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Friday, November 16, 2018

New Beer Friday, Deer Camp Edition (November 16)

Deer Camp, circa 2005
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

It’s a longstanding tradition for the men in the Siciliano family to gather at a cabin Up North in Michigan’s Lake County to take part in the annual fall ritual known as deer hunting. Ours is not a traditional Deer Camp. My brother Matt is the only one who owns a firearm and I’m quite sure the rifle hasn’t been fired in years. We tend to focus on things like cooking, eating, playing poker and smoking cigars. There’s also a good amount of chops busting and a fair amount of drinking.

The tradition of the Siciliano Deer Camp dates back to the mid 1960s when my father bought a twenty-acre plat of wooded property near the small burg of Irons, Michigan. Sam Siciliano had lots of friends and the cabin he built, mostly with his own hands, became a mecca of sorts over the years, a place that drew a steady stream of camo- and orange-clad visitors on the opening weekends of deer season.

Sam at Deer Camp
You never know what conditions will be like in northern Michigan in mid-November but since none of us sets an insulated boot in the woods we really don’t fret too much about the weather. A cold, steady rain is bad because it makes it hard to keep a camp fire going. There was one year when six inches of wet snow fell and we had to use leaf blowers to clear off the area around the fire pit.

That fire pit is usually the epicenter of the two days of unrestrained debauchery. My nephew Jacob Derylo is a self-proclaimed camp fire expert and he does a pretty good job of maintaining a roaring blaze. If someone dares offer a bit of unsolicited advice there’s a very real chance that a loud but good natured argument will ensue. Our clan, it seems, will argue about almost anything at Deer Camp.

The visitors start coming around about noon on Saturday. Many come bearing gifts — a bottle of wine, growlers of homebrew, links of homemade sopressata, a bag of venison jerky. Last year Randy Joppie, one of the Grillin' Guys, roasted lamb chops over the open fire.

At various times throughout the day one of us will grab a bottle. Shots of booze will be poured and passed around. “To Sam,” one of us will say while raising his glass. “To Sam,” the assemblage of sons, grandsons, nephews and friends will repeat while raising theirs.

New and Returning Beer

  • Anderson Valley Michigan Cherry Gose, $2.19/12oz - "Brewed with Michigan cherries, this cherry gose is a complex and sessionable ale perfect for any occasion" (source).
  • Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, $2.19/12oz - "Winter Solstice® is our take on the classic style of “winter warmer.” Boasting a deep amber hue and rich mouthfeel, its creamy finish will lift your spirits. Hints of toffee, spice, and caramel tease the senses making this the perfect ale to share with friends and family during the cold days and long nights of winter" (source).
  • Arbor Brewing Good and Proper, $2.19/12oz - "Brut IPA is the latest evolution of the ever-changing American IPA. Brewed to remove residual sugars, this developing IPA style features a bone dry finish coupled with big hop flavor. The uniqueness of the Brut IPA is its ability to keep IBUs low while showcasing the entire hop aroma and flavor spectrum. Good & Proper takes advantage of this with a robust hop blend that gives this beer huge tropical melon, strawberry, citrus, and lemongrass character" (source).
  • Arbor Liquid Vinyl, $2.99/12oz - "Our Russian Imperial Stout is full bodied and complex, with layers of flavors that develop with every sip. Aromas of licorice and dark cocoa yield to notes of sweetened coffee and toasted cookies, before finishing with a light smokiness that lingers on the palate. Like a good LP, this beer will age well and improve with time. Music, beer… some things are best enjoyed in analog" (source).
  • Ballast Point Manta Ray, $2.39/12oz - "We’ve developed many IPA recipes in our R&D program, but right from the tank, our Manta Ray Double IPA was a winner. Aromas of fresh, citrusy tangerine, melon and light pine leap from the beer and linger over a smooth finish. Like its namesake, this brew can sneak up on you – a big beer without a bite" (source).
  • Ballast Point Spruce Tip Sculpin, $2.39/12oz - "Ballast Point Spruce Tip Sculpin" (source).
  • Bell's Lampshade Party Ale, $2.99/12oz - "This big, strong Double IPA is dry-hopped with Australia’s Galaxy and the Pacific Northwest’s new-school IPA hop, Idaho 7. The hop character jumps out at you with juicy aromas of fruit punch, red berry and pineapple. The bitterness is strong, but balanced with a nice malt character" (source).
  • Bell's Two Hearted Mini Keg, $25.59/5L - "Brewed with 100% Centennial hops from the Pacific Northwest and named after the Two Hearted River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, this IPA is bursting with hop aromas ranging from pine to grapefruit from massive hop additions in both the kettle and the fermenter" (source).
  • Big Lake Barrel-Aged Darkstar, $4.69/16oz (2 per) - "Darkstar Stout aged in bourbon barrels.  Aromas and flavors of vanilla, coffee, and chocolate with a hint of heat from aging in bourbon barrels" (source).
  • Boulevard Plaid Habit, $4.69/12oz - "Born a double-mashed imperial brown ale, then matured for 18 months in freshly drained 10-year Canadian rye whisky barrels, the beer features checkered notes of rich vanilla, charred oak, warming whisky and spicy rye. With a lingering, boozy sweetness and round, resonant flavor, Plaid Habit clearly earns its name" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Paris, $12.99/500ml - "Saison aged in red wine barrels for one year with brettanomyces" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Tart Side of the Moon, $4.69/16oz - "One of our most anticipated and highly talked about specialty releases, this hearty stout is kettle soured and blended for a slight tartness along side big dark chocolate notes and hints of black cherries. No adjuncts are added to this beer-- these robust layers of flavor are yeast driven. Listen to the lunatic" (source).
  • Dark Horse Four Elf Maple, $2.29/12oz - "4 Elf is holiday cheer in liquid form. Spicy aromas like cinnamon and clove give this dark brown winter warmer a proper holiday welcome. Balanced between malt, hops, and spice at 8.75% ABV this beer goes great with all holiday foods—from sweet snacks to the roast beast" (source).
  • Elk PB Porter, $1.99/12oz - No commercial description.
  • Right Brain Naughty Girl Stout, $1.99/12oz - "Thin mint cookie, meet John Niedermaier. A stout made with organic locally-grown whole leaf mint. She’s just back from a stint in the cooler for being too naughty. She might have mellowed out but this stout is still naughty at heart" (source).
  • Sam Adams Winter Lager, $1.79/12oz - "The cinnamon, ginger, and hint of citrus from the orange peel blend with the roasty sweetness of the malts to deliver a warming, spicy flavor" (source).
  • Shiner Cheer, $1.79/12oz - "An Old World Dunkelweizen brewed with Texas peaches and roasted pecans" (source).
  • Short's MI - Bonsai Project, $2.29/12oz - "MI is a Tonic-inspired Specialty Ale brewed with lemon, lime, and orange juice and zest, cinchona bark, allspice, cubeb pepper, and lemongrass best layered with OH from MadTree Brewing Company. Golden with great clarity, MI has aromas of citrus mingled with pepper, allspice, and malt. Leading with citrus along with hints of pepper and lemongrass, the cinchona bark flavors come near the end giving it a traditional tonic essence. Medium bodied this beer finishes dry and malty and acts as the base for the Bonsai Project" (source).

Video of the Week | Da Yoopers

"The greatest time of year."


1 comment:

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