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Friday, August 10, 2018

New Beer Friday, One That Got Away Edition (August 10)

Barb with one that didn't get away
By Steve Siciliano

When my wife Barb and I were fly fishing in southwestern Montana a few weeks ago we had to quickly learn how to fight the area’s muscular trout. I got a crash course in the proper technique the first time I hooked into one of those piscatorial torpedoes. As soon as I set the hook the big rainbow took off on a reel-screeching run downriver and I instinctively reared back on the rod and tried to put the brakes on the fly line. “Let it run!” shouted Chris our guide. “Get your hand off the reel!”

When you’re fishing with light tackle and you try to rein in a big, Big Sky Country trout before it tires, you’re chance of netting the brute goes down dramatically. When it goes on its multiple runs you keep the line taut and when it stops running and starts doing some high flying acrobatics you hold on and enjoy the show. Sometimes it keeps running until you get perilously close to the end of the line. When that happens your guide weighs anchor and chases after it with the boat. If it decides to shoot back in your direction you reel furiously to take up the slack. When it finally begins losing steam you keep the rod tip high and you slowly retrieve the line. If everything goes right you eventually guide it into the net.

Of course everything doesn’t always go to plan. While we netted a good deal of beefy browns and rainbows on our trip more than a few got away. When one does get away you let out a few expletives and get back to fishing.

One time Barb tied into a huge brown and I reeled in to make sure it didn’t tangle up in my line. After sitting idle for fifteen minutes while she fought the beast I got out of the boat, waded upstream and resumed fishing. It happened to be lunch time so our guide decided to fire up the portable gas grill which immediately began emitting a huge plume of smoke while burning off the grease from the previous day’s burgers. When the trout went on a long run Chris pulled up the anchor and began rowing around a bend downriver. “We’ll come back for you, Steve,” he shouted through the billowing smoke. An hour later I saw the boat rounding the bend with Chris in the water hauling it back upriver with a rope a la Humphrey Bogart in the African Queen. Unfortunately, Barb lost the fish, which Chris guessed to be about twenty-six inches, after an hour long fight.

That big brown trout keeps getting bigger each time she tells the story.

New and Returning Beer

  • Anderson Valley Chia Solstice, $2.19/12oz - "A variation of our classic Solstice ales. Additions of cardamom, star anise, and vanilla create a mélange of sweetness and complexity; while orange peel, ginger, black pepper add a zesty freshness and a touch of spicy heat" (source).
  • Big Lake Seed Spitter, $2.79/12oz - "An American Wheat Ale brewed with loads of natural watermelon.  This is a perfect summer quencher" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Plein de Vie Cherry Angelina, $12.99/500ml - No commercial description.
  • Dark Horse Smells Like A Citra Safety Meeting, $2.29/12oz - "A new addition to the Smells Like family this IPA uses the same malt profile as our seasonal IPA called Smells Like a Safety Meeting and clocks in at 8.5% ABV. Instead of the proprietary hop blend we like so much in the original Smells Like a Safety Meeting, we removed all of the hops and replaced them with Citra hops giving this beer a very citrus forward nose and flavor profile" (source).
  • Epic New England IPA, $2.79/12oz - "These juicy, hazy, hop bombs are packed to the brim with flavor. In fact, we’ve been downright irresponsible when it comes to hop utilization. Our brewers have been experimenting with everything from lupulin powder, to massive hop backs, exploring the flavor synergies of fermentation hopping, and literally cramming in more dry hops then our tanks can even hold" (source).
  • Maui Pau Hana Pilsner, $2.39/12oz - "European Pilsner malt offers sweetness balanced by a spicy hop profile" (source).
  • Right Brain Chubby Squirrel, $1.99/12oz - "Brewed with secret blend of spices, this is a fall beer that keeps the pumpkin out of things" (source).
  • Rochester Mills Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake Stout, $2.59/16oz - "This stout is brewed with lactose (milk sugar) to impart a fuller body and sweeter palate. Flavored with toasted marshmallows for the 9th day of 12 Days of Milkshake Stout " (source).
  • Short's Citra Local, $1.89/12oz - "Citra Local’s is our flagship American Lager but with a fun new twist. Dry hopped with Citra hops, this beer is bursting with fresh grapefruit aromas. Similar complementary hop flavors are perceived within, but without any imparted bitterness. The light pilsen malt creates a soft and subtle flavor profile that finishes crisp and clean, once the initial hoppy perceptions subside" (source).
  • Stone Brewing 22nd Anniversary, $3.19/12oz - "Stone Brewing has spent over 20 years pursuing clean, bitter, hop forward beers. It would be passé to suggest this beer is simply another gigantically juicy and extremely complex Stone Double IPA. It’s a middle finger to the haze craze proving that clean, crisp IPA’s can still be smashed full of big, juicy, tropical flavor. It’s also the winner of our 2018 Spotlight Series contest, which pits teams of brewers against each other to see who can brew the best beer. Citrus takes the forefront, with plenty of fruit character to back it up. With incredible mouthfeel from the malted oats, the beer isn’t sweet at all, but its light amber color would make you think it is sweeter than it tastes" (source).
  • Tallgrass Coastal Fusion, $1.89/12oz - "Tallgrass is back in the IPA game!  We have taken our time to develop a unique IPA that fuses the best characteristics of both coasts.  Coastal Fusion has big, juicy citrus notes upfront with a dry, bitter finish; creating a new “Midwest IPA” category!  Already a company favorite, this IPA comes in at 7%, and is the punch in the mouth you’ve been missing from our lineup.  We send this “From Kansas With Love” to you, our loyal Tallgrassers" (source).

Video of the Week: Sierra Nevada

Where it all started: Sierra Nevada's original brewhouse.


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