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Friday, February 22, 2019

New Beer Friday, Sandy Ridge Hops Edition (February 22)

Image courtesy of Sandy Ridge
By Steve Siciliano

If you are looking to establish or expand a hop garden this spring, the folks at Sandy Ridge Farms in Zeeland, Michigan, are once again supplying us with established hop plants. According to the growers at Sandy Ridge, the advantages to purchasing established hop plants versus rhizomes are three-fold:
  1. An established plant eliminates the risk of questionable viability as often found with rhizomes. It is typically recommended to plant more than one rhizome per pot/hole which increases costs.
  2. An established plant with a developed root system and mature top growth will produce larger yields in the first 2 years than a planted rhizome.
  3. Hop plants are susceptible to virus and disease out in the hop yard. A rhizome from an infected plant will produce another infected plant. Plants are obtained from the National Clean Plant Network at Washington State University where they are virus/viroid tested prior to being shipped. Sandy Ridge Farms has a strict protocol in place regarding clean plants and preventative pest-management. A healthy plant produces more hop cones.
We will be taking hop plant pre-orders now through the end of business on Thursday, March 21. Those wishing to place orders may do so via email (steve@sicilianosmkt.com), by phone (616-453-9674) or in person here at Siciliano's. When ordering by email please ensure that you indicate the desired quantity of the specified variety. Price per plant is $8.59 and payment will not be due until the time of pickup.

We anticipate that the hops plants will be available for pickup by the end of May. Those placing orders will be personally notified when the shipment arrives. Go here to see a full list of this year’s offerings.

New and Returning Beers

  • Arclight BBA Berrien County Stout, $15.59/22oz - "Maple Variant of BBA Berrien County Stout" (source).
  • Arclight Pineapple Mango, $21.79/750ml - "American wild ale with pineapple and mango" (source).
  • Arclight Swayze Crazy, $13.19/22oz - "Golden Imperial Java Milk Stout. This beer goes against everything you come to know about stouts. But damn it is delicious" (source).
  • Barrel + Beam Grisette, $5.19/375ml - "A light, hop forward belgian ale. Very sessionable and crisp. Subtle melon in the aroma and a clean finish" (source).
  • Barrel + Beam Terre Magique, $8.99/375ml - "Light, tart, dry and fruity" (source).
  • Big Lake Stoner, $3.19/16oz - "A dank, resinous medium bodied IPA. Goes well with the munchies" (source).
  • Boulevard Tequila Barrel Lime Gose, $1.99/12oz - "A traditional German-style sour beer, infused with sea salt, coriander and lime peel, goes on holiday to the home of the blue agave, sunny Mexico. The aroma offers assertive notes of oak, vanilla, caramelized banana, and coconut. A malty sweetness is balanced by tart lime and hints of lively tequila, tapering to a slightly salty finish" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Love Shadow, $7.19/16oz - "Taking up his (or her) mash paddle on brew day, the brewer has his (or her) eye on the future months when flavors all come together. However, there is always a shadow of mischief that comes in the forms of fermentation, wooden barrels, grain terroir or water pH. Still, guiding this magical elixir from start to finish is the brewer's duty. With Love Shadow, we have guided a powerful Belgian inspired Imperial stout through the bourbon barrel aging process and come out the other side with a full bodied behemoth with notes of chocolate, vanilla, and oak char. Drink Up" (source).
  • Ellison Haz'N'Stein, $3.59/16oz - No commercial description.
  • Epic Son of a Baptist, $2.59/12oz - "Son of a Baptist is an 8% ABV imperial stout. It is not barrel aged like its father, Big Bad Baptist; instead its flavor profile was designed to highlight the complex and often unique flavors of small batch coffees. Instead of sourcing a coffee that would play well in a beer we sought out creative and innovative roasters, then asked them which beans they’re passionate about. Each resulting release of Son of a Baptist is widely different depending on the coffee selected. Some are fruity and sweet with notes of jam and chocolate, others are rich and earthy with a big roasted finish. Each limited release will return to the Roaster’s home market where the beer and the coffee can be sampled side by side" (source).
  • Ommegang BA Smoked Vanilla Porter, $8.89/12oz - "falling in love with, our Ommegang Smoked Porter. Sampling the first pilot batches, it was clear that this was a beer that was meant for barrel ageing. Thus, when we brewed Smoked Porter to release in the winter of 2017, we also set some aside in bourbon barrels. Each individual barrel then received additions of several whole Madagascar vanilla beans to impart their rich and creamy flavors into the beer as it aged. Now, six months later, it is ready to drink. Only 100 1/6 bbl kegs of this beer were produced for distribution, making this one of our most limited releases ever" (source).
  • Pigeon Hill MI Irish Stout, $1.99/12oz - "As with any proper dry Irish Stout, this beer was brewed to be drank (and we don't just mean a single pint) - and, at 5% ABV, it isn't merely a sipper. Slight notes of coffee, chocolate, and sweetness are balanced by a clean, dry finish - leading you to want the next pint sooner rather than later" (source).
  • Prairie Bible Belt, $4.89/12oz - "Let’s face it – we love big, flavorful stouts. As luck would have it, our friend Jeppe at Evil Twin Brewing feels the same way. We decided to brew a beer together that took elements from our favorite stouts we each produce to come together as one beer. Bible Belt takes elements we love from Prairie Bomb! and combines them with Evil Twin Brewing’s world famous stout, Even More Jesus. The end result is a smoky, spicy stout that is sure to please the pallet" (source).
  • Stone Moxee Gold, $2.29/12oz - "Behind every great beer are amazing stories of all the people, places and ingredients that culminate in what you have in your hand. The Stone Farm to Can Series is our heartfelt tribute to the dedicated farmers who cultivate the hops that help bring our beers to life. Each beer in this series features hops grown at a single specific farm as our way of paying homage to their harvest. Many of these growers breed and develop their own varieties, like CLS Farms in Moxee, Washington did with El Dorado hops, named for the mythical hidden City of Gold. Moxee lies nestled in Yakima Valley, the very real paradise of hop production in the American Pacific Northwest. Stone Moxee Gold IPA is loaded with Centennial and of course El Dorado hops, all sourced from the fruitful bines of CLS Farms. The valley itself may be mostly green, but its bounty of hops are as good as gold" (source).
  • Upland Champagne Velvet, $1.49/12oz - "Champagne Velvet has a refreshingly light pilsener body with some sweet complexities given off by the corn malt used in this recipe, making this the perfect lager. It’s smooth and light, but still full of flavor, the perfect everyday beer for craft beer drinkers and a step up for domestic drinkers" (source).
  • Wolverine Snakes & Shamrocks, $2.99/16oz - "Now the actual beer we’ve brewed here is based on an Irish Red Ale style which is the predominant style in the style guidelines but it lends itself to much interpretation.  Including reformulating the recipe to be a LAGER.  The recipe is very simple but makes for a very quaffable and flavorful beer because of the way Oliver designed it" (source).

Must Read: A Rising Tide


A Rising Tide: Stories of from the Michigan Brewers Guild
is now available at Siciliano's Market ($20).

Cheers!

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