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Friday, July 13, 2018

New Beer Friday, Little Manistee River Edition (July 13)

The following NBF preamble, written by Steve Siciliano, first appeared on The Buzz in August, 2014. Buzz editors liked it so much we thought it deserved reposting. Enjoy!

Sometimes when I’m feeling a tad claustrophobic I’ll get myself lost on the gravel roads in the northwest section of Lake County. “Lost” is a relative term here. I might not know exactly where I’m at all the time but those washboard-rutted roads always lead to a paved highway and eventually I’ll find my way back to the cottage. If I happen to come across a country tavern along the way it’s a bonus.

While I’m “lost” there’s always plenty to look at — lots of trees, abandoned farmhouses and dilapidated barns, deer grazing in the fields, small streams and the occasional undeveloped lake.

If I drive around those roads long enough I’ll come to one of the wooden pylon bridges that cross over the Little Manistee and because I’m usually in an unhurried state, I get out of my truck to look at the river. Often I’ll see a fly fisherman working his way upstream or, if I'm lucky, a trout holding steady in the current.

It’s my decidedly humble opinion that the Little Manistee is one of the Lower Peninsula’s most delightful rivers. It rises just east of Luther and winds fifty-five miles through the hardwood forests of Lake, Mason and Manistee counties before emptying into Manistee Lake. When I was young my uncle had a cabin a few miles outside Luther. I have wonderful memories of fishing for browns and brook trout in the pond formed by the old logging mill dam that was built back in the 1800s.

Many years later my brother-in-law and I went skinny dipping in one the Little Manistee’s icy cold pools after a day of drinking Stroh’s at my father’s cabin near Irons. The swim was quite refreshing, but the memory of that experience is tempered by the fact that a few days later I got a bad case of poison ivy in the sensitive regions below my waist.

Last Saturday Barb and I kayaked the stretch of the Little Manistee between Fox Bridge and Bear Track Campground with friends John and Pam Matson. Kayaking the Little Manistee is definitely a challenge. Because John and Pam have kayaked this part of the river over twenty times, they are very adept at maneuvering the twists, turns, obstructions and eddies while enjoying a beer. I, however, quickly found out that I wasn’t.

Ten minutes into our excursion I cracked open a 16-ounce can of Two Hearted and the first two sips tasted wonderful. While I was taking the third sip the current pushed my kayak sideways against a submerged log and the remainder of that world-class IPA ended up with me in the river. Fortunately I was able to retrieve my paddle, my flip flops and the empty beer can.

My ego was slightly bruised, but a bruised ego is a relatively small price to pay for another Little Manistee memory.

New and Returning Beer

  • Abita Strawberry, $1.89/12oz - "Abita Strawberry Harvest is a lager brewed with pilsner and wheat malts and Vanguard hops. Real Louisiana strawberry juice is added after filtration resulting in a crisp lager with a sweet strawberry flavor, aroma and haze. It is wonderful with desserts or lighter fare such as salads and pastas. Fresh cheeses such as Burrata, chèvre, Crescenza, mozzarella or Teleme pair well with Strawberry Harvest. All of our Harvest Series brews are made with the finest Louisiana-grown ingredients keeping us Louisiana True®" (source).
  • Cutwater Bourbon Lemon Tea, $3.79/12oz - "We’ve added our own twist to a warm weather favorite. The subtle herbal tea notes blend perfectly with the soft honeysuckle, caramel, and vanilla of our Black Skimmer Bourbon, balanced with sweet lemon. It’s a refreshing cocktail you’ll be drinking all year round" (source).
  • Dogfish Head Mixed Media, $2.79/12oz - "The closest an ale can legally be to wine! With 51% of the fermentable sugars coming from grain and 49% coming from grapes, Mixed Media is a complex saison-esque ale brewed with a distinct Belgian yeast strain. Using a late-harvest Viognier grape must from our friends at Alexandria Nicole Cellars in Washington, you'll find notes of white grape and melon in the aroma, and greeted with a spicy white wine body in every sip" (source).
  • Grimsby Hollow Midsummer Night Mead, $29.99/750ml - "Sweet succulent strawberries blend with tart lemons and rich wildflower honey to create a refreshing mead" (source).
  • Grimsby Hollow Raven Heart Mead, $29.99/750ml - "The tart earthy flavors of black and red currants marry with rich wildflower honey to bespell your taste buds with this bold, semi-sweet nectar that will steal your heart" (source).
  • Grimsby Hollow Raspberry Malone Mead, $29.99/750 - "You can thank a Malone for the creation of this refreshing mead, with its bold, red raspberry goodness" (source).
  • North Pier Sandbar Session, $1.99/12oz - "A North Pier X Third Coast Surf Shop collab, this sessionable ale is dry-hopped with Vic Secret Hops to give a rush of juicy pineapple aromas" (source).
  • Odd Side Citra Dank, $2.39/12oz - "100% Citra hopped version of our New England IPA. Smooth, juicy, hazy beer with a citrus aroma and notes of grapefruit and lemon" (source).
  • Odd Side Mosiac Dank, $2.39/12oz - "100% Mosaic hopped version of our New England IPA. Aromas of tangerine, grapefruit, and berries give way to a smooth, hazy beer with citrus flavors with a hint of pine" (source).
  • Rochester Mills Water Street Wheat, $2.49/16oz - "An unfiltered German-style wheat beer with the traditional banana and clove flavors and aromas derived from the unique Hefe-Weizen yeast strain" (source).

Video of the Week | Dogfish Head Mixed Media

Get it at now at Siciliano's (while supplies last)!


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