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Friday, September 14, 2018

New Beer Friday, Tug is the Drug Edition (Sept 14)

Steve with his fishing fix
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

“The tug is the drug.” —A fly fishing idiom

It seems like ages since I’ve been able to satisfy my fly-fishing addiction. The last time I felt the tug of a trout at the end of my line was about six weeks ago when my son Chris and I fished a stretch of the Pine just north of Luther. I was reminded that day how physically demanding angling for trout in Michigan can be. After tucking the truck into a clearing on a dirt road we geared up, hiked up a small hill then scrambled over moss-covered logs and through dense patches of brush until we hit the river. It took us about three hours to work our way back upstream. Unfortunately we didn’t have much action that day. Chris netted a decent-sized rainbow but I was daydreaming when I got my one and only hit and after a few rod pulsating seconds the trout shook free.

The Pine is one of the few rivers in Michigan’s lower peninsula that resembles a western trout stream. It’s rocky, fast and when the water is high it can be difficult to wade. There are times when you have to climb up on the bank to get around a deep hole and you have to stumble through the thick woods until you can skitter back into the river. It’s not easy fishing, especially for an old codger like me who’s had two hip replacements.

Later that night I was leaning against my neighbor’s deck trying to get him to spill the beans on some of his Little Manistee hot spots when I shifted slightly and felt a sharp pain in my calf. “What the hell!” I thought. I hobbled back to the cottage and before going to bed consumed a large tumbler of bourbon. The pain was still there in the morning so I popped four Advil’s and brooded about the fact there would be no fishing that day. By the time my wife got up I was convinced a blood clot was working its way to my heart and that the grim reaper was rapping on the door. That would mean the end of my fishing.

“Did the Advil help?” my wife asked coolly when I shared my fears of imminent demise with her.

I admitted that it did.

Then it’s not a blood clot,” she said matter of factly. “You’re fine.” I should have known better than to try to elicit sympathy from Barb. Last summer I got a nasty bite on my hand while breaking up a dogfight and my finger ballooned to the size of a hunk of kielbasa overnight. “Suck it up buttercup,” she told me when I suggested that I should probably see a doctor.

Anyway, back to the pain in my leg. It hung around for about a week and when I felt ready to hit the streams again it began raining and continued to rain for a couple of weeks. It’s not wise for a man my age (recall the two fake hips) to wade in rivers that are nearing flood stage.

The tug is the drug. It seems like ages since I’ve been able to satisfy my fly-fishing addiction and I’m jonesing for a fix. The other morning I woke up in a cold sweat and now I’m worried that I’m going through withdrawals. When I mentioned that to my wife she looked up from her book and rolled her eyes.

New and Returning Beer

  • Atwater Hey Diddle Diddle, $2.09/12oz - "Brewed with oranges and apricots and finished with a touch of yeast and rose petals" (source).
  • Bell's Double Cream Stout, $2.29/12oz - "Named for its velvety smooth, creamy texture, this incredibly rich stout is brewed with 10 different specialty roasted malts chosen that impart notes of rich mocha and espresso. Dark and sweet tones intermingle with a soft, roasty finish" (source).
  • Big Lake Michigan Amber, $2.79/16oz - "A classic Amber Ale made with Lake Michigan water, and locally sourced ingredients" (source).
  • Blake's Rosé, $2.19/12oz - "Semi-sweet with a citrus like acidity, this native fermented Rosé was infused with strawberries and rose hips, resulting in a vibrant finish" (source).
  • Deschutes Schwarzbier, $1.99/12oz - "This full flavored dark lager has some incredible roasty, toasty, nutty, and chocolate notes. Perfect for this time of year when the weather is starting to cool a bit" (source).
  • Innis and Gunn Gunnpowder, $3.09/12oz - "Our IPA is an explosion of aromas from Cascade, Centennial and Mandarina hops. Think orange, grapefruit and pine turned up to eleven. Its fully charged, hoppy character is perfectly balanced by a sweetness from the Munich malt" (source).
  • Odd Side Trendilicious, $2.19/12oz - "India Pale Ale with grapefruit added" (source).
  • Rockford Rogue River Brown, $2.09/12oz - "As a two-time Great American Beer Fest winner, this brew is quite the catch.  Smooth flowing notes of caramel and maltiness make this ale a refreshing companion to be prized year round.  Intrigued? Take the bait and tie one on, you'll be hooked" (source).
  • Saugatuck BBA Imperial Pumpkin Chia, $5.29/12oz - "Some of you may be familiar with one of our past seasonal releases – Pumpkin Chai. While we loved this beer, we decided it was time to kick it up a few notches. We increased the ABV to 9.5% and then aged this delicious concoction in Bourbon Barrels for 8 months. The sweet, strong bourbon flavors are prominent in this beer. The delicate body of this lighter beer is more susceptible to the bourbon flavors and aromas. But don’t worry, we didn’t lose the pumpkin or chai tea flavors here. You will still be hit with strong chai tea up front, followed by a smooth pumpkin finish" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Hop Bullet, $1.79/12oz - "Hops are the name of the game with a Double IPA, but we knew we had to take it one step further. With Hop Bullet, we’re using a new technique, hitting the beer with a double-barreled blast of Magnum hops and lupulin dust—pure, concentrated hop flavor—directly into the tank to emphasize the intense pine and citrus flavors of classic West Coast hops" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Narwhal, $2.49/12oz - "Narwhal Imperial Stout is inspired by the mysterious creature that thrives in the deepest fathoms of the frigid Arctic Ocean. Featuring incredible depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke, Narwhal is a massive malt-forward monster. Aggressive but refined with a velvety smooth body and decadent finish, Narwhal will age in the bottle for years to come" (source).
  • Terrapin Luau Krunkles, $1.99/12oz - "Tropical aromas of Passion fruit, Orange and Guava dominate the nose while a big juicy hop flavor and smooth bitterness complement the balance of the beer" (source).
  • Uinta Fest Helles, $1.69/12oz - "Fest is a delicate balance of malt and hops. With its bready malt character and grassy aromatics, this German-style lager is the perfect go-to for late Summer drinking, lederhosen optional" (source).

Pic of the Week | Rockford Brewing

Rogue River Brown— Now available at Siciliano's.


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