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Friday, March 9, 2018

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

Coup d'├ętat 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'├ętat 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.

Cheers!

3 comments:

  1. Ha! Well you are the owner so I doubt you ever will be "fully" retired. Congratulations though, Sarah and your staff are always friendly, helpful and do a great job running your shop!

    I feel spoiled I literally can walk across the street to the best beer bottle shop and brewing store in the state!

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  2. Jlen1@yahoo.com-
    I'm sure all will continue to be successful and innovative in the capable hands of the new regieme. Get your feet off the desk, Sarah!!!

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  3. Steve,
    What you have created and cultured is nothing short of absolutely amazing. We as a community of beer lovers owe so much to you. We as a community of breweries owe so much to you. Homebrewers, cigar lovers..

    I wouldn't be where I am if I hadn't found your store at 18, drooling over six packs and buying cigars and sodas, waiting until I turned 21. I always knew you would be my first legal purchase, and you were.

    Cheers to you, cheers to Barb, cheers to your phenomenal staff and cheers to each and every year you made Grand Rapids a better place, with many more to come.

    You may not be fully retired yet, but I'm not going to wait to share these thoughts. I'm sure there will be plenty more when you decide to set aside the "semi".

    Cheers and thank you, a thousand times.
    Darcie

    ReplyDelete