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Friday, September 28, 2018

New Beer Friday, Yeomans Edition (September 28)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

I was planning on hitting the Little Manistee one morning last week but we entertained the neighbors the previous night and Yeomans and I stayed up late drinking wine and talking about politics, sports, our dead fathers and the garish lights across the lake.

Yeomans is a retired high school history teacher. He has a big, bushy grey beard and wears his glasses on the end of his nose. His passions are golf and drinking Strohs out of longneck bottles and he is very good at both. He always golfs during the week so he doesn’t have to pay the weekend rates and he always walks so he can drink beer without putting on extra weight. He’s from Ohio and is a Buckeyes fan, a sin for which I can forgive him because he’s not obnoxiously snooty.

He also appreciates hand-crafted suds and is particularly fond of Starving Artist, Moose Drool and Ludington Bay’s British Brown. While Stroh’s is his preferred mass-produced lager, he’ll drink whatever is on sale in the bars, and he knows which days the saloons in Lake County run one-dollar specials. One day this past summer my wife and I stopped at Twin Creeks Tavern and just for fun I asked the bartender if a dude with a big bushy grey beard and glasses on the end of his nose had come in lately. When she replied that he had, I asked if she knew where I could find him because I had been looking for him and when I found him I was going to rough him up. She never blinked an eye, which I took to mean that such talk wasn’t uncommon in the environs of Luther, Michigan.

Back to the morning I was going to fish the Little Man. After two cups of coffee I felt stable enough to walk out to the dock where I made a couple of pathetic casts in an effort to raise some blue gill. By then the sun was already above the eastern stand of trees and was boring into my head with the power of 174 quadrillion watts. I retreated to the relative coolness of the cinder block garage until I recovered my bearings.

I laid low for most of the day and after dinner spied some bass rising at the end of Yeomans’ dock. Yeomans watched me fish while he sipped a Stroh’s on his deck. On the second cast I hooked the canopy of his pontoon boat and yelled over to him to move his boat. He yelled something back which I couldn’t make out but assumed was nasty. I caught a few decent size bass that fought hard for a few seconds but then gave up and came in like castigated hound dogs. It reminded me of why I prefer to fish for trout.

That night after getting out of bed to heed nature’s call I stepped out onto the deck. It was one of those moonless, cloudless nights in northern Michigan when you think that if you looked hard enough you could see all the way back to the beginning of the universe. The stars were so bright they reflected off the glassy surface of the water and the only thing that broke the spell were the lights in front of the cottage across the lake. The cottage owner apparently thinks it’s classy to keep those glaring lights burning all night. Yeomans and I have been talking about donning dark clothing, blackening our faces and rowing across the lake on some dark, moonless night to clip the wires.

New and Returning Beer

  • Bell's Third Coast Old Ale, $2.99/12oz - "Third Coast Old Ale starts with a rich, caramel base, and finishes with a heavy hop bitterness. Sharply intense at first, it will age gracefully, adding complexity and subtlety in your cellar. Go ahead, test your patience" (source).
  • Central Waters BBA Barleywine, $4.39/12oz - "A barleywine ale aged for a full year on used bourbon barrels, this beer has flavors of dark fruits and wood" (source).
  • Dark Horse Five High Harvest, $2.89/12oz - "A collaboration with High Five Hop Farm of Marshall, MI" (source).
  • Founders Harvest, $3.79/12oz - "Each fall, our brewhouse looks more like a greenhouse as thousands of pounds of wet hop cones arrive within hours of being picked by some of our favorite local hop growers. Acting quickly, we then load up these wet hops into what will become Harvest Ale – an impossibly aromatic and bright IPA bursting with fresh pine, melon and citrus notes. Our ode to the beauty that is the wet, American hop" (source).
  • Ludington Bay 9 Wt East Coast Style Double IPA, $1.99/12oz - "Juicy hops and malt up front with a dry finish. Dry hopped with copious amounts of Amarillo and Centennial hops" (source).
  • Ludington Bay First Curve West Coast Style IPA, $1.99/12oz - "Pale, coppered-color with a creamy white head. Hop forward with a malty backbone" (source).
  • Ludington Bay Lake Phantom, $1.99/12oz - "American Pale Ale with tangelo. Tangelo is a citrus fruit hybrid, with flavors of tangerines and pomelos (grapefruit)" (source).
  • Ludington Bay Jame Street Brown, $1.99/12oz - "Smooth, dark American Brown Ale with a lacy tan head that drinks lighter than it looks" (source).
  • Barrel + Beam Blanc du Nord, $5.19/375ml - "The flavor of this wit bier is herbaceous, wheat and citrusy, with a spicy depth that only our Belgian White yeast strain can produce in our open square fermenters. Our lightest option" (source).
  • Barrel + Beam Saison Terre a Terre, $5.19/375ml - "Pronounced /tare-ah-tare/. This French sourced saison is spicy, herbal, dry and fruity. The high carbonation is a hallmark of the style" (source).
  • Barrel + Beam Pivot Point, $6.49/375ml - "A toasty, caramel, rich and balanced Bier de'Garde. Lagered in red wine barrels in our cellar at 45° F for four weeks" (source).
  • Barrel + Beam Golden Partager, $6.49/375ml - "A golden strong ale featuring character Michigan sourced alt and hops, barrel aged with an exceptional years - Brettanomyces Bruxellensis" (source).
  • Barrel + Beam Harmonie, $6.49/375ml - "Oud Bruin style blend of barrel-soured black ale combined with fresh Saison Terre a Terre. Subtle brett funk and oak, toasty malt and funky plum build to dry, tart finish" (source).
  • Barrel + Beam Spooky Kriek, $7.79/375ml - No commercial description available.
  • Central State Cast No Shadow, $4.09/16oz - "Combining Cascade, Citra, and Simcoe hops with Indiana-malted barley & wheat, this beer is named for a 1922 city ordinance that no building shall be constructed so that it could cast a shadow on Liberty, the statue adorning the top of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown Indianapolis" (source).
  • Central State Ottermelon Gose, $3.79/16oz - "Tart and lightly salted wheat beer fermented with Watermelon" (source).
  • Central State Robur, $3.79/16oz - "Exploring the delicate dance that can take place between beer and oak. We first brewed a simple pale base of Indiana Malted Barley, Wheat and Oats hopped with Citra and Hallertauer Blanc then aged it for several weeks on toasted French Oak staves" (source).
  • Southern Tier Creme Brulee, $4.09/12oz - "The British founders of burnt cream & Spanish founders of crema catalana both stand by their creative originality. We respect that, but it was the French crème brûlée that survived history. How would a brewery determine a likeness to hard-coated custard? Our response is simple; resilience & finesse. Aroma is front & center. Sweet, creamy & uncannily true to the namesake dessert. Contains lactose sugar" (source).
  • Short's Hellacious Rock, $2.59/12oz - "An American Double India Pale Ale with bold floral hop aromas of citrus peel and pine. A sizable malt sweetness allows for a balanced presentation of abundant hop flavors, most notably those of sharp grapefruit and fruity berries. The finish is mostly clean with a perfect resiny bitterness, that lingers, but doesn’t overwhelm the palate" (source).
  • Petoskey Super Trooper Brown, $2.79/16oz - "Brewed with Columbian coffee beans and donuts from a local producer" (source).

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