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Friday, April 25, 2014

New Beer Friday, Keeping You in the Loop Edition (April 25)

A custom-built six-manifold chilling station
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Judging for the homebrew competition is in our rearview mirror and Team Siciliano is now focusing on the next two homebrewing events in our annual spring lineup—Saturday, May 3rd’s Big Brew on the Calder in downtown Grand Rapids and the Homebrew Party on Saturday, May 17 at Townsend Park.

Last year’s inaugural Big Brew on the Calder was a huge success and we’ve made a few changes that we think will make this year’s event even better. Some minor tweaking of our custom built six-manifold chilling station has enabled us to compress the schedules for the boil and chill times. All the brewing teams should be finished by 1:30 pm this year which will allow everyone to socialize and relax with a homebrew while enjoying the music of Jimmie Stagger. This year there will also be the opportunity to purchase some good eats from Arcadia Brewing Company’s food truck.

The Big Brew on the Calder is free of charge and is open to the public.

We’re returning to Townsend Park this year for the Eleventh Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Party. As those who have attended past parties know, this annual celebration of the enriching hobby of homebrewing has evolved into a mini beer festival. For the $40.00 price of admission you get some nice gifts, a meal and live entertainment provided by, you guessed it—local music legend Jimmie Stagger.

Space for the party is limited. Tickets may be purchased in person at Siciliano’s or with a credit card over the phone by calling 616-453-9674.

New and Returning Beers

  • He'brew Funky Jewbelation, $12.59/22oz (limit 1/person) - "The eighth member in Shmaltz Brewing’s Limited Engagement Barrel-Aged series, Funky Jewbelation features a blend of six ales and lagers from the Shmaltz beer lineup aged in bourbon and rye whiskey barrels, and hustles in at 9.4% alc" (source).
  • Shorts Alien Einstein, $1.99/12oz (limit 2/person) - "Alien Einstein is a light bodied India Pale Lager with a dull golden color and an inviting aroma of tangy grapefruit juice. A bright burst of fruity and earthy hop flavors immediately hits the palate. This beer exemplifies the well-rounded versatility of the American Mosaic hops used exclusively in this beer" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada ovila Abbey Saison, $3.29/375ml - "A collaboration between Sierra Nevada Brewing Co and the monks at the Abbey of New Clairvaux, Ovila Abbey Saison brings the centuries-old monastery brewing tradition to America. Ovila Abbey Saison is complex and contemplative-but also refreshingly dry and drinkable. With earthy and spicy aromas, this rustic Saison has note of green grass and a faint citrus tang. The body is light and layered with fruit and spice accents and a dry, peppery finish. A portion of the proceedsfrom this ale go toward the restoration of the historic Santa Maria de Oliva chapter house on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux. This medieval building stood for nearly eight centuries in Spain. William Randolph Hearst purchased the monastery in 1931 and planned to use the stones for a castle even grander than his famous San Simeon. Although Hearst’s plan crumbled, these historic stones will rise again in a California Cistercian abbey" (source).
  • Founders All Day IPA, $19.39/15 packs - "The beer you’ve been waiting for. Keeps your taste satisfied while keeping your senses sharp. An all-day IPA naturally brewed with a complex array of malts, grains and hops. Balanced for optimal aromatic and a clean finish. The perfect reward for an honest day’s work and the ultimate companion to celebrate life’s simple pleasures" (source).
  • Ommegang Fleur de Houblon, $2.89/12oz - "Nothing is more evocative of summer than the beautiful aroma of flowers, and the favored flowers of brewers are hops. Our brand new summer ale, Fleur de Houblon (Hop Flowers), is brewed to bring the many elements of summer into a refreshing and easy-to-drink Belgian-style ale. Fleur de Houblon is a rich gold color with distinct floral hops in the aroma that follow through in the taste. Whole-cone Bravo hops are used to impart their earthy, fruity, and floral aromas and flavors. The body and flavor are clean and dry, with pleasing complexity and spicy notes from both primary and secondary fermentation with our unique Ommegang house yeast" (source).
  • Southern Tier Farmer's Tan Imperial Pale Lager, $1.69/12oz - "Neolithic humans evolved from nomadic hunters into a more settled agricultural society, changing life forever. The ‘founder’ crops they raised included wheat and barley. It is little surprise that the first examples of brewing appeared during this age. Brewers owe much to the epoch. Similarly, we thank our farmer friends of today for cultivating the ingredients the are responsible for the beers we now enjoy. Their laborious days spent ourdoors under the hot sun earn them respect, as well as a mark of distinction: the farmer’s tan. Yes, the inevitable red and white hallmark of hard work" (source).
  • Southern Tier Mokah, $9.29/22oz - "When empirical and creative impulses collide, the result is often timeless. The classic utility-art aesthetic of the coffee maker is an example of design and engineering working in concert. It is through similar cooperation that the simple bitter cocoa bean is transformed into a sweet treat. As scientists, our brewers utilize their materials to exacting standards. As artists, they couldn’t resist the temptation to combine the best flavors of two of our highly acclaimed Blackwater Series Imperial Stouts, Jahva and Choklat. Alone each is perfect, but together as Mokah, they are an inimitable expression of two of the world’s most sought after flavors" (source).
  • Southern Tier Imperial Compass, $7.79/22oz - "We rely on age-old tools in the brewery despite being surrounded by high technology. As a sort of compass, we use the six pointed brewer’s star to help navigate uncharted brews. The cardinal points of water, malt, grain, yeast, hops and a brewer make the baseline. From there anything goes. Sometimes the journey is as important as the destination" (source).
  • Stone Sprocket Bier, $9.09/22oz (1/person) - "Rick Blankemeier & Robert Chandler’s Sprocketbier Black Rye Kolsch Style. We’ve been brewing together for the better part of three years. Rick is an amazing homebrewer and always has at least one spare recipe hidden somewhere in that magnificent head of his. Robbie, on the other hand, is the Igor to Rich’s Dr. Frankenstein (but with less hunchback and more beard). Armed with only a four-letter acronym (KISS) and a mission to make a beer that was balanced and complex but still sessionable, Rick jotted down a recipe on a sticky note that would impress even the most seasoned brewmaster. Out of 19 amazing beers brewed by 19 teams of the best brewers at Stone Brewing Co., Steve Wagner (Co-founder & President), Greg Koch (Co-founder & CEO), and Mitch Steele (Brewmaster) chose this one after a blind tasting of the top nine beers. As we write this, we are honored and humbled by the decision to select our beer for the very first Stone Brewing Co. Spotlight Series release. Our original goal was to pay tribute to the SNL Sprockets skit by creating a beer that even Dieter would think "is dark and easy to drink," and we’re pretty sure we succeeded (Dieter’s not around to ask). We love this beer and can’t wait to share it with beer geeks and Stone fans around the country. Before you delve into this Impressively Dark and Amazingly Balanced beer, let us propose a toast to the ones we have lost, and to those of us who will never let their memories be forgotten…… Cheers, Prost, Salud and Good Memories to all" (source).

Cartoon of the Week


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