double Barrel Aged Double, $5.69/12oz - "A beautiful blend of traditional Belgian-style dubbel aged in bourbon and brandy casks" (source).
  • Short's Sticky Boots, $2.59/12oz - "Sticky Boots is a triple dry-hopped Double IPA. Copper in color with a substantial white head carrying dank aromas of floral and citrus hops. Leading with strong tropical flavors and a juicy mouthfeel, this beer transitions into highlighting the floral hops. Well balanced and easy to drink, Sticky Boots finishes with huge juicy tropical flavors" (source).
  • Stone Scorpion Bowl, $5.49/22oz - "To create a recipe so tropical and fruity without the addition of fruit was no feat our team of brewers would leave up to the gods. They took floral and citrus notes from Mosaic, Loral and Mandarina Bavaria hops to dish up a mouthwatering fruit punch to the palate. Get deserted on your own island or share with others. One thing is for sure: there is no need to light this one. It is already on fire" (source).
  • Stormcloud Whiled Away, $2.19/12oz - "Belgian IPA brewed with a blend of Columbus, Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo and Citra hops and fermented at cold temps with our house Belgian yeast" (source).
  • Stormcloud Rainmaker, $1.99/12oz - "Our GABF bronze medal winning Belgian-style Pale Ale" (source).
  • Strongbow Artisanal Blend, $1.69/12oz - "A cloudy appearance, reminiscent of traditional ciders. The subtle yet charming aroma of farm-fresh heirloom apples is balanced by the pleasantly refreshing texture. The semi-sweet finish indulges your palate with a velvety and crisp apple kick" (source).
  • To Øl Mr. Blonde, $6.99/16oz - "This beer is a bright 6,5% Belgian IPA, hopped with Citra for that refreshing citrus bite, and then loaded up with Gooseberries to give it a grape like tart finish" (source).
  • To Øl Mr. Brown, $6.99/16oz - "t’s not often we brew bock styles, but the idea of mixing aromatic figs and dates together with a shot of coffee and cacao and wrapping it all together in one hoppy showdown was too tempting" (source).
  • Uinta Lime Pilsner, $1.69/12oz - "Crisp, light-bodied and immensely refreshing, our small batch Lime Pilsner combines a subtle malty sweetness with hints of fresh lime for a little splash of summertime, anytime, anywhere" (source).

Video of the Week | A Storm's a-Brewin'

Select labels from Stormcloud now available at Siciliano's.


Friday, April 13, 2018

New Beer Friday, Adventures in Key West Edition (April 13)

The Green Parrot
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Way back in the early 70s when I was pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Michigan State I made annual road trips to Florida with a dozen or so fellow MSU undergrads. Our usual roosting spot was Daytona Beach. We stayed in campgrounds, ate at fast food joints and spent most of our time doing what young males on spring break generally do — lolling on the beach during the day, consuming copious amounts of alcohol at night and trying continuously to hook up with vacationing coeds. One year the weather didn’t cooperate and in an effort to find the sun we motored south down A1A and eventually made our way to Key West. We probably would have gone further but we ran out of road.

Key West lies at the southernmost point in the contiguous 48 states and the island city’s end-of-the-line geography probably has something to do with its infamous laid back mentality and its propensity for attracting eccentrics. Key West is still that way today but I imagine it was even more so in the early 1970s. Back then there were no docks for the cruise ships. There were less waterfront resorts, less tacky souvenir shops and a lot less tourists parading up and down Duval. But Key West is still a good place to get away from it all, to recharge batteries and to rub shoulders with idiosyncratic and invariably loquacious locals.

Most of my memories of that first trip to Key West have been blurred by the passage of time but I do remember being captivated by the wood-framed, pastel-painted houses with their gingerbread trim, louvered shutters and covered porches. The Caribbean architecture was something I had never seen before. I have a distinct memory of walking down a deserted Whitehead Street one evening and pausing in front of the Audubon House to gape at the tropical gardens behind the white picket fence.

I also distinctly remember the afternoon when some of us piled into a VW bus to test the legitimacy of a dime bag of dope. While the hippy dealers drove us around town we passed around a joint and I remember being scared shitless that we were going to be pulled over by the cops. The grass wasn’t all that good but we bought it anyway.

It was probably later that same night that I made my first visit to the Green Parrot bar. Like many Key West watering holes the Green Parrot is an ancient wood structure that someone converted into a saloon. It too was fairly deserted and inside it was dark and a bit grimy. I played pool with a couple of locals while a warm breeze drifted through the open shuttered windows and Al Green played on the juke box.

My next visit to Key West was with my first wife and another couple twenty-five years later. We stayed in a posh hotel next to Mallory Square and when I got bored one afternoon with laying around the pool I told my traveling companions that I was going for a walk. I hit a number of bars and when I returned about three hours later my wife was understandably livid. I apologized my ass off but it put a damper on the remainder of the trip.

My current wife Barb and I have been to Key West three times now. On our first visit we stayed at a rather seedy joint on Truman Street and while walking back to the motel one night we got tired and sat down on a stack of lumber that was piled up next to the sidewalk. We both ended up dozing off for a few minutes but what the hell. When you’re in Key West you tend to do a bit of drinking. It was on that trip that I realized how much Key West had changed from the early 70s. Whenever we went to the Green Parrot it was so packed we could hardly find a seat.

One afternoon on our second visit we stumbled across a clothing optional rooftop bar. The only naked customers were a couple of rotund fellows who had to be north of seventy. We got the hell out of there but the disturbing visual still haunts me to this day. On another afternoon we found a watering hole on the edge of a residential neighborhood a number of blocks off Duval. There were some interesting characters bellied up and a dog was sleeping on the bar. I got in a conversation with an old guy sitting next to me who for some reason thought I was an undercover cop. After I finally convinced him that I wasn’t he invited Barb and me to smoke a joint with him. Come to think of it, maybe Key West hasn’t changed so much after all.

Look for a post on Steve and Barb’s latest Key West adventure in a future edition of The Buzz.

New and Returning Beer

  • Cigar City Jai Alai, $2.19/12oz - "Jai Alai, a game native to the Basque region of Spain, is played on a court called a fronton. Jai Alai players attempt to catch a ball using a curved mitt whilst the ball travels at speeds up to 188mph! Proving they have a sense of humor the Spanish dubbed this game, with its ball traveling at racecar speeds, “the merry game.” Tampa was once home to a bustling Jai Alai fronton but sadly all that remains of Jai Alai in the Tampa Bay area is this India Pale Ale that we brew in tribute to the merry game. The India Pale Ale style of beer has its roots in the ales sent from England to thirsty British troops in India during the 18th century. Pair Jai Alai India Pale Ale with beef empanadas, deviled crabs and other spicy dishes" (source).
  • Central Waters Peruvian Morning, $4.89/12oz - "Central Waters' 10th Anniversary Imperial Stout infused with peruvian coffee and aged in a bourbon barrel" (source).
  • Coppercraft G&T, $3.99/12oz - "For the first time ever, a Michigan distillery has put real spirit, distilled on-site, and placed it in a convenient container. Gin, hand-made tonic and lime. Premium G&T, designed for your active lifestyle" (source).
  • Destihl Wild Sour Blueberry, $2.99/12oz - "Our Leipzig-Style Gose (Here Gose Nothin’®) is often seen being French-pressed through blueberries for a combination destined to be together, so we’ve done the hard work for you with this edition of our Gose by adding the blueberries at the brewery, which unites another layer of fruity complexity in this sour ale already known for its tart, citrusy, lime-like qualities, slight spicy note from added coriander and a noticeable mineral mouthfeel from added sea salt harvested from the shores of France" (source).
  • Ellison Gnomes, $2.59/16oz - "Beautifully colored Amber Ale greets you with an aroma of fruit and biscuits. With your first sip you'll notice the amount of roasted malts and honey malts that went into making this beer. The finish is pleasantly sweet" (source).
  • Evil Twin Soup Superior, $5.49/16oz - "India Pale Ale Brewed with oat and lactose with vanilla and pomegranate added" (source).
  • Evil Twin/Omnipollo Rainbownade, $5.49/12oz - "The beer is an IPA brewed with grapefruit passion fruit, mango, raspberry and blueberry" (source).
  • Great Divide Samurai, $2.19/12oz - "Samurai is the perfect beer for your zen garden after battle, or your patio after a long day of work. The addition of rice gives a slightly fruity, crisp, refreshing element to this hazy unfiltered ale, creating a light, easy-going beer suitable for the peaceful warrior. This may be your first Samurai, but it certainly won’t be your last" (source).
  • Griffin Claw El Ligero, $2.39/16oz - "Mexican lager brewed with fresh lime" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Faux Pas, $2.79/16oz - "While The Traditional Hefs Call For Tones Of Banana and Clove. This Hef Defies That Standard. As A True Faux Pas - This Hef Was Hit With A Hard Dose Of Hops And In Turn This Hazy Hef Is A True Hefe/IPA Hybrid. It Goes Down Smooth But The 8.5% Shines Thru. Sweet Hazy Bitterness" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Simcoenicity, $2.79/16oz - "IPA dry hopped with whole leaf Simcoe hops. With the malty backbone of Norm’s, the simcoe adds a new level of tropical, piney bitterness" (source).
  • Moosehead Pale, $1.49/16oz - "A true top-fermented ale, Moosehead Pale Ale is medium bodied and fermented at warmer temperatures to impart its floral aromatics" (source).
  • Moosehead Radler, $1.39/12oz - "Moosehead Radler is based on our award-winning lager recipe but features hits of natural grapefruit, grape and lemon juices to round out a truly unique taste profile" (source).
  • New Belgium Tartastic Strawberry Lemon, $1.79/12oz - "A delightful combination of strawberry and lemon purees fill the senses with an enticing balance of sweet and sour fruit" (source).
  • North Peak Arch Angel, $1.89/12oz - "A solid American wheat, with a classic nose that transitions to a faint cherry aroma complimenting its rich amber gold hue. As this well-balanced and deceptively light-bodied wheat beer travels across the tongue, the willamette and perle hops hint at bitterness, followed by a crisp, clean wheat flavor that cuts to a subtle tart cherry finish" (source).
  • Port Nelson the Greeter, $2.99/16oz - "Paying homage to a rather (in)famous surf spot/clothing-optional beach in San Diego, Nelson the Greeter is the newest hoppy offering from Port Brewing. Using the brash flavors of Nelson hops to lead the charge, the Greeter has a strong hop supporting cast using Denali, Lemon Drop, and Mosaic varietals to round out this IPA" (source).
  • Prairie Brett C, $10.09/500ml - "A farmhouse ale brewed with cascade and citra hops, and a touch of sea salt. Conditioned with brettanomyces claussenii" (source).
  • Short's ControversiAle, $2.19/12oz - "ControversiALE is an American IPA brewed exclusively with Simcoe hops originally brewed for the City Park Grill in Petoskey, MI. Earthy, citrus and pine laced aromas are instantly delectable. Large amounts of toasted grains and high alpha hops form a perfect union that creates the cool sensation of toasted sourdough covered with zesty grapefruit hop marmalade. ControversiALE has an enchantingly straightforward hop aroma, flavor, and overall intensity through ample additions of Simcoe hops. While this beer is hopped like an IPA, it drinks like a pale ale. The light, refreshing qualities of this beer make it perfect for springtime" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Summerfest, $1.79/12oz - "Since their invention in the 1840s, Pilsener-style beers have become the world’s most popular style. With a nod toward the original Czech tradition, Summerfest is brewed to feature the best of Bohemian nature. Crisp, golden, dry and incredibly drinkable, Summerfest has a delicate and complex malt flavor and spicy and floral hop character—the perfect warm weather beer" (source).
  • Stillwater Critical Thinking, $3.79/16oz - "Imperial Stout" (source).
  • Tripelroot Pack Light, $2.09/12oz - Pilsner.

Video of the Week | Summer in Michigan

Don't lose hope. Summer is coming!


Friday, April 6, 2018

New Beer Friday, Beer & Cigar Event Edition (April 6)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

On Saturday, April 14, Siciliano's Market is teaming up with Trail Point Brewing to host a beer and cigar event at the brewery's Allendale location at 6035 Lake Michigan Drive. Perdomo Special Craft Series Churchills in the Pilsner, Amber and Stout wrappers will be featured at this event and attendees will be able to pair these premium, hand-crafted smokes with Trail Point's solid offerings of premium, hand-crafted beer. The event will be held on the outdoor patio from 12pm to 6pm. There is no admission fee but please note that during the course of the event the patio will be open only to those of legal drinking age.

The Perdomo Special Craft Series is a premium line of cigars that Tabacalera Perdomo recently created to complement the aromas and flavors found in various styles of craft beer. We will be selling the cigars on site for $7.00 each and will be offering the following deals on quantity purchases.

    • Buy 4, Get One Free
    • Buy 10, Get 3 Free
    • Buy a Box, Get 8 Free
To make the event even more enticing, Slows BBQ will be on site from 5pm - 8pm. Mark your calendars now!

New and Returning Beer

  • Arcadia Salted Caramel Morning Nightcap, $2.19/12oz - "The beer lover’s consummate coffee beer, a perfect marriage of rich coffee and creamy porter. Brewed with BIGGBY® COFFEE’s Papua New Guinea blend, a roast created by Paramount Roasters especially for this collaboration. Emotes rich notes of dark chocolate, fruit, and tons of refreshingly intense coffee flavor. Oat malt lends a powerfully silky body and hints of nuttiness. Reminiscent of a refreshing cold-brew, but with a pleasant buzz. Pairs perfectly with your choice of smoking jacket, bathrobe or favorite slippers. Because when the day drags on and the night’s too long, it’s time to pickup a Nightcap" (source).
  • Blackrocks Flying Sailor, $2.29/12oz - "This beer has been an employee/pub favorite for the last few years. Falconer's flight hops hold up against the spicy, peppery, full-body from the crystal rye malt. No lack of flavor here, so quit playing with your dingy and round the break-wall" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Plien de Vie Strawberry Rhubarb, $10.89/500ml - "A Belgian-weiss beer soured in a melange of barrels and aged with Strawberries and Rhubarb. Usher in Spring with this light and bright sour ale. Take a bottle home to enjoy with friends" (source).
  • Dogfish Head Dragons and Yum Yum, $2.79/12oz - "An explosion of fruit in every sip, Dragons & YumYums is an intensely tropical - yet subtlety bitter - pale ale brewed with a combination of dragonfruit, yumberry, passionfruit, pear juice and black carrot juice. Clocking in at 6.5% ABV and 25 IBU, Dragons & YumYums is a first-of-its-kind beer and vinyl collaboration with American rock icons, The Flaming Lips" (source).
  • Epic RiNO, $2.39/12oz - "This is a bold and unpretentious beer born out of the River North Neighborhood. Combining premium English Maris Otter malt with German Specialty grains and Pacific Northwest Hops this Pale Ale is complex, and robust but also very easy going" (source).
  • Epic Triple Barrel Baptist, $21.79/22oz - "Three’s not a crowd in this limited edition Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist. We aged coconut and Blue Copper’s Colombian coffee beans in fresh whiskey barrels, while our imperial stout aged in both rum and whiskey barrels. The trio was then hand blended, creating our most over-the-top version of Big Bad Baptist yet. Best enjoyed slowly, three sips at a time" (source).
  • Founders Backwoods Bastard, $4.29/12oz - "Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate" (source).
  • Knee Deep Imperial Tanilla, $3.49/12oz - "Made with only grade-A Tahitian vanilla beans, Tanilla carries a smooth chocolate flavor complemented by the delicate intensity of vanilla beans, and a rich aroma of coffee" (source).
  • NIP Batch 21, $2.99/12oz - "All the buzz words in this guy. Fruited IPA, check. Double dry hop, check. New fun hop that is still en vogue, check. And this babe doesn't just have a sexy name either, its actually fucking delicious too. The enigma hops have a nice floral and citrus mixture of flavors, which is complemented by the healthy (and I mean we threw a fuck ton of fruit in) fruiting. A slight malt sweetness keeps it from being overly dry and drinkable. This is a guy you can do our favorite thing to do to beer, drink a bunch without getting overwhelmed.  So do your thing, enjoy the upcoming warm weather, and throw all your haters a bunch of the ol' razzle dazzle" (source).
  • Port Brewing Mongo, $2.79/16oz - "Our flagship Double IPA, Mongo harnesses the flavor of Columbus, Cascade, Centennial, and Simcoe hops. Massive resinous aroma leads to citrus notes with a piney bitterness on the finish" (source).
  • Revolution Double Dry Hopped Galaxy Hero, $2.99/12oz - "A new threat is emerging in the far reaches of outer space. To combat this enemy, Galaxy-Hero is preparing to debut his enhanced suit of armor, featuring a 5 lbs per barrel double raygun blast of Galaxy Hops" (source).
  • Revolution Sun Crusher, $1.99/12oz - "A crushable ale to celebrate the end of winter and rejoice the coming of warm weather! This Hoppy Wheat Ale is brewed with Apollo and Amarillo hops, with a dry-hop blend of Crystal, Amarillo, and Mosaic, resulting in a mellow bitterness and pronounced flowery and citrus aromas" (source).
  • Riegele Privat, $2.89/12oz - "Bright and golden in color, with a light floral hop aroma, and a soft honey, and bready malt character" (source).
  • Rochester Mills Gypsy Goddess, $2.59/16oz - "Ale with raspberries and lemons" (source).
  • Short's 13irteen, $2.59/12oz - "13irteen is a dry hopped American Sour Ale with black currants. Deep ruby red in color, this American Sour Ale has aromas of tart fruit and citrus. An initial sour flavor (that’s guaranteed to satisfy any Sour beer fan) is followed by notes of dark berry. Flavors of tart black currant coat the palate before a finish that is very dry with just a touch of citrus and a slight bitterness" (source).
  • Short's PB&J, $2.59/12oz - "PB&J is a blend of Peanut Butter Stout and Fruit Rye Ale to create a whole new concoction. Dark brown with a frothy mocha head, this beer has scents of berry and peanut butter. Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel, PB&J leads with flavors of roast and peanut butter before blending into the berries and tastes like your favorite childhood snack" (source).
  • Short's Soft Shandy, $1.89/12oz - "Soft Parade Shandy is a blend of Short’s flagship Fruit Rye Ale, Soft Parade, and homemade lemonade. This beer is raspberry in color and smells like fresh berry lemonade. Soft Parade’s signature berry flavor is enhanced by the addition of citrus. Soft Parade Shandy finishes with the faint taste of fruit candy. It is light in body and very refreshing" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Trip In The Woods, $21.39/750ml - "When beer meets barrel, incredible things happen. The passage of time and the influence of wood combine to create a final product much greater than the sum of its individual parts. Our Trip in the Woods series is designed to highlight the complex interplay between beer and barrel. Each beer has matured in a wooden cask originally used to age and mellow spirits, and the time in slumber creates rich and layered flavors unique to this difficult and hands-on process" (source).
  • Uinta Farmside Saison, $1.69/12oz - "Boasting funk & fruit notes from white wine must and gooseberries, this earthy saison is approachable yet complex" (source).

Video of the Week | A Craft Beer Story

A Craft Beer Story, starring, among others, Steve Siciliano.


Friday, March 30, 2018

New Beer Friday, Trip to Traverse Edition (March 30)

Russ Springsteen, Right Brain
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

The unseasonably warm weather we had back in late February prompted my wife and I to make the spur-of-the-moment decision to head north and spend a few days in the environs of Traverse City. We like visiting the Traverse area in the off season. The Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas are beautiful in summer and fall but I think they’re equally lovely when ice is lining the edge of the bays and the grape vines, cherry orchards and hop fields are blanketed in snow. The fact that there’s less traffic during the winter months is a nice bonus.

We took our time traveling up M-37. Because Barb and I usually take this route to our cottage, the roadside landscape has become so familiar there’s a tendency to disregard it. But the wintry hues and tones seemed to heighten my perceptions and it almost felt like I was seeing the familiar farms, barns, fields and silos for the first time. When we were just south of Baldwin we stopped at the M-37 Meat Shack and picked up a few meat sticks for me, some blistering hot jerky for Barb and a box of cheese nips that we both snacked on the rest of the way to Traverse.

We pulled into the city about five o’clock and promptly made our way to Nolan’s Cigar Bar on East Front Street. After a cigar and a Manhattan at Nolan’s we drove to Black Star Farms just south of Sutton's Bay.

Black Star Farms is our favorite place to stay when we’re sojourning in the Traverse City area. The rooms are roomy, the breakfasts (included in the price) are superb and guests can help themselves to nightly hors-d’oeuvres and estate-produced wine in the lounge. It’s rarely crowded during the off season and there was one time when Barb and I had the entire place to ourselves.

The next morning after a breakfast of fried eggs, thick cut bacon and buckwheat pancakes we strolled around the grounds and visited with the horses that are boarded on the property. Barb was slightly miffed that the horses were more interested in their breakfasts than having their foreheads petted. After bidding goodbye to the aloof, hay-munching equines we drove to RPM Records in Traverse.

RPM Records is hands down the best record store we’ve been to. The shop has a massive selection of new and used vinyl and there’s a laid back golden retriever named Leland who, unlike the horses, was appreciative of Barb's attention. We found some good buys, among them a copy of Buddy Holly's greatest hits for $7.00.

Our next stop was the Orvis store in downtown TC. I was in the market for a new fly rod and after finding exactly what I was looking for proceeded to peruse the selection of waders.

“Do you need new waders?' my wife asked me.

“I do,” I said, immediately realizing that my answer sounded more like a whine than a reply.

“Then buy them,” she said.

I looked quizzically at my normally frugal wife and restrained myself from feeling her forehead. Barb also ended up buying waders along with a gizmo that supposedly hones your fly-casting technique. She's looking forward to taking a beginning fly-fishing class next month at the Orvis store in GR.

After putting our packages in the truck we had a beer at North Peak and then took a leisurely drive up and down the Old Mission Peninsula.

“What do you think the people who live in these mansions do for a living?” Barb asked.

“I’m sure they don’t own a beer store,” I replied.

When we got back to town we decided to stop at Right Brain Brewery. “Two-dollar tacos today,” the bartender told us after we took a seat at the bar.

‘I’ll take one,” I said.

“I’ll take one too,” said my wife.

While we were sipping our beers and waiting for our two-buck lunches brewery owner Russ Springsteen spotted us and came over for a chat. After we downed the tasty tacos Russ gave us a tour of his brewhouse.

Nolan's Cigar Bar
When we left Right Brain it was just about cocktail hour so we headed back to Nolan’s. Before going into the humidor I walked up to an older fellow who was standing behind the counter in the smoke shop. “Are you Mike?” I asked him.

I had heard that Mike Nolan’s eyesight was pretty bad and he peered closely at my face. “I am,” he said.

“Steve Siciliano,” I said and stuck my hand out. Mike has owned his shop for forty years and he’s in the process of selling the business to his two managers. Barb and I had met Andy and Ben on a Perdomo factory tour a few years ago. I asked Mike how the transition was going.

“Should be final in a couple of weeks,” he said.

“Ben and Andy are good kids.”

“Oh, they’re all right,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.

Mike insisted on buying Barb and I a cigar. “Make sure you tell the bartender that you’re in the industry,” he told me. “You’ll get a discount.” After a Manhattan we walked the two short blocks down Front Street to Georgina’s for dinner.

It was just getting dark when we pulled into Black Star’s parking lot. Before going to our room we stopped at the deserted lounge and I poured two glasses of Black Star’s excellent Cabernet Franc. We sipped the wine and talked about music and fly-fishing. It was a nice night cap, and a pretty good way to end a pretty good day in a beautiful area of northern Michigan.

New and Returning Beer

  • Abita Hop On, $1.89/12oz - "Abita Hop-On is a full-bodied “juicy pale,” packed with Cascade, Citra and Ekuanot hops to deliver refreshing tropical and citrus notes. It pours a vibrant light gold while the unique brewing process produces a distinctive haze. It’s also super food-friendly, great with seafood ceviche, fresh fruit or a nice aged cheddar. Give Hop-On a try and enjoy our brewmaster’s latest journey" (source).
  • Boulevard Grand Cru, $4.49/12oz - "Grand Cru, a term that brewers have borrowed from vintners for years, literally translates to “great growth,” but has come to be used to represent a special blend or a release that is of the highest quality. To create our Grand Cru, brewers selected lots of Bourbon Barrel Quad and a double mashed imperial stout aged in freshly-emptied whiskey barrels to express the most distinctive elements of each beer, creating a delicious whole that’s even greater than the sum of its parts" (source).
  • Deschutes Pacific Wonderland, $1.99/12oz  - "We’ve always believed the best way to respect tradition is to brew the unexpected. So when we set out to create a sessionable lager befitting of the Pacific Northwest, our sense of exploration led us to this dry-hopped wonder befitting of everyday adventure. Citrusy Mandarina Bavaria hops combine with the crisp, bright character of a traditional lager to deliver a beer that is truly refreshing, and undoubtedly worth sharing" (source).
  • Founders PC Pils, $1.39/12oz - "Pleasantly crisp, perfectly clean and profoundly crushable, PC Pils is our take on the classic Pilsner style. While Noble hops have been the preferred choice of Pilsner brewers around the world, we went with some of our favorite American varieties. Piney Chinook, pleasantly citrus Cascade and punchy Centennial make this an easy-drinker with floral hop characteristics. Pretty cool, if you ask us" (source).
  • Great Lakes Cloud Cutter, $1.89/12oz - "Bursts of juicy citrus zip across friendly, lightly filtered wheat skies in our high-flying tribute to the historic Cleveland Air Races" (source).
  • Hofbrau Maibock, $2.19/12oz - "Hofbräu Maibock has the longest pedigree of all Munich’s Bocks. Its aromatic flavor and alcoholic content of approximately 7.2% by volume makes it one of the best creations from Hofbräu’s brewing kettles. Hofbräu Maibock marks one of the high points in the beer-lover’s calendar" (source).
  • Mikkeller SD Big Hazy, $5.49/16oz - "Imperial IPA Brewed with Lupulin Powder" (source).
  • Mikkeller SD Drinco de Mayo, $2.99/16oz - "Mexican Lager, Abv 4.8%. This special brew was made in collaboration w/ Silenus and Insurgente" (source).
  • Mikkeller SD Traeblood, $6.79/16oz - "Imperial maple stout" (source).
  • New Belgium Honey Orange Tripel, $2.69/12oz - "For this recipe, our brewers drew inspiration from Belgian Golden Strong Ale, a style we love. We sought out the very best ingredients, sourcing wild honey from the African Bronze Honey Company, a member of the Fair Trade Federation and a certified B-Corp. The Seville orange peel is freshly ground 24 hours prior to the day we brew by the Old Town Spice Shop, less than one mile from our Fort Collins, Colorado brewery. In the end, we created a big, sweet and citrusy Belgian-style Tripel with thoughtfully sourced ingredients" (source).
  • North Coast BA Old Rasputin, $23.29/500ml - "Every year we age a special batch of our much-loved Russian Imperial Stout in Bourbon barrels. The depth, intensity, and complexity of the flavor profile of this special release, like its predecessors, make it a worthy tribute to Old Rasputin" (source).
  • Ommegang Hand of the Queen, $12.99/750ml - "A beer brewed for Tyrion Lannister. As one who knows a great many things, Tyrion knows and loves wine above all else, so Hand of the Queen is a big, bold barleywine, a beer fit for those who seek knowledge and truth, both great and small" (source).
  • Right Brain Blue Magic, $1.99/12oz  - "Blue Magic Lavender Wheat Ale is a uniquely different & refreshing brew. Did we mention it’s magical too? It’s brewed with local honey from Honey Pot Priory & fresh local lavender from Light Of Day Organics. This is a straight forward wheat with dried lavender. This brew has a floral nose and a wheat finish" (source).
  • Rogue Kulture Clash, $14.39/750ml - "A clash of beer and kombucha cultures create this unique sour ale" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada BFD, $2.19/19.2oz - "There are days when you want a beer—just a beer—that hits all the right spots. Well, this is it. No snifters required, no special occasions—just an unfussy, uncomplicated, hoppy blonde ale brewed to fit in no matter where it goes. This isn’t beer for collecting, this is beer for drinking" (source).
  • Watermark Homage, $3.49/16oz - "Traditional German Hefeweizen" (source).
  • Watermark King Prawn, $4.69/16oz - "King Prawn, our New England style IPA and dry hopped twice with mosaic hops" (source).

Video of the Week | Watermark, In a Can

From Watermark to Siciliano's.


Friday, March 23, 2018

A Formal Call for Homebrew Judges (2018)

This is a formal call for judges and stewards for the Fifteenth Annual Siciliano's Homebrew Contest, one of Michigan's premier homebrew competitions. This a BJCP registered event.

The following is pertinent information regarding the judging for the 2018 Siciliano's competition.

    • Date: Saturday, April 21
    • Location: 17 Seward Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
    • Check in for judges & stewards: 10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
    • Judging: 11:15 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    • Best-of-Show judging: 3:30 p.m.
    • Competition organizer: Steve Siciliano,, 616-453-9674
Coffee and pastries will be provided in the morning and there will be a lunch and liquid refreshments at the conclusion of the judging.

If you plan on participating in this year's competition either as a judge or a steward please go to this website. After logging in you will be able to register as a judge or a steward.


After logging in, click on the 4/21 Judging Session and indicate whether you will be participating as a judge or a steward. If you are registering as a judge, click the "Update Judging Preferences" button after indicating your judging preferences and dislikes.

Preregistration is encouraged as it will help reduce lines at the check-in table on the day of the judging.

Please ensure that you arrive at the judging venue by 10:30 a.m. so that the competition staff can organize flights and complete table assignments by the 11:15 judging start time.

Please be reminded that your participation as a steward or judge does not preclude you from entering a beer in this competition.

Friday, March 16, 2018

New Beer Friday, Homebrew Party Edition (March 16)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

The annual Siciliano's Homebrew Party will be held this year on Saturday, May 19, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the enclosed shelter at Johnson Park. We are making major changes to the format of one of Beer City USA's most popular home brewing events. The following are the pertinent details:

The event will be free of charge and participants do not need tickets to attend. The party will be family friendly (children are welcome) and will be more of an open house and picnic style format. Participants should bring their own food, paper plates and eating utensils and some homebrew to drink and share. If you are not a homebrewer simply bring a six-pack or two of your favorite beer. In addition to securing the venue, Siciliano's will be providing solo cups and bottled water.

The Best-of-Show winner of the Siciliano's Cup will be announced at 4:00 pm.
Just a reminder that entry registration for the Fifteenth Annual Siciliano's Homebrew Competition opens on Monday, March 19. Go here for competition details.

New and Returning Beer

  • Evil Twin Hazelnut Imperial Biscotti Break, $4.39/16oz - "Imperial Biscotti Chili Hazelnut Break is an 11.5 percent ABV imperial stout brewed with both coffee and chili along with hazelnut and vanilla extracts. While the stout is similar to the beer Evil Twin created exclusively for New York-based DeCicco Family Markets in 2013, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, owner of Evil Twin, told Tenemu in an email it is “not 100%” the same beer" (source).
  • Evil Twin Kolata IPA, $3.89/16oz - "IPA with lactose, pineapple and coconut" (source).
  • Evil Twin Molotov Surprise #3, $3.29/12oz - "This triple IPA w/ peaches is the newest addition to the rotational "Molotov Surprise" series" (source).
  • Evil Twin No Hero, $2.99/16oz - "An alien-like outsider, always flirting with oddity and exploring anxiety and paranoia. A style chameleon, a wonderful labyrinth and truly a transcendent genius. It’s impossible not to idolize out of proportion. This is a stout. It may not be a hero but it’s attractive, clever and hungry for stardom" (source).
  • Evil Twin Rhubarb Compote, $5.49/16oz - "Rhubarb is without a doubt my favorite vegetable. i have wanted to brew with it for years but never got around to it. until now! i don’t know about you, but this is my most anticipated evil twin beer in a long time" (source).
  • New Belgium Blackberry Whiskey Barrel-Aged Oscar, $15.99/375ml - "Oscar Aged in Blackberry Whiskey Barrels is a dark sour ale aged in blackberry-flavored whiskey barrels. It's part of our Wood Cellar Reserve series, a collection of rare, small-batch wild and sour ales expertly aged by the most award-winning sour brewery in America. From individual barrel expressions, fruit and spice experimentation and fermentation explorations, the Wood Cellar Reserve represents our most ambitious efforts in our two biggest passions – wood and beer. The beer inside contains the longest, continuous souring culture in America and will develop in the bottle for up to five years. Each batch is bottled-conditioned and 100% naturally carbonated, allowing for the perfect texture and carbonation that our blenders intended for this beer" (source).
  • Omnipollo Belgo, $5.19/12oz - "Belgian-style IPA" (source).
  • Omnipollo Fatamorgana, $4.09/12oz - "Drawing inspiration from the fidelity of a saison — rustic, alluringly cloudy and crisp — this imperial IPA was brewed using oats and wheat. Dry-hopped twice and completely untouched post fermentation to preserve aroma and flavor" (source).
  • Petoskey Robusta Nut, $2.59/16oz - "Robust porter, brewed with shredded coconut amd cocoa nibs, meshing nicely with the rich coffee undertones" (source).
  • Revolution Galaxy-Hero, $2.39/12oz - "Brewed for the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, this IPA shoots a raygun blast of Galaxy hops into your mouth and leaves a crisp, dry finish. This IPA has big hop flavors and aromas of tropical fruit and citrus" (source).
  • Stillwater Strobe Lights, $5.69/16oz - "Double dry-hopped india pale ale" (source).
  • Stillwater/Oliver Trendsetter, $4.09/12oz - "Kettle sour IPA, dry hopped with Pacific Gem and Hallertau Blanc. Notes of dried apricot, overripe plum and caramel fruit cake … an Autumnal delight" (source).
  • Stillwater/Oliver Whipped Nitro Mango IPA, $5.49/16oz - "Nitro Double IPA brewed with over 500lbs of pureed mangos, vanilla bean, and lactose, then double dry hopped with over 130lbs of Citra and Simcoe hops" (source).
  • Short's Obliviate, $2.59/12oz - "Obliviate is a caramel brown colored Belgian Quadrupel with fruity aromatics of black cherry and apple, alongside the looming presence of notable alcohol vapors. Sweet brown sugar and hard candy flavors transition quickly to a warming, almost hot mouthfeel. The lingering effect of the high alcoholic strength creates a slight dryness, as if it evaporates from the palate" (source).
  • Blackrocks Murray Project, $3.39/12oz - "Named after our mash tun (which has a giant Bill Murray headshot on it), the Murray Project is an explosion of bright, tropical aromas with a malt profile that would have goldilocks saying just right" (source).
  • Boulder Shake, $1.99/12oz - "Our twist on the traditional robust American Porter, Shake Chocolate Porter is dark black in color with rich, sweet aromatics and flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and caramel. This unique brew blends five different grains, including Chocolate Wheat, that along with cacao nibs create a devilishly delicious chocolate finish with a velvety mouthfeel" (source).
  • Lagunitas Lucky 13, $5.19/22oz - "From the first day of the first mash of the first recipe in the first brewhouse in the first space to these coordinates on the cone of space-time; We have worked hard to walk in the footsteps of our hero brewers. Now we have found our own voice as brewers but our admiration for the Great Ones has not dimmed one bit. If we walked well down the hero’s path, perhaps we too have been an inspiration for others. Beer is a Bronze Age business and we feel honored to leave our footprints on it’s path into history- at the same time leaving our flavors on your buds. Obey those Buds! Thanks for your trust over the years and we hope you enjoy this specially brewed Hi-Gravity Auburn offering. Beer Speaks, People Mumble" (source).

Video of the Week | MumblePhone

What happens when you put your phone number on beer bottles? This.


Friday, March 9, 2018

New Beer Friday, Semi-Retired Edition (March 9)

Coup d'état mastermind
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Well I guess it's time for this old merchant to finally admit that I've officially passed into the state of semi-retirement. I've been preparing for this transition for a while now. I put a management team in place and for the past year I've been grooming their skills. I've gradually — albeit somewhat reluctantly — surrendered most of my operational duties. I've given Sarah, Kati and John the authorization to make decisions. I'm confident that this store can effectively run without me.

But I have to admit that I've been struggling with the prospect of assuming a diminished role, of kicking myself to the curb, of putting myself out to pasture. To be honest, the thought of total and absolute retirement scares the hell out of me. I've been a merchant for thirty-seven of my sixty-seven years and I guess I'm afraid of losing a part of my identity.

I realize that I'm in the minority when it comes to my attitude about hanging up the spikes. Most folks my age are already retired and almost all of them couldn't wait for the day they could say adios. I have a good friend who's a postal worker and he's counting down the days. But it's hard to just walk away from something you've spent more than half your life building.

The stark realization that I'm now officially semi-retired smacked me like a two-by-four upside the head a few weeks ago after my wife and I returned from a Caribbean cruise. The first day back to work I saw that I had essentially been eliminated from the schedule.

"Why don't you just keep plugging me in for a few hours each day?" I asked Sarah.

"I'm getting ready for the time you and Barb are gone during the winter," our GM replied matter of factly.

So there you have it. My GM is trying to push me out. She might think that the coup d'état is complete but she couldn't be more wrong. She can't get rid of me that easily and I adamantly refuse to go gently into that good night of retirement. If I'm in town I'm still going to work every day. What else do I have to do?

Last Saturday I got to the store about nine-thirty. The morning paperwork was done and Kati and John were restocking beer and tidying up the shelves. I sat at my desk, turned on the computer and perused the sports pages. When it got busy I helped on the register and hauled beer- and wine-making equipment out of the warehouse. After wheeling out a stack of bottles to a customer's car I picked up a shoe and a flattened beer can that were laying on the edge of the parking lot. I made a mental note to mention it to the leader of the coup. A little thing like picking up a discarded sneaker is simply what a head honcho has to do.

New and Returning Beer

  • Atwater Whango Mango, $1.59/12oz - "American-Style Wheat Beers are similar in malt bill to their German Weizen cousins, but exhibit much less yeast characteristic. These may be filtered or unfiltered and exhibit low to medium hop bitterness and aroma" (source).
  • EB Lager, $1.79/12oz - First brewed in Detroit, Michigan in 1884, it's quality and taste appealed to the factory workers, construction workers, and the downtown executives. As always, quality and the great taste and no bitter aftertaste of E-B.
  • Mikkeller SD Windy Hill, $3.49/16oz - Windy Hill IPA with citra and amarillo hops.
  • N.I.P. Batch 15, $2.99/12oz - "Lupulin powder is one of our favorite things to play with. Juicy and not overly bitter, the differences in hops are really allowed to shine. In this particular iteration of that idea we took a bunch of citra and ekuanot and allowed them to play their little dance of cyro hop powder. Grab some of this hoppy science experiment that we did and let us know what you think" (source).
  • N.I.P. Batch 19, $2.99/12oz - "Rice can get a bad rap as an adjunct in craft beer because of the fact that Budweiser likes to use it, but we think it can be a part of some really delicious brews. One of our favorite ways to utilize this grain is in a nice juicy IPA. Because rice doesn't have a ton of flavor by itself, it allows us to get the alcohol to where we want it to be, which is obviously on the higher end, while still allowing the hops to really shine. This particular guy has a ton of citra and mosaic hops to create a deliciously drinkable, yet still high octane brew" (source).
  • N.I.P. Batch 20, $2.99/12oz - "With the weather still being a little chilly we wanted to make something dark, but we weren't really feeling a stout. So why not take some fun specialty malt and make an off the wall black gose! Throw a metric fuckton of blackberries in there, some key lime, and some black Himalayan sea salt and the result is this banging brew. Surprisingly drinkable for the color with a perfect balance of acidity, this is the perfect beer to kick off the turn of the seasons" (source).
  • North Coast Beachmaster, $3.29/12oz - "Beachmaster, an Imperial IPA, is a tribute and companion to our flagship beer, Ruedrich’s Red Seal Ale, honoring the mighty Northern Elephant Seals that frequent our coast from Mexico to Alaska. Artist Mike Patrick, whose work has appeared on several of our labels including Red Seal Ale, Old No. 38 Stout, and North Coast Steller IPA, created the bull Elephant Seal illustration" (source).
  • North Coast Stellar IPA, $2.29/12oz - "Our location, on the northern California coast, is in close proximity to the migratory path of gray whales and the southern habitat of orcas. The plight of Steller sea lions and their declining populations is an issue that resonates with us. This is also the birthplace of whale activism. In the spirit of the Mendocino Whale Wars of the late 1960s and early 70s, North Coast Brewing is pledging our support to marine mammal research conducted in coastal areas throughout the Pacific. For every case of North Coast Steller IPA sold, North Coast Brewing makes a contribution to marine mammal research" (source).
  • Terrapin Hi-5, $1.99/12oz - "This IPA features 5 tropical, orange, & citrusy aromatic and flavorful hops, a medium body with biscuit and caramel malt notes that bring balance to the beer. This California Style IPA’s big citrusy aroma and huge hop presence will keep you in awe sip after sip" (source).
  • Terrapin Hopsecutioner, $1.99/12oz - "Light copper in color, this IPA has an aroma. of fresh pine and citrus. A strong malt backbone provides balance to an assertive hop bitterness" (source).
  • Terrapin Recreationale, $1.39/12oz - "This hopped up session ale is light bodied with a present hop bitterness and a crisp finish. Dry hopped with Galaxy hops, this beer presents a subtle peach and passionfruit aroma" (source).
  • Tripelroot Pure Mackinac, $2.99/12oz - "Double IPA brewed with Mackinac hops, developed by Great Lakes Hops in Zeeland, MI and grown by Egypt Valley Hopyards, in Ada, MI" (source).

Video of the Week | North Coast

Good beer for a good cause — North Coast Stellar IPA.


Friday, March 2, 2018

New Beer Friday, Bowling with Elvis Edition (March 2)

Steve's conch lunch
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

I think it was late summer last year when my wife first mentioned going on a February cruise with some of her New Jersey relatives and a group of their Garden State friends. I have to admit that I wasn't captivated by the idea. I love to travel but the prospect of being mostly confined to a floating hotel for a week and visiting touristy and pretentious ports-of-call appealed to me as much as a case of the shingles.

When I travel to foreign lands I like visiting locales where I can get a true feel for the culture and that usually translates into going to areas where there aren't hordes of marauding tourists. But as I've gotten older I've grown wiser and one lesson I've learned is the importance of keeping my wife happy. I told Barb that a cruise sounded absolutely wonderful.

Other than a few downsides, it was.

There was only one pool on the ship and so on the days we were at sea the pool area was unbearably crowded, it was almost impossible to find a deck chair and you had to stand in long lines to get a drink. And whether the ship was in port or at sea the massive main cafeteria was continuously crowded and you had to be as agile as an Olympic athlete to keep from being trampled by the voracious throngs trying to get to the food tables.

But the food was superb, not only in that massive cafeteria but also at the French, Italian and Japanese restaurants we dined at. There was a nice raw bar on the ship where one afternoon my buddy Mike Deangelo and I consumed three dozen oysters each along with side dishes of excellent ceviche and tuna tartare.

Barb was savvy enough to book shore excursions that got us away from the madding crowds. One was to an island off Belize where we hung out with some American expats at a watering hole called the Pickled Parrot. After leaving the bar our group got caught in a torrential but brief rain shower and we had to take shelter with some locals under a stand of low hanging palm trees. Later we found a hole in a wall café where we lunched on conch and Caribbean lobster at unbelievably low prices.

There was a cigar lounge on the ship and that's where I hung out every night with Tommy Batista from Brooklyn, Paul from Pennsylvania and a number of other cigar aficionados. While we smoked our cigars we put a good dent in the lounge's quality inventory of scotch, bourbon and rum.

On one blustery evening at sea we went to a show which featured Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins impersonators. Later that night Elvis and Jerry Lee showed up in the cigar lounge and much, much later that same night Barb and I rolled a couple of games with the two rock legends on a bowling machine in the game room.

I blamed my high percentage of gutter balls on the rocking and rolling of the wave-tossed ship.

New Beer Friday

  • Abita Creole Cream, $1.89/12oz - "Ready for a tasty break from the super-heavy and super-hoppy? Our new Creole Cream Ale is all about easy drinking and interesting flavors. It’s Abita’s unique take on a true American style, brewed with pale malted barley for sweetness and Louisiana-grown Blanca Isabel Purple Rice for a crisp, dry finish. Mild dry-hopping delivers a pleasant fruity, piney aroma that balances the grains. And the welcoming result is a lighter, warm-weather ale that’s not too fancy and always fun — the perfect partner for everything from a front porch jam session to a Sunday sauce piquant" (source).
  • Anchor Brewer's Pale, $1.89/12oz - "We asked Anchor’s brewers to create a beer just for them. What they came up with was Brewers’ Pale Ale, a bright and fruity American Pale Ale bursting with hop aroma and flavor. It was so good that we just had to share it. We couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to this latest brew on Anchor’s roster of beers" (source).
  • Avery Uncle Jacob, $15.19/12oz  - "Jacob Spears, our 6th Great Grand Uncle, is credited as the first distiller to label his whiskey “Bourbon.” He built his distillery in Bourbon County Kentucky in 1790 — 203 years before we began brewing. While obviously a bit too late to produce Uncle Jacob’s wash, we’ve instead created something far more complex. In his honor, we present this robust, silky smooth, full-bodied and altogether extremely American rendition of an Imperial Stout aged for 6 months in the very finest Bourbon barrels. This explains a lot about our penchant for big brews! It’s in our blood" (source).
  • Ballast Point Tart Peach, $1.89/12oz  - "Our Tart Peach Kolsch is a fresh take on one of our very first beers. The juicy aroma and flavor of ripe peach complements the subtle fruitiness from the Kolsch yeast in this bright, refreshing ale. Add a tickle of tartness to round out the senses, and you get a new brew that’s interestingly delightful" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Contemplation, $3.79/16oz - "A favorite at our pub in Grand Rapids, this beer represents Belgian artistry at its finest. Sourcing top quality, Michigan-grown hops and Michigan-harvested honey make this golden ale a harbinger of Springtime. The honey introduced to the boil contributes color and complexity but adds little sweetness to the beer as those sugars are consumed during fermentation. Look for whispers of apricot and nectarine on the palate, mixed in with the floral aroma of hops grown in northern Michigan. This is a beer worth pondering upon each sip" (source).
  • Dark Horse Rain in Blood, $2.19/12oz - "Our tribute to the late Jeff Hanneman and the greatest band of all time, Slayer. This pale ale is brewed with fresh blood oranges and blood orange juice that is hand squeezed at the brewery. It should be enjoyed fresh and paired with delicious heavy metal. SLAYER!" (source).
  • Founders Solid Gold, $1.39/12oz - "Our brewery was built on an attitude of no regrets. An attitude of taking risks to bring the best beer possible to our fellow renegades and rebels. Never brewing to style, but always brewing what we want to drink. Our take on a classic, Solid Gold is a drinkable premium lager brewed with the highest quality ingredients. Challenging what a lager can be? That’s something we won’t regret" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Downtown Bourbon Brown, $3.59/16oz - "Brown Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels with Espresso Beans" (source).
  • Heavy Seas Alpha Effect, $2.39/12oz - "With a lightning strike of exotic hops, the Alpha Effect is a hazy and dank IPA thundering with juicy hop aroma and flavor. With a hefty 7%, the Alpha Effect has enough malt to balance the ridiculous amount of hops we used to create this category 5 monster. Hazy, but never muddy, this is an expertly brewed IPA" (source).
  • Lagunitas Cappuccino, $5.19/22oz - "Coffee is my shepherd; I shall not doze. It maketh me to wake in green pastures. It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses. It restoreth my brain, It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for it's name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of sleep, I will fear no artificial sweetener for thou art with me; Thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me. Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of my zzz's, Thou anointest my day with sunlight; My cup runneth over. Surely richness and flavor shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of Cappuccino forever... Let us sip... or whatever..." (source).
  • Odd Side Troll Toll, $2.19/12oz - "West Coast Session IPA with Lactose" (source).
  • Original Sin Black Widow, $2.39/12oz - "Wild blackberries are native across the Atlantic and pacific coasts of the United States. They grow bountifully throughout summer and ripen to a plump juicy black color in August. They belong to the rose family, as you might expect from their thorny brambles, along with raspberries, strawberries, the stone fruits, and almonds. Any forager can use blackberries to make wine or infuse whiskey, or enjoy in 12 oz cans with freshly pressed New York apples from Original Sin" (source).
  • Original Sin Dry Rose, $2.39/12oz - "Freshly pressed New York apples make all the difference in this blush-colored cider" (source).
  • Rochester Mills Blueberry Pancake Milkshake, $2.59/16oz - "One of our fan favorites from the 12 Days of Milkshake Stout, Blueberry Pancake Flavored Mikshake Stout™ is a unique brew that surprises the senses combining the distinct scent and taste of blueberries layered with the familiar taste of Milkshake Stout™ and a pleasant aftertaste of pancakes. Blueberry Pancake bridges the gap and appeals to non-beer drinkers as well. Limited Release and by special arrangement" (source).
  • Sam Adams Rebel Anytime IPA, $1.29/12oz - "Rebel Anytime IPA has a huge citrus hop aroma that gives way to grapefruit, tropical fruit, and floral notes. The light-bodied mouthfeel balances the hops for a bright, crisp IPA that’s perfect for anytime whether you’re unwinding after work or enjoying a day at the beach" (source).
  • Sam Adams New England IPA, $2.69/16oz - "The slight sweetness is perfectly balanced by the pineapple and grapefruit hop character, without being overly bitter. Clocking in at 6.8% ABV and a low 35 IBUs, the unfiltered IPA provides a burst of fruited hop aroma and leaves drinkers wanting another sip. In comparison to West Coast style IPAs which have prominent hop bitterness and a light, dry mouthfeel, New England IPA’s are generally known for a juicy, luscious mouthfeel and opaque, hazy appearance - and are best enjoyed fresh" (source).
  • Saugatuck Maggie's Irish Ale, $1.89/12oz - "A beautiful mahogany color and well rounded flavors of caramel and tea with subtle hints of malt and a dry finish" (source).
  • Short's Cats Pajama's, $2.59/12oz - "Cat’s Pajamas is a Double IPA brewed with blood orange and guava. This India Pale Ale is pale orange in color with big aromas of sweet, tropical fruit. Cat’s Pajamas is balanced with flavors of sweet fruit and bitter hops and has a resinous, mouth coating feel. High in ABV, this beer finishes dry with a bit of warmth" (source).
  • Victory Home Grown, $1.99/12oz - "Six varieties of American whole flower hops pack bold and juicy flavors into this crisp, drinkable lager. Meet Victory Home Grown. Your NEW American Lager" (source).

Video of the Week | Rain in Blood

Now available at Siciliano's.


Friday, February 23, 2018

New Beer Friday, Fake Cohibas Edition (February 23)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

My wife and I were cruising in the Caribbean last week and while on shore in Cozumel we spent a few hours sitting at a shaded table outside a waterfront bar. While we sipped Salty Dogs (Grey Goose vodka, grapefruit juice and a slice of lime in a salt rimmed glass. Refreshingly cool on a blistering hot afternoon), we watched roaming peddlers hawking wares to hordes of meandering tourists. One peddler standing on a nearby street corner was waving a small box above his head and when he glanced in my direction I motioned him over to the table.

"How much?" I asked after inspecting the cigars in the glass-topped box.

"Fifty dollars," he said.

"How do I know they're real?" I asked him.

He assured me that the five cigars were authentic Cuban Cohibas.

"Hmm," I said. "I'm not sure I like the way they look."

"Forty dollars," he said.

"But they look pretty rough."

"Thirty-five," he told me. "The best price."

"Let me think about it," I said.

I handed the box back to him and he went back to hawking the cigars on the crowded sidewalk.

I knew the Cohibas were fake. I knew they were fake as soon as I looked at them but the stash of cigars I had brought with me on the trip was running low and I was willing to take a chance on the bogus Cubans if I could get them at a good price. "How bad could they be?" I thought to myself.

After I paid our tab I stuck a twenty in my shirt pocket and as soon as we got up to leave the peddler walked up to me.

"Thirty dollars," he said.

"No," I said and kept on walking.


I stopped and took the bill out of my pocket. "This is all that I'll pay," I told him. He handed me the box and I handed him the twenty.

Later that night in the cigar lounge on the ship I fired up one of the bogus Cohibas. It was harsh and bitter and had the acrid aroma of burning oak leaves. I discarded the cigar after three puffs. I gave three of the fake Cohibas to three fellow cigar smokers I had met on the trip after warning them how awful they were. I tossed the last one in the waste basket in my stateroom.

One of the things I like about traveling is the fact that sometimes you have to take calculated risks. I knew those sticks weren't authentic Cohibas, same as I knew they weren't worth the $50 asking price. What I didn't know was if the fakes would be any good or even smokable. I took a chance and came up short. It happens sometimes. How boring would traveling be — for that matter, how boring would life be — if the weather was always perfect, all scenarios were guaranteed and all cigars were Cuban.

New and Returning Beer

  • Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Barrel Aged Stout, $11.69/22oz - "Aged for three months in Wild Turkey® Bourbon barrels, this luxurious stout has a deep ebony hue and a beautiful mahogany head. The woody, vanilla-like notes imparted by the barrels mingle with aromas of fresh baked bread, toffee, and espresso and envelop the rich chocolate and roasted barley flavors with a fine bourbon character" (source).
  • Ballast Point BA Victory at Sea, $4.09/12oz - "Our Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with vanilla and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate" (source).
  • Creston Pilz, $3.89/16oz - "Mi zuper saazer hops and pilot makt house pilsner malt" (source).
  • Dark Horse Thirsty Trout, $2.09/12oz - "Thirsty Trout is a rich, robust American Porter. Dark brown in color with medium to heavy body and hints of light roast. Aromas of chocolate leave way to a full mouthfeel and somewhat sweet finish to make this porter a desirable companion..Thirsty Trout is a rich, robust American Porter that will have you yelling "CHOCOLATE!" after the first whiff. Dark brown in color with medium body and hints of light roast. The aromas of chocolate cupcake lead the way to a sweet caramel and toffee body that finish beautifully with hops. Stay trout my friends" (source).
  • Deschutes American Wheat, $1.99/12oz - "Crafted in our Bend Pub as an easy-drinking crowd favorite, this American Wheat Ale is sessionable year-round. With a subtle hop aroma and thirst quenching citrus finish, it’s the perfect companion for adventure anytime, anywhere" (source).
  • Gonzo's BiggDogg Yummy Hoppy Double IPA, $3.49/16oz - "Our specialty DIPA begins with a fruity prelude that disguises the inevitable impact of seven different level hop varieties. As you sip and maybe even share, we think you’ll agree with our decree to simply call it what it is: yummy and hoppy! 91 IBUs" (source).
  • Odd Side Car Ramrod, $2.39/12oz - "Imperial Black Citra Pale Ale" (source).
  • Odd Side Morning Wood, $6.49/12oz (2 per) - "This complex imperial chocolate coffee stout aged in bourbon barrels provides a mouth watering vanilla, oak, whiskey, chocolate and espresso flavors" (source).
  • Odd Side Occular Pat Down, $2.49/12oz - "Vanilla Coffee Porter" (source).
  • Perrin Big Griz, $12.49/22oz - "This bourbon barrel imperial brown ale was crafted with specialty malts and unique hops from all over the world. Undertones of fresh American oak and vanilla carry through with not-so-subtle hints of warm maple syrup and melted caramel sweetness that book end this uncommon monstrosity of a beer" (source).
  • Pigeon Hill Your Mom on French Toast, $4.69/12oz - "We also call this the “Morning After Stout,” because it’s a perfect way to ease the pain on the morning after a night of celebrating. By combining our Imperial Stout with maple, vanilla, and cinnamon, we created a beer that is both bold and comforting, with a flavor that unmistakably reminds us of your mom’s French toast" (source).
  • Roak Blow Your Face Out, $3.59/12oz  - "A double IPA loaded with Mosaic and Chinook hops" (source).
  • Rogue Cold Brew 2.0, $2.29/12oz - "Blonde Ale blended with cold brew coffee" (source).
  • Rogue Honey Kolsch, $2.29/12oz - "Situated just across from 40 acres of Rogue hops, 119 colonies of bees are carefully kept and fed and the honey is uncapped, extracted, filtered and finally infused into a refreshing Honey Kolsch Ale" (source).
  • Stone Exalted, $2.29/12oz - "Stone Exalted IPA represents the elevated state of reverence that Stone extols for the venerable and almighty Hop. Loral & Citra hops have been anointed to bestow their divine qualities on this sacred brew. This limited release is part of Stone’s Hop Worship Seasonal IPA Series…Glory be to those who imbibe it in its freshest form…and faithfully worship thy Hop in the beauty of blissful bitterness" (source).

Video of the Week | Ballast Point

Enjoy this fascinating aerial tour of Ballast Point Brewery.


Friday, February 16, 2018

New Beer Friday, Hop Pre-Order Edition (February 16)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

We have exciting news for anyone looking to establish or expand a hop garden this spring. This year the folks at Sandy Ridge Farms in Zeeland, Michigan, will once again be supplying us with established hop plants as opposed to the hop rhizomes we have offered in the past. According to the growers at Sandy Ridge, the advantages to purchasing established hop plants versus rhizomes are three-fold:
  1. An established plant eliminates the risk of questionable viability as often found with rhizomes. It is typically recommended to plant more than one rhizome per pot/hole which increases costs.
  2. An established plant with a developed root system and mature top growth will produce larger yields in the first 2 years than a planted rhizome.
  3. Hop plants are susceptible to virus and disease out in the hop yard. A rhizome from an infected plant will produce another infected plant. Plants are obtained from the National Clean Plant Network at Washington State University where they are virus/viroid tested prior to being shipped. Sandy Ridge Farms has a strict protocol in place regarding clean plants and preventative pest-management. A healthy plant produces more hop cones.
We will be taking hop plant pre-orders now through the end of business on Thursday, March 22. Those wishing to place orders may do so via email (, by phone (616-453-9674) or in person here at Siciliano's. When ordering by email please ensure that you indicate the desired quantity of the specified variety. Price per plant is $8.59 and payment will not be due until the time of pickup.

We anticipate that the hops plants will be available for pickup by the end of May. Those placing orders will be personally notified when the shipment arrives. Go here to see a full list of the hop plants being offered. Please note that this list includes Hallertau m.f. but they are not available this year.

Sandy Ridge Farms

New and Returning Beer

  • New Holland Passion Blaster, $1.99/12oz - "Passion Fruit, Tropical Peaks. Rosy Ale, Blush as Raspberry Cheeks. Exotic notes excite your tongue, the satisfying adventure has just begun" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Love Shadow, $7.19/16 - "Bourbon Barrel Aged Plow Horse Imperial Stout" (source).
  • Schramm's Mead Blackberry, $46.39/750ml - "Schramm's Blackberry Mead is made with raw, unfiltered honey and whole blackberries. It is an intensely fruity, medium sweet melomel with vanilla and cinnamon aromatics. This hand-crafted beverage pairs well with creamy cheeses, duck, veal and good company. Serve at cellar temperature or lightly chilled" (source).
  • Upland Cherry, $24.99/750ml - "When we started experimenting with Belgian-style sour ales back in 2006, we immediately knew we wanted to add cherries to our program. We get over 4,500 lbs of red, tart Montmorency cherries each year from King Orchards in northern Michigan. We add the cherries to the mildly tart sour ale base and let it ferment for three more months before kegging and bottling, giving this barrel-aged fruited sour ale the distinct cherry characteristics. The beer pours with rich hues of red and pink foam, with zesty effervescence. Tart cherries dominate the aroma, with hints of wine and cider, and the finish is dry, with lingering cherry fruitiness" (source).
  • Upland Prim, $9.29/500ml - "Sometimes a name says it all. Prim was inspired by blending the names of the two main ingredients, plum and cardamom. This sour ale uses Basis as the base beer, adding whole plums to capture the sweet fruit flavor and tartness of the skins, and the incredibly aromatic cardamom. Prim is aged in wine barrels for 4-6 months, further intensifying the complex flavors of this brew. It’s tart, fruity, herbaceous, and very refreshing" (source).
  • Upland Crimson, $13.99/500ml - "Crimson, formerly released as Malefactor, is an American take on a Belgian Flanders-style Red Ale. Upland’s twist on this classic brewing style is aging the beer for eight months in previously used bourbon barrels rather than white oak, which contributes to a slightly higher ABV than most Upland sours, clocking in at 10%. Crimson pours a dark copper beer with hues of red and amber. Long fermentation reveals aromas of plum, red wine and cherry. The bourbon barrels add subtle notes of charred dark oak to this medium-bodied sour ale. Crimson finishes dry with notes of tanginess" (source).
  • Upland Oak And White, $13.99/500ml - "Our relationship with Bloomington-based Oliver Winery continues in this bottle of Oak & White. Ten years ago, we traded beer for barrels from the winery to create our first batches of sour beer. Today, we still age many of our sours-such as this one-on previously used, neutral, Oliver oak wine barrels. This blend of base sour blonde ale aged in Traminette grapes from Oliver’s Creekbend Vineyard creates tart flavors reminiscent of a dry white wine. Beer and wine drinkers alike will love this creation" (source).
  • Upland Peach, $24.99/750ml - "We first began experimenting with Belgian-style ales in 2006, and fresh, whole peaches were selected as one of the first fruits to add to the sour beer that we had fermented for over eight months in white oak barrels. We use 7,000 pounds of fresh Indiana peaches from Huber’s Orchard and Winery in Starlight, Indiana, destoning the peach pits by hand before adding to the barrels. Peach is a fruited ale with gold and straw colors that shine upon pouring, and zesty amounts of carbonation. Fresh peach aromas meld with floral and wine-like notes. Wonderful peach flavors follow in the taste, accompanied by refreshing tartness with a dry finish and mouth-watering tanginess" (source).
  • Short's Batch 8000, $17.39/22oz - "Batch 8000 is a Quadruple IPA with raspberry brewed in celebration of the 8,000th batch of beer brewed at the Short’s Brewing Production Facility in Elk Rapids. Pale amber in color, this beer carries scents of dank berries and tropical fruit. Slightly sweet to start it is quickly balanced by the tart raspberry and pungent hops. Intense citrusy dank hops coat the drinkers’ mouth balancing the high alcohol content. Powerful, intense, and boozy, Batch 8000 is the perfect sipper to share" (source).
  • Odd Side Dank Frank, $2.79/12oz - "Imperial version of Dirty Dank Juice. Hazy NE style IPA" (source).
  • Left Hand Chai Milk Stout Nitro, $2.89/16oz - "Super smooth Milk Stout Nitro with aromatic spices" (source).
  • Dogfish Head Wood-Aged Bitches Brew, $3.89 - "The Bitches is back, only this time we aged it our oak and Palo tanks! An off-centered twist on our classic Bitches Brew, Wood-Aged Bitches Brew is still the same bold, dark, Imperial Stout you know and love" (source).
  • Darkhorse Barrel Aged Scotty Karate, $6.19/12oz - "If the original Scotty Karate wasn’t enough for you, check out what happens when we age it in bourbon barrels for a while. We brew this big bold scotch ale with cherry wood smoked malt instead of the traditional peat smoked malt offering up warm notes of coffee, caramel and sweet caramelized brown sugar. We then age it in bourbon barrels for several months to pick up some mellow vanilla and oak notes to bring you a mature, quite refined Scotty Karate" (source).
  • Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Blackberry Porter, $4.59/12oz - "This is a big and dark beer with bold flavors to ease you into spring. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Blackberry Porter has been brewed with the official state fruit of Kentucky and aged in bourbon barrels. This spring seasonal comes out with the bold roasted malt flavors complemented by a nose of fresh blackberries" (source).
  • Flensburger Pils, $2.89/11.2oz - "Ingredients: Water, barley malt, hop extract" (source).
  • Flensburger Dunkel, $2.89/11.2oz - "The dark site of pleasure. Fine bitter, fresh and rich in taste. Thanks to dark superior malt that provides the amber colour and the elegant smoothness" (source).
  • Flensburger Weizen, $2.89/11.2oz - "Brewed with the finest wheat and barley malt. Full-bodied and tangy" (source).

Video of the Week | Wood-Aged Bitches Brew

Now available at Siciliano's!